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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. Russ

    "[Christ] the god-man suffers too, with patience. Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies. The night on Golgotha is so important in the history of man only because, in its shadows, the divinity ostensibly abandoned its traditional privilege, and lived through to the end, despair included, the agony of death. Thus is explained the “Lama sabachtani” and the frightful doubt of Christ in agony"

    - Albert Camus

    December 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • One of the dead children

      Why God? I was only in 3rd grade. I wanted to be in the school play.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • One of the dead children

      Me and Mommy are going to....well, we were going to go Christmas shopping. Why did you kill me God? Are you mad at me?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • One of the dead children

      I got a new "Adventure Time" hat. Can I wear it in heaven?

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

      at " ONE OF THE DEAD CHILDREN "

      cecil b. demile , made some of the most famous productions in history, moses and the ten commandments.

      i can tell you right now that little child is in heaven in one of the biggest plays you can imagine right by his side.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  2. barbarianofgor

    "I call all the heavens to bear witness that I have laid before thee the gates of life and of death,
    the blessing and the curse.
    Therefore, choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed."

    The consequence of "Free will" is that bad things can and will happen. Including evil done to totally innocent people.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  3. Chad

    “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.

    My prayers with those parents, children, first responders, the community and the Lanza family

    December 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, right. Because you're such a nice guy.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  4. Apple Bush

    A typical day on the blog. A tragedy brings out the Christians, but they won't stay to discuss their position. I call them "drive by" posts. They post and run.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Russ

      "An [atheistic] way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort... and thus no way to say there is any such thing as genuine and appalling wickedness. There can be such a thing only if there is a way that rational creatures are *supposed* to live, *obliged* to live... Atheism can [speak of] foolishness – acting contrary to what you take to be your own interests, but it cannot accommodate appalling wickedness. Accordingly, if you think there really *is* such a thing as horrifying wickedness (... and not just an illusion of some sot), then you have a powerful... argument [for the reality of God]."

      -Alvin Plantinga

      December 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really, Russ, this is just an embarrassing post. You're so far out of line that you'd be ashamed if you had any sense at all. There isn't an atheist ANYWHERE who would condone or absolve such a heinous act. It has NOTHING to do with a belief in some god, you idiot. It has everything to do with a concern for humanity.

      You and Chard are easily the most disgusting jerks here.

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

      @ TomTom:
      1) I'm quoting Plantinga. I'm not just making a one-off, random accusation. I'm giving you a nationally recognized, published scholar's written statement of logical critique. it could be mistaken logic... but will you engage the logic, or simply dodge it by name-calling?

      2) is this is "evil" & a "tragedy", as the (much here maligned) religious claim, or will you be consistent with your moral grid – absent a basis for condemnation of these events?

      as I posted on a different article today... Nietzsche foresaw this: atheists who would mock the existence of "religious" who believed in a God, yet be blind to their inability to address how morally vacuous and unfounded their position without such a basis itself was.

      Here's his "Parable of the Madman"...

      *****

      Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: ‘I seek God! I seek God!’ As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why! is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea-voyage? Has he emigrated? the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. ‘Where is God gone?’ he called out. ‘I mean to tell you! We have killed him, you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? –for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife–who will wipe away the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event–and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!’–Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. ‘I come too early,’ he then said, ‘I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is traveling–it has not yet reached men’s ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star–and yet they have done it!’

      December 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Russ, I admire your ability to bolster your ideas when you pick and choose from among writings of great philosophers who largely disagree with those same opinions. Such skill is the product of a mind forged in fundamentalist religion.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: some of us actually read those with whom we disagree... how about you?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't care whom you're quoting, you bozo. You're posting a quote that is complete hogwash. Get a clue.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      moral absolutism is a chimera.

      Morality is relative. We make it up as we go along. Always have, always will. Most of it is unchanged since Hammurabi.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If I was to guess, Russ, I'd say that I've read about 10-12 times the amount that you have from all sorts of perspectives. I'm not bragging. I'm just speaking based on my background and what I've seen you write, here.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ GOPer:
      you're presupposing there is nothing transcendent.
      that's not a scientific claim, that's a metaphysical one. a *faith-based* one.

      and, worse for you, if we are just making up as we go along:
      what basis do you have for being outraged? c'est la vie.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And from an anthropological standpoint (and in reality) GOP is correct.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick:
      yes, overestimation of self & caricatures of those with whom you disagree...
      always a good formula for a "skeptic"...

