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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. foffe1

    If God had not intervened there would have been many more lives lost. Funny how those who seek for signs and miracles are the first to refute them when when they happen.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      So your god waited for 12 to die before "stopping" him from killing more? Just what did those 12 do do warrant a death sentence?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • Jim

      If God hadi intervened their would not have been an attack in the first place.God has a win,win situation. If it's good God did it, if it's bad the devil did it. Wake up and look beyond your narrow minded thoughts.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  2. Mike

    The reason why this tragic event happened is because this guy has mental problems. There is no God and the Greek philosopher (and skeptic) Epicurus it right with his quote.

    What is most annoying is how many religious people think and assume that the tragic event is the result of the decline in God and prayers being in the public sphere. Correction, the "Christian God" The problem with this is that one can say that the tragic event happened because man has turned their backs on Zeus, Thor, Ra or any of the thousands of Gods that are out there.

    And, religion is for those who would have others tell them how they should act, think, feel, and believe, That is counterfeit spirituality. True spirituality is figuring those things out for yourself.

    As long as there are those who would have others tell them how they should act, think, feel, and believe, there will be religions – and, those exploiting them for their own agendas.

    God believers fail to realize that, regardless of whether "God" (whatever that is) exists, or not, "it" will ALWAYS be a construct in their imagination that they created for themselves. And, "God" doesn't have to be anything like that. So, it's just an imaginary friend.

    Tragic events happen.. Bad people will do bad things to good people.

    America is not a Christian Nation nor is it a Christian Theocracy. Although many Christians and their Christian leaders would just love to have America become a Christian theocracy.
    Theocracy is one of the worst forms of government a nation can have.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • foffe1

      Spoken like a true Marxist-communist. But here are the facts:

      Increasing violence an economic melt-downs in our societies are the result of an atheist mentality where every individual decides for himself what is right and what is wrong. Christian values such as loving unconditionally, forgiving generously and returning good for evil has to be taught to our children at an early age. As opposed to violence, greed and immorality being taught on TV, video games and music. Replace the self centered ideology of (what's in it for me) with the Golden Rule.The family is the building block of society. When it fails, so does society. People need to get reacquainted with God and get on their knees and learn to pray again. Isn't it ironic that as more churches have become empty and torn down, more prisons have been built and filled. To paraphrase a scripture: We are reaping what we have sown.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • foffe1

      Spoken like a true Marxist-communist. But here are the facts:

      Increasing violence an economic melt-downs in our societies are the result of an atheist mentality where every individual decides for himself what is right and what is wrong. Christian values such as loving unconditionally, forgiving generously and returning good for evil has to be taught to our children at an early age. As opposed to violence, greed and immorality being taught on TV, video games and music. Replace the self centered ideology of (what's in it for me) with the Golden Rule.The family is the building block of society. When it fails, so does society. People need to get reacquainted with God and get on their knees and learn to pray again. Isn't it ironic that as more churches have become empty and torn down, more prisons have been built and filled. We are reaping what we have sown.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  3. icannottellalie

    listen god can easily wave his hand over all the problems of the world and make everything better, but why should he do it again, he already made a way for us when he sent his son to the cross. some of you may not believe who he is but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is alive, he is real and he is in control. you want to believe things under your own mortal understanding of the way things are and should be, but who are you? god has a perfect will for all things, we as humans with free choice have the ability to hinder god's plans with the choices we make, but god's will is and will always be perfect, you'll see one day. this idiot in colorado made a free choice to shoot up that place, killing all those people, he'll pay for his choice one way or another, but that's for god to decide, all you need to do is keep telling people about who he is, teaching your kids the right things and lifting up the name of Jesus Christ the most high God, the King of Kings, the King above all others.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • Mirosal

      Please tell us, what FACTS do you have that "god" is alive, large and in charge? Your bible is NOT a fact ... What empirical evidence do YOU have that shows beyond all doubt that your god is any more real than Zeus was thought to be 2500 years ago? Show us and you'll make history, because in untold millions of years and billions of people, not a single one has done it yet.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:29 am |
  4. Franco Russo

