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November 21st, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Weeks after Sandy, churches continue to help lead relief effort

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Coney Island, New York (CNN) – Pastor Connie Hulla heads down the street toward the setting sun, her cowboy boots clicking against the sidewalk.

“Don’t worry, we have plenty of food inside,” she calls out over the rumble of a commercial generator to a line of residents snaking around her Coney Island Gospel Assembly church. “Sorry for the wait. We had to restock.”

It’s been three weeks since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, killing more that 100 people and causing an estimated $50 billion in damage.

Despite power being restored in most areas, schools reopening and life beginning to go on as usual, there are many homes in need of repair from flood damage – and entire blocks reduced to rubble - leaving a strong demand for the good will of others.

On the front lines of the relief efforts have been churches that are providing aid to storm victims, meeting needs very early on.

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Truckloads of donations from across the country, carrying everything from bottled water to diapers, are arriving at places of worship like Hulla’s Coney Island church. Residents living in areas hit hard by Sandy are flocking to get their hands on much-needed supplies.

In Coney Island, several neighborhood stores are still closed. Hand and foot warmers, flashlights and batteries are going fast. Toilet paper is a coveted luxury item.

In New York and New Jersey, 1,137 customers remained without power on Monday morning.

In line for aid at Coney Island Gospel Assembly, residents swap storm stories, telling of sewage in their kitchen sinks, cars swept away by water and homes without heat.

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

The storm smashed cars against neighborhood buildings, Hulla said, and thrashed a semi in the church parking lot amid the rising water. “The scary thing,” she said, “was we didn’t know if it was going to stop.”

Donations arrive at her church from as close as Brooklyn and far away as North Carolina, with controversial radio host Glenn Beck among those cutting checks. AmeriCorps volunteers even arrived from California.

But for Hulla, the constant flow of people waiting for supplies can be overwhelming.

"It's hard to see the people suffer,” she said. “It's hard to see the children cold. It's hard to see people who had what they needed to have to stand on a line.

“We try to do everything with dignity, because that could have been me," she continued, fighting back tears. “It’s very humbling.”

In the days after Sandy slammed New York, two pastors serving Manhattan’s Lower East Side - near where a transformer exploded at a ConEd plant, turning the area dark for days - sprung into action.

They used social media and created a blog called Grace in the Storm to help with the relief.

“There’s a network in this city that is very viable, and it’s called the church,” said one of those pastors, the Harley Davidson-riding Rick Del Rio of Abounding Grace Ministries. "It was one of those times like after 9/11 where everybody came together to help one another.”

Matt Stevens of Somebody Cares Baltimore, a nonprofit group that helps connect faith-based organizations, arranged for the first shipment of relief supplies into the area, which arrived the day after the storm hit. Stevens saw the pastors’ call for help online and offered up supplies no longer needed in another state.

As word spread, more donations arrived at the relief site from faith-based nonprofits like Operation Blessing and Mercy Chefs.

The pastors estimate that they were able to serve 20,000 families from the community, including hundreds living in a nearby high-rise housing development that lost power for four days.

Del Rio said it was days before his team saw anyone from the mayor’s office or from New York’s housing authority.

“We are the church that deals with the community, and our ears are to the ground, and we know the people,” he said. “This is gonna happen again. The infrastructure has started to build from the ground up. Moving forward, there needs to be something more strategic.”

With their neighborhood back on its feet, Del Rio and Pastor Guy Wasko from the East Village’s Trinity Grace Church continue to mobilize volunteers and donations, with an eye toward the city's hardest-hit areas.

“You see in disasters like this where the church really shines,” Wasko said. “There's still people stuck on the 23rd floor of high-rise buildings, and nobody's coming to them.”

Linking arms with the faith-based effort has been Occupy Sandy, an effort that grew out of last year’s Occupy Wall Street protests.

Marilyn Andersen recently went to Occupy Sandy’s main distribution center inside the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in her native Brooklyn.