      December 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: you said "from an athropological standpoint, GOP is correct"
      and there it is. w/o scientific basis, your metaphysical cards are laid on the table.

      our existence explained without the transcendent is – at best – an infinite regress (even the so-called multiverse theory begs for the same criticism: well, where'd *that* come from?), and yet you are SURE there is nothing greater... not only precluding the possibility of physical realities yet unknown but also any realities that might *undergird* that physical reality (i.e., metaphysical).

      that's not science. that's scientism.
      and more to the immediate point: what response does that *faith* have to this tragedy?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      what basis do you have for being outraged? c'est la vie.

      Relative morality clearly exists. As a society we define behaviors that are right and wrong. We are outraged when someone chooses to flout these conventions and hurt other members of our society.

      That is part of the definition of society. If you hurt someone in my society – you hurt me. Hence the outrage.

      No graven tablets or burning bushes are required.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Russ

      @ GOPer:
      1) if morality is relative – as you claim – then we have to accept Ryan Lanza's view of morality, in which he felt it proper to do this. unless of course you're advocating that numbers make right? majority rule? i assume you see the logical fallacy there, though.

      2) as i said above, you are presupposing a closed system (again, that's a faith-based assertion) – no transcendent. no objective moral basis to which one might appeal. in such a system, justice is a fluid thing. outrage is subjectively based. what one society claims is wrong another might claim is fine. do you embrace that – that there might be a society where this sort of slaughter is ok? or is it always wrong?

      again, the claim of Theists is that justice is derived, not the prerogative of subjective agents – or any such anthropocentric conception of existence. if justice is derived, even societies can be judged. if not, well then, you've got to be ok with a host of other so-called "evils": racist societies & the like... which invites another question: why not with individuals, too? but I made that point above.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      do not conflate morality with a specific individual's determination of right and wrong.

      Morality is a societal consensus of right and wrong. Use the word conscience if you like for an individuals choice. The word 'morals' as a plural is overloaded. While it is frequenly used that way, it really shouldn't refer to an individual.

      Moral behavior by an individual is behavior that is consistent with the societal morality (or morals, if you like).

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      "what one society claims is wrong another might claim is fine. do you embrace that – that there might be a society where this sort of slaughter is ok? or is it always wrong?"

      This argument is specious. The morals of a society are derived from hurt. If you hurt me, it's wrong. There are societies where ritual sacrifice was considered proper and religious. Yes, this offends our sensibilities, but we have overcome only some of the superst!tions of such societies.

      Your faith is based on ritual human sacrifice too, is it not?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I should have said 'ritual human sacrifice by proxy' to be more precise.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  5. Russ

    “I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradi.ctions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the desp.icable fabrication of the impo.tent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

    -Fyodor Dostoevsky

    December 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No need for a justice system then, or anything other than anarchy?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: I figured you'd take a famous author in context.
      Read a brief summary of "the Brothers K" or "Crime & Punishment"...

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And I figured you'd dodge the logical conclusion of the philosophy you present--and I was right.

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

      @ Schtick: wrong again. I figured you wouldn't need me to espouse the entire system every time it's referenced, especially since Dostoevsky so clearly states his case in LENGTHY books.

      The Christian belief is that because Christ comes to fix the world, Christians are supposed to participate in that also – even if (as it did for him) it costs us our life. Yes, we often fail here, but you can't dodge the clear implications of the incarnation & the resurrection: namely, that God has come into our existence, stated clearly that it is broken (at our hands), and yet is willing to fix it (despite us, and yet even through us).

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And you prove me right yet again, Russ. Why don't you understand what you read?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • s chaisson

      yep, we have a done a great job with the 2 million laws on the books

      December 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: so your objection is to Christianity itself, and not his espousal of it.
      problem for you: what basis do you have to be outraged at these events?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Once again, Russ, you prove that you do not understand what you read. I'm not outraged, and you should know that. (Or are you playing the moron in a silly attempt to "bait" me?)

