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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. Hawkeye

    Interesting materials to read from the faith camp include: Evidence That Demands A Verdict – an excellent apologetics presentation following the principles of evidence – written by a former agnostic/athiest grad student after spending 700 man hours researching things from that perspective in order to antagonize believers, of which he became one after his research.

    Also, Case for Christ by Lee Strobel – a compilation of research by Mr. Strobel, a journalist for a major Chicago newspaper – what he found when he sought out the details.

    Also, "Can Man Live Without God" by Ravi Zacharias – book form of a lecture he gave at Harvard a few years ago. He is an extremely intelligent indivual, has a Ph.D. from Cambridge among other credentials – excellent speaker and has an incredible gift in his ability to reason.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Try reading 'The Case Against the Case for Christ' by Robert M. Price. And you can find a response to Josh McDowell here

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/

      July 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      I sure hope these brilliant people rethink the Christian theology. At present, it seems to go something like this:
      Eve and Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and, as a punishment, evil and suffering and death entered the world. Then to prevent them from eating also from the tree of life and gaining eternal life, God booted them out of Eden.
      Then Jesus of Nazareth appeared an gave people the promise of eternal in the afterworld. But, only 144,000 Jews or those who have the favor of Jesus will live in eternal bliss; as punishment, everyone else will live in eternal torment in Hell.
      Now, even one person in eternal torment is an infinite evil. Clearly, something is terribly wrong with Christian theology.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Hawkeye

      I looked at Price's book – I'm not impressed, research seems a little weak. When did you read the books I mentioned?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Lee Strobel doesn't even do his own work, he relies on interviewing other apologists. He refutes science with no scientific research. He thinks the bible is entirely true which on its face is a joke. Strobel does not even have any formal education in theology. Price on the other hand has doctorates in both theology (Drew University 1981), and New Testament (Drew 1993).
      If anyone lacks "research" it is Strobel. Where is the evidence that Price has not done his "research", or is that just your opinon because you don't like what he says?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  2. 3,14 & Pan

    You should wrote the right name and you'll sure found aurora with name my dear Einstein funs,... ,*

    July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • 3,14 & Pan

      Don’t blame 6 1 2 1 2, b+lame 114,... ,*?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  3. Reality

    The much larger question is where was god when the following acts of terror and horror took place???

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

    "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    July 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT

      July 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      The list really should include the following, although the number of deaths can only be guesstimated:
      When pestilence first appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages, the clergymen urged people to gather to pray for deliverance. By thus packing the healthy and already-infected from far and wide into churches and cathedrals, they brought about the condition for the farthest and fastest spread of the contagion, and the greatest number of deaths. Apparently, god does not protect fools from the consequences of their folly.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Good point about contagions:

      From the same reference,

      "Smallpox in the 20thC: ◦Mannfred Hollinger, Introduction to Pharmacology: Half a billion people worldwide in the 20th C.
      ◦John Campbell, Campbell's Physiology Notes for Nurses: smallpox killed 300 million in the 20th Century.
      ◦Michael Oldstone, Viruses, Plagues, and History: 300M
      ◦Albert Marrin, Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: 300M. "

      July 28, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  4. georgex

    The availability of the Internet allows many doubters to express their views here as we become a more open society. In the past they didn't have the opportunity to meet or discuss their views and felt a bit isolated. Today there are organizations for non-believers such as http://www.secular.org that have meetings and interesting projects.
    Personally, I don't think we can blame God for these killings anymore than we should give him credit for the survivors. He seems to stay out of almost every human event.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Reality

      Or,

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      July 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • georgex

      Sounds like you are footed in reality. Makes sense.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  5. ME II

    In relation to #3.
    Does God have free will?
    If s/he is all-good, then what choice does s/he have?

    July 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  6. scott mccurdy

    God is always,here with us.judt becsuse bad things happen doesn't mean he is not still watching over us. We are not puppets we make our own decisions by choice,individually,or by discussing the cituation at hand. We all have a choice in our lives, they may vary. God will always be here for you as,a,person or as a group.we have to choose,ours as,we see fit. When they took religion out of the public, they allowed, God to be remembered as we as individuals see fit. God will be here in the end as he was in the begining,if u put him in your life annd trust as some do then you as a person or group will begin to see. Its all about love in the begining and end,as he loves us,we will prosper and begin to lead a vuctorious life, then it will be understood "Foot Prints In The Sand", or read John 3:16 and you will begin to see right where God is

    July 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Ticktockman0

    I'm somewhat impressed that this was a fair-minded article on this sad subject. It presented opinions respectfully but did not favor any, and did not generally show any bias from the author. It was a pleasant change from a lot of the pablum one sees here.