    When Jesus was being crucified he looked up to his father and said "forgive them for they do not know what they are about to do".
    Maybe if we all had more faith then things like this would happen far less. We are so busy attacking christianity and faith. Instead what we should be attacking is evil and combatting it through faith. This is such a stupid and ignorant question. God is not Superman saving the world from every angle of evil. Read the bible and you will understand why things like tis happen. As a society it is no surprise that Morons like Bill Maher profess non belief and ridicule believers but they hide like the cowards they are when tragedies like this happen. I wonder if the perp at Aurora believed in God!
    Wake up people.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • Brey

      Your Brain washed GET A LIFE.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:27 am |
  5. Jokesterer

    God was on the CNN message boards trying to figure out who's going to hell.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  6. Brey

    Because there is no god..................

    July 27, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • Brey

      if there was a god this wouldnt have happened in the first place.........

      July 27, 2012 at 6:15 am |
  7. Chuckhashman

    The Egyptians are still terrified of the Pharoahs ,the curses,and the evil people who built the pyramids and the miracles the LORD performed in their country through MOSES that freed the hebrew slaves!! No one can ever duplicate or explain those events!! So LOSE YOURSELVES Athiests and you people who don't LOVE the Lord!!

    July 27, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actually, the Egyptians were pretty gosh-darn good at keeping records. Why is it that NO ONE thought to write down the "plagues' as they were happening? According to what most Christians belive, this all happened during the reign of Ramses II. His life is rather well known. Why is there absolutely NO mention of Moses at all in ANY hieroglyph or cartouche? Or any records of the Jews ever being held as slaves in Egypt? And more importantly, don't you think it might be just a tad bit newsworthy when the Jews escaped, were chased by Pharoah's army, and the army drowned while in pursuit? Why is none of this recorded?? Oh yea .. because it's all a MYTH with no one to witness it, that's why!! If you think even for a second that Exodus was written in real time, think again.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  8. Master

    If question one is a self-answering question, then all the other questions are self-resolving.. They disappear.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:05 am |
  9. cfoxusmc

    Atheists are only 2% of the US population? Did you pull that statistic completely out of your ass? The irreligious make up 15-20% of the US population, making us the largest minority in the country. There are more atheists than there are black or hispanic folks.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • Kristin

      We are much more than 2% for sure.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:32 am |
  10. Jonathan 0sterman

    God, Satan etc ... all things that take the focus off reality. A way to divert the responsibility of evolutionaryily flawed human beings. The rhyme or the reason for this was human made. God was not there, because we don't know if there is a God. We only assume and believe and have faith there is one [or many] and in a society that is supposed to think with their brains for solutions, the God question is moot and insignificant. Lets stay with reality and lets work within the realm of reasonable and logical.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • Valval

      God wasn't there because God doesn't exist.

      I cannot believe how many people still believe in God. I wish people could see themselves through atheists eyes for 5 minutes. They would see how absurdly ridiculous it all is. They would realize they are being scammed. The church sells a product that doesn't exist.

      The religious and their imaginary friend...so bizarre. But I will say this : Indoctrination is a very, VERY powerful force.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:32 am |
  11. Tommy

    Sorry children...there is no easter bunny, no santa claus, and there is no God...get over it...

    July 27, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • Mike

      Sadly they will never get over it because they are scared of going to hell

      July 27, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  12. Chuckhashman

    GOD rides shotgun with the middle eastern people! However if you athiests and Gentiles keep pushing-GOD will show up and he will not show mercy on any of you!! It was the act of 1 Evil man who killed innocent people-GOD is not a baby sitter! Free Will is what he endowed on his creation MAN who is ungrateful ,cruel,uncaring and destructive!! When GOD does show up to this circus you idiots will cowar at his might and GLORY!! When a man or woman lives long enough they will each run into their maker and his GREATNESS!!–TRUST ME! BRing the 10 commandments back -mans laws are phony and disgusting along with uncontrolled capitalism!!

    July 27, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • Mirosal

      So just to be clear, ALL of god's laws, even those in the Old Testament, need to be brought back, is that correct?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Master

      You name should really be ChuckASSman.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  13. silvereagle

    GOD has turned his back on America because we have turned our back away from him.His only mistake was that he sent satan here instead of destroying him.How can we get back with GOD when satan is blocking every way possible to do so.We are condemned to suffer.Sometimes I wonder if this place is HELL and that there is some other wonderful place to be.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • Karloff

      And this is from a supposedly educated person. This is sad.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • Mike

      Worship and believe in God or he will send you to hell and punish society.
      So much for this loving God that you Christians profess...

