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My Take: This is where God was in Aurora
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial across the street from the movie theater where last week’s mass shooting happened.
July 28th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

Editor’s note: Rob Brendle is the founding pastor of Denver United Church, a former associate pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and the author of "In the Meantime: The Practice of Proactive Waiting."

By Rob Brendle, Special to CNN

I held her hand as she died.

Her family had come to a church where I was pastoring that morning, a routine Sunday. A thousand things would never have crossed their minds as they drove through Colorado Springs toward New Life Church’s enormous concrete worship center - including the prospect of being assaulted in their minivan by a young man with a high-powered rifle.

Later that day, we were all at a local hospital. The girl whose hand I held, Rachel, had already lost a sister at the scene. Her father was down the hall in critical condition and her mother was coming undone in the waiting room, but she didn’t know any of it. Rachel lay unconscious for a couple of hours more in the ICU.

And then she died. Her family had come to church together that morning, and by nightfall they were shattered.

That was almost five years ago.

The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado shook me and the rest of the nation. Reading about the young and unsuspecting victims took me back to the dying girl in the ICU who had come to my church that day in 2007, in a an incident that left the two girls dead and injured several others. Back to the Columbine massacre a decade earlier that horrified the world and traumatized Colorado. And back to the aching questions that accompanied those previous incidents: Why did this happen? Where was God in all of it? How could a loving God allow this?

Where was God in Aurora? 7 responses

We pastors face the unenviable task of being asked to answer for God. Most people ask the big questions in times of irresolution, times when satisfying answers are scarce.

Let’s be clear: there are no easy answers to the deepest questions of suffering. Libraries overflow with the volumes that have been written to address these questions. Centuries of philosophers, pundits and preachers have reflected on the existence of evil, the meaning of pain and the role of God in suffering.

I won’t begin to recount all of their ruminations here. But here’s what I think.

God is the author of life and the originator of good. He distinguished humankind from among his creation with faculties like reason, emotion, dexterity and choice. Scripture teaches that God made people in his image. Set apart from all the rest of his creatures, we were endowed with the capacity to know our Creator and ennobled with the ability to choose him. So singularly did God love humans that he gave us this ultimate gift.

Aurora survivor to alleged shooter: ‘I forgive you’

The capacity to choose God and goodness came with the commensurate ability to choose evil. Is it loving to force his creation to follow his order, or to teach it and leave the creature to choose? It would seem that God came to the same conclusion that America’s founders did many millennia later: compulsory virtue is no virtue at all.

But Scripture also teaches that God is totally in control. He is all-powerful and all-knowing and he is willing and able to intervene in human events. So there is a gap between human choice and divine foreknowledge, a gap that transcends understanding and that helps define God in my mind.

The debate over this theological tension has persisted for centuries, and I don’t aim to settle it here. Let me suggest simply that God, in his sovereignty, has chosen to make our decisions meaningful. Consequently, much of what happens on earth neither conforms to nor results from his preference. There are at least four influences on human events: God’s will, to be sure; but also the will of Satan, our adversary; peoples’ choices, for better or for worse; and natural law (gravity, collision, combustion, and the like).

It is difficult to know which force causes the circumstances that devastate us. But it is enough to know that God need not be responsible for them.

The man who made the Aurora crosses

Much of the internal gridlock around tragedy is because suffering is foreign to us. This foreignness is peculiarly Western and modern. Most of the world, for most of the world’s history, has known tragedy and trauma in abundance.

You don’t get nearly the same consternation in Burundi or Burma, because suffering is normal to them. God and hard times coexist intuitively there. For us, though, God has become Anesthetist-in-Chief. To believe in him is to be excused from bad things. He is our panacea for the woes of life.

The God of the Bible promises no exemption from suffering. In fact, he all but promises suffering. He does not suggest that his followers won’t go through fire, but rather that we won’t burn up. Mostly he promises to be there with us, to comfort and encourage us and renew our strength. God grieves with us, and he grows us into good people in the process.