    By the way, being scientifically oriented, I side with option #1.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  8. Tim Kilpatrick

    In short, its the wrong question. The more accurate question is, 'WHEN' was God in Aurora...in what moments did people sense and feel God's precense. Perhaps when the three young men shielded their girlfriends from the gunmen with their own bodies and died from the wounds they received; or when the father of four lay wounded but before he died told his daughter that he loved her. These are examples of the moments and experiences of WHEN God was in Aurora. ~TLK

    July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Tim Kilpatrick' is an instance of a Selective Evidence fallacy and represents Confirmation Bias.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      July 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • What IF

      Tim,

      If that romantic notion makes you feel better, ok... just don't present it as fact.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  9. archon12

    "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. "

    Id really like to see how the data was gathered..... 2% self discribed atheists seems very low to me. I think many many people are waking up to the fact that a higher power isnt there. I mean really- 2 people out of every 100? I live in a consevative part of the nation and my guess would be 10 of every hundred here are true atheists.... if you factor in the east and west coasts ..that number will be much greater... maybe 20 out of every 100....

    July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Boris

      I support your statements.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • ME II

      Unaffiliated16.1%
      |- Atheist1.6%
      |- Agnostic2.4%
      |- Nothing in particular12.1%
      (http://religions.pewforum.org/affiliations)

      July 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • archon12

      @ ME II yup yhose are the numbers I question:) I havent done a poll myself , but you could pull 100 people out of all but the most fanatic Southern Baptist churches and get more than 1.6 people from that group.... Critical thinking just isnt THAT low:))

      July 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @archon12,
      It's not my survey, however, the Pew Forum is well known and has been doing surveys for many years. If you don't agree with their results, take it up with them.

      Survey Methodology:
      "The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey completed telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 35,556 adults living in continental United States telephone households. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, LLC (PDS), and Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI), from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies."
      (http://religions.pewforum.org/reports?section=a4)

      July 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • ME II

      @archon12,

      p.s. What evidence are you basing your opinion on?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • archon12

      @ME II nothing scientific... as i said ive not done a poll... .. just life -the people i work with, the neigbors on both sidesand behind me are also Atheists ... so either N. Idaho is seriously bucking the tend... or I have an amazing capacity for finding atheists. and i stand by my comments... you could pull 100 people from just about anywhere in the United States and come up with more than 1.6 people ... do you think those number are accurate???

      July 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  10. Lars

    Ask how men can allow the murder of 16,000 people and do nothing? Answer that first then you will know God gave every man and woman a brain and ability to reason, and do their will.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Boris

      Tectonic shifts and other natural disaster-causing things have existed long before man. Get over your god delusions.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • ME II

      Unlike the abilities attributed to God, man isn't always capable of preventing death

      July 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  11. AverageJoe76

    If Abraham had his 'test of faith' (the near committed murder of his child) today, and it was witnessed, he'd be arrested. Why don't we believe these type of tests exist today? The absolute crazy ones, I mean. Why do the faithful accept the validity of ancient tests of faith, but not the modern horrific tests? Keep in mind, the bible wasn't written when Abraham was tested.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  12. Oh_sleepy_one

    If everyone is wrong, then who is right? You cannot disprove anything; you can only prove things in science which are only theories. So you cannot disprove God.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      So you're appeal for a god is that someone's got to be right so why not christians?

      Yeesh, you're really reaching.

      Also, if you learn what a scientific theory is you might want to amend your previous statement

      July 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • ME II

      You cannot disprove Zeus or the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Wake Up

      Oh_sleepy_one,

      After your nap maybe you can look up "scientific theory" and see what it really is. Your lethargic att'itude in looking for facts is quite evident.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Oh_sleepy_one,
      "So you cannot disprove God."

      And neither can you prove one (let alone your Middle Eastern Hebrew desert god).

      When something cannot be proved nor disproved, the default stance is to withhold belief until proven.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Since when did you decide that you can't disprove things in science? You'd better tell the scientists that before they waste any more time. Of course you can disprove things! Anything, with sufficient evidence one way or the other, can be proven or disproven.

      And if you think science is unreliable because, as all Christians love to say, "science is all just theories", then where does that leave religion? It's even worse than a theory. It's a theory with not one shred of supporting evidence. So, by your own logic, religion can't be trusted.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  13. P. Costello

    Just a quick thought I"ve been thinking about since reading the part in the bible about 'God giving himself to us'. Do you think the 'big bang' might have been God exploding himself into trillions of pieces. Everything that exist has a speck of him in it. As one writer said ,"in which God exists as a pure fundamental consciousness or state from which all of existence arises. Then, I surmise, God will not return until every human with that speck of God in him is unanimously locked in conscious agreement on the beauty and grace of each others holiness in a way that lifts the spirit, senses, and living conditions both in the HereNow and HereAfter. Until then, life's hell for some, and heaven to others.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Just sayin

      god is an unnecessary hypothesis in all that, and really just distracts one from looking deeply at possible explanations.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      God is and will forever be. God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ just sayin; which god, out of the thousands that men have described, are you referring to? And why do you choose THAT god over any other god? Millions before you have considered their specific god to be the one true god – what is it that makes all of those millions wrong, and you right?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      He's in my pants. Which I can't find. God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  14. Observant Historian

