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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.

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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. Simple Statistics

    In case Christians have forgotten, their religion is a minority in this world. There are many religions in this world, all with gods as powerful (or more powerful) than that of the Christian god. And as far as being decent, Christ-inspired living beings, Christians probably do among the worst in the world in this area.

    I know, hard concept to grasp that you're not the center of the universe. Why is it that atheists do a better job of upholding the values of Christ than do Christians themselves?

    Atheists, not Christians, are the ones calling for better gun control so that college kids can't buy military-grade weapons and protection to murder fellow humans by the dozen. Atheists, not Christians, are the ones calling for universal health care for ALL humans (or at least their fellow citizens of which they are reasonably able to help out). Atheists, not Christians, are the ones who are promoting full civil rights for gays and other sects of this great country which are oppressed and terrorized by the religious right. Atheists, not Christians, are the ones striving to redistribute a *tiny* built of wealth from the wealthy few to aid the millions without poverty, health care, or any real hope of a life for their children.

    I know you Christians tend to hate your savior, but please remember this: Jesus was a socialist carpenter. He didn't carry weapons of any sort around (Christians REFUSE to give up their guns despite the 25 gun deaths or so that happen DAILY in this country – that's like the Aurora massacre happening daily!). He healed the poor and meek, NOT the rich (Christians only want health care for those financially healthy). He used words to bring peace to the world (Christians want to spend huge amounts of money on a horrifying army that could destroy the entire world ten times over). He called gays and lesbians his brothers and sisters (Christians refuse to let their fellow humans live a normal and happy life).

    Isn't it funny how the most secular nations in the world are also that with the best health care, the lowest rates of poverty, the best educations, the best life expectancy, the lowest baby mortality rates, and the brightest futures for their childrens' futures? Isn't it funny how the most secular nations in the world also kill the least number of people with their militaries?

    If there is a heaven, you can be sure that the only ones inside will be atheists – those human beings who LIVE the values of your savior, rather than spout them blindly so that you can sin as much possible in your short life here on earth.

    Why did God allow this tragedy to happen? If I were him, I'd have a hard time finding a reason to not let this to happen if I cared about how well my most devoted followers were acting upon my word.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      You had an effective argument right before all the stereotypes...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Rick James

      It seems that you are trying to tie a political ideology with a religious one. I prefer to keep them separate. Not all atheists want universal healthcare or gun control. Some Christians, on the other hand, do.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Simple Statistics

      "You had an effective argument right before all the stereotypes..."

      If the stereotypes weren't true, than we would be a nation focused on helping our fellow human beings out given that we are a mostly Christian nation.

      If they weren't true, than Atheists would vote in a manner that would be harmful to humans, while Christians would overwhelmingly vote in a manner that would be helpful for humans.

      Again, Jesus was a socialist carpenter. The concept of politics has not changed one iota in the last 2000 years. Read your own Bible.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tribulation

      First off, you confuse religion with faith. One God, many religions whose faith is in him. As far as the rest of your post, all manufacture supposition and without value or basis in fact. Obviously anti religion bigotry and hate at it worst.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • nottolate

      "In case Christians have forgotten, their religion is a minority in this world."

      Um...its supposed to be that way. For many are called, but few are chosen. In reading that it becomes quite clear that you don't know the first thing about Christianity. I say that without malice too.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Simple Statistics

      "Rick James
      It seems that you are trying to tie a political ideology with a religious one. I prefer to keep them separate. Not all atheists want universal healthcare or gun control. Some Christians, on the other hand, do."

      Again, it's all about general trends. As a whole, Christians do one thing. As a whole, Atheists do another thing.

      As a whole, Atheists follow the values extolled by Jesus more than Christians do. Why do they do so? Because he was a pretty smart man who understood that violence, hatred, bigotry, and ignorance have no place in our world.

      Again, these are facts that are made quite clear when voting season rolls around all the time. Doesn't matter whether you're talking about the 2012 elections or the Civil War era, the voting lines have not changed much at all.