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

Where was God in Aurora? He was on the lawn in front of the Civic Building as thousands gathered in solidarity, hope, and love at a packed prayer vigil last Sunday. He was in University Hospital as neurosurgeons groped for synonyms for miraculous.

He was in the outpouring of compassion at a victim’s funeral and in the passionate call for unity from a resolute councilwoman and at the bedside vigil of a wounded victim’s church community. Redemption has only begun in Aurora, and already God is everywhere. Their will be beauty once this story is written that overshadows and transcends the ashes.

Jesus started his ministry by declaring, “I am the light of the world,” and ended it with “you are the light of the world.”

What God our cities will see is what we show them. From the beginning, light has shone in the darkness - he ordered it that way. And the deeper the darkness, the brighter the light will appear. Where is God in Aurora? He is shining brightly from the hearts of his people.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rob Brendle.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • God • Opinion

soundoff (4,566 Responses)
  1. Adam

    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values exist.
    3. God exists.

    The moral argument, my favorite argument for God's existence.

    July 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Confused face

      your premise in #1 is flawed and kills your quaint proof. My atheist brothers and sisters will recognize this challenge, Adam:

      Name a moral act or moral statement that only a believer could perform or make and which a non-believer could not.

      Blows your proof to oblivion which, by the way, is devoid of god.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Yes my favorite argument. How would we know right from wrong without Sky Fairy. Hence all non believers are evil people.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Adams, why does you believe in this cirulars logics? It does not makes any senses.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Confused Face, I knows one things thats the non-believers can does thats the believer cans not, haves the intelligences ha has.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Adam

      No part of my argument stated that non-believers were incapable of acting righteous. My argument stated that if righteous acts exist, God exists.

      So you pointing out that non-believers act righteously only proves moral values exist and God exists.

      Follow that?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      This is a great way to keep the masses scared into faith. Without Sky Fairy we will have nothing but chaos. Love Sky Fairy or become Evil.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • I wonder

      Adam,

      You are being facetious, right?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Adam

      Indogwetrust,

      That's not at all what I'm saying. I'm saying if God doesn't exist, nothing anyone does is evil.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Adam:
      "pointing out that non-believers act righteously only proves moral values exist and God exists."

      No, it might prove that human logic and reason exist, but it says absolutely nothing about a supernatural being's existence.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Because Sky Fairy said so. That's not an argument. It is an answer from someone without the ability to think.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Rick James

      While I obviously have problems with your roundabout thinking, my real question is , "What are objective moral values?" as you would define them?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • phoodphite

      yeah this is a very flawed argument. because there is always the possibility that we are all gods and don't know it. (I am not an atheist by the way.) If we are all gods, then when one performs a righteous act, it may only prove (to someone like you), that that one person is a god.

      by the way, it very well may be that the zombie apocalypse is just one stage of a period of discovery of this untapped godness that may exist in all of us. like the rough start of an engine. I'm just saying.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Adam

      Objective moral values means they are valid and binding, independent of our opinion. If they aren't objective, than they're only based on social conventions.

      The reason God counts as a logical reason for where objective moral values came from is because traditionally God has been defined as the greatest thing imaginable, the very source of good itself. What is an atheist's reason or explanation for the existence of moral values?

      July 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  2. Chris Benson

    Either god didn't want to intervene in the massacre (not all-caring/loving/forgiving) or he wasn't able to intervene (not all-powerful). What other logical choises are there?

    July 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Chris I ehms agreeing with you, gods knows whens we all will bees born and when we all wills die. It is ins his books. Dat is why god is resposibles for all the deaths, sufferings, ra.pes, murders, abortions and alls the bad things in da worlds.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Adam

      The existence of pain and suffering and God being all powerful seems contradictory because we fail to fully grasp what it is to be all powerful. Part of being all powerful is being perfectly just. And since our sin deserves perfect justice, we must endure pain and suffering. God snapping his fingers and making everything perfect isn't an act of all-power.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Adam, you don't haves enough intelligences to powers a lights bulb, much less makes a goods arguments.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Skwisgaar Skwigelf: Before you go calling someone out on their intelligence you might want to look at your own....your spelling is that of a 1st grade student..not an adult!

