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December 14th, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Massacre of children leaves many asking, 'Where’s God?'

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) – As he waited with parents who feared that their kids were among the 20 children killed at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, Rabbi Shaul Praver said the main thing he could do for parents was to merely be present.

“It’s a terrible thing, families waiting to find out if their children made it out alive,” said Praver, who leads a synagogue in Newtown, Connecticut, and was among nine clergy gathered with parents at a firehouse near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shooting occurred.

“They’re going to need a lot of help,” Praver said of those who are close to the dead.

From the first moments after Friday’s massacre, which also left six adults and the shooter dead, religious leaders were among the first people to whom worried and grieving families turned for help.

Over the weekend, countless more Americans will look to clergy as they struggle to process a tragedy in which so many of the victims were children.

“Every single person who is watching the news today is asking ‘Where is God when this happens?’” says Max Lucado, a prominent Christian pastor and author based in San Antonio.

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Lucado says that pastors everywhere will be scrapping their scheduled Sunday sermons to address the massacre.

“You have to address it - you have to turn everything you had planned upside down on Friday because that’s where people’s hearts are,” Lucado says.

“The challenge here is to avoid the extremes – those who say there are easy answers and those who say there are no answers.”

Indeed, many religious leaders on Friday stressed that the important thing is for clergy to support those who are suffering, not to rush into theological questions. A University of Connecticut professor on Friday hung up the phone when asked to discuss religious responses to suffering, saying, “This is an immense tragedy, and you want an academic speculating on the problem of evil?”

“There is no good answer at that time that anyone can hear and comprehend and take in,” said Ian T. Douglas, the bishop for the Episcopal diocese of Connecticut, referring to counseling family and friends of the dead. “They’re crying out from a place of deep pain.”

Praver, the rabbi, will join a memorial service Friday night at Newtown’s St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.

“We’re going to have a moment of prayer for the victims,” Praver said of the service. “We cannot let it crush our spirit and we march on.”

Some national religious groups are also sending staff to Newtown, with 10 chaplains dispatched from the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on Friday.

Public officials including President Obama, meanwhile, turned to the Bible in responding to the shooting. “In the words of Scripture, 'heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds,' ” Obama said from the White House, citing the book of Psalms.

On Twitter, #PrayForNewton became a trending topic.

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

Some religious leaders argue that modern American life insulates much of the nation from the kind of senseless death and suffering that plagues much of the world every day.

“Most of the world, for most of the world’s history, has known tragedy and trauma in abundance,” wrote Rob Brendle, a Colorado pastor, in a commentary for CNN’s Belief Blog after this summer’s deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which left 12 dead.

“You don’t get nearly the same consternation in Burundi or Burma, because suffering is normal to there,” wrote Brendle, who pastored congregants after a deadly shooting at his church five years ago. “For us, though, God has become anesthetist-in-chief. To believe in him is to be excused from bad things.”

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

Lucado said there was an eerie irony for the Connecticut tragedy coming just before Christmas, noting the Bible says that Jesus Christ’s birth was followed by an order from King Herod to slay boys under 2 in the Roman city of Bethlehem.

“The Christmas story is that Jesus was born into a dark and impoverished world,” Lucado says. “His survival was surrounded by violence. The real Christmas story was pretty rough.”

Many religious leaders framed Friday’s shooting as evidence for evil in the world and for human free will in the face of a sovereign God.

“The Bible tells us the human heart is ‘wicked’ and ‘who can know it?’” the Rev. Franklin Graham said in a statement about the massacre. “My heart aches for the victims, their families and the entire community.”

Many religious leaders also said that such tragedies are a good time for lay people to express doubts about God – or anger.