      I greatly respect any Christian who chooses to live the life that Christ lived. No, I don't respect him because he's a Christian – I respect him because he values fellow human lives.

      As much as you might hate it, politics and religion are endlessly entwined. And that's a big problem, considering that religion (mainstream Christianity, Islam, etc.) elects those who want to oppress the minority, exploit the poor, and better the wealthy in every country (America, Afghanistan, Egypt – every country). Doesn't matter that the teachings all most major world religions are explicity against things like exploiting the poor and oppressing the minority – governments elected by said religious followers are horrible for this world.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • clgmm74

      Preconceived notions belong to all groups. Opinionated differences does not mean either group lacks compassion for our fellow man.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Simple, typical of atheists making up their own statistics. LOL.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Bible Truth

    Proverbs 28:9
    King James Version (KJV)
    9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

    Ezekiel 18:24
    King James Version (KJV)
    24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

    Hebrews 6:6
    King James Version (KJV)
    6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    2 Timothy 4:3
    King James Version (KJV)
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      Santa 12:25 – I shall visiteth half a fortnight beforeth the New Year, when I shall shimmieth down your chimney and delivereth presents unto your offspring.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Gozer the Traveler! He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the Rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveler came as a large and moving Torb! Then, during the Third Reconciliation of the Last of the Meketrex Supplicants, they chose a new form for him, that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Or, you could have said: Gozer the Traveler! He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the Rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveler came as a large and moving Torb! Then, during the Third Reconciliation of the Last of the Meketrex Supplicants, they chose a new form for him, that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Not one of you atheists tried to decipher those scriptures. Amazing when folks don't have eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. It just goes over your heads. No wonder you atheists are always angry.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  3. Tribulation

    I saw this comment once that would apply to this thread."If I am wrong about God and my faith I will never know. If your wrong about your utter disbelief, eternity is an awful long time.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • SciGuy73

      But what happens if you backed the WRONG god? Thor has a mighty temper you know.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Pascal's Wager – why are you assuming only 2 possible outcomes? What if God favours those who use their brains to question his existence, and punishes those who blindly accept his existence on faith? Aha! Gotcha!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  4. kevin

    Claims that God exists are no more valid or provable than claims that unicorns exist.

    Even on a completely logical level – it is a hugely larger leap to believe that the universe was created by a GOD (an ultimately evolved sentient being) vs. the BIG BANG which makes perfect sense except for the unknown physics of what preceded it. Noone in either camp can answer how it all began, and probably never will be able to.

    Science by definition accepts new information and understanding to revise it's "beliefs" (unlike religion, which claims to START with most of the answers). Which approach will approach REALITY over time? hint = not religion.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • michael

      The reality is at some point in the future space will continue to expand to a point no new stars will be able to form, old stars will die out, and therefor life will no longer exist....anywhere. Therefor, if there is a god....he sucks.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Michael, that's a fairy tale that you believe. Jesus is coming back and the meek shall inherit the earth and dwell with Him for eternity.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  5. SciGuy73

    Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      Copy and Paste troll

      July 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      SciGuy, you just proved that you're another one that doesn't know how to read the Bible, nor how to cross reference the books. 2 Peter 3, tells about the 3 heaven and 3 earth ages. This 2nd earth age that we live in is roughly 14,000 years old. You never figured out that the last ice age ended at the same time this earth age began.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    If the U.S. govn' don't favor Christians? Then why don't they have any federal/state holidays of Yom Kippur, Eid, Buddha's birthday or don't follow the Islamic or Jewish year calendar???

    July 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Rick James

      The U.S. govt isn't supposed to favor Christians, but most people here are Christians. If you have 70% of people staying home for a holiday, you might as well declare it a federal holiday.

      As for the calendar, the reason that everyone uses to the same calender is kind of the reason most countries base their currencies on the dollar or countries speak English. We all stay on the same page. Using the actual age of the Earth is hard to do.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Etalan

      Christmas or Yule = winter solstice, is a pagan holiday that use Christmas tree, carol song, nearly everything Christmas is pagan .