"You know, you really have to put yourself out there and figure that if you were in that position, you'd want people to come and help you as well,” Andersen said. “I brought my daughters with me, and we're here to help as much as we can."

After the storm, Toni Jones James was without power, heat or hot water for more than a week. She lives on the 12th floor of the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn.

It’s the largest housing development in Brooklyn, with more than 6,100 people.

James says she doesn’t know what she would have done without the hot meals and blankets provided inside the nearby Visitation Church and Red Hook Initiative community center, she said.

“I would not have been able to survive without the help,” she said, adding that her power was restored Friday, two days before her birthday.

As of Sunday, the New York City Housing Authority reported that it had restored power, heat and water to the nearly 800 city buildings that had been affected by Sandy.

The authority installed more than 100 generators and 24 temporary boilers brought in from across the country to provide essential services to public housing residents.

But many are still struggling to get their lives back to normal.

In South Ozone Park, Queens, Pastor Sharon "Sharo" Ramkhelawan at HopeNYC Church is busy overseeing the church’s warehouse. It is brimming with donations, some sent by Del Rio and Wasko and other items stocked by the generosity of hundreds of churches, other groups and individuals.

Ramkhelawan, whose Long Island home was flooded during the storm, has been living in the church with her family for the past few weeks.

The faith community's response to Sandy is playing a major role helping residents pick up the pieces, she said.

"They're not just there for today or two weeks. They have been there for years,” she says of New York’s churches. “They will be there for years, even after everybody else. When the government has pulled out, the church will still be there."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • New York

soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Really now

    Actually, FEMA leads the relief efforts with 217 million already paid out. Bleeding heart commies.

    Insurance companies will be paying out huge sums as well, far more than religion. Lousy secular capitalism.

    The Red Cross is next, and of course the Red Cross is not a religious organization, despite the cross thing. Bloody humanists!

    Then the secular New Jersey Recovery Fund, and things like that.

    And finally, down at the bottom, are the religious charities, "leading" from behind. I'm sure they do good work, but they are NOT leading anything.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Matt

      you sound pretty upset that there is a news article putting religion in a positive light

      November 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Really now

      Please tell me why it is that Christians so often evade the question at hand and instead make ad hominem accusations like yours instead. That seems very dishonest intellectually. If an atheist says anything at all, we are falsely accused of being angry, bitter, and all those other slanderous and inaccurate stereotypes.

      Is it that you cannot debate a subject, and must resort to smear tactics?

      November 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  2. DeaseGroup

    Reblogged this on The Dease Group Consulting Blog.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  3. TheTruth

    Amusing to see the atheists make such fools of themselves – and to see their pride in doing so. Christian churches have ALWAYS been at the forefront of disaster relief – and ask for nothing in return.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      The irony is delicious.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  4. buccakenji

    So what is being stated here is FEMA is useless and a waste of taxpayer money. S U R P R I S E ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    November 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  5. Chris

    I am amazed at all the atheist groups giving and going out to support the people. LOL It is always the Christian groups that are the first to respond to those in need. How many schools, hospitals, orphanages, homes for the poor, and food banks have atheists set up....

    November 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • sam

      Idiot.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • DERP

      So why did your all powerful and loving god create this storm anyway? Does he hate us? Or did Satan make the storm and God wasn't willing or able to stop it? Please enlighten us about your incredibly flawed imaginary god.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • retief1954

      Ah, finally! THIS is the proper role for churches in our society – HELPING THE NEEDY. WITHOUT REGARD FOR AND JUDGMENT OF WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THE NEEDY BECAME NEEDY. Whether it's the needy from natural disasters, financial straits, bad/unstable upbringing, alcohol and drug addiction, what have you – this is what churches and their members EXCEL at! It's what they ought to be spending ALL their outside-church time doing.

