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

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

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

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

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

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

1. There is no God.

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

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

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

2. Don’t blame God, blame Satan.

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

3. Don’t blame God, blame us.

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

Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman

Believer summed up this position well:

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

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

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

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

Lenny wrote:

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

Read: The man who made Aurora’s iconic crosses

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Which God?

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

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

7. Who knows? It’s a mystery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

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

soundoff (4,074 Responses)
  1. Satan

    God was busy...not existing.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  2. Nuseka

    I humanity actually worth saving from all the destruction made to Earth and of itself.. Insanity of humanity by greed and destruction would have myself turn away from saving life of such being.. Let it be destroyed for there will never be peace and harmony until all evil is vanquished from humanity....

    July 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Peepo Pleez!

      Depressed much? I can't tell if you want to "vanquish" "humanity" or "evil". You kinda imply both. Im sure youre religious, because of your use of the word "evil", and maybe a comic book reader because of the use of the word "vanquish".
      Anyhow...

      . The planet is of greater life than we are and when the time comes that the life it supports is too burdensome, life will not survive. At least not in the human form. Your desire to wish humanity away prematurely, exposes your own desire to end life not just for you but for everyone. That makes you seem somewhat dangerous to society. Get some help soon. For your own safety, and the safety of others.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Peteyroo

      NumbNuts, have you been drinking?

      July 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  3. Kindness

    Kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Trancsend the temporal world.

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

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

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

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

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

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

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

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

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

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

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

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

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

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

    July 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Satan

      I hope you loose all your fingers in a horrible accident....

      July 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  4. Kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Trancsend the temporal world.

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

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

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

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

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

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

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

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

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

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

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

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

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

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

    July 28, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Satan

      This is my response to your bullsh•it rant....thank you.

      The bible you quote is full of lies and falsehoods. It should not be used to validate anything for the fairy tales found in it can not be real. So shut the fvck up.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • GetBack

      Satan follows the blind

      Jeremiah 11:9
      Jeremiah 11:19
      Matthew 12:14
      Matthew 21:38-41
      Matthew 26:3-4
      Matthew 27:1-2
      Mark 3:6
      Acts 18:12
      Acts 23:12-15
      1 Samuel 22:8

      July 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • justme

      natas; if it was not for the bible you would not exist.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If it weren't for the bible, god wouldn't exist.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  5. hubert39

    God is everywhere. If you believe in your self, then you believe in God.
    The USA should not have to put, In God We Trust on money to remind them of God.
    Remember what the Bible says about praying in public or out loud. You are a show off. God can read your thoughts.
    The Bible says their are 600 sins. 99% of the so call Christains in the US obey only 2 or 3 of the 600 sins. They ignore the other 597. As long as some people worship their weapons over God their will be kilings. Some people don't need a religion. They have the NRA. They are their God.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • wAKE UP

      You are the perfect Christian. You believe keep you religiosity to yourself. Don't shove it down my throat with anti abortion laws, and having prayer in schools, and anti gay marriage laws and putting god on our money. It is a private matter. I won't bother you about believing in what I believe is a myth and you don't shove your biblical values down my throat. Perfect.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  6. wAKE UP

    Even the most devout Christian is an atheist. If I ask the Pope if he believes in Buddah, or Mohahamed or Laxmi or the hundreds of other gods out there he will say no. With respect to those gods the pope is an atheist. As an Atheist, I just believe in one less god than the Pope. (many will recognize this line of thinking as having been originated with the late, great and ironically named Chistopher Hitchens)
    Since man invented the magical man in the sky to explain what the ancients didn't have the capacity to understand, he had to invent another magical man, Satan, to explain the flip side.
    One last thought. I always find it astonishing that brilliant people can be so devoutly religious when it is so crystal clear that religion has been brainwashed into us over centuries. This Chick Fil A story comes to mind. They guy has to be smart to be so successfull yet he believes so strongly in god that his stores are closed on Sundays. I find that absolutely amazing that a guy that smart is so completely bamboozled and unable to dope out for himself the unlikelyhood of the existence of a deity.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  7. Lorraine

    No Truth Just Claims, A Hebrew Israelite is no jew, for the word jew is an aberration, a made up term. After the last jewish, roman revolt in 135bce, of Shimon bar Kokhba, the Hebrews were not talked about anymore after 161bce, for the most part they were all in captivity. The romans won, and Jerusalem was renamed Capetalia, and Israel was called Palestine until this day. Also, the letter 'J' was not in existence until the 15-1600s. Look it up. So, the question really is, do you know what a Hebrew is?