      July 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Romeo

    He is the creator of mankind,Jinn & Satan and whom shall we return, praise our lord as he is the most beneficial & merciful.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  8. slupdawg

    Real answer? There is no God, dumbazzes. Pretty well explains it, don't it?

    July 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  9. theamology

    The problem of evil argument was refuted. Google problem of evil theamology

    July 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Relictus

      Not successfully. Theists at out "free will", but that is an incorrect answer.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  10. Etalan

    Satan is the better being than your so call god. He transform himself to a snake and give freewill and critical thinking to eve, and a big fan of female right. When god kick all those people out of heaven because god is really picky with his human, Satan give a home to the homeless. Satan never ask you to waste your time to worship him or go to church. Satan home is a universe with sustain heat to transform into energy for everyone to use, while god home give people skin cancer from being too close to the sun...

    July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  11. martin

    'There is no more twisted sick idea ever devised by man than "God". Grow up humanity.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  12. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. Take a look at our calendar

    The calendar, OK, which months are Christian?
    January ..... nope (Januarius, Roman)
    February .... nope (Februus, Roman)
    March ......... nope (Mars, Roman)
    April ............ nope (aperire, Latin to open)
    May ............ nope (Maiesta, Roman)
    June ............ nope (Juno, Roman)
    July ............. nope (Julius Caesar, Roman)
    August ........ nope (Caesar Augustus, Roman)
    September ... nope (seven)
    October ....... nope (eight)
    November .... nope (nine)
    December .... nope (ten)

    OK, which days of the week are Xtian:
    Sunday ........ nope (Roman Sun day, get it?)
    Monday ........ nope (Norse, Moon day)
    Tuesday ....... nope (Norse, Tiu's day – son of Odin)
    Wednesday .. nope (Norse, Odin's day)
    Thursday ...... nope (Norse, Thor's day – yes the hammer guy from the Avengers)
    Friday ........... nope (Norse, Friya/Frigg's day – godess of love)
    Saturday ...... nope (Roman, Saturn's day)

    Gosh the calendar has 19 out of 19 named for PAGANS whooooo.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      oops, wrong spot.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • God With Us

      Why not mention the Year of the Christian/Gregorian calendar?

      2012........ Why did Pope Gregory start with that year?
      Answer: After approx. year of Christ' birth.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      The calendar is based on Jesus birth year.... get educated

      July 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      If the USA is a Christian nation, explain this...

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." President John Adams, The Treaty of Tripoli

      July 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Observer

      The POPE established the year numbers. He made it the rule. It has nothing to do with other calendars that started MUCH earlier.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • eric

      So the Calendar is American? I don't get your argument.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @God With Us

      Here's my post from below:

      The Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Catholic Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The science of astronomy proved that the Julian calendar based on 365.25 days was short by 11 minutes.

      In the British Empire (including the American colonies) it wasn't adopted until 1752 (almost 200 years later). By then the error was 11 days. People thought the Pope was trying to steal days away from their lives.

      If you are celebrating the Gregorian Calendar as "Christian" then you are either celebrating Catholicism as the true faith or the science of astronomy.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Elizabeth,

      The use of Anno Domini was first applied to the Julian Calendar in the 6th century. It replaced earlier Roman numbering systems that started with the introduction of the Julian calendar by Julius Caesar in 46BC.

      We use a pagan calendar modified by a pope to meet scientific (astronomical) observations.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  13. God With Us

    Sometimes it makes me wish that Christians were as fanatics, violent and fundamentalist like the Muslims – forcing their religion into everyone and make it a law = Dream. Atheists have been WAY too spoiled and open their mouth a lot... too much freedom.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Sometimes it makes me wish that Christians were as fanatics, violent and fundamentalist like the Muslims – forcing their religion into everyone and make it a law = Dream"

      Congratulations!!! Your dream came true....