      December 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: no, that'll do. you've admitted you're not outraged. i actually appreciate the honesty.
      most atheists here are not willing to admit that – because they haven't yet realized how self-contradictory that is. at least you're consistent.

      but i also think for the vast majority of people on the planet, that admission just disqualified you from all rational, practical thought.
      but thanks again for your honesty.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  6. illuminated genius

    Roman Catholic and Christians-Adolf Hitler was Roman Catholic and he killed 6 million Jews. Christians also were responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, killing and dehumanizing scientists of the past.
    Jews- If God exists why did he allow Hitler to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust?
    Muslims? Islam inspired Osama Bin Laden and other extremists for suicide bombings, terrorism.
    Buddhists? Going along with everything is not a excuse.
    If God does exist and is omnipotent he would have stopped all this. But the truth is that he is nothing more than a figment of our imagination like Santa Claus, the eastern Bunny, Allah, Mohammed, Jesus.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • RJ

      You conveniently forget to mention the thousands that were tortured and killed under atheistic governments. Does that mean atheism is a problem? Your argument is flawed. God, if he exists, is not a puppet master. If he truly created people as free moral agents that can make their own decisions to do good or evil, then how is it is God's fault? That is the risk he takes for making free moral agents. Otherwise, you would be a mere puppet, and even the good that you do wouldn't be credited to you. Judgment will come for all, and you are not sitting on the bench.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • AmericanLady5

      You're an illuminated idiot. Wake up, you hypocrite! Godless morons like you are the problem. Believe in nothing, have faith in nothing, and you will HAVE nothing. When you HAVE nothing, you have nothing to lose and you do things like this. Senseless. Unspeakable. Keeping taking God out of schools, out of the public eye, and then wonder why people are evil. Darkness is the absence of light. You know that don't you, illuminated one?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Stacey

      I disagree.. People screw up everything. If you really studied Jesus' message, you would undestand that he would not support the conquistadors, he would not support Hitler, or any war for that matter. Absolutely not. People twist his message to justifiy their selfish actions. He would never say "Lets kill all those who don't believe in what i preach." You really don't know what he is all about-i bet you never even read his words.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  7. panorain

    It always comes out any time there is a tragedy about what was God doing while the tragedgy was occuring. Why couldn't God violate his own Laws about Time and Space and Dynamics. Others question why God has to be so observant about all the tragedies everyday, big and small. Why can't God intervene? Clearly the concern is valid. But it is not an effective argument to refute God. Throughout History mankind has lived on the edge of Life & Death. Only within the past 100 years have large numbers of people been relatively secure they would survive the year. God is a refuge. That alone justifies his Existence.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  8. chuckleberry1974

    Not to be insensitive, but the answer to the question in the headline is the same no matter when you ask it. People have to realize that we live among others in a community because that's how humans thrive. Asking where a deity is when bad things happens is not asking the right questions, and narrows the focus to the wrong things. The real question is along the lines of, 'how does this community pick up the pieces and continue to educate the children?' Not, where is a god whom no one actually can prove exists. This tragedy is the result of one young man, not a failure of your imaginary to intervene.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  9. Christopher Lewis

    When I was a child, I busted my face on my bed railing after my parents had warned me several times about running and diving in my bed. After busting my face, did I have a right to look at my parents and ask them why they didn't protect me? No. So it is with God. How can we question his loyalty to us when at every turn we are deleting his name, existence, teachings, and expectations from our society and way of life. If we move away from him, there is only one other we could be moving towards and he loves hate, destruction and death. We are making the choices to live they way we are so we have not right to question God's loyalty to us. Even with our kids, we no longer are training them (proverbs 22:6) with tough love, work ethic, and a respect for elders as those who are wiser and more intelligent about this world. This is the type of thing that spawned the person that committed this act today.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Adam C

      Every dying religion has made the same argument. "No! We are still relevant!"

      Let it go.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Grandma

      Well said!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Mary

      You are so right in what you say. So many want to exclude God from our everyday lives in just about anyway they can think of. Then when something horrible like this happens, then people ask "Why did God let this happen?". So many horrible things happen day in and day out that we just can't continuously control. God is not a hateful God, totally the opposite. This terrible massacre was not God's fault and anyone that denies God just doesn't understand or believe. God is with us always, not just when we think we may need him for a few seconds or through a horrible time. God Bless.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  10. rich

    many asking where is GOD? we as a nation kicked him out of our schools remember!

    December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Please tell me that you don't serve such a whiny little b1tch of a god that just because we don't chant his name in school he decided to just let this happen. Please tell me you don't believe in such a fvckwad god as taht.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "rich", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore "he" cannot be inside or outside of schools. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      December 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • chuckleberry1974

      Rich, so theoretically, this couldn't have happened at a parochial school? Very short-sighted.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  11. tanner s

    god is trancendence and is forever unkowable in the "physical dimension" exept through faith. yet god is still intrinsically inherent in all of everything.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • chuckleberry1974

      Wrong. God is not knowable because, well, there isn't one. This shooting had nothing more nor less to do with anything else than the fact that this kid was messed up in the head. Unfortunately, no one real was looking out for him.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  12. gblog

    Moby Schtick $ Tony,

    god already judged SATAN FOR ETERNITY ON THE CROSS. he's just do any evil he can before he spends

    eternity in hell.