    Who today are all in the majority in captivity, in the prison houses, as taught in Isaiah 42; think about it, bulls eye, you got it, the so called black people, which is no such thing as well, no more than there are white people, all made up proverbs. It is either European, Caucasian, or a Hebrew Israelite. Who are by the way the Palestinians, among other tribal races taken from the descendants of Jacob.

    They are all over the world, Brazil, Dominican, Bahamas, Namibia, Ghana, the U.S., etc..prophesied to be scattered to the four corners of the earth, in Deut. 28:14-67, for 68 has already been fulfilled, with the Hebrews being carried away on ships enslaved. Therefore, if one does not fit this scripture in Deuteronomy 28, then you are not a Hebrew. Look it up.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Lorraine

      Oh yeah, and the so called 'white people' a misused proverb, are also called Gentiles.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • what goes around

      The earth is not a flat square with edges to fall from, or angles to create "corners". Deuteronomy was written in such a time the world was believed to be flat, with corners and edges. We now know the world is round (even though not perfectly round) round non the less.
      anything written in Deuteronomy is not fact, just blind belief. There aren't 4 corners on the planet!

      Technically we are all of African decent regardless of the color of our skin, or the class of race we put ourselves in.
      we are dark or light skinned because of the amount of sun our ancestors have been exposed to. it takes several generations to permanently change the amount of pigment in our skin, but thats how it has happened. We evolve to best survive our surroundings. Though we look different, we're the same!

      July 28, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's the most egregious bigot here, bullseye, you got it, LORRAINE!

      July 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      A rose is a rose, even if called another name.

      And you are an idiot.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Edward

      The atheists follow Revelation 2:8-11, Revelation 3:7-13 and are more ignorant than those that lead them by the nose.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  8. archon12

    test cant post anything ...

    July 28, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • archon12

      figures.....

      July 28, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  9. Kebos

    The religious will say 2% of the population are self-professed atheists. But the number of atheists that do not profess is much higher. Let's face it, 98% of the population don't go to church. That doesn't mean they are not religious. It puts them in a category where they are neither religious or atheist. Neither side can claim them. But to suggest that 98% are religious, which this article attempts to do, is wrong.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • the great and powerful Oz

      If "The Wizard Of Oz" was written b4 the bible 98% wouldn't be looking for the wizard. Yet there would still be a bunch of idiots skipping down a yellow brick road!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Mitch

      Many people put down a religion preference because they think it is required to do so even though they may not follow or even know the dogma of the religion or have a belief in a god. Not so mant years ago the military would list their people as protestant if they professed to being non-believers. There are also companies that may even discriminate against, not hire, a person who is not religious, because of the owners values.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • archon12

      pewforum.org is where they got their info (thanks ME II) ive got a number of issues with that site.... most people use cell now days.. if they are like me they ve blocked random calls.... so they rely mostly on people with landlines... the elderly ....also, what regions did they call? did they REALLY spread out the calls as they claim?

      Based on my personal experiance, in a conservative part of the country – that number seems to be Much higher. What is more likely? that atheist at extraordinarily active here as the writer claims- or the that the writer's numbers were gathered by a soarce that is not quite as neutral as they claim??

      July 28, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  10. Release the Kraken

    Who would win in an epic battle.

    Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades Vs. Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed?

    July 28, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Mirosal

      Interesting ana'logy. The "Great Greeks" never existed, The existence of Jesus is in doubt. I think Buddha did exist, let me check on that. And Mohammed certainly was a real person. So you have "gods" versus men... I'll go with the real people. It's easy to kill off ANY god. Simply stop believing in them, and they fade away, powerless and helpless.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • PRAYER CHANGES NOTHING!

      starting any sentence with "dear lord" or Ending any sentence with "amen" is no different than starting or ending any sentence with "abracadabra"!! Its all HOCUS POCUS!!
      GET IT?

      July 28, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Dionysus

      This is sort of a childish response, like my dad is stronger than yours, but Zeus says straight up, one on one he could take each of them. I agree with him, form time to time he has slapped me up the side of the head for getting out of line, it hurt like, howdotheysay, hell.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • archon12

      Ending picture: Mohammed standing over a headless Buddha praising Allah for his triumph over the infidel

      July 28, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • what goes around

      @archon12
      . Of course!! Death by decapitation is the way of Mohammed and Allah!
      . Its important that we dont follow the teaching of the insane, or the non-existent!

      Otherwise we're all in direction of being bodiless heads singing the 80's Van Halen song – "I ain't got no body"!