      July 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Step back for a second and re-read what you just wrote. THAT is why atheists must continue to be vocal – because religious nutbars like you exist, and you threaten not only people's rights, but their very lives.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • GTA

      What ever makes you think that they're not?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Observer

      GodWithUs,

      Why do you post such blatant ignorant lies about atheists?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • TR6

      You mean Christians bombing clinics and murdering doctors isn’t “as fanatic, violent and fundamentalist as the Muslims”?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @God With Us

      " Sometimes it makes me wish that Christians were as fanatics, violent and fundamentalist like the Muslims – forcing their religion into everyone and make it a law = Dream. Atheists have been WAY too spoiled and open their mouth a lot... too much freedom. "

      LOL !!!!!!! Wow !!! 😯

      Well, who would you Christian fanatics get to say is possessed by the Devil and such ?

      What fun would that be for you guys ? LOL !

      Peace...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      Christians are tolerant.... they remind me of the Hindu's and Sikh's.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Peace2All

      TO ALL in response to @God With Us

      *He's Trollin'*

      Peace...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • fellow christian

      you are defiantly not a follower of God do you ever read the bible??..............please every one disregard what this man says this is not the message God wants people to hear and this is why the name christian is so dirty and stained by people who don't listen to the word of God please people let me assure you that every one is not like this

      July 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Apatheist

      and you all just got trolled (i hope)

      July 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Apatheist

      @Peace2All beat me to it

      July 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  14. damo12345

    “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.”

    It sounds crazy because it is.

    The gun jammed because he (thankfully) didn't know much about guns and thought he would make his weapon more effective using a drum with 100 bullets instead of the usual smaller clips, and the drums are far more prone to jamming.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Apparently God was taking a leak when the guy started shooting. That's why God couldn't cause the guy's gun to jam until after he had killed and injured so many people. Capacity for rational thought, anyone?

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

      we got a stake out back and a good bonfire going around it for you and that rational thought, missy

      July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Careful there, yeahalright, or I'll turn you into a newt!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Apatheist

      yeah, and i doubt he properly broke it in either, which definitely makes a difference... whatever the reason, it was certainly good fortune but definitely not god. i find it much more impressive that a girl went to his room to complain about the loud music, knocked, received no answer, checked the knob and found it unlocked, and then contemplated entering but didn't. i read that the room was rigged to blow the first person who entered in half and then set the building on fire. talk about lucky. or, "this may sound crazy", but i think she is psychic!!!...... not really, but it is far more likely than god having anything to do with it.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Apatheist

      @Smurfette i just spent an embarrassingly long period of time trying to understand what the correlation is between the smurfs and a salamander. very little as it turns out. although there are a surprising number of results related to the smurfs and newt gingrich....

      July 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ Apatheist – I took yeahalright's comments about a stake and bonfire for me as a reference to burning witches at the stake. The Newt reference was from a Monty Python film – the Holy Grail – involving a supposed witch. That's all.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Apatheist

      @Smurfette haha, thanks for the thorough explanation... and i apologize if i implied any criticism of your previous comment. i was attempting to be funny by making fun of myself. 🙂

      July 27, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  15. yeahalright

    Gimme attention and love and devotion, mememe mememe me meme me worship me all of the time no matter how terrible I am to you and never ask me for anything or hold me responsible for my actions.

    God sounds an awful lot like an ex-girlfriend of mine. Which is a seriously scary thought. *Shivers*

    July 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Sam

    Seeing as how the rapid advances in quantum physics supports the theory of consciousness existing outside of the physical form, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the claim that god doesn't exist, in fact many people who experience NDE or OBE situations return from there journeys and confirm that yes there is a god, but not in the way any of the earths religions believe in it. It seems that we all have an inkling of an idea as to what god is, but we apply the wrong meaning to it. The general consensus from people who have died and been resuscitated seem to believe that we are all manifestations of god, and that we are on earth to learn, that we have a pre-determined destiny, but free will on how to approach it, that we are all interconnected to one another. I know this all sounds like more phooey, but the scientific research performed by medical professionals into the world of Near Death experiences is fascinating, and when combined with quantum physics it just puts a lot of pieces in place that seem to support not only life beyond death, but that there is in fact a god.