      July 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Chris, the shooter wanted to be blinded to Jesus' truth so Jesus obliged him.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:28 am |
  3. Skwisgaar Skwigelf

    This is a complete and total, you know, sausage festival.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Nasheed

    Where was God? The question, in and of itself, is laced with disbelief. God is ALWAYS present and NOTHING happens without His permission. Just because we don't always understand the purpose or reason for why things happen does not suggest for one moment, that God's had is not guiding all that happens in our lives and on this earth (which we are destroying, by the way.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Confused face

      a typical believer's response which answers nothing.

      Again, the results in the theater would have been the same whether god exists or not. So save yourself the mental gymnastics and drop the god belief.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Yes Nasheed, no questions ehm Gods he relishes da pains, deaths, destructions, sufferings and griefs of all the peoples likes a big dou.chebag yeah.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "NOTHING happens without His permission"

      So you're saying that your imaginary friend god, gave the shooter permission to walk in to a crowded theater and shoot down 70 innocent people, 12 of whom died...one of those which was an innocent 6 year old child? And you're wanting people to accept this character as being good??? Are you out of your freaking mind?
      Wow..you're delusional!

      July 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Rosemary Rix

      This would be a totally different world if God only allowed good things to happen. I believe that he was there, and his love was behind the selfless actions when friends shielded friends, some even dying for their loving act, and another saved a friend who would definately died if she had not slowed her bleeding and helped to get her out of the movie theatre. Do not forget that the shooter had a very high powered gun that could shoot masses of shots per minute – but that gun jammed – do you not think God might have had a hand in that? Just think of how very much worse it would have been if that gun had not jammed, there would have been real devastation and death amongst many, many more of the movie-goers. Yes it was a terrible time for all, but I do believe God softened the blow as much as he could. Then one final point, the shooter's apartment, – if that lady from beneath his apartment had actually gone in, or pushed the door open – that whole complex would have been blown apart. Or if the shooter had not told the police that the flat was booby-trapped (before he clammed up and would help no further) – again there would have been further serious loss of lives – Oh yes, God may not have been able to stop all of the loss of life, and I appreciate that it does not make it any easier for those who lost loved ones, but He was watching, and I believe he did all he could to make the losses much lower than they could have been, or were.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      " Do not forget that the shooter had a very high powered gun that could shoot masses of shots per minute – but that gun jammed – do you not think God might have had a hand in that?"

      Wow, re-read that!!! If your imaginary friend god cared and existed, do you not think he would have jammed that gun before it even fired??? Why wait until 70 innocent people were shot down before deciding enough was enough?? Why even allow the gun man to enter the building to begin with?? If your imaginary friend god is supposed to be all knowing and loving, why would it have allowed the gun man to purchase the weapons, especially if he knew what the intentions were?
      My point is that there is no verifiable evidence for your imaginary friend god and when you make dumb a$s statements as you did and then expect people to believe in your imaginary friend god, you don't make the creature sound very appealing to anyone who is not gullible enough to believe in it...try making it sound like a nicer creature instead of a monster!
      I understand that thinking for yourself and seeing the logic is difficult after the brainwashing abuse your horrible parents did to you but it's time to grow up and think in the real world little one.
      You need to seek mental health help for those delusions...only schizophrenics and children have imaginary friends.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      TruthPrevailed, the reason you don't understand God is because of the first lie you believe. That lie being ...that this earth is all there is. Those that were killed are back with the Lord. He's the reality, life is His test for us. Are you going to pass or fail is what you need to work on.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:32 am |
  5. Adam

    Atheist humanists are guilty of speciesism.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  6. doctore0

    Magic man was everywhere.. abracadabra

    July 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Kathleen Frank

    What was seen at that movie theater was evil. Pure and simple. Evil, demonic. Deliver us Lord from that evil.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus died for all our sins. That's what you should remember when you witness others being crucified.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  8. Tom Barrister

    God was in the same place that He was when His own Son died on the cross.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      In fairyland. Eating fairy cakes.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • phoodphite

      @indogwetrust

      Hey! Leave us fairies out of it! At least we are real.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  9. Chad

    If you are really curious about how pain and suffering in the world can be reconciled with the God of Abraham, wouldnt you first do some reading?

