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October 25th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

When ‘God’s will,’ rape and pregnancy collide

By Wayne Drash, CNN

(CNN) - The pregnant 12-year-old girl was strung out on heroin and looked like a walking skeleton when she arrived at the hospital. The conversation that followed, said Phoenix police chaplain John South, has stuck with him ever since.

“Do you know who the father is?” South recalled asking her.

“She said, ‘Yes, it’s my biological father. He’s the one who hooked me on heroin so he could continue to rape me whenever he wanted to.’ ”

The Protestant chaplain has consoled about 50 pregnant rape victims - typically girls raped by their fathers - in his years working with the Phoenix Police Department.

South describes himself as “pro-life,” but when it comes to dealing with a girl or woman impregnated by a rapist, he keeps his personal views to himself.

“I don’t give them a lecture or preach at them,” South said. “I’ve seen crimes beyond comprehension.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock stirred controversy during a debate in Indiana Tuesday when he said pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended to happen.” The instant reaction in political circles was predictable: Democrats decried him, and many conservative Republicans defended his position as steadfastly “pro-life.”

But theologians were quick with a more nuanced approach, saying the issue of pregnancies from rape strikes at the core of a timeless question: How do you explain evil in a world where God is loving?

That said, many expressed outright dismay by Mourdock’s remarks.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

South wanted to know what Bible Mourdock reads because “what he’s saying is absolutely wrong. It’s not biblical.”

The police chaplain said pregnancies from rape aren’t meant to be politicized and said the victims suffer from physical and mental wounds and are often suicidal. About 60% of the time, South surmised from his experience, the women or girls choose to give the baby up for adoption, as long as they never see the child at birth.

“I hurt for these kids,” he said. “Rape is evil.”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the best-selling book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” said Mourdock’s remarks were off-base: “He’s invoking the will of God where it is not appropriate."

People “should have compassion for the person whose life is messed up by this and not make her an instrument for our idiosyncratic, theological commitment,” Kushner said.

“If you believe she has no right to terminate that pregnancy, you're free to believe that,” Kushner said. “But for you to write your preferences into law and compel another person to mess her life up because of what you believe, I think you're going too far.”

“I continue to be bemused by the ultraconservative lawmakers who say they want smaller government and less government intrusion into people’s lives, except when it comes to who you can marry and how many children you should have.”

Plenty of liberal Christians bemoaned how Mourdock was being perceived by some as the face of American Christianity.

"Once again, expressions of Christian faith that honor the rights of women to choose their own health care options and what happens to their bodies are not seen or heard," wrote the Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, who pastors the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ of Frederick, Maryland, in a message that she circulated via email.

"The lack of another voice, another perspective, another vision from the Christian community leaves an impression that all Christians share this single perspective about pregnancy through rape," she wrote.

Father Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said he found Mourdock’s comments troubling from a Catholic perspective because “God does not want rape to happen.”

“Someone getting pregnant through rape simply means biology continues to function,” Reese said. “That doesn’t mean God wills it.

“If we look at the Scriptures, we see a God who weeps with those going through pain, who is compassionate for those who suffer and condemns those who do injustice,” Reese said

During the Tuesday debate, Mourdock was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest when he made his remark. “I came to realize life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” said Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer.

Amid the uproar Wednesday, Mourdock sought to clarify his comments, saying he was sorry if he offended anyone but said his comments were twisted and distorted for political gain. “The God that I worship would never, ever want to see evil done,” he said.

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

Paul Root Wolpe, the director for the Center of Ethics at Emory University, said Mourdock’s comments were the equivalent “of saying you shouldn't pull people out of the rubble because God intended the earthquake to happen or we shouldn't try to cure disease because it's God who gave us the disease,” Wolpe said.

"That perspective was theologically rejected by virtually every major religion a long, long time ago,” Wolpe added.

Mourdock has been an active member of Christian Fellowship Church in Evansville, Indiana, for nearly two decades, according to Mike Deeg, the executive pastor of the 2,000-plus member nondenominational evangelical church.

Mourdock has gone on missions trips with a group connected to the church to Bolivia and is well-regarded among congregants Deeg said.

Deeg says the church tries to remain largely out of politics. “We don’t think God is Republican or a Democrat,” he said by phone from Evansville, noting they encourage members to vote, the church just doesn’t say for whom.

The pastor said of what he has read about Mourdock’s remarks, they largely lined up with the church’s teachings on the sanctity of life and their belief that life begins at conception.