      NOT protesting at military funerals. NOT protesting violently at clinics that offer abortion. NOT pushing for "creationism" to be taught in public schools. NOT condemning gays for wanting to marry. NOT public blame-laying when a natural disaster or storm hits. NOT staging burnings and desecrations of the holy books of non-Christian faiths. NOT proselytizing on public, general-audience news and commentary programs. NOT commenting on the worthiness of officeholders, candidates, and other public personalities based on whether they're people of faith or not.

      Work for the good of all, support one another, support all those in need, and STAY PRIVATE. If your church isn't doing this and only this, your church is doing it wrong. Your church is doing it different from how Christ would have done it.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • retief1954

      PS: RE: "LOL It is always the Christian groups that are the first to respond to those in need."

      Uh.... not so much. The US Government is always the first to respond to large-scale disasters like Sandy (save Katrina, when the US Government botched the response). Churches couldn't mount a relief effort on a scale like that. It's one of the reasons we have GOVERNMENT – to HELP CITIZENS caught in cataclysms like that. It's BENEFICIAL.

      Same for "Anne" on this forum, who posted:
      "Another prefect example of why faith groups and nonprofits are better, faster and more efficient in responding to disasters than politicfians and government agencies."

      Nonsense. I'll say it again – there is NO WAY that faith groups and nonprofits alone could mount a relief effort of the scale that FEMA does. Condemn government all you want. If I'm caught in a hurricane, I want FEMA to come and get me and assist me – not some church group or nonprofit who have no obligation to hurry to assist, or even to assist me at all.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      retief1954
      Most Christians do what you suggest. Don't be so simple minded to think most are the ones doing the extremist stuff you list. Also, local church are the first to respond with shelter and meals were possible. They are already there and get there first. It may not be the scale of a governement effort, but they get there first.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • gg

      DERP,
      God is not a puppet master. Free will gives meaning to loving God or not.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  6. Imminent

    Atheists and Religious people are helping. It just angers the hater atheists here that CNN wrote a story about Churches helping others. It's in the nature of good human beings to automatically help. - But in reply to the hater comments, is it fair to assume all atheists are actually haters, bigots and worthless people just because a pathetic few come on here ridiculing the religious? Are all religious people assumed to be wretched because a pathetic few abused or took advantage of someone in some way? - If you're here bad mouthing either side, you are indeed one of those pathetic few. Period.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • sam

      That is a really high horse. Are you going to need help getting down?

      November 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • retief1954

      No, you're right. Knuckleheads in both religious and non-religious camps give their respective sides a horrible reputation. If you want to condemn someone, condemn knuckleheads, of both types. And above all, don't seek to push your faith beliefs (e.g., belief in "creationism") on the public at large. If it's a valid, beneficial belief that works, people will gravitate to it on their own. It belongs in the private, religious realm, NOT in the public realm.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      retief1954
      The majority of American's are Christians. To think that something that is in every part of your every day life cannot spill into the public area is kind of crazy. As for Creationism in schools. Both should be taught. There is no missing link. Most scientist won't tell you that we will never find a missing link because the gap is to short for the amount of evolution needed to close that gap. So teach both. Some people believe this, and some people believe that students. Neither can be proved. You will have to make your own decision as to which one is correct.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      Apparently Texas is chock full o' idiots. Every single aspect of creationism has been soundly refuted. If you want to teach things in school just because we can't disprove them, then please give equal time to my god, Elephus, the pink polka-dotted elephant god who pinched her nose and farted us into existence. You can't prove she doesn't exist.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  7. Anne

    Another prefect example of why faith groups and nonprofits are better, faster and more efficient in responding to disasters than politicfians and government agencies. Plus these groups won't be asking tax payers for a "bailout" next year like FEMA.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  8. Imminent

    Wait a minute. Religious people helping others? According to the anti-religious haters, all religion and anything associated with it is a very bad thing. Guess they were ALL wrong. And, they can't have this article up here without trying to convince others the haterade their selling is right. Poor little skittle breeders.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • ReasonableEngineer

      There is no black and white in the situation. There are plenty of good and bad people that are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Atheists. It's not all of one group is good or all of one group is bad. I am an atheist, but I support the fact that this church is physically putting the action behind helping people who need it. I don't think this article really has anything to do with faith, and everything to do with people needing help and other people supplying it. The only faith-based thing is that it was a church who's doing it. There are plenty of times there should be a debate on the grounds of religion, like in an access to contraception debate, but this isn't one. So essentially I agree with you.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Akira

      "Poor little skittle breeders".
      Care to clarify what that means, precisely?