    The most vehemently anti-God people are also some of the most illiterate from a biblical perspective.. Does that make any sense at all?

    July 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Confused face

      Atheists are not "anti-god.". That is the term used by religious zealots so as to promote themselves as victims.

      Atheists posit that there is no proof. An "Anti-theist" would be anti-god. But that is ok with me as well.

      As for your assertion regarding illiteracy, ask youref why the most backward poorly educated and ignorant individuals live in the Bible Belt? Or why, on average, the smartest are found in the secular universities in this country?

      As usual, your statement fails in the face of actual facts, bible-boy.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Oj

      You don't have to read Harry Potter to know Voldemort isn't real. Or Night before Christmas to know Santa isn't real. Etc...

      July 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Voldemort isn't real?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Wrong. Atheist typically have a higher IQ then believers of any religion. But you don't need facts do you? Just keep blindly towing the line.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • mitch

      @chad
      Atheists do not believe the stories that have been written about the gods the Theogeny, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Rigveda, Zoroastian Avesda, you get the picture I assume. Man created stories about gods because he did not understand the world around him, even the christians believed that the world was the center of the universe 400 years ago, but as man gained knowledge religions had to rethink their dogma to jive with the facts, in order to hold onto the wealth and power they covet more than anything else, period.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Chad, yet another unsubstantiated claim by a theist. Of course are are going to ask you to cite your source. Can you do that?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Fact

      @Confused Face – in answer to your 2 questions:
      You will not understand this but to God's people the answers are quite obvious.
      "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
      Also:
      "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God.' "
      People who truly know God have little use for secular thought and political correctness. Why settle for man's opinion and wisdom when God's is far superior?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Fact

      @Indogwetrust – you keep trusting that dog of yours and I'll keep trusting my God; He hasn't disappointed me once in the 30 years I've known Him.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @All-the-above

      – just because many people claim to be "god", doesnt mean a real God doesnt exist (just like the fact that many people claim to be Elvis, doesnt mean Elvis wasnt a real person).. The fact that many people have proposed wrong answers doesnt mean a right answer isnt there.

      – no one claims Harry Potter is a real person, on the other hand if someone says that someone is in fact real, and provides evidence to that claim, then yes, you do have to become familiar with it to challenge it (unless of course you are comfortable challenging something you know nothing about..)

      July 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      indogwetrust, you've got it backwards. You believe the illusion of life, we learn and know His truth.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  10. UK Girl

    FVCK America.... I'm Christian living in England and happy to live under theocracy... it's wonderful!

    July 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  11. mitch

    Where was god? Where they have always been in the story book that they were created in. So many gods in so many books, with so many creation myths and the religious latch onto one of these god stories and become obsessed to the point of blind faith. So if you believe in karma, the seven paths, jesus christ, the 72 virgins for martrys, magic underwear, dianetics, the FSM, whatever, they (the gods) are just parts of the stories the authors wrote right here on earth. Atheists see these stories as pure fiction, we do not have to reject the gods, we simply do not believe the stories that created them, anymore than we believe in Santa, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, etc, etc.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Well said, Mitch

      July 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • mitch

      @exlonghorn
      Do you notice as I do, that when this type of arguement is made the religious commenters are nowhere to be found? No cogent response or cowards, who knows?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  12. Lover

    We are a democratic country, and if the majority vote for being officially a Christian nation then the minority do not have a right to be against it. Majority always win, and we're not a communist country!