“I think rape is a horrible thing, and I think God would condemn rape as horrible,” Deeg said. “I think we’re made in the image of God regardless,” he added, “I don’t think the circumstances dictate whether God knows us and loves us, regardless of how our conception comes about.”

South, the chaplain in Phoenix, said the 12-year-old girl he met years ago opted for an abortion and her father was ultimately convicted of rape. He said he grappled often with “why she was subjected to such horrendous pain and torture, mentally, physically and emotionally.”

“Did it shake my faith? No,” South said. “Did I ask God why? Of course.”

CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Rape • Women

soundoff (4,449 Responses)
  1. Norm

    To those of you who want to "end the hostility" and are having your feelings hurt over this, the solution is simple.

    Respect the separation of Church and State. And tell your right-wing whackjob republicans to stop shoving your religion down our throats. Because I will never vote Republican again so long as they keep talking about "God's will".

    October 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      As an ex-independent I agree wholeheartedly. I used to vote for both parties until the Gingrich right-wing takeover of the GOP.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Orwell prefers Guyana punch

      Norm, now is time to put "Jesus We Trust" on the money.

      To prove our faith and fealty, we must focus on the economy and defeat science.

      The corporate liquidator and his wizard, Lyan Ryan, is what the economy needs.

      It is the will of God, God willing, Insha' Allah, Yawheh approved.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Activists for Christ

      And perhaps tell your wingnut leader to quit forcing his religion on Christians by forcing them to provide abortion insurance.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Activists for Christ

      "And perhaps tell your wingnut leader to quit forcing his religion on Christians by forcing them to provide abortion insurance."

      There's lotsa stuff the govt funds with my taxes that I don't agree with, like funding yer danged supersti tion organizations through their tax-exempt status as they agitate politically. Totally un-American, but I have to live with it cuz of something called "The Const itution" which I know you are against cuz you want christo sharia. You s u c k and are anti American. Remember this truth, if Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, or Adams for example ran for political office today, the religiotards and teabaggers would oppose them with all their might. Thassa fack jack.

      Move to pakistan if you don't like what the Founding Fathers of the Enlightenment did to curtail super sti tion in govt. Your stupid god doesn't exist, period, end of discussion. So stop trying to force your fantasy on everyone else, that's what makes the discourse so angry- you're obvious hatred of what America REALLY stands for. Yer a tool of the priest/per verts. YoozYerBrain, free yerself from the Celestial North Korean Thought-Police of super sti tion. Be a good citizen,not an enemy, of the USA. See?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • The Truth

      "And perhaps tell your wingnut leader to quit forcing his religion on Christians by forcing them to provide abortion insurance."

      I have a solution that might work for everyone. When I go to fill out my taxes each year on my tax forms there would be boxes with % numbers to fill in for where I want my tax dollars to go. We would be able to direct 90% of our tax dollars to which federal programs we prefer so I could put all 90% in funding for social programs like planned parenthood if I want or or I could put it all over in the defense spending column. Then we could really see where Americans priorities are.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • carli

      Activist – "And perhaps tell your wingnut leader to quit forcing his religion on Christians by forcing them to provide abortion insurance."

      Sorry to tell you this but that is not what this is about. There is no such thing as "abortion insurance". People pay out of their pocket for abortions with no help from insurance or the government. It also is not cheap. The discussion is about making all abortions ILLEGAL, not funding them.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  2. Orwell prefers Guyana punch

    What would Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Bakker or Pat Robertson do?

    These are trying times, it is all about the economy stupid, nothing else.

    Elect the corporate liquidator and his wizard, Lyan Ryan, to do the deed. It is God's will, they know best.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  3. elle2

    Murdock was courageous. He did not weasel away from the Truth of Scripture. The Scriptures do say only God can give life. Everyone calls it the MIIRACLE of Birth. What makes it a miracle? You will also find scripture that says all humans have free will to do anything. Why doesn't God FORCE all people to become believers? We have free will.
    Lets stop with the "Ohhhh! I busted your comments" mentality...then we become just like our politicians...living to twist and argue over every flipping word using contempt to make a point. There is really nothng new under the Sun. Continue to enjoy being an American and JUST VOTE.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      A perfect example of the importance of the separation of church and state. Religion has no room for compassion whereas government can be as compassionate as the people wish.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Orwell prefers Guyana punch

      Now is time to put "Jesus We Trust" on the money.

      To prove our faith and fealty, we must focus on the economy and defeat science.

      The corporate liquidator and his wizard, Lyan Ryan, is what the economy needs.