      November 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      And Jeffrey Dahmer probably sent his mom a birthday card.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  9. Mark

    Person helping person- who cares the reason...it is a wonderful thing.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  10. Matt

    But I only thought Liberals cared about the homeless and poor? Churches are mainly Republicans so this story doesn't make sense to what the news has been feeding me.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Imminent

      Your opinion or broken thought is just silly. Try to educate yourself on your own and stop subscribing to ignorant rhetoric offered by other equally inept people as facts.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Redneck

      you tell em! wait we never gave a crap when katrina hit and that was a southern state and we are all proud republikkkans.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  11. randy

    CNN you left of the Southern Baptist. Hundreds of volunteers have served over a million meals, provied showers, laundry, chain saw removel, and mud removal. The Southern Baptist is doing what the Red Cross does not do – cook hot meals. If you read the Red Cross statements, you will see that they say they served meals. Meals cooked by Southern Baptistand/or Salvation Army. They wee also some of the first on the scene. You did not mention the Southern Baptist churh, the day after Sandy, found a Pizza place open. They bought all the pizza's and went up and down Staten Island giving out free pizza.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Julian

      Randy,
      CNN will not mention the SBDR, just like the Red Cross and Salvation Army never mention the SBC groups. The Red Cross is abusing SBC volunteers and never mentions them in their publicity. It is only one of many things that people do not know about the Red Cross. For instance, people do not know that when they give blood to the Red Cross that the Red Cross sells it. That is right. They do not give away what is given to them. They sell it through the Blood Services Division. The money is not put back into disaster response work, it is sold! The SBC does not need the Red Cross. The Red Cross should be changed to a red swastika.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  12. TeaPatriot

    Keep it up, churches. show em how faith moves the world.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Which God?

      Still spewing, teapot, a wannabe patriot?

      November 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • JM

      Love and compassion move the world.

      14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Wobbles

      We already see how faith moves the world. Normally with Palestinians and Israelis trying to kill each other over whose make believe god is tougher. That being said the churches helping up north are doing good work for storm victims whatever the reason.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Imminent

      Ignore Which God? and his empty useless thoughts. He is still angry from the child abuse. He can't accept his own life's failures, which are many, either. So he has to blame someone and it might as well be God or anyone with faith. - Isn't it time for your meds WG?

      November 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • RickV

      When will CNN finally report on organized groups of atheists coming to the aid of their fellow man. I'm sure it happens all the time.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      After all the hate and divisiveness religion spreads, they should be forced to be first at every disaster, and made to stay until last, and spend every penny in their ill-gotten coffers. We should fly every church member in the country over to serve hot meals in the middle of the israel/hamas affair since religion started that problem. We should have trucked religious people in at their own expense to feed and clothe all or Iraq for that religious war as well.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  13. myweightinwords

    Why is it news that organizations that have mission statements about helping the needy are helping the needy?

    There is at least one Pagan organization also organizing relief efforts, and many non-affiliated groups doing the same. There are neighbors helping neighbors, donations pouring in from all over the country, from people of all faiths and no faith.

    Helping those in need should be done because it is the right thing to do. It shouldn't matter what god you do or don't believe in.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Trinh

      Church cannot do that. The Government can do better job according to Obama. Sometime I wonder why American vote for the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is the party of immoral.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I've never heard Obama say any such thing.