    July 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • damo12345

      Which is why it's possible to win votes by a majority, and still lose, in a Presidential election, or a vote on law in congress, or in state legislature...

      Wait, no, we're not simply a democracy, we have rules in place specifically to prevent a majority from trampling the rights of minorities.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • phoodphite

      I'm guessing either you haven't taken a basic US high school government class; or that if you did, you slept through it, or simply don't remember some of the basics. Because however you meant "if the majority vote for being officially a Christian nation" does not jive with the country's principles past, present nor future.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Mom

    If America is a secular nation, then why are 10 commandment displayed in federal buildings, In God We Trust on money and motto, Christian holidays observed by govern., churches tax-exempt, presidents swearing holding a bible, etc.?

    Explain please.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Because the masses need it o be controlled. If people weren't so busy hating gays, Muslims etc... they would pay attention to all the other important stuff that's going on.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "10 commandment displayed in federal buildings"

      Which ones?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Oj

      Because religious folk can't go through a day or two without their belief system being propped up. Else they start worrying that they may actually just be dead when they die. That they may have to start thinking for themselves. Also, it's their way of trying to control the rest of society.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam Yaza

      the last 40 years have indeed been terrifying as the christian take over of our county has come full swing, and the money thing,.. the federal reserve is a privet industry first run by Anglicans and a lot of people were p!ss3d at that too, however you all learned along time ago that with the slightest majority, the majority rules,.. because of you the republic is dead and became a tyrannical democracy, were individual rights are stripped away, it all stated when the consti.tution was ratified, the Christians wanted to kill natives and own slaves the the deist and pagan wanted equality for all you had 70% of the vote and got your way, now we are falling into a theocracy and a plutocracy the vary thing out four fathers fought against,..

      thank yo Christians your a blight on the American dream

      July 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      "In God We Trust" only started appearing on paper money since 1957, and on coins since 1864. At least part of the motivation was to declare that God was on the Union side of the Civil War.

      The motto was first challenged in Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: "It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency 'In God We Trust' has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise."

      either way, your perception of this phrase somehow promoting religion in the U.S. is wrong.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Mom!

      I asked you which federal buildings display the 10 commandments?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Confused face

      Mom is a loon. She has no facts only regurgitates what an idiot pastor tells her.

      Of course, Voice, you could have also asked her which version of the 10 commandments she was referring to, or even if she thinks they are all representative of moral behavior.

      I bet she hasn't a clue.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • sam Yaza

      i think she meant some city and county building but she knows absolutely nothing of government and less about the bible

      July 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • I wonder

      The Ten Commandments:
      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      Their presence on courthouses simply harken back to ancient tradition. The goddess Lady Justice with her scales often appears also... and goes back to even older traditions of Egypt and Greece.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @exlonghorn

      Hi -exlonghorn...

      You Said: " either way, your perception of this phrase somehow promoting religion in the U.S. is wrong "

      Yes, there are some basic truths in what you posted, for sure.

      It(In God We Trust), however... is 'consistently' used by many if not all of the christian right-wing to show that as far as a 'religion'... the U.S... is a 'christian nation.' Hence the reference to "promoting" religion.

      I've had many a debate over the last 3-4 years here and in many other forums where the "In God We Trust" issue was brought up not only to 'promote' but to also, make a false logical leap to... 'There 'is' a God' ... and it is the christian god.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • sam Yaza

      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      in further detail

      1, i have 5 goddesses and i'm allowed to ave them actually i'm protected to
      2, have you ever been to the Mall in DC
      3, f4ck Yahweh that unholy pr!ck should die, ha i said that at my cities supervise meeting, and didn't get arrested
      4, ever day of my life i honer it oh Thursday bring me your new releases of anime and manga,
      5, i love my parents,... Jesus doesn't love his
      6, no duh
      7, no sh!t
      8, of course
      9, that common sense
      10, um isn't this the foundation of Americas economic structure

      July 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "If America is a secular nation, then why are 10 commandment displayed in federal buildings, In God We Trust on money and motto, Christian holidays observed by govern., churches tax-exempt, presidents swearing holding a bible, etc.?"