      It is the will of God, God willing, Insha' Allah, Yawheh approved.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • e141

      I cannot even begin to comprehend what you're saying - your prose is so convoluted and unclear, much like your logic.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Everyone calls it the MIIRACLE of Birth. What makes it a miracle?"

      actually nothing makes it a miracle, its just a phrase people use.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  4. MarkinFL

    Keep in mind that he is just following the official GOP stance. Their platform as agreed by Romney and Ryan states the same thing. There is NO exception for r.ap.e in the GOP platform. Listen to Romney's words. He carefully says he will not "push" anti-abortion bills. But he has repeatedly said he will push for the end of Roe V. Wade and for the right of each state to ban it as they wish.
    Here is the official platform

    “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we as.sert the sancti.ty of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” said platform language obtained by CNN. “We support a human life amendment to the Const.itution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

    October 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  5. Norm

    If fertilized eggs do have souls, then God has a lot of explaining to do over the 50% miscarriage rate he intelligently designed us with. Looks like a lot of murder to me. Genocide really.

    God has aborted more babies then anyone. If miscarriage and the death of billions of fertilized eggs is God's will, then what's the problem with abortion?

    October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • reddragon

      Thank you!!!

      October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  6. Perplexed

    Let me try and explain this from a Biblical view. Job is a very good example of something bad happening to a person who did nothing to bring that bad thing upon himself. The Bible tells us that Job was a 'righteous' man. However, many bad things happened to him. They all were ordained (permitted) by God but at the hand of Satan. We know that sometimes bad things happen to us because we did something that we should not have been doing. Sometimes bad things happen to us for no reason. The Senator is simply expressing the above. For reasons that we do not understand and seem totally unjustified, we are given hardships to endure. Who knows why they happen? Only God knows and those of Faith accept that even if they don't understand it.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Norm

      Complete and utter crap. Job did nothing wrong. Everything bad that happened to Job happened because God made a bet with the Devil and stood back and did nothing. Let Job be tortured for sport and gambling. And I'm supposed to worship God after that? For what?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Norm

      If you want to accept being tortured for God's amusement go right ahead. But I reject such barbarism, and I'm quite comforted knowing that I'm morally superior to God. I don't torture others over a bet.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      One of the nastiest stories in the Bible. This is what Twilight Zone stories are made of. Two evil powers playing with the life of a tiny mortal for their own amusement.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Keel Hauler

      I agree with Norm. The Book of Job makes God out to be a completel basterd, which is probably why some religions don't include it in their bibles. Can't have God looking bad now, can we?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Perplexed

      I can't explain 'Faith' to someone who doesn't have it. Maybe in God's own time and at his will you may also find that Faith. I pray that you do.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Perplexed

      I can't explain 'Faith' to someone who doesn't have it"

      wow, you see absolutely nothing wrong with the Job story do you? it was perfectly ok for god to behave that way huh? bizarre, truly bizarre.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I think your Blogger name handle explains faith perfectly.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Perplexed

      Does the created have the mind of the Creator? We are given only the understanding that he gives us and are capable of handling. I can't explain or know the Laws of Thermodynamics but they exist regardless of my abilities to understand them.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      You can't explain from a biblical sense because it makes no sense. What is the difference between god's arbitrary and capricious ways and random events? None because the bible is primitive man's attempt at an explanation of random events without the scientific knowledge we have subsequently acquired.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "We are given only the understanding that he gives us and are capable of handling. I can't explain or know the Laws of Thermodynamics but they exist regardless of my abilities to understand them."

      though no one tries to tell you you cant get married because the laws of thermodynamics has condemned them to burn in hell.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Orwell prefers Guyana punch

      Republican Christian Congessman Broun MD,tells as God wills it. Science comes from the hellhole of Satan. Therefore thermodynamics is not really used by people of faith. It may be real, but real Christians must not understand or use the devil's plaything.

      Stay focused on the economy, not this evil distraction.

      Soon "In Jesus We Trust" will be on the money as a True Christian should do, God Willing, the Will of God.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • 12345

      God created satan. If god is all knowing and omnipotent, then god intended all acts of satan.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Perplexed

      Do you realize you're giving complete non-answers and not addressing any type of criticism to your supposed "biblical sense"? All you're saying is "I'm right because I have faith I'm right", which is the exact same reasoning as every other religion, and is completely indisinguishable.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • TC

      Job is based on a story where God makes a bet with the devil, and spends the lives of Job and everyone around him with as much glee as a gambling addict sitting in front of a one-arm bandit with a handul of dollars.