        Define immoral. Or is what you really mean to say morality that doesn't match yours?

        November 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • raforrester

      If people want to read about it then it is news. Apparently you found it interesting enough to read and comment on, and even complain about. What is wrong with reporting that organizations dedicated to helping the less fortunate are actually helping them? Did you object to news covering FEMA's response? Or are you upset that this article shows religion in a good light?

      November 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Did I say anything to give you the impression that I'm against religion?

        My point is that churches are expected to follow their mandate. Do their jobs. Care for the sick, feed the poor, lend a hand in their communities. It is not "news"...I didn't say that it shouldn't be covered or talked about.

        I wasn't complaining. I'd like to see a more rounded look at where ALL the aid is coming from. People might be somewhat more surprised at OTHER aid givers. Like the Pagan group I know of and have donated to....among others.

        Not everyone who does good things does so because of or through religious means.

        November 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mark

      What person asks first what one believes that would cause them to be giving before deciding to accept such a gift. The giving is more important than the reason. If a person gives because of a belief in God or becasue of a disbelief in God I do not understand how one could be better than the other. I honor both.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        You might be surprised.

        A group I work with did a food drive a few years ago at an event that usually gets between 2 and 3 thousand attendees. We had a truck load of food. When the church run food pantry in our area discovered the donation was coming from a Pagan organization, they told us they didn't want it.

        I honor any who gives of their time, goods or money to help their fellow man.

        November 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • DBM

      There are many other churches, besides the ones mentioned, helping out as well. CNN chose to do a story on a select few it encountered so why is that a problem @wieghtinwords? The article is pointing out that these churches were some of the first and quickest to help the needy as opposed to other (mainly federal funded) organizations. Keep you religious bigotry to yourself please...

      November 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I have no religious bigotry. You're reading in to what I said. Generally organizations like churches are best equipped for the quickest response, because they are local and have local resources.

        Perhaps I am not communicating clearly today. I have a sinus infection and not firing on all cylinders because of it.

        November 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • DBM

      You seem obsessed with pagan donors and some fact that you may have encountered a church that refused donations. Whether that happened or not....as I am not going to simply take you word for it.... does not mean that other churches would behave the same way and turn away food from a pagan provider. Along with your claim that this shouldn't be news because churches already claim that it is their mission to help others..... I would not hesitate to claim your comments are bigoted.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I am not obsessed with Pagan donors, I just happen to be one. I mention it because that organization is also religious in nature and has been on the ground running since the storm first hit. Nothing more.

        I mentioned the food bank that refused donations merely in counter point to the other poster who commented on having never seen such a thing happen. I never said other churches would behave the same way. In fact, I often have worked hand in hand with churches and church run organizations to help others.

        Many times, it is easier and more efficient to work with a framework that already exists for helping others than to re-invent the wheel ourselves. And since the goal, ultimately, is to help others, it shouldn't matter, in my opinion.

        You are reading an awful lot into my very few words on the subject.

        I hope your holiday is pleasant (provided you are in the US) and filled with family and good things.

        November 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • End Religion

      trinh, we vote democratic so idiots like you don't end up in charge.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Rational Libertarian

    If I didn't have to pay tax I might also be more inclined towards charity (although I'd probably just buy a bigger house and a Dodge Viper).

    November 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Huebert

      I'd go with a Nissan Skyline.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • EchoAgent1

      Id go for a Roman Charriot

      November 21, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Dionmithjesu

      Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz, worked for the Pope.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chad Like

      Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz, worked for the pope.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      Tesla Model S!

      November 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  15. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Hey the role of the churches...not in our government but helping people. Who woudl have thought??????????????

    November 21, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • MennoKnight

      But all your buddies think otherwise now don't they? Just ask William Demuth your Marxist friend.
      Oh and your very name says you think otherwise.
      So maybe you just can't stand to see something nice written about Christians doing good?
      You are a very sad person.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • MennoKnight

      As a Born Again Christian I actually think it Is the Roll of our Government to help take care of the people.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Which God?