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

      The sensations often attributed to encountering God during a near-death experience have been duplicated in a laboratory as nothing more than targeted stimulation of certain areas of the brain. Next silly statement, please.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sam

      Having had an NDE myself, I am fully aware of which you speak.

      And... to be fair here, we must not a-s-sume that our 'subjective experiences' are any more plausible than what the christians experience and believe in their hearts.

      I have been asked several times before, on this and other blogs what my experience was. It tends to match, in general, what you described.

      Maybe I'm the counter-example or have more of an 'agnostic' approach to these and other experiences, so as not to 'read' into them. I make 'no' claims... and continue to claim... "I don't know" ... seems to be the healthiest and most open-minded approach, taking into consideration where the scientific evidence goes as well.

      But, I will say, my experience certainly didn't match the christian version of God's judgement or heaven or hell.

      Point being it's all interesting to explore this phenomena, which is starting to be done in some research labs, but let's not make leaps that somehow NDE's *means* there is continued existence beyond physical bodily death.

      Peace...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Sam

      I would love to read that research actually if you can provide a link to it, but you cannot explain blind people who have had an nde who can accurately describe what was occurring in their room while being clinically dead, nor how patients with a zero eeg can retain memory of events that occurred while dead, and although sensations have been lab created labs have not been able to duplicate an out of body experience. And again, quantum physics supports the argument that concicousness can exist outside of the physical body.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Sam

      @Peace

      Thank you for your insight. I recently lost my grandfather, which led me to start looking for answers to these sort of questions. I am not deeply religious, but deep down there is just a feeling that there has to be something beyond this lifetime. There are too many stories from NDE's from all over the world to ignore the possibility.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I find it amusing that theists ask for proof of ANYTHING. But what the heck...here goes. Michael Shermer Out of Body Experiment – YouTube

      July 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Sam

      @exlonghorn – I'm not a theist, I'm not an atheist, I am trying to view this objectively, hence why I asked for a link. Having watched it, it does not truly simulate an NDE or OBE, nor does it answer how people who have never experienced vision before, are able to recount and describe things in a visual manner when they experience an OBE. All their experiments seem to show is that subjecting the brain to electromagnetic frequencies can illicit a response. It does not answer where conciseness originates, nor does it answer other NDE experiences. Until a lab can succesfully create an OBE with all of the factors associated with such an event, and refute even what quantum physics supports, I will be counter-skeptical.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sam

      You're welcome. These are interesting discussions for me.

      I'm glad you have found a 'belief system' that makes you happy.

      I say... I don't know... maybe there is something after death... maybe there isn't.

      Good luck to you...

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 27, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  17. God With Us

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)
    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7/

    July 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      LOL !!!!!! 😀

      Peace...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Mindless nonsense in most cases. Pathetic.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "† Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind."

      You lost all credibility with those first four words... Atheism cannot be a religion. It's impossible.

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

      I need a bigger chainsaw to cut through the irony

      July 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • SciGuy73

      Athiesm isn't a religion. Perhaps you need to look up the definition of religion if you're unsure. It doesn't require faith, it requires proof. It is open minded and judged by reason. I can tell you exactly what it would take to change my mind and make me a believer. Proof. Can you tell me what it would take to change your mind and make you a non-believer?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Hey, God With Us – tough question, but how far did you go in school? Seriously.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • damo12345

      This has to be a joke.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. Take a look at our federal/state holidays.

      Federal holidays, OK, which of these are Christian?
      New Year's Day .................. nope
      Martin Luther King Jr. Day .... nope
      Presidents' Day .................... nope
      Memorial Day ........................ nope
      Columbus Day ....................... nope
      Veterans' Day ...................... nope
      Independence Day ............... nope
      Labor Day ............................. nope
      Thanksgiving ........................ no, not really, do you go to church on Thanksgiving or eat turkey and watch football?
      Christmas Day ...................... bing! bing! One out of 10! That proves it for sure!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. Take a look at our calendar ...