      Lovely tale.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  7. Unashamed

    The level of hostility on this comment board toward those who believe in God is quite disturbing. It takes just as much faith to be so ignorant and state that there is no God and we came from nothing, just random happenstance. I live a very fulfilling, rewarding life and am respected among my peers...both Christian and non Christian. When I die, the worst that will happen to me is that I end up in the same place as everyone else...no where. If an athiest dies...worst case scenario you burn and suffer for eternity because you rejected a loving God who gave man free will. Man has free will...it was men who piloted planes into buildings...not God. Would you rather God have us be mindless drones unable to make our own choices?

    October 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Loki

      "If an athiest dies...worst case scenario you burn and suffer for eternity because you rejected a loving God who gave man free will."

      Who's being hostile now? Care to explain why a loving deity would allow one of their own children to suffer for eternity because of non belief? I mean, lots of people don't believe what I say,but does that give me the right to let them suffer for eternity?

      And it's ATHEIST, btw/

      October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh dear Pascal's wager and the hypocrisy of claiming acceptance of others while invoking eternal damnation.....

      October 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Keel Hauler

      Typical: Believe or else. How arrogant to presume that if there is a God, you can speak for his actions in determining who is damned or saved.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "When I die, the worst that will happen to me is that I end up in the same place as everyone else...no where. If an athiest dies...worst case scenario you burn and suffer for eternity because you rejected a loving God who gave man free will"

      again, another believer who doesnt see or just plain ignores the third possibility. I will lay it out here for you so you dont make the same mistake again........there is a god, but he isnt the one you are worshipping and you are just as s crewed as the rest us.......you might want to worhip them all just to be safe.

      and the concept of free will is a false one with an all-knowing god. If god knows everything that has, is, and will happen then he already knows how your life will turn out, he knows every choice and decision you will make from day 1 until you die, therefore all you are doing is following a predetemined path, your 'free will' is an illusion.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Pascal's wager is flawed; it doesn't offer other plausible choices: you pray to the wrong god who sends you to hell; you pray to the right god who knows you weren't sincere and sends you to hell; you don't pray to the correct god who is benevolent and lets you into heaven anyway.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • One one

      What could be more hostile than claiming people who don't believe as you do will burn forever in hell ?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • moakley

      Eternal torture or eternal tedium. Two different hells
      BTW. Pascal's wager is flawed since it assumes the Christian God. Pascal and you may be worshipping the wrong God(s).

      October 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • One one

      Loving god = burn in hell.

      What's wrong with this picture ?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      logic not your strongpoint, is it unashamed?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Activists for Christ

      The hostility is disturbing but not surprising. We were warned of these times were we not? The good news is we know how the story ends and in that we can always rejoice!! Be strong Christians and always stand to be counted.

      Join other Christians on Facebook: /groups/activistsforchrist

      October 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Unashamed

      Maybe you should read the Bible before attacking my statement. God is a loving being....but He is also a JUST being. What kind of Father or leader does not punish wrongdoing? He punishes sin...plain and simple. He gives us free will to accept His Son's sacrifice that pardons our sin. How is that hostile? You are not automatically condemned...you have a choice! It is your decision whether to accept Jesus's sacrifice and be pardoned or ignore it and you condemn yourself.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Unashamed
      Pascal's Wager-look it up.

      First, supersti tionista, you need to dis prove the existence of gods, like Zeus, that came historically down to us from Greece and pre dates jeebus. Second, yahweh/adad the Sumerian god of Thunder did so many screwed up things that the real question is how could anyone possibly believe it. Here's an example for ya....

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq3U09DeKpg&w=640&h=390]

      October 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "God is a loving being....but He is also a JUST being. What kind of Father or leader does not punish wrongdoing"

      If your father condemned you to be tortured everyday for eternity simply because of what you thought, then I think child services would take you away from him.
      There is nothing just about punishing someone for eternity, especially for rules that you made up and control. That is not just by any definition. There is nothing loving in a god that would go down that route, none at all.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Unashamed wrote, "God is a loving being....but He is also a JUST being. What kind of Father or leader does not punish wrongdoing? He punishes sin...plain and simple."

      Your god demands that young unengaged virgins who are ràped must marry their rapists and never divorce. Please justify this.

      Your god demands that if an engaged virgin is ràped, and doesn't yell loud enough, she is to be stoned to death. Again, justify this.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      activists.......how positively god-like.....to know the future.....