“This is a time to go deep and pray,” says Lucado. “If you have a problem with God, shake a fist or two at him. If he’s God, he’s going to answer. And if he’s in control, he’ll find a way to let you know.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • God • Uncategorized

soundoff (9,195 Responses)
  1. Fug Xu

    So, we see what the hairless monkey race is capable of when higher brain functions are overridden by primal impulses. Sad, sad day when someone can wipe out the lives of children without concern. There is no logic to these actions at all, but then again, the universe is just one great big chaotic mess isn't it? Believe in god or not...this is a human fail.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      If there was a god, then atrocities like this one are part of his plan. It would be "normal", like some animals that kill their babies. Oh yeah, humans do that a lot too.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Fug Xu

      There is a god...a god of everything...and it's called the universe. All the evidence points to it not liking life very much, and it tries to wipe us out whenever it can. Maybe our thoughts are just too loud...maybe we stink, but one day it will finish us off when Sol starts to bloat in size. Of course that assumes we don't off ourselves first...we have been getting much better at that as our tech evolves beyond our morals.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  2. SV

    God exists. Everyone will learn this one day. Praise you God!

    December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You are incorrect.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tony

      Pascal's Wager. Look it up. stupid. And praise Odin.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Oh, and if god did exist, I would beat the crap out of him for being suck a dick.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Which god?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • John A

      Sadly SV, many will not make it. They were too prideful and arrogant.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  3. Michael Zorko

    Religion gives us a basic moral foundation. Mormon, Catholic, Muslim, the list goes on.. and on. Their are basic principles here. regardless of what you believe...there is right and wrong. We can argue this all day long...there are those that believe....and those that don't. Instead of asking....."where is god?" why don't we ask ourselves this "what can we do..... to live a better life". None of us will all disagree... but we can respect each other... and show the world that hate does not have to win out no matter what we believe. That is the beauty of this.... we have this ability to stop hate... all we have to do is try... we all do it. We all say things like "I hate the chicago bears"..."my ex-wife sucks"....blah blah blah... BUT!!!! we can still have compassion.. I know I fail this every day... but I would like to make an effort to change...

    December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • JWT

      Religion in no way is needed for a moral foundation to life.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Michael said, "Religion gives us a basic moral foundation."

      No it doesn't. Evolution does.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Religion is also responsible for teaching immorality.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Right, but most religions have their god as omniscient and omnipotent which if true means not only did it choose not to save their lives but also that it actively decided to take their lives.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Steven

      religion is horrible trash that should only be in mythology classes

      December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  4. Pignukl

    Where is God? Exactly where you wanted him, NOT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS! Don't turn your back on my Father, then expect him to come running when you can't handle the evil that this world hands you!

    December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • shannon

      amen

      December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Jon S

      You might need a psychiatrist sir.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Tony

      So those kids that died turned their backs on god, eh? Awful god you've created there.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Pig, your almighty Father, omnipotent, omniscient god can't hear prayers unless they're uttered in unison by every child in a school every single day? REALLY? Seriously??

      December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      As I posted above if god is omniscient and omnipotent as you believe not only did it choose not to save their lives but also that it actively decided to take their lives.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Juanita

      There is a God and one day you "WILL" stand before Him. As to where was He today to allow this shooting???Have you forgotten, He is not welcome in schools any more and He doesn't go where He isn't welcomed or wanted. So next time a tragedy occurs ask yourself the question, has He been denied a welcome before. He is a gentleman as Dr. Billy Grahams daughter said. He doesn't go where is isn't welcome.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  5. Tim F

    The Biblical God is a gentleman who will not force His way into a person's life. He desires a relationship with everyone on Earth, but only comes when asked. He did not create robots that would have to love Him because true love requires free choice [ no stepford wives ]. He gave us free will to do good or evil, love or hate. He in His infinite wisdom decide that our free will is more valuable than His total control over our actions. We have to trust Him on that decision. His heart is breaking over these events, after all He loves all who died more than we do.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So you believe in a god who allowed this to happen? How can you live with yourself? What a fvckwad god?!?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Mick

      Huh? Gentleman? What Bible have you been reading?