      The calendar, OK, which months are Christian?
      January ..... nope (Januarius, Roman)
      February .... nope (Februus, Roman)
      March ......... nope (Mars, Roman)
      April ............ nope (aperire, Latin to open)
      May ............ nope (Maiesta, Roman)
      June ............ nope (Juno, Roman)
      July ............. nope (Julius Caesar, Roman)
      August ........ nope (Caesar Augustus, Roman)
      September ... nope (seven)
      October ....... nope (eight)
      November .... nope (nine)
      December .... nope (ten)

      OK, which days of the week are Xtian:
      Sunday ........ nope (Roman Sun day, get it?)
      Monday ........ nope (Norse, Moon day)
      Tuesday ....... nope (Norse, Tiu's day – son of Odin)
      Wednesday .. nope (Norse, Odin's day)
      Thursday ...... nope (Norse, Thor's day – yes the hammer guy from the Avengers)
      Friday ........... nope (Norse, Friya/Frigg's day – godess of love)
      Saturday ...... nope (Roman, Saturn's day)

      Gosh the calendar has 19 out of 19 named for PAGANS whooooo.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • God With Us

      New Year's Day is based on the Christian calendar (Christian New Year)

      Good Friday is a holiday in numerous states.

      Christmas Day is the birth of Jesus Christ.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. Take a look at ou, blue laws in parts of the nation, some laws,

      Ah, laws – my favorite! How many laws are Christian? Rather let me turn the question around. The Ten Commandments are quite famous. Besides kill, steal and lie, how many of these are currently law in the US?

      No other gods ........ nope (money perhaps is a required god)
      No graven idols ...... nope
      Name in vain ........... nope
      Holy Sabbath .......... nope (a holy day of spending money)
      Honor Mom & Dad ... nope (Thou shalt send thy mother a hallmark card and interflora flowers on Mom's day? Err no!)
      Adultery .................. nope
      Coveting .................. nope (Isn't coveting, aka keeping up with the Joneses, good for the economy?)

      So ... 3 out of 10? I think people could have come up with don't kill, steal or lie without stone tablets and a burning bush. (Actually, I think they did!)

      As for blue laws, well ya' got me there. They are the result of religious nutters interfering with my life. Please keep your religion to yourselves.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So your premise is that because New Year's Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, it is a religious holiday in the US?

      B.S.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • fellow christian

      Look getting to people in atheism you are not going to convince them by calling them names or spouting out lies or making a list about there life style in that post i did not see one bible verse all I saw was hate "for God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten son for who so ever believes in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life for he did not send his son to CONDEMN the world but that it might be saved through him are job is to spread Gods love not to hold God hates gays and atheist banners but to share the good news the bible also says love thy neighbor as yourself and it does not look like you are giving love. LOVE THE PEARSON HATE THE SIN....as of the shouting some things cannot be explained right now but we need to have faith and believe in God that he knows what he is doing because there is a life after this one heaven or hell and if it is our time to go its our time to go no matter how tragic

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Good Friday is a public holiday in only 12 states. Doesn't cut it as evidence of a Christian country.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Shamira

      TROLLOLOL

      July 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Knowledge

      I'm sorry for a country where education is free for all yet so many are as ignorant as this. You have no knowledge of anything outside your own experience of your little piece of the world and you have little if any knowledge of the bible, relying on the interpretations of others and cherry picking. Nor will you ever because you are too fearfully ignorant to realize your state and rise above it. I'm sorry for the society that will continue to suffer the results of you and your breed.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Catholic Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The science of astronomy proved that the Julian calendar based on 365.25 days was short by 11 minutes.

      In the British Empire (including the American colonies) it wasn't adopted until 1752 (almost 200 years later). By then the error was 11 days. People thought the Pope was trying to steal days away from their lives.