      I'd rather reign in hell than be in heaven with a tyrant divine being.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Kristin

      ^^^ See above statement. Ditto. ^^^

      July 27, 2012 at 6:34 am |
  14. cathi chappelow

    Obviously, the joker isn't doing the will of God. Nor are any of these other jokers. But God is just and mighty, and he will judge.
    His judgments are appropriate and I have seen his judgment on evildoers in God's time.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Mirosal

      So you've personally witnessed "god's" judgement, huh? Care to elaborate for us?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • The_Pope_is_just_another_man

      I think anyone who is an "evildoer" will pay a price simply because they are going against the grain and flow of society.If they are stopped by the law and caught you say."God finally got his revenge".Oh please.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • The_Pope_is_just_another_man

      Yes, you are so blessed that you have knowledge of Gods workings and revenge and have seen it.Praise the almighty Cathi!

      July 27, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • Jim

      So all the people that died got their just judgement?What did the 6 year old girl do to warrant dying at the hands of a mass murderer?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:15 am |
  15. sean

    2% of the US population? Where did you get that statistic? And what the hell is a "self professed atheist"? Is there such a thing as a certified atheist?

    July 27, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  16. Gustavo

    Do you people not fear God... How can you questions God's will.... So sad. We are living in the end times... Only the wicked cant see it.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • skeptic56

      Right, lead us to your special knowledge Gustavo. End of time? What utter nonsense. You have prior knowledge to the end of time for alll mankind? Please do help us then.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • Seriosuly?

      People have been saying we live in the end times for the last 2000 years. I think its overdue...

      July 27, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Mirosal

      I think Gustavo is Harold Camping's illegitimate son, and he wants to take over the family business.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:44 am |
    • The_Pope_is_just_another_man

      There may be an intelligence to the universe.To claim that he/she/it is all yours because of a book written by many authors and indoctrinated to you as a youth,made in whole by the Council of Nicea under Constantine (the roman emporer who decided which ones got in and which ones stayed out as there were many,many more gospels)and written by bronze age primitives does not make your cause very noteworthy.Sorry.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • Mike

      End of time? WOW how many times has that been said and LOOK no end of times.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  17. skeptic56

    'God gave man free will'; the ultimate apologist statement of all time. No god, end of story. Because if he exists, what a horrific thing he has allowed to teach us to be nice to each other. God is a creeper.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  18. Osman

    Mr.Prothero: Do you believe GOD? before you even rise this question. Leave GOD alone. GOD is greatest all entire world and Its not our business where is he. He is king for all.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • Mirosal

      You might BELIEVE that, but your personal belief does not, in any way, make it true.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:17 am |
  19. transatlantic

    Where did the author took the 2% number for atheists??? The offical number is more like 15% plus many more afraid to get out of closet... Among young, educated people, a majority is atheist or agnostic! Among PhDs leading the nations' progress belivers are a tiny minority. This acient origin myth in its thousands of incarnations is bound to fade away with the progress in education and science.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      He probably got 2% because it is 2%. Your problem I think, is you are including agnostics in your view of atheism. Most agnostics don't know if there is a God, so they don't worry about it. Atheists on the other hand, insist that there is no God. There are many young educated people who are skeptical of religion, but doubt that this amazing planet and universe is all just an accident.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:25 am |
  20. REPEATREPEATER

