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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)
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    September 8, 2012 at 7:15 am |
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    September 4, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  3. Tatiana Covington

    Where? Nowhere. God does not exist.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
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    August 14, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 4, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Stupidity is not healthy for children and other living things, yet you persist in defining stupidity with your foolish one-track rants. Your mother recently confided in me that you still pray day and night for personal wealth and naked men–much to her dismay.

      August 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  6. namestartswithg

    i hope susan lucci remembers to change the batteries in the "universal" remote the mayans left a post-it on the refrigerator lol

    August 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  7. Shanna

    Oh Peteyroo - I will pray for you even though I'm sure you don't want it or care. Because the day WILL come when you will know that you were completely and totally wrong. I hope the Holy Spirit touches your heart before then and leads you to the Lord and His love for you, even though you don't believe in Him.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Mike

      And I will surely think for you, as if you want to insult people about prays and threaten people with an imaginery afterlife, you surely must not think often. I am OK when people say "I'll pray for you" when they are concerned about you, but when they say "I know it makes no difference to you, but I will pray for you anyway", they are being purposely insulting. The worst of the worst of mankind, and it clearly shows the hate, intolerance, and disrespect of SOME of the religious in this world.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Please don't pray for me. I want no part of your nonsense. There is no Holy Spirit, no God, and no magical son Jesus anymore than there are unicorns and leprechauns.

      August 4, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  8. More Religion, More Murder

    Murder rates are lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is deep and widespread (Jensen 2006; Paul 2005; Fajnzylber et al. 2002; Fox and Levin 2000).

    And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon (Ellison et al. 2003; Death Penalty Information Center, 2008). Furthermore, although there are some notable exceptions, rates of most violent crimes tend to be lower in the less religious states and higher in the most religious states (United States Census Bureau, 2006).

    Finally, of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries, and of the eight cities within the United States that make the safest-city list, nearly all are located in the least religious regions of the country (Mercer Survey, 2008).

    From: http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

    August 2, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  9. Lisa

    Why must we keep up this debate? Does it have any value?

    There are people with and without faith, with one faith or another, get over it. Let's not debate the existence of a diety – it's pointless.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  10. He is the Truth

    It is not matter of where God is when bad things happen. The question should be, why do bad things happen. The answer is SIN. We live in a fallen world with depraved humans. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". When we do, say or think anything against God's law we sin.Only God is good an holy. "The heart (of man) is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" So why do we blame God for our sinful nature and the actions it brings about. until that day when we are reconciled to God and with Him in heaven, by beliving in His Son Jesus Christ, these are the thigs we will see in this world.And the further each generation moves away from Him, the worst it gets and will get.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      "It is not matter of where God is when bad things happen." You are correct my confused friend. God does not exist and cannot be anywhere. Humans are what humans have always been. It is up to us to police ourselves without relying on magical beings floating in the firmament. Mother Nature/Evolution has made us weak and violent creatures in need of self-relection and human action. Our violence is evidenced by massacres such as Aurora–to mention only the latest tragedy–our weakness by believing in God who is no more real than unicorns and leprechauns. We do not need anyone to tell us what is right and wrong. We know the difference. No mystical/magical intervention needed. We need only hard work and clear heads to improve ourselves and the world we live in.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • He is the Truth

      So Peteyroo, you do have a faith in somthing. Your faith is in Mother Nature and humans. The religion called Humanism. You have made humans and nature your gods. But I ask... what evidences do you have for the existence of your god "Mother Nature". If you do believe that we have souls, are you willing to risk the possibility of yours spending eternity in hell on the belief that corruptible man will take care of all things. You don't even need to read the bible to see the evidences for how wicked man's heart is. But yet, you display a very strong faith in man and that he will do what is right based on nothing but his heart and guidance by Mother Nature (or natural feelings). “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). When I say I will pray for you, I really mean it. I prayer is simply that my God show Himself to you that you my put your faith in Him instead of man, before your life on this earth ends.

      And for the post "More Religion, More Murder"... check your sources. Biased reporting has led many astray. I urge you to do your own research and stop believing everything you read or hear in the media.

      For everyone else, seek truth for yourself because you want to know the truth and not because someone else told you something was true. If you truly seek truth, you will find it. But for some ignorance is bliss. We worth rather indulge ourselves in the desires of our sinful hearts.

      Psalm 53:1-3 states...

      "The fool has said in his heart,
      “There is no God.”
      They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
      There is none who does good.

      God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
      To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
      Every one of them has turned aside;
      They have together become corrupt;
      There is none who does good,
      No, not one."