      He sent a flood that and drowned all the men, women, children, babies, and unborn – except for eight – because they were supposedly wicked. He ordered that a man be stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:35). He sent plagues against all the Egyptian people, then later killed all their first born, because he had a problem with the Pharaoh (Exodus 5 through 12). He told Moses to send his army to take vengeance on the Midianites, killing all men, women, and children – except for the virgin women, whom they may "keep alive for yourselves" (Numbers 31:1-18). When some of the Jews complained about the lack of meat in the desert, he burned them in a fire – to the rest he sarcastically sent them all they could eat by showering them with dead birds (Numbers 11:1 and 11:18-35). He killed a crowd of people for looking at the Ark of the Covenant as it was being transported by ox cart; when it started to fall and Uzzah reached out to steady it, he struck him dead (you're not allowed to touch it) (1 Samuel 6:19 and 2 Samuel 6:2-7). He asked David to take a census. David obeyed, but god decided it was a sin, so he sends a plague that killes 70,000 people. There's more, but...well, you get the idea. Not a nice guy.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  6. shannon

    Gods not allowed in schools. maybe this should change.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Pedophiles are not allowed in schools either.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • GLEN PETERSON

      if there was a god, what could possibly stop him from being in that school? figure it out people...

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • s chaisson

      yep, you can't keep out of the schools

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Pignukl

      @Glen Peterson, YOU DID, by not allowing Him in! My Father does follow our wishes, even when it makes no sense!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • John A

      I hope this does change. Its ironic those who call God evil and unjust, are they themselves evil and unjust.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  7. Bobby Uppot

    God grants us free will. He wants us to take responsibility for ourselves in a world having both good and evil. Learning that is the purpose of life.

    The just will go to Heaven and the unjust to Hell.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Response

      Well said Bobby

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Men cannot have free will Bobby.

      God has you in his book. He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die.

      He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every rape, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity.

      He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so? It is God’s will

      December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Kat

      That is well said.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Kat

      Well, Apple. I don't pretend to know the right answer. For me it makes sense like this: You decided with free will what you were going to wear today. God already knew.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Kat, that is not logical.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Bobby Uppot

      God didn't create robots. He is not interested in controlling you. He will however judge you for the evil or good that you do.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Bobby Uppot

      Pray for the victims and their families.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  8. bb

    we humans are weak in so many ways.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  9. School of the simplton

    95 % of the US prison population self-identify as "Christian". Well now, that "salvation" sh1t really worked out now, didn't it ?

    December 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • s chaisson

      Working out just fine, we are just slow learning. At least we are not hanging people on crosses, some progress

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Michael Zorko

      you can still be a "Christian" and have free will. Just because you believe in God... Jesus Christ does not mean you are perfect. We are expected to fail.... we all fail EVERY single day in life. We are not perfect... but you can not blame faith in god... as the imperfection. We must take responsibility for this world we created.... the choices we make. To me God is real... he is with me every single day... and if you don't believe that is okay too... still love ya man. But when life is good we seems to ignore the possibility. When my mom died I asked God "why did you take my mom?" I felt so selfish... why does anyone have to go... we don't know... it happened... but I can tell you this... I still have faith.. and I respect you regardless if you do or not... I will still be there to give you a hand when you need it. I promise.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  10. Michael Zorko

    The solution here is respect..... and it starts with me. I know tomorrow is a different day. I know I will take time to notice people that need help. I know I will work on being a better individual and reach out to those that need help.. and for those that don't.. I will hope and pray that someone will listen. The world is at a crossroads here..... tipping point. Compassion and decency can win if we all move in that direction. "Can you eat bitter? Can you handle the bad taste... so another can move forward?" Pui Chan

    December 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I don't follow. What compassion and decency are you referring to and what is the point of your post?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  11. Sad

    God is always present. This was an act of evil. We are given the gift of free will. This was a decision made by an evil possessed person. This instance should not alter's one faith in God. He exists – one day we will all know this truth 100% when we die. Its just a matter of when.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Athy

      Bullshit.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Michael Zorko

      amen.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • School of the simplton

      21st Century Psychology has debunked "free will". Go get an education.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Just Me

      Athy – God is more closer to the believer, while fools limit his presence.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Comment

      @Athy – even you will learn to discover this one day. It is fact.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • School of the simplton

      God is always absent. Always was. Always will be. There is not a shred of evidence for one.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • KRHODES

      School of the simplton

      "21st Century Psychology has debunked "free will". Go get an education."