      October 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God is a loving being....but He is also a JUST being"

      You speak of the level of hostility, but did you ever consider that the level of hostility is miniscule compared to the level of arrogance of purporting to speak for god

      The god you worship is a petty, vinditive pr!ck

      Your proxy threats are laughable.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • fred

      primewonk
      Ouch is that from the Bible or the Richard Dawkins new and revised bible?
      Keep in mind who God was speaking to at that time and place then put that in perspective of who Dawkins was speaking to.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • fred

      sam stone

      Oh sam please tell God your sorry and that you have God confused with a man made image of god created by fellow atheists. God is very forgiving. Even Cain was allowed to continue living and create an entire civilization because God is kind and loving wanting that all find the gift of eternal life.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Oh sam please tell God your sorry and that you have God confused with a man made image of god created by fellow atheists."

      no, he got the right god, the one in the old testament that demands his followers kill every man, woman and child of the cities they defeat.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • fred

      ceder rapids
      You are referring to book that you do not believe in, a people you claim never existed and a God you claim does not exist. Exactly what is the logic or reasoning behind such lunacy?

      October 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So now instead of trying to justify away the atrocities in the bible you will now pretend that those atrocities aren't even in the bible? You're getting more and more desperate.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest

      Hey, hope you had a nice vacation!
      Good to see you back.
      The Bible simply reveals Gods plan over and over again generation after generation. It is the account of God redeeming a people which is Gods’ plan and has been all along. I do not justify atrocities as they are written for the purpose intended. Some are simply an accounting of an event others are recorded for the benefit of believers. I am not sure what benefit the Bible would have for someone that does not believe and will never believe.
      I need to run out and fight the good fight for now but will be back in a few hours.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Well you haven't changed from when I've been gone. Still with irrelevant tangents (although that one is shorter than your usual), but you actually stated you were going to go out and reinforce your preconceptions before coming back for a discussion.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "fred

      ceder rapids
      You are referring to book that you do not believe in, a people you claim never existed and a God you claim does not exist. Exactly what is the logic or reasoning behind such lunacy?"

      what a bizarre argument. First off Im fairly sure I believe the bible exists. Heck I will even say the tribes mentioned existed. But whether I believe god exists or not is irrelevant, it makes no difference to the argument. The fact is you do, and i will go on to say that you also believe the bible is god's word. So therefore you follow a god who told his followers to slaughter all the men, women, children, babies etc in cities they captured so to claim that to portray god as nasty and bloodthirsty is wrong is either a lie on your part or ignorance.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • fred

      cedar rapids

      Let’s step it up a notch. God took out all humans with the exception of Noah who found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah’s family was saved while the rest were drowned. Now, we could argue it is revelation of God bringing those God favors to safety, believers are lifted above the storms of life by faith, a remnant that follows God are lifted high to eternal everlasting life, a personal God longs to carry His chosen to higher ground, etc.etc. This is a theme that runs throughout the Bible and is consistent with the nature of God.

      All remaining men, women and children were drowned. We know the people were terribly wicked and growing increasingly wicked trapping their children into a demonic cycle. God is loving, merciful and patient having allowed this evil for 650 years. The penalty for sin is death and that is a promise from God. They all died at the hand of God symbolizing final judgment for mankind. We have judgment and salvation the twin themes running throughout the Bible. For some reason non-believers look at this as a killing or ethnic cleansing but, that would be to place God at the human level not Creator who has made it clear what the purpose of creation is.
      The purpose of creation was to bring a few like Noah into eternal life in order to enjoy the fullness of God. That is the plan. God is no more of a killer to the ungodly generation of Cain than he was to allow the Neanderthal species to fall into extinction.

      Now, as to the Amalekites and Moabites which Moses claimed God said “kill them all” falls into a similar category. God can as in the flood wipe out evil himself but, he promised he would not do that again until the End of Days. God did allow and perhaps even direct (depends on verb usage) they all be killed, every man women and child. This was necessary to preserve the line of the chosen. It was also necessary to demonstrate God can and does use others to carryout judgment on evil. Even the chosen ones themselves were allowed to be brutalized by the Assyrians then the Babylonians by a loving, merciful God.
      Loving and merciful because they were all given enough time to repent of their sins and did not. Again, God makes it clear there are only two choices. You can choose life or death and the choice is real. Separation of Evil by judgment is never pretty but it is not killing.

      October 26, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      Same justifications as always from fred. "God said do it, so it's good". Translated to "Might makes right".