      This is why we need a savior from our own evil ways that are dictated by our hearts.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      I have no "faith" in Mother Nature anymore than I have faith in the wind or the trees.

      August 4, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  11. Joe

    Love without free will is meaningless. God could force us to believe in him and love him but what would be the point? He gave us free will, out of love, so we can make choices for ourselves – we are masters of our own destiny. These choices include whether to commit heinous crimes or not. As bad as the countless crimes against humanity throughout history are, they are a reminder of the free will that God gave us out of love.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      JoeBlow, God cannot force anyone to do anything–he simply does not exist. Free will is a gift from Mother Nature/Evolution.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Arizona

      Somewhere deep inside everyone we know the truth. The truth that is told in the first bible story. God gave us a paradise. Our free will allowed us to choose to do things which were forbidden. This is symbolic of the decision all soles make to come to this earth. Why? To experience. Everything. Love/hate. Joy/sadness. Life/death. There's no difference. Both are equal in experience. And it is all about the experience. What an experience Colorado was on July 20th. But please remember that it is our choice to be here on earth. And our choice when we go back. And we can come back as many times as we want or not. But in the end all of the souls that experienced the shooting STILL EXIST. They are eternal just as God is for we are made in his image. They now have the choice again to stay put or come back and experience again this wonderful crazy world in which we live in. Nothing can kill our souls. We will ALL exist forever.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      Human also commits crime again God by associating partner with HIM where HE self sufficient and no need of any partners/son/daughters to run the entire universe....

      Peace!!!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      *against God

      sorry for the typo... 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • The One

      Joe and All,
      You say that God has given us free will, so that when we choose to love Him, it has meaning. BUT, God's penalty for not groveling and kow towing to Him is damnation to everlasting torment in Hell.

      Doesn't sound like free will to me.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  12. ili

    Rather than replacing, the Qur’an urges Muslims to read the Bible.

    Many Muslims have never read the Bible because they think the Qur’an has replaced it. The Qur’an, however, never claims to annul the Bible. The Qur’an praises the Bible as God’s guiding truth (Surah 5:46; 3:3; 10:94-95).

    Some Muslims say that just as the Gospel (Injeel) abrogated the law (Tauret), the Qur’an replaces the Gospel. However, the Gospel did not abrogate the law. The perfect Jesus came, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill the law.

    Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).

    Jesus showed that God’s law is even harder to keep than men think. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. . . . You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).

    Have you met that perfect standard? The Bible says none of us can keep the law’s demands. We deserve death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Thankfully, Jesus faultlessly kept the law of God. As the perfect sacrifice, Jesus paid the penalty for sin by dying on the cross. Find out how Jesus’ death gives life to believing sinners.

    Trust God’s Word, the Bible, which can never be replaced. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).

    August 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      The Quran referring to the Injeel (Gospel) which was revealed to Isa (Jesus) which will have the truth about God is one and submit to Him only Him and I (Isa) am a messenger sent to the children of Israel... the current bible was written for the first time at least 60+ years after the leaving Jesus from this earth... and these gospels are full of some one's visions... and Jesus is being made of divine and only begotten son and the holy ghost... (the concept of trinity)... Quran clearly tells that 'they made me (Allah) of three'....

      If you study the time of first 5 centuries, you will find what type of time this book went through even though it was written my men... there are lots of research by christian scholars... here are some that i have come across...
      – these gospels were written by someone else and used the name that we see instead of original writers
      – in early third century the Constantine added the trinity concept in this book
      – the chapter 'Hebrew' – there are no records about who, where and when it was being written
      – the head of the state was the in charge of the church, now you can imagine where there are some laws are not liked by the elite group of the society and they are the head of the church, what they could do... for example in some part of India a man claimed to be God and people actually believed in him and worshiped him and still there ppl who believes that a human is his or her God...
      – and there are lot more...

      the way i see it, having complete knowledge of Islam does not mean that that individual will taste the sweetness of Islam but its the guidance and blessings from Almighty Himself... we have lots of teachers who teaches Islam in universities but they do not believe in Islam...

      Well, as quran teaches that tell them 'you do your religion and I do mine, you do not worship what i worship' we can live in same society and help each other to live this earthly life and it will differ only when it comes to the beliefs... other than that you are my brother or sisters in humanity as we all are from the same father Adam and after that the ones who believed in Noah and rest of the mankind were whipped off from the earth and we all are the off springs of those righteous human who believed in Noah... like in our time we have in the same family one child is dem and the other one is rep.... they live together with peace but when they are on the field they have diff opinions...