      I gotta hear this one.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Sad is Dense

      Sad, the free will argument for your god is a tired old fallacy-laden FAIL. Care to try again, stupid?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      God can't possibly exist. If he did there would necessarily be no free will. You can't have it both ways.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Stacey

      You are right!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • KRHODES

      School of the simplton

      "God is always absent. Always was. Always will be. There is not a shred of evidence for one."

      And what evidence would be required to prove he exist?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Stacey

      Sad you are right!, people don't understand the real principles of Christianity. They forget the devil exists.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • cjroark

      There is no place in the Bible that says we have free will at all. Actually if God is omniscient that by default there no free will. I guess he was just to busy giving babies AIDS in Africa to pay attention to this murder.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  12. s chaisson

    Love your enemies, do good to those who hate, bless those that curse, and you will live a great life without depression drugs.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Josh

      I bet that is real comforting to the parents whose children didn't come home from that school today.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Akira

      You seriously think it is only non-believers that take anti-deppresants?
      Lol.
      Whatever.

      Those poor children.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  13. KRHODES

    Where was God? He is in the same place he was yesterday. Why when we remove God from our society and do not acknowlegde him...he gives us what we want...freedom. Now we can live with the consequences of our decision. It is not what he wants, but what we want.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • School of the simplton

      God is a she.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Adam C

      Now if only he'd take his extremist followers with him.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • gblog

      very true. bet forget not the ultimate culprit in all this. SATAN and his followers. they come to kill , steal , and destroy.

      and they shall have their reward in eternity , and some are already held for judgement in everlasting chains of

      darkness. BOOK OF JUDE. they kept not their first estate !!!! GOOD LUCK ON JUDGMENT DAY SATAN.

      HAVE YOUR FUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I agree.

      God is in the same place he was yesterday: the imaginations of human beings.

      How silly is it that so many christians are arguing that their god is such a whiny little b!tch that if he would only have his ego stroked in the right way with a few school children chanting his name he would have prevented this act from occurring. You christians should be ashamed.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tony

      So how come your "god" of your fairly tales is so weak that he can't just deal with this Satan of your fairy tales?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Adam C

      "Now if only he'd take his extremist followers with him."

      Don't you worry adam..eventually you will be rid of Christianity and the presence of all believers.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Adam C

      @ KRHODES

      Thank god.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  14. jon

    God, if there even is one, must be looking down upon the Earth and saying: "What the heck have I done here???"

    December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • KRHODES

      No he is saying look what you have done.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • School of the simplton

      Gods look up. In Cosmology there is no up or down. Come to think of it, they look sideways.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Just Me

      You doubt there is a God and yet know what God is saying? Make up your mind, atheist fool!

      December 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Ben

      More like, "Look what you have done with my creation!"

      December 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • School of the simplton

      Ben,
      Prove it.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Only you, Krhodes, with your very post that claims the opposite.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  15. Ogao, kenya.

    Is this the america of 'in God we trust' flag graffiti? Walk the talk to avoid such untold massacres. Reinstate the supremacy of God within your borders.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Tony

      If god's supremacy can be taken away, then he isn't a god.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  16. Ben

    Without the belief in God or religion you would be stuck in 3200 B.C. Need I remind you, religion invented the alphabet, mathematics, astronomy, archeology, sanitation, civilization, water distribution. You have the right not to believe in God because of religious people that fought for a free country. I resent that atheists call us fools, uneducated, or ignorant just because we have a belief system. Evil is finite just like darkness and coldness. You cannot get infinitely cold or any darker than pitch dark. These elements are simply the absence of heat and light. In the same way, God is the essence of good, and holiness. The evil we see is only the absence of his presence... as per America's request!