    Moby, are you really sure that you're not just talking trash, do you think you could carry your own cross,

    be beaten mercilessly, be crucified, get the shi-t kicked out of you , and still look at those who did it and tell them

    "" I DIED FOR YOU ALSO " ,, i don't call that whimpy by any means,

    BETTER LAY YOUR SINS AT HIS FEET BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. WHEN HE COMES BACK IT WON'T

    BE AS A WHIMP.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If god ever shows up I've got a few questions of my own for him. In fact, I'll trade my own life for any single person that was killed in that school today. Where's your god?

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

      Moby, he'll show up if you truly ask him, he'll open your eyes, but he won't come and take you by the hand,

      he won't return physically until he said he would. The holy spirit guides people into all truth. None

      of us like the fact that we gave up paradise for SATANS LIES, but this world is the result of that.

      if god be a man of his word, he will return and he will even now show you the truth if you quit

      judging him and ask him sincerely. he's not a liar and yes it's hell here, but not for long !

      EVEN THE BIBLE SAYS IN REVELATIONS, BEHOLD I COME SOON. of course with him thats a little

      longer than we comprehend. A day with the lord is as a thousand years. That doesn't nullify his word.

      Eternal life is real or your right , " he's NO GOD AT ALL " ,, i believe his word in spite of this.

      just like the jews who wouldn't quit believing when hitler ruled.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I've preached that sermon more times than you've thought it in your head, gbaby. I became an atheist BECAUSE I read the bible so many times. The last three times did the trick, though.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • gblog

      Moby, what ever valley you're going through isn't something new, moses waited 40 years in the desert for an

      answer after being disgraced. if you're a spec of dust on some distant star in some distant universe, in some

      other dimension, he knows, what ever seems like dead to you can be made new. of all things You Should

      Know that God uses imperfect people that you or i wouldn't choose to do his work. i.e. the apostle paul,

      murderer of how many christians. who knows what he has in mind for you. if it didn't bother you

      that you don't know you wouldn't be on here posting.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  13. allison_28560

    God is right here – very near – waiting for us to turn to Him
    Look around you – God is the Love you know – the Love you feel
    Where is God when bad things happen? He is right next to you – waiting for you to reach out for his love and protection

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

      Do you really believe that crap! You bloody twits who continue to say there is a God are nothing but a bunch of morons. If there was a God, how could he let those children die? If there was a God, why doesn't he show himself in a public fashion? If he did, boy would the majority of people get with his program fast! And don't go telling me that faith is the answer, because that is the lame excuse of those who know there is no God. Faith is crap!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • chuckleberry1974

      Allison, you might think you believe that, but if you asked yourself some hard questions you'd know better.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Adam C

      So he allows bad things to happen so that people will need him? Sounds like an abusive husband.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  14. deeply saddened

    Where is god??? what a question! how much discussion or talk of god is in the schools? where is the Lords prayer? how can God be around if we don't ask him for our protection......are we only asking about God when there is a tragedy? God never forsakes us, We forsake him....My heart goes out to the families , parents , children, and loved one in this day of tragedy, may we all find peace , love and forgiveness at this time, especially with Christmas in days ahead,...where days should be filled with joy peace and love,gathering with friends and loved ones.....

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

      So those kids that died had turned away from god? What an evil, evil god you have. What a fscking jerk, actually. You can keep him to yourself, but without the posting please.

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

      I love the implications of this. What you are really saying is that the omnipotent, all loving God won't protect little children out of spite because some politicians won't hold formal prayers.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • PC

      Are you insane? Why don't you tell the parents of the lost children this was part of god's plan? Better yet, if god is omnipotent and loves all, why did he allow this?

      That's really the central theme isn't it? Religious adherents always have to default to "god said so".

      Brilliant.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Adam C

      So is he like Beetlejuice? Do we have to say his name a certain number of times before he can appear?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  15. Where's your Messiah now?

    Who are these many asking, "Where's Gpd?"

    I suppose He's the same place he was during the last school shooting or the school stabbing in China> Or how about 911 or the Holocaust?

    Really. Come on.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • 1400

      And where's atheists compassion for these poor dead kids and families? Oh it's true, atheists don't have time for compassion, they're to quick to blame God and laughing at people.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Adam C

      Atheist's don't blame god – god doesn't exist.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • 1400

      Atheists don't blame God. Are you kidding me? That's all you people are doing 24 hours a day, and it shows on every darn forums all over the world. Hypocrites.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Adam C

      You're confusing blaming god with blaming religious people.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  16. Hawkeye321

    God is where he's always been... nowhere but the imaginations of brainwashed fools.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Amy

      Well-put.