      You're kidding me right??? I'm not even American and I can break it down for you::

      The 10 Commandments are no longer in every federal building. In God We Trust was not put on your money until 1954/56 somewhere in there. Christian holidays are celebrated in every secular nation. Churches everywhere are tax exempt...all this means is that they stay out of political business and unless the cross the line, the government stays out of their business. Presidents swear holding the buybull due to the fact that it is long tradition and no-one would get elected to office if they admitted they were an Atheist. In a court of law, one is not required to swear on a buybull any more...they are allowed to affirm. Your founding fathers put in the consti.tution an amendment to allow for separation of church and state; an amendment to allow for freedom of and from religion-meaning all religions and non-believers are free to practice as they wish providing it cause no harm to another human or impedes on the issue of tax exempt (the IRS has a special investigative unit for this...if they feel someone is over stepping, they have the right to ask for records and investigate them and in turn pull tax exempt status). You should google some of your founding fathers quotes and see what they had to say.
      Thomas Jefferson
      "I have examined all the known supersti.tions of the world and I do not find
      in our particular superst.ition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They
      are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men,
      women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
      burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this
      coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to
      support roguery and error all over the earth."

      July 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      2 Timothy 4:3-4

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      Amen.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  14. Teen

    I wish America had religious police like in Saudi Arabia making sure everyone follows Christian law and rules.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      So you love freedom too?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Many fundies would agree with that statement.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • JM

      Following Christian rules doesn't make one a Christian. There are many people who claim to be Christians who don't see to have the faintest idea what Christ actually taught.

      It's good news; it's personal choice. Someday...I hope all of this will be explained and that "He will wipe away EVERY tear."

      July 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Name*K

      Even God thinks Christianity should be a choice... He designed us with free choice and the resources needed to make the right ones.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • sam Yaza

      the do its called DHS

      July 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Please, let's get our priorities straight. Police are in fact short hand, and needed in the following proportions:

      Crime, Traffic – 99%
      Fashion – 1%
      Religion – 0%

      July 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  15. Rational Libertarian

    Why doesn't the author make it clear that his god was also in every bullet the killer shot, in every bleeding wound? Why doesn't he say that his god guided the killer in the massacre?

    July 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Keith

      Simple, these people live in a fantasy land they are so brain washed that they are simply incapable of seeing reality. They are so deeply committed to the fantasy of their sky fairy that to admit the sky fairy does not exist would mean the end of their lives. These are PATHETIC excuses for human beings.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  16. Lopez

    Curious..... Why is it important for nonbelievers that we are a Godless Nation? Forget about the nonsense 1st amendment.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Oj

      Because, we don't want to be governed by laws cherry picked from a piece of fiction. You can be delusional in your own house just fine. Just keep it there.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Confused face

      to protect against the tyranny of the majority; to prevent the welcoming of mass-destruction so as to enter "salvation"; basically, so as not to be subject to the shims of mere men who would impose their beliefs because they are, in their view, what "god wants."

      Oh, and because there is no factual basis for that assertion That's why.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Teen

      Since the majority are Christians; what if the majority vote for an official state church with no specific sect?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Because there are a zillion different religions, many claiming to be the one "true" religion, and many of those religions have belief systems based on intolerance, small-mindedness, and fear, and we don't want to be subjected to those arbitrary capricious fairy tales. Keep your religion to yourself – you are free to do that. Try to jam it down other people's throats, and don't be surprised if you receive some opposition to that.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Lopez
      "Forget about the nonsense 1st amendment."