    December 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Need I remind you, religion invented the alphabet, mathematics, astronomy, archeology, sanitation, civilization, water distribution.

      Really? Religion created those things? Here was me thinking it was humans.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Just like they invented religion.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Ben

      Religious human beings... mostly monks.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Monks?

      Nonsense. All the things you describe existed by the time of the Roman empire – pagans, who didn't invent things like the alphabet or toilets with running water as a spiritual exercise.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      With the likely exception of archeology.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Adam C

      Ben, religion is the answer for the unknown. The more we know, the less we need gods.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Ben

      Wrong sir, not even the most liberal school system denies the origins of modern civilization. The Israelites were instructed to take their feces outside the city limits and bury it... i.e. Sanitation. Pagan societies invoked the black plague because they lived in their own filth. The examples are endless of biblical findings before their time.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Ben

      I disagree Adam. That would mean that God's knowledge is finite. He is infinite therefore we can never know or understand His mind.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ben,

      in my history books the black plague took place at the height of monolithic Latin Christianity in Europe.

      In fact an outcome of the plague is that people questioned their faith in God. The reformation has its roots in this questioning.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Ben

      True, but despite the religious structure, paganism was common practice.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ben,

      "The Israelites were instructed to take their feces outside the city limits and bury it.

      by the way, cats have figured this out without God having to instruct them. Were the Israelites dumber than cats?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Ben

      No, but you would be if it wasn't for their early findings. All the intellect and understanding and knowledge you enjoy is in some way tied to religious discovery. You wouldn't have a court system, government, infrastructure. Every discovery starts with the primitive, and evolves through understanding into what we have today. Instead of denying it with petty arguments understand that the big picture concept which by all accounts are true. Religious humans for the most part shaped everything you enjoy in our modern world.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ben,

      I don't see the invention of beer and agriculture by the ancient Mesopotamians as a religious invention. Nor laws illustrated in the Code of Hamurabi – though these were illustrated as divinely inspired. They are largely self-evident. For example:

      "If someone cuts down a tree on someone else's land, he will pay for it."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammurabi

      If your point is to define the pagans of the fertile cresent as religious fine, but they invented religion along with agriculture, beer, wine, writing, laws, etc.

      Religion was not causal to the other inventions, merely coincidental.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  17. TheVocalAtheist

    There was no God, there is no God and there will never be a God.

    For those of you that believe just look at what your God allowed to happen. You can jump up and down and bang your fists against your heads but your God is nothing less than the evilest thought that man could devise. If this is the deity that you all love you have some very serious head problems. So please, please quit perpetuating the wonder of the supernatural when all it is is the coward's way out of reality. It doesn't exist and you're all a bunch of creepy delusional lost individuals.

    I hope the victim's families will stay far away from religious help and seek "real" psychological help for this traumatic and dark time in their lives.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • illuminated genius

      I do so agree, i think it is time for people to be adults and stop believing in fairy tales. The truth is that we have serious problems in this world which have to be resolved, stopping murderers is one of them. I did not have anything against God in terms of scripture or whatever, but overall these tragedies rule out the entire existence of the supernatural being. It is time we take into consideration other theories like Charles Darwin's evolution theory and real answers regarding our existence, morality, and progression of science, rationality, logic, and math and science. Why is it some of the most brilliant minds in the world happen to be Atheists? Along with the world's richest man Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg or Steven Hawkings?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • BrysonPrice

      http://www.BrysonPrice.com

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • TJ

      You have to remember people like you took God out of Schools... enuf said

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Nogoditsafact

      Unfortunately they won't listen. Religion is peoples way of not having to accept responsibility for things that have happened or the responsibility to change things moving forward (in every part of their life).