      October 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest

      Ha, like man is even capable of justifying God. All we know about God is what has been given by the Word of God. That is all our brains can handle regardless of how intelligent we like to think of ourselves. God is the one in position to justify not man.
      I understand you have a better plan to bring about pure goodness for eternity. Unfortunately you have yet to share that plan with anyone. In the meantime this plan, passed down through the ages, is airtight so until someone can show me a better plan I will stay with what we have.
      The alternative is spend my entire life doing as I please then close my eyes at the end crossing my fingers that what waits is a pleasant unknown. Interesting, we booth look forward towards a pleasant, peaceful and restful eternity. I wonder why that is?

      October 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • TC

      As long as you are not trying to enforce your own beliefs on people who don't share them, then there is no hostility.

      Unfortunately, so many of you work so hard to do just that.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • fred

      TC
      Correct with one exception. We (Christians) are supposed to live our lives in such a way that others want what we have (Christ). Then we tell them what great things Christ has done.
      We are doing the last part but receive a complete fail on the living out the Love of God. Why would anybody want what we actually do not have given our actions.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  8. Jeremy

    If we can say it's morally wrong to mess with embryo's and their stem cells, the I would say it would be morally wrong to terminate embryo's.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Until enough DNA switches have been activated in the course of its development it is just a generic mammalian embryo.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Ann

      And, of course, many of us believe that it is wrong NOT to mess with embryonic stem cells. In fact, I think it should be fully funded and encouraged as a way to increase our chances of curing diseases.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Its the same question. Most of us do not have an issue with using embryonic stem cells.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Jeremy

      It's the governments job to protect me from you and us from them. Has the government decided on when life begins? If its at conception, then they should make abortion illegal, period.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  9. DaveX

    Is there no limit to the insanity of people who believe in angry sky father? How f'in weak and depraved are you people that you make this garbage up to support your fantasy life? You don't belong in the 21st century. Just stop talking...go live in a cave...and let we real people get on with REAL life. Sheeeesh. Belief in a god, any god, is just the babbling of frightened children who should be medicated. When will we stop making excuses for insanity and get these people the help they so obviously need?

    October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • steelerguin

      I suggest you read John Lennox's books on God. He is an Oxford mathmetician and physicist and probably a heck of a lot smarter than you. Sometimes people like you who profess to be "open minded" are the most intolerant and condescending.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "I suggest you read John Lennox's books on God. He is an Oxford mathmetician and physicist and probably a heck of a lot smarter than you"

      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was also a very smart person.......who believed in fairies.
      I hope you dont dismiss his beliefs, that would be "intolerant and condescending"

      October 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      Sorry but not believing that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree is not being "close minded." It's being sane.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  10. David Moolten

    Vote for Obama. Vote for justice, accountability, a man who says what he means and does what he says. Vote for what is decent and right for America, all of America. Vote for the man who will stand up for women's rights, for equal rights, for equal pay, and the chance for a good life for all Americans, not just the wealthy. Vote for the future, for technology and education and a decent world for our children. If you think deeply and unselfishly you will see Obama is not only the better choice, but that he is truly special. You likely won't see the likes of a statesman of Obama's caliber again in your lifetime. In their own time most of the great presidents from both parties have been tested by events, and many faced a challenging path to election– Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Kennedy. Obama will be compared by history to such men. Look at his steady hand in foreign policy. Getting the job done with Bin Laden. Ending wars successfully rather than starting them recklessly. Effective and respected when working with world leaders. Look at his courage in taking the difficult path with healthcare—so badly in need of change. Look at his foresight in moving America towards clean energy, and away from dependency on foreign oil, and environmental damage from fossil fuels. Take the long view, the unselfish view, the righteous and patriotic view. Vote for Obama.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Closet Atheist

      Blah blah blah... thx

      October 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • steelerguin

      Yeah, vote Obama to bankrupt countless generations with his burgeoning national debt.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • annieL

      Thank you David for a beautiful tribute to a great president and a man of conscience and faith. If for no other of the many reasons you stated, I will vote for him for the compassion and courage he displayed in correcting so many of the evils in the healthcare industry and making health insurance affordable and available to millions more. I have a Type 1 diabetic son whose life depends on Obamacare right now. I wouldn't think of abandoning him or this brave president.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  11. ArthurP

    God is the perfect example of the phrase: Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

    October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  12. Truth

    God's intention for today is to show how ANTI-WOMEN the Republican party can be. VOTE DEMOCRAT!

    October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Closet Atheist

      Socialism is just as awful for our country.

      Vote INDEPENDENT

      October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Closet Atheist

      Socialism is just as awful for our country.

      Vote INDEPENDENT

      I'm an Independant, but I don't mindlessly spout jingoistic nonsense. Here check this out, it's funny cuz it's true....