      Peace to all!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Lorraine

      All I can say is that, none of this your saying is the truth, and that the NT not true book, does not fulfill the OT the obvious truth book, and I can prove it but this site are cowards, and won't accept my post of confirmation, or proof. One thing I can say is YHWH changes Not, none of His word, all of what He says in the OT is the perpetual covenant. This book is called the book of remembrance by YHWH, in Malachi 3:16, and not ot, or nt, nor bible. In Ezekiel it teaches that the flocks have been mislead.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Lorraine

      Sorry, in Ezekiel 34, it teaches that the flocks have been mislead.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Lorraine

      The Gospel is nothing but A GOOD SPELL, many flocks are being put under a trance, according to the scripture in Jeremiah 10, these men who are misleading the flocks, are the enemies of YHWH using this doctrine to take people away from YHWH. YHWH allows them to think that they have charge, but what He is doing is using them to magnify Himself in the end, the day of His vengeance, and many will know who is who for YHWHs righteousness is near as He says in Isaiah 51:5. It is but a little while now as prophesied in Isaiah 10: 3,4, 25.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  13. Jesse Howard

    Who are we to even ATTEMPT to ask YAHWAH "where HE was? It doesn't EVEN matter whether "YOU" believe in GOD, because he believes in YOU TO BE YOUR BROTHER'S KEEPER. YAHWAH WAS EXACTLY WHERE HE'S ALWAYS BEEN. The "misplaced-question" is an attempt to cast BLAME; the question should be... WHERE THE HELL WERE WE...? namely the leaders and citizens of COLORADO?? Leaders exalted the will of the NRA above THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS. LEADERS FAILED TO "GOVERN" AND instigated selfish and misguided reasons to own firearms. LEADERS AND CITIZENS ALLOWED LAXED LEGISLATION TO BECOME THE LAW OF COLORADO and pushed agressively for irrelevant legislation about "wearing costumes at the movies and getting rid of new health care law. THE POSTAL SYSTEM DELIVERED EXCESSIVE GUNS AND AMMO TO THE SAME ADDRESS OVER A 4 MONTH PERIOD AND TO A 24 YEAR OLD COLLEGE STUDENT...AND IT RAISED NO RED FLAGS. SOMEONE HAD AT LEAST 2 MONTHS TO PREMPT THIS BUT NO ONE EVEN NOTICED IT. THIS "RED STATE" WAS SO BUSY TRYING TO STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA....they never even noticed JAMES HOLMES.

    August 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Messy, going a little wild with the caps?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  14. The bible is the WORD

    Read the bible, God gives all of us storms in our life and we as believers never question; the why's how come, why me and I will end this comment with the following:

    Footprints; when you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you!

    August 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      The Bible is the Turd, get a grip. You haven't carried me anywhere. The load you carried was a sack of wet Bibles, soaked with beer when your pastor and his cronies used them as coasters at the local biker bar.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Lorraine

      You, and many need to know that YHWH does not give us these perils, we brought them upon ourselves from not obeying His voice, His law of righteousness. Not doing the 10 commandments is what makes us to have to live in such sufferings. We are so stiff necked, we won't learn, or listen, so this is the results of all of what makes this world this way, our own blindness to YHWH the Creator of all life, His spirituality is our connection, but we choose to do whatever we want to, and this will bring mayhem. We are giving the praise of YHWH to another, doing these religions, prophesied in Daniel 11:39-45 of all these religions, taking the flocks away from Him. Look it up, research what this each scripture in Daniel means about the deceit of the governments, and strange gods in the latter days, our times Daniel 12 of the 4th kingdom, this is us folks..

      So, now there is in difference, hate, greed, imposed poverty, adultery, war, stealing, lying, perversion, etc..and it will be this way until we realize YHWH has no religion, this is idolatry in His eyes. We must do the 10 commandments, and learn that there is to be 'NOTHING' put before YHWH, nothing, we should not praise another, never. Did we praise Moses, or any other prophets? YHWH says He does nothing without His servants the prophets in Amos 3:7, telling you that anything else outside of His prophet is not of His Word. Wake up out of the trance of the good spell book the NT, not true book.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  15. the_dude

    If you question where god was then you miss the whole point of there being a god.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Isaiah_Christian

    ive decided to never question why God allows things to happen. i believe that when something like this happens, its a test for all of us. how we react. do we wish ill will on the shooter or fogive him.....God tells us to forgive. do we look at each instance of death and wonder if each individual was saved, how they were living their lives, were they believers? only He knows the time for each of us. its his choice and we must accept that. whenever it is, i welcome it. takes away the fear of death when you know you dont have control anyway. He gives us all we get. we are not in control, He is.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The lesson from Job

      August 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  17. Lorraine

    peetyroo, you, and many others, keep failing to understand that YHWH does not have to answer to us. That's like one's parents giving the child the control over them. He gave us the law of life of righteousness, and peace for all, and told us to live by these 10 rules the commandments, and we will not do this.