    The fact that atheists make up a small percentage of the population doesn't make them wrong. There is much that we don't know, but one thing we do know is that most humans have apparently believed in some god-concept for most of human history, and that we now know for certain that most of those gods never existed. Even modern religious people are atheists when it come to those gods. Today, like in every age, religious people are sure they are now worshipping the one "true" god, although their god-concepts, like their "supporting evidence," are just as senseless, inconsistent, scientifically impossible, and simple-minded as all that have come before. In a thousand years, the god-concepts will again have changed considerably – and people then will be just as convinced that they are right. And they may be. But I see no reason to believe it.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jamie

      We don't know for CERTAIN that those past gods never existed. This is why I say I'm an agnostic atheist. Agnostic is a statement about knowledge (ie, we cannot know for certain) while atheist is a statement about believe (I do not believe that gods exist). So anyway, we cannot say for certain that those gods don't exist...just as we cannot know for certain that leprechauns don't exist.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      July 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Which God??

      Troll, troll, troll your boat, moron. Pray that you learn to think. You can't. Proven. Ramen.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is one God and thousands of idols, it is easy to see how you are not smart enough to know the difference. God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @just sayin

      Well considering that you're always to scared to actually give the evidence for your assertions, and end up running from every article that I call you out on this, you might not be in a very good position to criticise anyones intelligence.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      Are you also Which God?as well as hawaii whatever. God is – that is the given. Everything comes from the simple statement 'in the beginning God'. God has proven Himself in personal relationships with millions of people over thousands of years and has been in these last days revealed to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @just sayin

      So then you got nothing. Congrats. Why should I believe some "personal experience"? God is a given? I don't think so. Something that has not been confirmed to exist cannot be a given. Stamping your feeet and saying, over and over and over, doesn't automatically make you right. Then again, it might just be that that is all you are capable of.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      Are you also Which God?as well as hawaii whatever. God is – that is the given. Everything comes from the simple statement 'in the beginning God'. God has proven Himself in personal relationships with millions of people over thousands of years and has been in these last days revealed to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Once again no fear, no avoidance, but it seems to make you think more highly of yourself than you should to continually post it. God bless !

      July 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      i am right because God is right. How is life as an Ostrich? God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Also, I wonder why it is that the religious zealots with absolutely no depth of thought always think that all the people who disagree with them are the same person. Is having a persecution complex something like a prerequisite?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Hey, just sayin: "I am right because god is right". Member of the High School debating club, were you, with arguments as sound as that?

      Why your god? Millions before you have fervently believed in other gods than yours; billions today believe in gods other than your own. You're simply as deluded as they are.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      Albert Einstein used the same line. It is factual, sorry about you. God bless

      July 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Appeal to authority, buddy boy! Yet a further other logical fallacy. You have to do better than that. Why your make-believe god, over all of the other make-believe gods? Or, try this. Why DON'T you believe in Zeus?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @just sayin

      You know, your idiocy would be funny if it weren't so pathetically common.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  16. Mike S

    People have to get this straight. Atheists don't necessarily deny the existence of a god, they just don't believe in one. What that means is that if you are agnostic you are not a theist you are an A-theist. Atheists are not the dogmatic closed minded people they are painted for.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Jamie

      I usually say that I'm an agnostic atheist. Agnosticism is a statement about knowledge (ie, we cannot KNOW for certain that gods do or do not exist) while atheism is a statement about belief (ie, I do not BELIEVE that gods exist). Although there is no way to disprove the existence of gods (just as one cannot disprove the existence of leprechauns), I have never seen one shred of evidence for one, therefore I do not believe that they exist.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  17. Elisa

    Beautiful summary. I feel like a lot of these could actually be true at the same time. Although I lean towards thinking we will never fully understand and in that humility, maybe that is where God hopes we'll be.
    http://www.averageadvocate.com

    July 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  18. smlk4

    The above four comments make me want to facepalm...

    July 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Donna

    I prefer Hans Christian Anderson to the bible. Better fairy tales. As far as the burning bush: When Moses heard the voice of god.... I think the fumes from the burning marijuana .. er bush was getting to his head. He was on a "trip". Who needs 10 commandments when they are all common sense issues anyway. I don't have a religious bone in my body and I don't need some religious "commandments" to tell me not to kill someone or steal or cheat or lie. These are things my parents tought me.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Donna

      *taught

      July 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Oh_sleepy_one

      Your parents taught you not to kill, steal, etc. But who taught them? Where do these basic common sense ideas come from?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Donna

      Well... I am sure it wasn't god

      July 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Were do common sense directions come from? We are social animals, and over time, using our intellect, we have come to understand that the group as a whole benefits, and therefore we benefit as individuals, when we all follow some basic social rules, such as, don't kill. See – no god needed.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  20. steama

    God is NEVER anywhere. God is an idea that arose from a thought and therefor synthetic. God is a make-believe man-made creation of primitive man.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      where was god? same place he's always been - in the imagination of his zombie followers.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • archon12

      But wait...he's oh so useful to move the masses in directions the Power Elite want them to go ...

      allows the rich to get richer, and allows the poor to look forward to that 'wonderful' reward of serving a large angry invisible man for eternity after they drop in the hole....

      July 27, 2012 at 2:29 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.