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • oldwool

      Yeah. Right on. What we need is less wisdom, less advice, less guidance, less spirituality. Clearly all of the material trappings of planet Earth are adequately fulfilling our needs. What we need is more psycho-babble and coping strategies–though what exactly the most pampered population in the history of the human race is suffering remains is unknown. Perhaps what is needed is a little life-control–a little advice from the hundreds of generations that have come before us. Surely there must be an ap for this, or a website, or a talk-show. Or a pill? Maybe the right diet? Some exercise? Where in the world might we ever find advice on how to survive the wilderness of the human heart?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Vocal: "real" psychologists, huh?
      yes, b/c Freud would be a big help with all that cocaine & finding a way to make this all about s.ex & wish fulfillment...
      that's just so... *comforting*... for kids & their families...

      December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @TJ

      Do you really want to be taught something that isn't true and real? Come on now, if there was any merit to perpetuating a lie I am sure we would have done so but thankfully the framers of the Consti*tution had the sense and forethought to keep you freaks out of our public lives.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • oldwool

      @ VocalAtheist Please enlighten us. What is it that is the foundation of all that is true and real? I beg you, please tell. I read a number of books last summer that described how most of the universe is invisible and undetectable–as much as 90% dark matter–and yet somehow we are convinced that we have arrived at some concrete understanding of how it all works? It amuses me. So, go on, please: do explain what is real.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • oldwool

      @ TheVocalAtheist Actually, I just flipped through some notes. I was wrong. Everything ever observed with all of instruments and thought over by our greastest minds is based on the behavior of material that accounts for roughtly 5% of the universe's total matter. So, yeah, we have not a clue about 95% of what we are made of and what surrounds us. What should be apparent is that no matter what you believe, one way or another, you are putting your faith is a lot of unknowns.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @old smelly goat

      True and real can be empirically proven, it is the reality we exist in. I don't know about the other 95% that you state we don't know. I'm pretty confident as time goes on we will learn more and more, that's if we don't get scientific funding scrapped because of the anti-science crew.

      All that is experienced and observable can be empirically proven through verification. I'll stick with the real stuff, good luck with the supernatural metaphysical hypothetical presumptions.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • oldwool

      @TheVocalAtheist That was almost inaudible. I am questioning the validity of any truths that are based on the observations of a universe that is 95% undetectable and your answer is that you have faith that the rest of the answers will be released at a later date. So your answer is that you simply prefer one faith over another, is it not? You believe in something just as invisible. You will never know. You have, in the word of one of your own, been reduced to "poetry" (I believe that is Camus). Speak up, vocal atheist.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @old smelly billy goat that pees in his mouth

      You said "...your answer is that you have faith that the rest of the answers will be released at a later date.

      There are two parts of that statement that are not true and it is a typical maneuver on the behalf of the sorts of your ilk.

      First off, the word "faith" was not in my post, anywhere, but you just decided on your own to put words into my mouth, typical.

      Secondly, I never stated "that the rest of the answers will be released at a later date." I didn't state that either. What the fu*ck is wrong with you? If you read my post I said, " I don't know about the other 95% that you state we don't know. I'm pretty confident as time goes on we will learn more and more, that's if we don't get scientific funding scrapped because of the anti-science crew."

      Quite different when you actually "read" the post and look at the facts isn't it? I would say that's a good example of you twisting reality, the way of the religious.

      I'm not going to play this stupid game with you. Until you can provide empirical evidence that is verifiable through observation and experience, everything that drools out of your cancerous mouth is moot.

      No go away old fool, with a name like that I thought you would at least be carrying a tiny bit of wisdom.