      July 28, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 28, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • peepo pleez

      Apparently neither is religion. You were brainwashed as a child, now you can't get past your own delusions. You think you know there is a god without any validity of proof.
      Believing in something that doesnt exist, simply makes you a puppet of a 5000 year old mass hysteria. You can't think for yourself, and probably too afraid to question anything about the questionable. That makes you a robot/zombie and makes religion very unhealthy for children!!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Bern

      Why? I work with children everyday, and I am an atheist.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • PRAYER CHANGES NOTHING!

      Parents took their "children" to church, and "prayed" for god to protect them.
      Church leaders molested them, and god didnt protect them.
      Evidence that prayer is totally useless!!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • PRAYER CHANGES NOTHING!

      Had these children been of atheist parents, they wouldn't have been put in a church. And their parents wouldn't have expected some magic man to protect them.

      Raising children on prayer isn't healthy, for you or your children.
      And if you think prayer is all you need for your child's safety, then you certainly aren't responsible enough to have have your own children!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Kebos

      Troll!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  12. Steve Johnson

    Just because you're an atheist doesn't mean you necessarily claim to be 100% positive of god's non-existence. We just... lack belief. It's actually kind of strange. In every other possible topic or field, not-believing in a theory that has no evidence puts you in the "neutral" position.

    In the case of religion and belief in god, the frame of discussion is automatically shifted. Since most people are religious, being irreligious is viewed as defiance against the norm, or opposition against the religious view. But this is unfair. Non-belief should be the default position in the absence of evidence. Atheism should be the neutral standard against which other opinions and beliefs are compared. One shouldn't need to "identify as a self-professed atheist" to be part of the club.

    Nobody goes around saying that they're "agnostic" about, for example, unicorns or dragons, They just say that they don't believe in them. Actually, they don't even have to say that, because the challenge never arises.

    July 28, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • archon12

      agree with just about everything you said:) but the first part.... I am 100% certain there is no god.. there is not even a fraction of a doubt in my mind. The forces that created the universe – are beyond the powers of human disciption... But i assure you no quasi human flavored omnipotence wished it to happen.. the universe as we know it looks exactly like an explosion...exactly what you would expect, given our knowledge of physics. the universe was the result of a mass truly unimaginable in scope going critical..maybe all the matter will slow down and draw back together 30 billion years from now and start all over again.... yes i know its an old theory that was tossed out in light of the appearent universal acceleration, but, in my personal opinion is that it may have been thrown out too soon.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      To say you are 100% sure there is no god is not much different than a christard claiming to know there is one. It is not an honest stance because no-one can know with that amount of certainty.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Did you hear the one about a Canadian that minded its own business?

      July 28, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      You won't. The lamozo is not relevant in its own country and still thinks the rest of the world needs to hear from it. News flash ... keep your bull sh it to yourself no one anywhere wants it or needs it

      July 28, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      Did you hear about the special-education drop-out who can't think for himself so he steals and twists a comedian's name in a vain attempt to be funny? Does your mommy know you're on her computer, or is she still in bed with your new "uncle" she just met and brought home from the bar last night?

      July 28, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      mirrorsally? mensa my ass !

      July 28, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Mirosal

      Is that all you're capable of saying? Oh, I forgot, you had to drop out of special-ed, didn't you?. Try refuting and/or debating me instead of hurling insults. Then we'll see just what you're made of.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • archon12

      @truth Im a Atheist..no god..... anything other you are an agnostic. Think about it for a second....there is no middle ground.... anyone that has even the slightest doubt says that the relgious MIGHT be right.....Religion, a creator ...all of it based from the first attempts to explain the world around us - any dout, however small, is lending weight to those first moments.....

      July 28, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: The only book in Dodney's house is the buybull. Knowing the meaning of the word 'international' is not expected of such am uneducated fool. However his new 'uncle' is actually his grandpa/daddy.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      archon12: I disagree because Gnostic/Agnostic claim knowledge or lack there of. Theist/Atheist are belief or disbelief.
      Atheist: disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
      Theist:belief in the existence of a god or gods
      Agnostic: as.serting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.
      Gnostic:possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Translation of mirrorsally/liarprevails spit swap.
      whine,whine, misspell Bible, whine, bi tch, moan, butt lick, whine. mensa my ass !

      July 28, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      Did you ever think that when we misspell 'bible' as 'buy-bull', it's intentional? Apparently he has ni idea what a pun is. As far as spit-swap, as you call it, nothing wrong with that, I've seen her pics, she's seen mine, we just live 1500 miles apart. Wait until you lose your vir'ginity, then you might have an understanding.. your right hand does not mean you aren't a vir'gin anymore. So instead of just drivel spewing from that sewer under your nose, say something relevant to the topic at hand. Engage in the discussion. Say something of value. Or do we have to wait until you finish that 3rd year of 6th grade?