    So, here we are, as He taught us in Deuteronomy 28,30, of what will happen of the suffering, and hardship if we don't do these laws to prolong our lives of a wholesome life.

    But, we snuff them, and YHWH, and do as we want anyway, the results are things like this in Aurora, and the prejudice, perversion, hate, the in difference, adultery, imposed poverty, greed, the stealing, lying etc. We are simply not living right by one to another.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      How can we answer to someone who doesn't exist?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  18. Mohammed_Islam

    Dear all,

    Satan was not a fallen angel... God created angels having no free wills, if there is no free wills then there will not be any disobediency, correct? here is what the Quran give clear picture about satan:

    Sahih International: And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange (Chapter 18:50)

    here is another one:
    Sahih International: [The hypocrites are] like the example of Satan when he (satan) says to man, "Disbelieve." And when he (man) disbelieves, he (satan) says, "Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds." (59:16)

    Satan believed in One God and he fears God but the only thing he didn't do is obey the command to prostrate to Adam (first human)... and then he vowed that he will take all human with him in hell by making them associating partners/son/daughters/any objects with The Almighty... and this is what we see around the earth... that human are worshipping either human, saints including the dead ones, statues, cows, trees, stones etc....

    So satan was not a fallen angel but he is from another nation that God created with smokeless fire and we do not see them but they do see us... and they have no power over human except whispers... and its human who listens to him to worship anybody or anything other than One True God the Creator of heavens, earch and everything between them...

    Please read quran to increase your knowladge... i am not asking you to revert but just get the truth as this is not a human words... if you study then you will discover it... but please do not comments without reading it OR seeing some bad muslim's action... this is my request to you brothers and sisters in humanity...
    Peace!!!

    August 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Isaiah_Christian

      read the Quaran? you mean that book that is the result of someone named Muhammed that went up on mountain after a party night and decided to rewrite the oldest book on the planet........The Bible. oh and did i mention the Bible says that no other writings are valid after it.......It is Done! im sorry, i do believe in general the Muslims are a peaceful group, but Ishmael was not the promised line. enuff said.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • M

      The explanation still gave 'satan' a choice. He wouldn't do something. You don't change a thing in your basis for your argument. But you're book was inspired by him so he is trying to deceive as he is the father of lies.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      Dear Isaiah_Christian and M,

      You can say whatever you want to... Al Quran teaches that God created human in different nationality, ethnicity, language so that one can interact with other and then HE gave free will to every single one of the human... and every one of us will be held accountable for the using of this 'free will'.... if HE wanted to make every single human to believe in HIM alone without any association with HIM, HE could have... then where is the test? then there is no need of hell and heavens, no need of good and evil... every one will be a good one... but because of free will we have human doing wrong things to others in terms of preaching them to take them away from worshipping one God and so on... and also no will be accountable for others... its like you are on your own on that day and no counselor/helper... the only helper will be your good deeds that you have done in this earthly life...

      O our Lord, have mercy on us on that day as we all are sinner...

      Anyways, I hope you have read following verse where John wrote:

      John 14:26
      Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
      26 But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything; that is, he will remind you of everything I have said to you.

      And so it is mentioned in the quran:

      And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic." Al Quran 61: 6

      Also if you would like to know what Jesus will be asked by his Creator on that day:

      Al Quran 5:17 And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.
      Al Quran 5:18 I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.
      Al Quran 5:19 If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

      Now decision/choice is yours dear brothers and sisters in humanity...

      Peace!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • ili

      Answer: Islam is a religious system begun in the seventh century by Muhammad. Muslims follow the teachings of the Qur’an and strive to keep the Five Pillars.

      The History of Islam
      In the seventh century, Muhammad claimed the angel Gabriel visited him. During these angelic visitations, which continued for about 23 years until Muhammad's death, the angel purportedly revealed to Muhammad the words of Allah (the Arabic word for “God” used by Muslims). These dictated revelations compose the Qur'an, Islam's holy book. Islam means “submission,” deriving from a root word that means “peace.” The word Muslim means “one who submits to Allah.”