      Menno, you are a fake. Which are you, a Mennonite of a born again? Mennonites aren't born again xtians. You sir, are a flake and a fence walker. Hope it doesn' cacth you in the in between when you slip off, you'll be a suprano in stead of anything else.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Which God?,
      Absolutely Mennonites are born again. We are the "Left" side of the Evangelical movement. Actually we helped start the Evangelical movement.
      While it is true that there are Mennonites who are not Born Again, the same can be said about Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans and any other denomination.
      Born Again means you understand that you are lost in your sin, and that in your belief in Jesus as your personal savior you die to that sin and are born again because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      A difference between other Evangelicals and Mennonites is that we while we believe in personal salvation we also believe that you cannot separate that personal faith from social justice. For me this includes universal health care, taking care of the poor and the oppressed, and helping out with disasters.
      An example of this is:
      I am personally planning a trip with 25 people (all of them home builders) from Saskatchewan, Canada to come down for 2 weeks in April to help fix homes destroyed by the Hurricane in the New York Area.
      We are also taking a van full next week to Minot ND to rebuild homes destroyed in flooding last year. You are welcome to come with. We really need plumbers, where I am more of an expert on roofing and siding.
      Check out http://mds.mennonite.net/projects/minotnd/
      I have been part of many trips like this over the past 15 years.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Which God?

      @Menno. I tip my hat and applaud you and your work in rebuilding. I'm an electronics tech, radar. I used to be a welder and plumber. I'd join you, but we have enough problems here on the NJ shore, by Atlantic City, and they need help. I'm right here, so no need for me to go anywhere else. I don't much climb tall ladders too much at my age, but can get all over pretty well otherwise. Go, get'em. Folks need the help.. just don't preach to 'em.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Which God?
      Blessings to you in Jersey. I will be there in that area of the country in April for a few weeks. I will only preach when asked the question, why are you here. Otherwise I will be swinging my hammer and praying for those who lost so much.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Imminent

      The last thing we want to do is depend on the government to take care of anyone or tragedies. Case and point, looks at how government, president, and FEMA failed the citizens. Now, they've failed again after Sandy. All these inept despots do is sit around creating paper work to appear like they're putting our American tax payer dollars to work. They're bottom feeders. Something that Which God? fool knows all about. - Don't forget your fall down helmet, WG!

      November 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  16. Rebel4Christ

    Funny you never see atheists helping out other people. Atheism just destroys hope

    November 21, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • William Demuth

      Like you hepled the Altar Boys?
      Or the Gays?
      Or the Communists?
      Or the German Jews?

      With help like yours, most would have been better off being drowned.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Funnier still is that most non-Christians help without needing anyone to know that they're helping.

      Just because they aren't making headlines doesn't mean they aren't out there, helping as they can.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • trevor

      Only an idiot would make that assumption. For the most part, atheists are much fewer in number and spread across the general population, so their good deeds are of little interest to the media. Also, they have no need to bask in the glory of having performed selfless acts, as theists often do, again making such acts more unnoticeable.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Madtown

      Rebel4Christ
      Funny you never see atheists helping out other people
      ------
      Never? Huh. Not sure where you live, where I live I see it all the time.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Which God?

      @Rebel4Fakes. Yeah, we aren't into the limelight, nor do we have strings attached. I heard some fundies saying to receipients that "god is giving them these blessings" of clothes and canned goods. Really? Was that tool of a savior there handing out stuff? You fundies are such liars and attention w.hores. My veterans org. was out the day after, and the post was set up to hand out much needed food and other things. We still collect toiletry articles, manual can openers, silverware, pots and pans for those who got wiped out. We even got some great portable propane heates, and bottles, for some folks with young kids. Yeah we atheists are a miserable lot when we help others. All we say to the folks is "glad to help." We do it as it's the right thing to do. You do it for recognition, and for a fake deity.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      Loser4Christ:

      You are a liar. There are plenty of atheist or secular organizations that help, no strings attached. There are plenty of atheist or secular individuals that help, no strings attached. Perhaps you don' t know about them because they don't feel the need to wave their arms and say "Look at me! Look at me! I'm so special!" like christians do.