    mcalleyboy
    Learning from history and prior attacks I would arm myself that to pray or stand at attention bravely while someone ends your life there's no second chance, I repeat there's no second chance to live on earth you can improve your chances of survival by simply drawing your weapon in less than 2 seconds but most people will never get that it's insane.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
    usman
    Those who believe in god think they are right and others wrong. Those who believe in Vishnu think they are right and others wrong. Those that believe in Shinto deities think they are right and others wrong. ETC ETC ETC. Try and use your brain. Try, I know it is hard.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
    skytag
    I look around and see no reason to believe anything one could reasonably call a god exists and conclude there is no god. Believers look around and see no reason to believe anything one could reasonably call a god exists and choose to believe one exists anyway. They then spend the rest of their lives expending a great deal of energy rationalizing why there is no evidence of his existence and why the real world is not what their beliefs predict.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    mema
    Strange you can look around and not see evidence of Gods existence. Try looking up at the night sky or at all of the life both plant and animal. I in the other hand see no proof that He does not exist.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    mema
    The bible states that the ruler of the world is satan. That being said it is only for a time. His (satan) times is short, as such his anger grows ever intense. God is not to blame for the actions we as individuals of free will do. During these last days we are giving the opportunity to choose whom we will follow. But that choice although ours alone to make does not come without consequenses or blessings. The choice is ours.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Shockobynium
    Where was god during the Holocaust? Where was god during the Vietnam war? Where was god when the Africans were taken as slaves, beat and killed. Where was god when all the Native Americans were murdered by whites. Its a stupid human question that deserves a stupid human answer: Who cares where god was, obviously it didn't make any difference one way or another.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    GoDucks73
    Free will... God lets us make our own decisions whether good or bad. Without free will, we are only automatons and cannot CHOOSE to do God's will. This is the beauty and the burden that we must endure if we are to be at his side after this life.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    skytag
    The free will thing is such a copout. The reality is that there is no evidence of any divine or supernatural force affecting anything in this world, and the simplest, most obvious explanation is that there is no God.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    gerard haughey
    God is in Heaven. Actually.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    I wonder
    Hooey.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    Chris
    Santa isn't real, and neither is any of the thousands of gods. Grow up people! We're monkeys on a rock flying through space, that's about as much meaning as you can get out of this life.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Michael
    So were you molested by a priest and that is why you have God hate? Just wondering..

    July 27, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    believeinreality
    Mr. Prothero: You call agnosticism a "virtue" and a sign of humility. Why? Would you think me virtuous and humble if I chose to be unsure as to whether a green, invisible man lived in my ear? You would characterize my lack of belief (atheism) in the little, green man as arrogance? I think we have different definitions of virtue, humility and arrogance. You refer to certainty as an infection. How certain are you of that?..

    July 27, 2012 at 3:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    js
    How could this GOD "CRAP" even be on CNN's site? If there was a God- he/she/it/puppy dog/terrorist pilot/ God of Saturn/God of Mars/ God of Milky Way/the Hershey God/God of Pluto/God of Mickey Mouse/would surely take one look at CNN and take it off the air and offline forever. A LOT more than 2% of Americans KNOW that God is as big a fairy tale as Santa and Rudolph. Stephen Prothero is a whack!

    July 27, 2012 at 3:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Michael
    First of all, not that you would even begin to understand, mankind chooses how it will live, God does not make us do anything. We have free will, which in itself is a miracle, but ideeawts like you are too brainwashed to understand free thinking like that.. Just saying..

    July 27, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    xyz198155
    People who talk about GOD as somebody sitting up there are utterly foolish. Life at the unconscious level, where most humans are at, works totally on the principles of cause and affect. If you do this, this will happen.
    If you want to take charge of your life, however, you need to start functioning as a conscious human being, thats the only way you will be able to take care of your destiny.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    XO
    Destiny? You're as good as dead. That's our destiny. There's no controlling that.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    xyz198155
    XO, you are a stupid moron.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
    XO

    July 27, 2012 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    SidewaysEight
    How can one dismiss the action of a deity who creates his most beloved creation in the midst of his arch nemesis?

    July 27, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Michael
    Mirosal, just like I said to the other non-free thinker, God does not program us or make us do anything. Free will consist of making our own choices in life. God is sovereign and he is ominscient, but lets not forget that he is not stupid. God does not send people to hell, PEOPLE send themselves to hell. He provided the way, we either choose it or we don't. It's PRO-CHOICE.. LOL... For us free thinkers, we have chosen..

    July 27, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    Mirosal
    Michael, you simply do not get it. by your own admission, you said "god" was omniscient", and your own book of fables says that this "god" knew us before we were born". So even before we were born, as per your belief, our lives were already mapped out, and the end result was already known. Theefore, your "god" already knew who was going to "hell" or "heaven". Sincwe the end result was already known before the game started, tell me, where exactly IS this "free will"? Or does this ultra-simple logic throw you for a loop?