      If you are celebrating the Gregorian Calendar as "Christian" then you are either celebrating Catholicism as the true faith or the science of astronomy.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • G.Rass

      † Atheism is not a religion, therefore it does none of that.
      † Atheism is viewpoint, not a disease.
      † Oh boy, the irony of this one is so self-evident.
      † Atheists have varied lifestyles and are not satanic because they do not believe in Satan.
      † Very religious people cause many more problems in society.
      † The majority of intellectuals and scientists are atheists. They're smarter than you.
      † Atheism won't take you to heaven because they believe there is none.
      † Hitler was probably religious, Stalin didn't kill people for worshiping God but killed those who propagated belief in Him, and it doesn't matter because the number of people killed for religious reasons far outweighs the number of people killed by these guys.
      † Many live lives you would consider very normal except for the absence of God.
      † Now that's just false.
      † I'm glad atheists don't go door-to-door with pamphlets or aggressively try to spread what they don't believe in the real world.
      † I exist, therefore your statement is false. Although most atheists accept that the non-existence of God is unprovable.
      † I have a good life experience.
      † Again, most intellectuals and scientists are atheists. They wouldn't get elected as president because the religious party is strong.
      † ...No.
      † Logical fallacy and wrong to boot.
      † Logical fallacy because A does not necessarily imply B and C.
      † Circular logic.
      † Countries where religion is strongly present have social inequality, and there are no true communist countries.
      **Pointless, meaningless statistic**

      † † Now this is just arrogant and condescending † †

      PS! What about religious equality? And you have just GOT to be a troll. No way you could unintentionally miss al those logical fallacies.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • TR6

      @God With Us: Please continue to post this truth as often and in as many blogs as you can. I cannot think of a better or more articulate example of what most Christians really feel; but, are too frightened to say

      July 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TR6,

      even when it's so patently, factually wrong on so many levels?

      I gues that's the Christian way isn't it?

      July 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Rev. Jonathan

    "You start preaching your hocus pocus anywhere near my kid and you're going to have a big problem"

    – That clearly shows how atheists are torturing their children and lead them to Satan and live a terrible lifestyle.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "- That clearly shows how atheists are torturing their children and lead them to Satan and live a terrible lifestyle."

      No. It shows that some people raise their children by instilling them with the ability to think for themselves... People who develop this ability almost always turn to atheism, rejecting the hypocrisies of religion.

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

      Well, if my children aren't indoctrinated into believing in Gods, Satans, or any other mystical fantasies, I'm pretty sure they'll have a lifestyle of happiness, serenity, responsibility, and respect. Thanks for the reminder!

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

      God created Satan.

      Well done.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Etalan

      Stop attacking Satan, what had he done to you? He never ask you to worship him or do anything for you. He give a warm home to all the people that the selfish guy with the beard on the sky kick out.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Keep ducking the questions about new testament laws you got asked about a page ago, Rev. Coward.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Atheists care that their Christian parents raised them with love, care, patience, etc. and being there for them at any/all times, then reject their wisdom arrogantly believing they can make a better mouse trap. So far, you atheists prove that you are indeed trapped. Sad.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Atheists care that their Christian parents raised them with love, care, patience, etc. and being there for them at any/all times"

      Except that children raised by atheists tend to be more successful, happier and more productive citizens that children who have been brainwashed... errr, raised by Christians...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Wow really

      So rev it's your thing to beat people up because they have a different view of spiritualty than you? Frankly the Taliban could have said it no better…Clearly you are going to Heaven, congratulations!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  19. SarahAnn

    Just as God gave us the freedom to argue over His existence, He also gives people the freedom to do radical and terrifying things. Our treachery breaks His heart, yet when we see his glory in spite of our shadow, there is no greater joy.

    "I believe in the sun even when it's not shining...I believe in God even when he is silent"-written on a concentration camp wall

    July 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  20. thes33k3r

    Religion poisons everything.
    -Christopher Hitchens

    July 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      My favorite is...

      "Assertions made without proof require no proof to deny."

      Hitchens

      It applies to religion perfectly...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hitchens sounds as miserable as you folks. Birds of a feather.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Hitchens sounds as miserable as you folks. Birds of a feather."

      Your assumption that atheists are miserable has no basis in reality... Atheists are far more emotionally balanced than 'believers'...

      July 26, 2012 at 10:34 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.