      You better thank smart people for the const*tution or your immigrant a*ss wouldn't be here right now.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Keith

      Curious these brain dead zealots cannot see that their whole existence is taken up by the mindless need to convince everyone else that their sky fairy exists. We the unbelievers are SICK AND TIRED of this endless litany of insanity, why don't they just SHUT UP and leave us in peace.
      They have the gall to see us as the problem, if they would just crawl into a hole and spend the rest of their pathetic lives praying SILENTLY then there would not be any problems.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • phoodphite

      It is important for all of us to be a godless nation. To prevent abuse by religion. This is why the country's founders were so adamant about separation of church and state despite their own personal views and upbringing. They knew collectively the effects religious persecution had upon their parents and grandparents. It was still fresh in their minds. And fortunate for us, they made sure for future generations that freedom and equality were the founding principles, not religion.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  17. Jezzi

    Thank God American Christians are strong and against atheists to be elected as president or be part of the politic.
    They would have destroyed this nation and we would have become United States of North Korea

    July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      On a scale of 1 to 10 your ability to reason is 0.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      North Korea is a theocracy, something you fundies would love.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Lopez

      North Korea is 100% Atheist. Look up.

      They threatened South Korea for displaying nativity scene and Christmas tree near the border.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      North Korea is a theocracy, look it up. Theocracies don't like other religions, hence the anti Christianity.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Confused face

      Lopez, you are wrong. It is a theocracy where the supreme leader is considered divine. Just be cause he is not a Christian does not mean it is not a theocracy.

      Use sources other than Wikipedia. You won be amazed at actual facts.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Keith

      You are just one sick, ignorant religious IDIOT.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • phoodphite

      @indogwetrust

      you are too kind. i was thinking -10.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  18. Luke

    George Washington was Christian – therefore we're a Christian nation

    July 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      washington was a deist. get your facts straight.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      So if Romney gets elected we will be a Mormon nation.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jezzi

      Mormons are Christians.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Actually according to Christian rules they are following a false idol. According to the bible it surprising that they all don't spontaneously combust. Isn't that what god does to worshippers of false idols?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Fact

      At Bootyboy – Get your facts straight
      "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."
      –The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  19. :)

    No president thus far has been an atheist, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Sikh or an adherent of any other specifically non-Christian religion.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And why is that?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yesp, too many christian zombies in this country for an atheist to be elected.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Confused face

      Thomas Jefferson was almost certainly an atheist. Problem was, back then, the armies of gentle jesus meek and mild would have ostracized him, maybe even killed him, had he been open about this.

      You know, they would have treated him in a very typical Christian-like manner.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I wouldn't be so sure about that assertion. Publicly they'd have claimed some connection to Christianity, but privately, we know that many presidents had other ideas. Basically all the Founding Father presidents' beliefs are debatable, as were Lincoln's.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  20. Bootyfunk

    "God is the author of life and the originator of good."

    yeah, i guess he means when god isn't killing babies. he drowned countless innocents in his great flood - babies, the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled. sounds like a really 'compassionate' god. and he killed more babies when he destroyed sodom and gomorrah. he purposely and specifically killed babies to punish the egyptian pharoah.

    i find it laughable when people say the christian god is all about love and compassion - you obviously have not read the bible.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>" you obviously have not read the Bible."

      Isn't those acts before he sent Jesus? Sounds like your statement should have been " you obviously have not read the Torah"
      :D

      July 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah, those acts are in the old testament - which is part of the bible.

      but you want some NT goodness? lol.

      in the new testament, read revelation. jesus, working god's will, opens the seven seals and murders almost everyone on earth, releasing death, war, disease, famine and more on earth, again killing untold numbers of innocents, including children. yep, at the end of the world, it isn't the devil that kills everyone - it's god and jesus:

      6:7 Then when the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!”
      6:8 So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and also, the old testament is not based on the torah but the tanakh.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Sky Fairy did it because he loves us.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      Obviously, you underestimate the influence of the adversary. Not all of the people who have walked the face of the earth are God's children.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      " Not all of the people who have walked the face of the earth are God's children."

      yeah, so you're saying the babies that god killed deserved it?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Fact

      You obviously do not understand it.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
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About this blog

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