      To find atheist or humanist charities, all you have to do is pay attention. But you do not, because you are too busy hating and fearing those who don't believe exactly what you do. What a coward you are.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • sam stone

      Rebel: I volunteer a lot. Atheism doesn't destroy hope, but apparently whatever you have destroys cognitive function

      November 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Funny you never see atheists helping out other people'

      you know bearing false witness is a huge no-no right? better pack for a warm afterlife if you continue down that path.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    Lets see whomelse is considered a primary charity within their community

    Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad!

    I hear you get 1200 dollars US if your child becomes a suicide bomber.

    In the US, if your house floods, the Church gives you Spaghetti-O's, cons your grandmother out of her food stamps and then buggers your children.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • TheTruth

      Are you really as big a fool as you make yourself out to be?

      November 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  18. AL'S GORE

    Solar flares are a result of mankind's continued industrialization and fossil fuel burning.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      That has nothing to do with solar flares.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  19. Bill Deacon

    Odd. I was just certain that all the good atheists would lead the support efforts.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • William Demuth

      I have no incentive to collect souls, and I certainly don't ask other people for money

      When government fails in its responsibility, it then delegates part of it to the cults.

      Perhaps the government should do its job, so the cults aren't given the opportunity to toy with the minds of desperate people??

      You see these "churches" are the same ones who charge a price. It's called indoctrination, the same ones who tolerate their leaders buggering children, and commit lifelong swindles against the poor, the ignorant and the vulnerable.

      Just look around, Anywhere the Church is dominate, the people are poor. They are kept poor by the arrogance of the elite, bigotry, society failing them in innumerable ways!

      Only a fool misses the correlation.

      The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it is justice, and rest assured the people of Coney Island (What's Up PEEPS!) have never had justice, and these ridiculous facades of benevolence these cults put up assure they never will.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • MennoKnight

      William Demuth,
      What you just wrote is Carl Marx to verbatim. How did that 20th century experiment work out? Oh, just over 100 million murdered and terrible poverty for all the nations involved.

      Then there were the Western nations built on New Testament principles. They have freedom of religion, basic human rights, and the ability to make a living.

      Faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the New Testament enables us to live free and be generous here on earth.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • William Demuth

      MennoKnight

      So you know Marx?

      Are you aware of his housekeeper? And the chikdren they had?

      Look it up, you may find it interesting.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • William Demuth

      Menno

      Our princples are based of freeddom FROM religion.

      It is why we dominate. Fools such as yourself have been discredited, and your cult absurdities are kept from infiltrating our government.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Which God?

      Menno, you and Deacon talk Bullschitt. Deacon puts up strawman anecdotes, or inane answers while you put up stuff about a nonexistance goD. You stuf about Marx, etc is like the stuff Rebel4Flakes puts up about Mao. You both are delusional, and totally afrad of living for yourselves. You NEED a goD, You Need somthing to tell you you are good. You Need to know that there is something better as your current life is wracked with fear of living. You are also weak minded. Sick pup you are.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • mama k

      I love it when religious nutcases (MennoKnight) try to associate communist regimes against calls for improved social programs. It just highlights their pathetic, failed attempts to label something in an attempt to give credibility to their deluded notions. They also seem to want to lay claim to the principle of freedom as if Christianity owned it. Well the concept of freedom did not originate from Christianity. And in the U.S., the government was founded as a secular government mainly because fundamentalist Christians were, as usual, at each others throats over their differences. James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and George Mason all witnessed terrible religious persecution among different Christian sects in their home state. Thomas Paine witnessed it in his home state. And there were others. Fortunately for us, these key founders were more religiously moderate and affected by Deism, and realized the harmfulness of fundamentalism. Just listen to Madison's anger as he addresses the Virginia General Assembly in 1785:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

      He would go on to be chief architect of our Constitution, and the 4th POTUS where he would veto two bills that he deemed would violate church and state.