      The Doctrine of Islam
      Muslims summarize their doctrine in six articles of faith:
      1. Belief in one Allah: Muslims believe Allah is one, eternal, creator, and sovereign.
      2. Belief in the angels
      3. Belief in the prophets: The prophets include the biblical prophets but end with Muhammad as Allah’s final prophet.
      4. Belief in the revelations of Allah: Muslims accept certain portions of the Bible, such as the Torah and the Gospels. They believe the Qur'an is the preexistent, perfect word of Allah.
      5. Belief in the last day of judgment and the hereafter: Everyone will be resurrected for judgment into either paradise or hell.
      6. Belief in predestination: Muslims believe Allah has decreed everything that will happen. Muslims testify to Allah’s sovereignty with their frequent phrase, inshallah, meaning, “if God wills.”

      The Five Pillars of Islam
      These five tenets compose the framework of obedience for Muslims:
      1. The testimony of faith (shahada): “la ilaha illa allah. Muhammad rasul Allah.” This means, “There is no deity but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” A person can convert to Islam by stating this creed. The shahada shows that a Muslim believes in Allah alone as deity and believes that Muhammad reveals Allah.
      2. Prayer (salat): Five ritual prayers must be performed every day.
      3. Giving (zakat): This almsgiving is a certain percentage given once a year.
      4. Fasting (sawm): Muslims fast during Ramadan in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. They must not eat or drink from dawn until sunset.
      5. Pilgrimage (hajj): If physically and financially possible, a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once. The hajj is performed in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.

      A Muslim's entrance into paradise hinges on obedience to these Five Pillars. Still, Allah may reject them. Even Muhammad was not sure whether Allah would admit him to paradise (Surah 46:9; Hadith 5.266).

      An Evaluation of Islam
      Compared to Christianity, Islam has some similarities but significant differences. Like Christianity, Islam is monotheistic. However, Muslims reject the Trinity—that God has revealed Himself as one in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      Muslims claim that Jesus was a mere prophet—not God’s Son. Islam asserts that Jesus, though born of a virgin, was created like Adam. Many Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross. They do not understand why Allah would allow His prophet Isa (the Islamic word for "Jesus") to die a torturous death. Yet the Bible shows how the death of the perfect Son of God was essential to pay for the sins of believers (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 3:16; 14:6; 1 Peter 2:24).

      Islam teaches that the Qur'an is the final authority and the last revelation of Allah. The Bible, however, was completed in the first century with the Book of Revelation. The Bible warns against anyone adding to or subtracting from God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Galatians 1:6-12; Revelation 22:18). The Qur’an, as a claimed addition to God’s Word, directly disobeys God’s command.

      Muslims believe that paradise can be earned through keeping the Five Pillars. The Bible, in contrast, reveals that sinful man can never measure up to the holy God (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Only by God’s grace may sinners be saved through repentant faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21; Ephesians 2:8-9).

      Because of these essential differences and contradictions, Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. The Bible and Qur’an cannot both be God’s Word. The truth has eternal consequences.

      “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:1-4; see also John 3:35-36).

      August 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      To ili: I am impressed that you know about Islam more than lots of Muslims....

      I ask Allah to guide us all to the straight path which will lead us all to the peace with His mercy...

      Peace!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  19. looking

    No matter what we do or don't do... God remains the same.. consistent.. We vere off... We follow our emotions and the things we see. God is a spirit and those that worship Him, worship Him in spirit and truth... Don't discount a spiritual realm... If there is good, then naturally, there is evil. If there is light then there is darkness.... Humans, are curious and we tend to want to delve into the unknown realms that offers, who knows what and to what level.... We have a choice. Taste and see that the Lord is Good... It's your choice... So why be negative and angry with those of us that choose to believe, I respect your right to not believe, its between you and God....

    August 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  20. looking

    God never changes. He allows us freedom of choice. We have a choice to believe or not to believe, to take life or give life.... to work or not... free will.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Thank you for your post, it is simply the whole truth. We are all responsible for our actions of choices in this life.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Evolution gave us free will.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      This life to be takec seriously as once we are gone there is no way to come back and do good deeds... once you gone you gone... The Quran gives pictures of the day of judgment and one of the pictures is like... that day human will be wishing to be a dust so that they would not have to be held accountable... 'O I wish I would have been dust'... because only human will be standing for judgement and then everyone of us will see what we did in this life... the most human the children of Adam will be in trouble is only becuase of the misusing of this 'free will'....

      Peace!!!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
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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.