    July 27, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    Woody
    Here is some food for thought. Say if you are a christian, and believe that your God is the one and true God, do you think you would have these same beliefs if you were born in I don't know... Egypt? Probably not, therefore in your mind right now, you would not have gone to heaven? Correct? There might have been a slight chance that you would converted/been raised by a christian family, but unlikely. What people do not understand is that religions are perpetuated by inheritance, societies/cultures, and lack of knowledge. What really needs to happen in America is individuals need to stop looking to a 1500 year old book for answers because they are afriad in what they might find when they open a science textbook. I like to consider the God of the bible as the "God of Gaps". Meaning individuals 1500 years ago did not understand simple theories of nature, therefore they filled the "GAPS" with an omnious diety. The shootings should have never happened, and if we as a society say God had a role in the violence, then we are holding ourselves back in understanding the true root cause of the issue.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
    XO
    Woody: There's an error in your argument relative to Scripture (Romans 2:14). If you were born in a remote tribe, raised worshiping dropped cargo (cargo cult), it does not mean you are excluded from Heaven.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    Woody
    1. Egypt currently does not have any remote tribes to my knowledge and predominantly has Islam followers. 2. I consider scripture as beautiful poetic stories, but should not be taken any more seriously than Dr. Suess's books.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    XO
    I was merely using an extreme example. Scripture I quotes still applies.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    Woody
    I was using a realistic example..... Scripture (Lorax 0:0) "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues."

    July 27, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    MOCaseA
    XO – There is a flaw in your logic...

    Romans 2:14 States that even for those who have not even heard of the Bible, but still follow the Law of the Bible (i.e. Not worshiping idols like cargo) are "a law unto themselves."

    But (as is VERY common for people attempting to validate the bible) the following verse, which is still part of the same statement, goes on to say "Which show the work of Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the intent." That is to say that these people who have never heard of the Bible and God, but still follow God's Laws, are thus going to be saved.

    So by the Scripture itself, you do NOT NEED the scripture to be saved.... wow.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
    XO
    MOCaseA: yep. You don't need Scripture to be saved. We do not put our faith in Scripture. We're to put our faith in Christ. The law is written (encoded in us instinctively). You know what you do wrong- when you do it.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    MOCaseA
    The rest of my reply was cut due to CNN's filters. Here is is in it's recreated, filter friendly format:

    But wait. If you don't need the scripture to be saved, then we don't have to believe in God or Jesus to be saved! Thus we can go about our merry buisness and as long as we don't know about God, or the Bible, or Jesus, but we follow the golden rules, then we are all saved! Yay!

    Oh wait, now that you have told us about the Bible and God and Jesus you have condemned us to he-ll because we aren't now following it to the T. There-for I blame my eternal dam-nation on you!

    July 27, 2012 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
    McIver3
    I believe God gave man free will. Whether we act in a positive or negative way, Gos does not interfere in the daily workings of man. Our free will actions, are a "gift of tremendous magnitude and responsibility itself" (Kabbalahonline.org). Our actions ripple through the universe and up through the spiritual realm of God, where our actions are accounted. Chaos and demons (negative energy) go hand in hand while angels are positive energy. The more positive actions we make (charity, giving, etc), outweight our negative actions (gossip, etc) and raise the world's positive spiritual energy. Our freewill actions as a whole, if positive enough, may result in God hearing us. But will He ever react? Not until the totality of souls with positive energy outweighs our souls with negative energy. We are not ready yet.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Mirosal
    Sorry, but if your "god" is omniscient, as Christians believe, then by definition there is not, nor can there be,free will.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    GoDucks73
    @ Mirosal om-nis-cient – adj. Having total knowledge; knowing everything. You are utterly and totally incorrect in your comment. Please buy a dictionary and use it.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    skytag
    GoDucks73: If you have free will then God cannot know what you will do before you do it.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    Mirosal
    Ducks, I think it's you who needs to learn that word, and what it really means. I've used it correctly.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
    XO
    Mirosal: How are these mutually exclusive? Perhaps your philosophically confused.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |

    July 27, 2012 at 5:01 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.