      I will leave you with this reflection on the founding of the U.S. by John Adams (POTUS #2):

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

      November 21, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • tallulah13

      t's funny. These "christians" accuse the government of communism when leaders want to use tax money to help the poor. Then they turn around and accuse atheists of communism because of some perceived notion that we DON'T help the poor.

      I guess they just need some sort of monster under the bed, whether it be their angry god and his hell, or a dead dictator, to fight their battles for them. Sad for them, the only people they frighten with their toothless monsters are themselves. And the only people they trick with their lies about the foundation of the secular government of the United States are people who are too lazy to learn the truth.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • MennoKnight

      You might have not guessed it but I am a Mennonite. I believe in freedom OF Religion. It was a principle that was invented by the Mennonites in the 1500's.
      Freedom Of Religion is a big difference between that of Freedom From Religion.
      If you cannot simply look at history and see what the 20th century cultural "experiments" of Freedom From Religion have done then you are simply fo.oolish.
      By the way I believe that it is the roll of the government to be part of taking care of the poor and the oppressed. This too is a New Testament principle found in the writings of Paul.
      In places like Canada were there are many Mennonites in office they helped create Universal Health Care under the leadership of a Baptism Minister.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • MennoKnight

      tallulah13
      I Never said anything about governments that help their poor being Communist! I said that the concept of Freedom From Religion is a Marxist idea that was played out over the 20th century that resulted in millions of people dying.
      Do not read into what I was and was not saying.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • mama k

      MennoKnight: "If you cannot simply look at history and see what the 20th century cultural "experiments" of Freedom From Religion have done then you are simply fo.oolish."

      Hogwash. Especially the picture you paint. Again – you obviously want to compare historical communist regimes with things are are not communist regimes. And in the U.S., while it is true that the primary purpose of the 1st Amendment is freedom of religion, the founders knew that the only way to enforce that was that government (not the people, not politics, but the government) would be as free from religion as possible. Attempts to make the U.S. more theocratic is always an issue – just check out the activity by the Supreme Court on issues of religion and education:

      http://candst.tripod.com/table1.htm

      These cases cover U.S. history, not just the 20th century.

      MennoKnight: "By the way I believe that it is the roll of the government to be part of taking care of the poor and the oppressed. This too is a New Testament principle found in the writings of Paul."

      These statements are good, the latter because, here, you are defining a principle in alignment with a belief and not "owned" by that belief.

      MennoKnight: " I said that the concept of Freedom From Religion is a Marxist idea that was played out over the 20th century that resulted in millions of people dying."

      Again – hogwash. It is of no value to anyone to generalize between Communism, Marxism, socialism, atheism, and principles of freedom of/from religion, etc. without speaking to a specific time in history in a specific place. Even then it will be difficult because of the different people involved. As you can see from my other comments above, just the concept of freedom from religion has meant different things for different people for different parts of a nation (government vs. people) for different nations at different times in history. So this generalization you made to tullulah13 says nothing.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Bill Deacon, who says they aren't?

      November 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 21, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • athiesm rules

      You are a pud! Go back to pumpin your buddy in da plump rump, you chump! You iz a fool!!

      November 21, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      November 21, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Which God?

      hey Prayerchanges nothing. I see you are up and getting your rocks off, posting your same old BullSchitt. Have a good one, but keep your hand lubed, as well as your b.u.tt. I hear that your jeebus is comming. Be ready in the bent over position, or on your kness.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Which God?

      Sorry for the typos.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      typical atheist. Apologizes for misspelling in his vulgar post

      November 21, 2012 at 11:44 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.