      July 28, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Naw, you misspell because you are a childish ass hole. mensa my ass

      July 28, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: If you can 'spit'swap' across 1500 miles, then miracles must really happen...fsm I am now a believer...oh hail the holy noodly appendage loving monster...you are my queen 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      I'm not the one who baits others with grade school drama. You really don't have anything inportant to say about this topic, do you?

      July 28, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      great intellect my ass=dodney=herbie-heavensent=atheism is not=just sayin'=captain america

      no intellect involved in the lies this coward comes up with...just dreams of some day having a blow up doll that doesn't deflate the second it comes near. At least we stay with one alias and don't need a book of fairy tales to guide us through life.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Mirosal

      His blow-up doll pops immediately because that's what happens when he has a needle (literally) for what he thinks is a pen'is. I'll bet real money he needs tweezers to take matters into his own hands, so to speak.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  13. Lorraine

    Reality, you have started out with a mess if you think that Abraham was a Jew, which dispels the rest of your post altogether, Oh heads up Abraham, and his descendants were Hebrew Israelite, just like it tells us of the Strong One, (not God) of the Hebrews in Exodus 3:18, is YHWH. Check in I Chronicles chapter 2 of the linage of Jacob.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Do you not know what a Hebrew is, really ? Are you that daft?

      July 28, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  14. Lorraine

    What If, is that the best you got? Frankly ask me if I give a **** oh, you noticed them, my reply post, lol, LOL! You are a bit delayed in insults, kind of like being a far behind others in average percentage. Give it up now.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • LinCA

      @Lorraine

      Still having trouble finding that "reply" feature, I see.

      Oh, and before I forget. Do you give a shit? (we aim to please)

      July 28, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  15. Reality

    As we scroll to a 21st century prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT 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 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 28, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Andy A

      God has chosen to allow man the majesty of choice and free will. He has given us a choice to obey Him and follow His rules or to follow himself and the Devil. For to force man into being good is not free will no more than it is fascist governments to forcibly become democratic governments. With God it's "Come willingly, or just don't come." Hot or cold..

      July 28, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Lorraine

      Reality, this also sounds like a case of Horus, Isis, he too was the son of God, born of a virgin, Isis. Oh, and better yet, these were all under the sun, yes sun-gods, Amen Rah, Amen Sirapus, etc. Hey this sounds like the zodiac sun dial, that was known to change every 30-33 degrees, of a new savior. humm..by joe I think that is how they got that idol jesus christ. Oh, and did anyone know that christ, and messiah, only means anointed. In Numbers 22:23-30, it tells us of an ass being anointed by YHWH to speak to Ba laam. Elementary oh my dear!

      July 28, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • What IF

      Andy A,

      Is "God" omniscient?

      July 28, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Reality

      o From Edware Schillebeeckx, the famous contemporary theologian, Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
      activity there is possibility of free choices.

      Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we
      and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

      For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

      July 28, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Reality

      Summarizing for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 28, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Eeyore

      Lorraine, "In Numbers 22:23-30, it tells us of an ass being anointed by YHWH to speak to Ba laam. "

      Oh yeah, like that really happened.....! Those wacky old Middle Eastern desert men and their wild imaginations! Nice that it entertains you, I suppose.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  16. John

    where was batman?

    July 28, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  17. peepo pleez

    Faith – to believe in something without relying on proof.

    Insanity – same as above.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  18. peepo pleez

    Religion is a crutch for the weak minded, and uneducated.
    . Stupid is as stupid does!

    July 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ...and there side says the same about Atheism.

      Ecch.... both on the extremes , both can't stand tolerance.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • LinCA

      @Mark from Middle River

      You said, "...and there side says the same about Atheism."
      Of course. They have to say something. That doesn't mean it's coherent.

      You said, "Ecch.... both on the extremes , both can't stand tolerance."
      Still having problems understanding what atheism entails? What is extreme about "unless there is evidence in support, there is no reason to believe it"? All you need to convince an atheist of your position is a rational argument, supported by evidence.

      Not buying the bullshit, isn't the same as being intolerant.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      But the difference is the believer side does not have a single bit of factual evidence for their beliefs...

      July 28, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Mark's 4th Grade Teacher

      "there side"?

      *sigh*

      July 28, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  19. Honestly

    JESUS!!!
    . Your bible was written by delusional men; "GOD" was factored in!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  20. Jack

    Good evening folks. Everyone is invited to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    July 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Bo Jangles

      Thanks for the invite, but your party isn't inclusive enough for me!!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • peepo pleez

      A star is a celestial body. Not a god.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Satan

      saladandchips.com is rad!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Jack ... you are invited to kiss ..... my ass

      July 28, 2012 at 1:59 am |
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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.