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

      Bingo, Hawkye.

      We have a winner!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Stacey

      So you are saying being good to one another, love one another, help, sacrifice for man kind is bad?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Adam C

      "So you are saying being good to one another, love one another, help, sacrifice for man kind is bad?" These ideas are not inherently connected to religion. They make good selling points, so the salesmen known as preachers like to use them while slipping religion into the deal.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  17. Damocles

    So are these 28 tragic deaths an acceptable body count to a deity if it brings 1 person closer to it?

    December 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  18. Hawk in wind

    If people would just follow Jesus’s teaching about loving their neighbors. Say hi to that stranger, say hi to the unpopular one, reach out to the depressed one, the poor one, the sick one, etc.....
    I’m wondering what happened to that shooter? Were there people put on this earth with gifts that were meant to be used to help this guy, but for whatever reason they dropped the ball and failed in their mission? In truth, then, they would be partly to blame for what he did!!! If it wasn’t due to total bodily sickness then in my opinion it had to have been failure on the part of others to selflessly love that guy. We can’t change what happened;
    but there are many people out there that are being ignored, used and not cared about; how much can they take? Please everyone who reads this try a little harder to reach out to those you can see aren’t being cared about enough and maybe together we can prevent some of these future tragedies.

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

      Are you insane?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Damocles

      @hawk

      I've seen some of the most loved people grow up to be the most hateful SOB's you can possibly imagine.

      You don't have to follow the bible to be a good person. You raise your kids to show respect for themselves and their fellow man. It isn't complicated, stop making it so.

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

      I agree 100% with everything you mention! We have become a nation of turtles.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  19. s chaisson

    Sure there is scientific evidence of God, can anyone explain how magnetism works or how to create a blade of grass from dirt, I am listening

    December 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Not being able to explain something does not mean "big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz." How stupid.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Tony

      You might be listening but you aren't thinking. Go google Argument from Ignorance and don't come back til you grok it, stupid.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • s chaisson

      I thought so

      December 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I thought so." Sweetie, you've never had a single thought in your entire life.

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

      hahahaha

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

      i still didn't get an answer

      December 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      What a stupid argument: "Ya'll kaint explayn dert! Thay'erfour GAAWWWDDD!!"

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Try the Ouija board, dumbazz.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Marc

      S Chaisson, we understand how magnetism works, go read a physics book. We also understand how blades of grass (and all other living things) are created. It's via the process of evolution by natural selection. Go read a biology book.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Where's your Messiah now?

      You just got Oh snapped by Moby, dawg.

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

      you learn magnetism is basic chem

      December 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • s chaisson

      Sorry the physicist can not explain magnetism, just guess

      December 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • s chaisson

      and no Marc you can not create a blade of grass from dirt, without a seed created by God

      December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Andrew

      Lots of people can explain electromagnetic force and photosynthesis. Your ignorance does not prove God's existence.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • FreddyCanuck

      Sorry, you can't fix stupid, so I can't help explain this to you

      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • s chaisson

      Well go ahead and explain it Andrew I listening, you might win a noble prize

      December 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • s chaisson

      lol, yes we are sooo smart

      December 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus Christi, s chaisson, you moron, it's not a "noble prize."

      God, you're stupid beyond belief.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • s chaisson

      why did he speak in parable, to confound the wise, lol

      December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      s chaisson

      You're only saying that: 'We don't know everything; therefore god." And that's just stupid. Do some research on basic logic and argumentation because you just look like a complete idiot at this point.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • s chaisson

      Actually, I am saying we don't know anything

      December 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yeh but Term, Term, u din't no whys de dert iz brown neyther, sew thay'rfour GAWWWDD!!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • s chaisson

      And you guys are proving my point, thank you

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dearie. YOU don't know anything. The rest of us are a bit better educated.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If we don't know anything than we certainly have no business saying that there might be a god somewhere, doofus.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • s chaisson

      Sorry Tom, I have recognized any education or wisdom in this string so far

      December 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      HA!!!! "string"

      It's called a "thread," and clearly you haven't the education of the average 7th grader.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  20. shannon

    irrational libertarin- ive seen stories of pedophiles in schools. even women pedophiles in elementaries up to colleges (penn state) stupidest reply ever.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:08 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.