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8SsFkSdG_s&w=640&h=390]

      October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  13. YeahRight

    For over a thousand years it was the other way around... in a much worse fashion than leaving anonymous comments on an online forum, I might add.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  14. YoozYerBrain

    The fun part about being an Antagonist is how easy it is to go to the bibble to counter any argument from religiotards, especially when they mis quote. Hilarious!! Please, bring up more bibble quotes! I'll send you to Betty Bowers again, America's Best Christian, for explanations about your "god" and his silly Book of Horrors. Bring it on!!!

    October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      I perceive you fancy yoozef as prudent. '1Cr 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'

      October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • OTOH

      @Anybody know how to read?,

      And yet you think yourself to be wise and prudent to believe that quote, right?

      It's turtles all the way down...

      October 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Anybody know how to read?

      "I perceive you fancy yoozef as prudent. '1Cr 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'"

      Sounds like the republican party platform!

      Didja just quote the 7th book of the new test esment to me? From your evil destroyer-supers ti tion? Wow, thanks! Here's one of my favorites from my boy Matt;

      Mathew 10:34-36 (slightly paraphrased) And Jesus said to them " Do not think I came to bring peace, for I came to bring the sword" etc, it goes on, you know, to talk about the "good" he's gonna do by pitting family members against each other, and counselling the bringing of death and destruction by his followers as the way of his truth. To quote Lilli Von Schtupp, "mmmm, what a nice guy."

      Sickos, weirdos, anti-American religio fascists. The prudence I counsel is to fight for the best thing in human history, the SECULAR USA, against those folks that would destroy human progress altogether. Look up Hamid al-.Ghazali to see what happens if your side wins....and if you still hold your super sti tious position after learning about what he did, you need to think about the country you live in and your level of patriotism, cuz it's lacking.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  15. jpzipp

    There my be a higher power but there certainly is no loving god that even knows about us or the world would not be full of human suffering. (and dont give me the crap about faith)

    October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Ye olde leap to conclusions must be well taught in americult's PUblic Skools. It's a debating skill.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    I had a dear friend who struggled mightily with the issue of whether he should have his severely autistic daughter sterilized for what he perceived as her own good because he felt she didn’t have the mental capacity to care for her own children.

    It tormented him greatly and he declared that no one understood his concerns

    I told him he was wrong, I felt the same way about Republicans

    October 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Orwell prefers Guyana punch

      !!!

      October 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  17. Anybody know how to read?

    It's hard to imagine that americult could get any more corrupt. The little bully atheists won't be satisfied until the Christians are all sacrificed to their spirits.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • BU2B

      A christian saying atheism is a cult? Now that is funny! And we are the bullies? Thanks for the comedy!

      October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      atheists sacrificing to their spirits?
      you must be trolling right, either that or you have a very strange definition of what an atheist is.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • uplandesignstudio

      The "little bully atheist"?! Are you kidding me?! We want nothing more than for you to practice your own religion. We however refuse to let you force your religious ideologies on us and others through ultra-conservative legislation. If anything, we are the ones standing up against you bullies.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Closet Atheist

      I would love to crawl inside that little pea brain of yours for just a moment....

      October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Closet Atheist, you have a creepy crawly spirit. Are you a bully kweer, too?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      It's so transparent when religious folk and bigots use the word "bully." It's straight from the Karl Rove Book of Tricks. Why don't you just say "I'm rubber. You're glue?"

      It's like mean kid at school going to the principal to complain that it's getting more difficult for him to steal kids' lunch money now that they're taking a stand against him. Pathetic.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Wow, so now standing up to bullies is being a bully. More and more Orwellian every day.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • The Truth

      "The little bully atheists won't be satisfied until the Christians are all sacrificed to their spirits."

      Most atheists (and most humans I know) abhor live sacrafices. None of us want to sacrafice anyone. We just want you to keep your religion out of the government, out of public schools and out of our courthouses. It's that simple. I understand it's like asking Jehovah's Witnesses to stop knocking on my private door on my private property, but please, for the love of all that is honest, KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF PUBLIC POLICY!!! You are not being attacked, we are, by your constant bombardment of attempting to force my child to grow up thinking intelligent design is just like science, and that somehow, even though we have seperation of church & state, that we are a "Christian" nation, and force my child to repeat "Under God" in the pledge, which God? Who's God? Whats's God? For fvcks sake, leave it at home just like your private desire to roll around naked in a vat of pudding, leave it home, or your booger collection, leave it home, or your love of smelling your own f.arts, LEAVE IT AT HOME!!!