      December 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  18. stopabortion

    Remember, We have freedom and He respects that. This is the result of our own behavior and not His....Don"t blame him.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

      God said that. God owns that.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  19. Michael Zorko

    We all make choices in life. Some us us make choices that are influenced by something...else. Regardless. We have been given free will. We have the ability to make choices. If you are a christian, you know... that you take the good with the bad. The unfortunate reality is this. In this huge world, there will be earthquakes.... floods.....fires.... jealousy.... anger....fear.... hate. It is up to all of us to stand together. Love your kids... love your neighbors kids. Accept things that are out of your control... and by all means be there for your fellow man when things like this happen. Each and every one of you has the choice to make a statement here..... all I see is the same hate that got us here in the first place. So much blame... speculation and hipocracy. I am not perfect, I made some bad choices.... but man.. all I want to do is hug each one of those mom and dads....teacher... human being that is suffering over there......

    December 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Those little children didn't choose to get shot today.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Saddened

      @ I'm not a GOPer – you are deliberately trying to miss the point. The choice we've made as a society was to pull back on those few things that gave us some moral boundaries. The results have been horrible. But there are those of us who, with God's help, chose to rise above it and do our best, and be our best. We can't eliminate evil completely or avoid all tragities. But we can chose to come together as a nation during tough times like these, and do a better job creating environments that are physically safe and morally secure.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. By doing what, exactly? By supporting mental health care? NOOOH, most of the religious zealots are opposed to anything that would cost them more in taxes!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Damocles

      @saddened

      What in the world is a 'morally secure area'?

      Do not try to bring some va-gue sense of biblical morality into this. Your bible clearly states that your deity gleefully murdered all of the world.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Saddened,

      "do a better job creating environments that are physically safe."

      I agree with you completely. Let's start by repealing the 2nd amendment – or at least meaningfully control access to firearms. That will certainly do a better job of creating environments that are physically safer.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Saddened

      @ I'm not a GOPer - Gun control (if we can call it that) is way out of control. I understand that the shooter was mentally ill. How did he get a gun?! You should have a right to bare arms to protect yourself, your family and your property. But if someone has a mental condition or committed a felony then guns should not be accessible. Not sure how he got the gun.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Saddened,

      there's no requirement to prove that you are sane to legally purchase firearms, and no requirement to return firearms if you are subsequently diagnosed with a mental disorder, having previously acquired them.

      Get rid of them.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  20. Saddened

    Many of you people are sickening and terrible. This is a historic tragedy. People all over this nation are mourning the lose of. 20 children and you chose this time to crack jokes and ridicule each other over a personal choice. This blog is not news. It is designed to create what it has created – friction. If you believe in God leave the atheists alone and stop trying to 'make your point'. People don't get converted through blog posts. If you don't believe then put that aside for the sake of the hurting families and join with those who do believe to simply wish the families well. I don't know who to be sadder for – the children or some of you for your terrible behavior.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Adam C

      You're on an article specifically related to the question "Where was god?" You're going to see arguments to that effect.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Saddened

      @ Adam C–That's not the point. The point is that instead of an intelligent exchange of ideas coupled with sincere expressions of grief what I am seeing is heartless, egocentric dialog. People need hope right now and not discouragement in their faith. Even if someone is an atheist they could offer words of hope in humanity. Children are dead and people take that as an opportunity to hurt each other. Regardless of what post I'm on is that the best action to take? I don't believe so.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Damocles

      @saddened

      I can grieve with every cell of my body for those people that died and their families and still chide believers for their somewhat goofy ideas of what an all everything deity is or is not capable of doing.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Adam C

      "People need hope right now and not discouragement in their faith."

      That depends on what you believe. Saving someone from their faith might just provide them hope.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Saddened

      @Damocles - The ideas are not so goofy once you sift past the religious antics and tune out the folks copying and pasting old English scriptures as comments. Goofy? Yeah I'll give you that (Lol). But we mean well. I'd like to think most people do.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Saddened,

      " But we mean well. I'd like to think most people do.

      Some clearly do. Some don't. There's a lot of hate for atheists expressed by believers here.

      It is demonstrably unChristian.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.