      October 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Athena and the educratists teach bullyin' very well. Now little boys, don't run at recess! We don't want no stinkin' lawsuits.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The Truth, you already know this, that Christians are the temple of God. So quit yer lyin' and just come out of your dark closet and start killin' Christians. No room at the Americult Inn.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • The Truth

      Christianity will die. Not the Christians themselves, though that will happen with an aging religious population, but Christianity itself will eventually fade away. It may not be this century but eventually it will as those waiting for Christs return either grow to old and pass away never able to convince their children to participate in their mental disorder, or they just accept that a long dead deity never did nor never will walk upon this earth. Sad little people like Anybody know will sit in the corners of society and gnash their teeth for a few more decades but that will be it, Christianity will die with a wimper, not a bang.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "So quit yer lyin' and just come out of your dark closet and start killin' Christians."

      i think you are confused, its the religious lot that kill people because of their religion, or lack of it.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. palintwit

    Countless studies have shown that there is a higher incidence of incest and child molestation among southern, white evangelical families than in any other group that participated in the study. Experts agree that this type of deviant behavior is generally a result of living in close quarters, such as trailer parks. Anyone requiring further proof only has to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line where you will encounter toothless inbreds wherever you travel. In fact, historians have long theorized that the reason the south lost the Civil War is because of the high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the army, a direct result of generations of inbreeding.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • begean

      Post a link to one of your studies. You're a complete idiot. Obviously prejudice of the Southern United State, and a bigot. All of the things you're claiming southerners to be. Maybe you're just trying to be ironic?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      The notion that inbreeding had an effect on the Civil War is ridiculous. The South was an agrarian economy with little industry, the North had substantial industrial might for producing cannons, rifles, ships, etc. Furthermore, the Southern generals were in many cases superior to the Northern generals. You have very odd theories.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  19. ATHEIST FOREVER

    If we banned religion mankind would double the speed of advancement.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Advancing as in progressing? Don't you mean better at death, destruction and lying?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • BU2B

      Anybody know how to think?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • dirkk03

      If we banned religion, religious psychos wouldn't commit these types of crimes in the name of religion. They would simply commit them because they are evil, and do it in some other context. Religion doesn't remove mental illness or the ability for people to give in to being selfish, arrogant, perverted, etc. You can't possibly, after working it out in your mind, believe that removing religion would make evil men, un-evil. The Taliban would simply operate in the name of control, greed, lust and power. Evil 'Christian' men would do the same.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Don't you mean better at death, destruction and lying?"

      no, he said get rid of religion, not increase it.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "You can't possibly, after working it out in your mind, believe that removing religion would make evil men, un-evil. The Taliban would simply operate in the name of control, greed, lust and power. Evil 'Christian' men would do the same"

      i think your logic is faulty. They will still be evil people in the world but there are a significant number that do seriously believe they are doing gods will in their evil acts. Every suicide bomber is doing it for religious reasons, they certainly arent doing it for greed, lust or power because they wont be around to enjoy that.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      I don't think people are inherently evil. I think religion gives people a reason and a cause for which to be evil.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • John Sharp

      Yes it would. It would remove the irrational and stupid religious people so we can move forward with civilization.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  20. serana

    Rabbi Kushner said God weeps for us because HE wants to help us but cannot. Does such a person believe in the omnipotence of God, has he even looked up at the universe? No wonder his own son suffered from a terrible disease. Those who believe in God's omnipotence live in perfect happiness while those who do not, suffer the misery inflicted by satan, in accordance with God's will.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • ;p;

      under obamacare you will probably be able to afford your meds again

      October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Which is why I am a better person that God. I would never condemn a person to eternal damnation just because they did not believe in me.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Those who believe in God's omnipotence live in perfect happiness while those who do not, suffer the misery inflicted by satan, in accordance with God's will."

      you are talking about an afterlife here right because it sure as heck isnt true here on earth.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      I am a happy, FREE, atheist with no weighty supernatural boogeyman hovering over me or my free mind to weigh down my observation of the wonder of life. WHO is unhappy? You have eternal damnation coming your way cuz you claim to know something you can't know and according to your own superst-ition that makes you prideful, which is a sin right?

      Therefore, don't be happy "knowing God's omnipotence" cuz his 24/7/365 Celestial North Korea is waiting for you and you can't escape the Thought-Police there even in your sleep! ENJOY yer torment! Or....you could YoozYerBrain and become a useful member of the United States of America (secular)....NO TORMENT! Your choice, and in your choice is an indication of your psychology, so you can use that as a tool to find a cure for yourself. Cool huh?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:52 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.