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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. the StONe

    As a non-believer myself, I always know that articles or commentaries like these draw in Atheists like crazy. Like a swarm of vultures ready to put down others beliefs and act if superior. I know my kind very well, and it always makes me embarrassed, and disgusted with the opportunistic thing behind their comments.

    You my fellow non-beleivers, offer NO solutions. This has become just another opportunity to put down in anger and even hatred those that you have no power to change. You're fools.

    Offer us solutions, realistically, based on what you observe in society, in our mainstream popular culture that is creating, inspiring these other fools from doing what they do.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Brian

      The solution is amend the 2nd amendment and start having gun control.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Ze Pewp

      I see self-righteousness is not limited to the religious. Abortion has nothing to do with gun violence, and you have not a shred of evidence for the link, except your unfounded as'sertions.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • ashantiqua

      aaand $20 says youre an imposter.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Marty

      and who calls themselves a non-believer? seems so self derogatory to imply that believing is a good thing, they just don't do it for whatever reason.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Adam C

      Every time a tragedy happens, we hear from religious individuals who will blame the non-religious. Its because people turned their back on god, or took religion out of schools, or the person committing the crime was not religious or just didn't believe hard enough.

      The non-believer defends against this. The question its self, "Where was god?" is incredibly presumptuous. There is no god.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Gus Borjas

      Yes, alot of people have killed in the name of religion...Crusaders back in the days, "muslims" now in days, but those were people acting on their own, GOD is not a GOD that would want us to force him into people, he gives us choices, no true believer would ever kill in his name, he doesn't like that, what he really wants for us is for us to live in peace and for us to love one another, you also gotta remember that there's a devil out there and makes people do his wish, I'm a father and this is very very sad, but just remember one thing, anybody that has died and came back will tell you that once that has happened they never want to come back, they're in a great place now, I feel really bad and in very deep pain for the families they left behind, it is very hard to digest, my heart goes out to them.....

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

      Thank you for that:)

      December 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • jess

      People shout at the NRA and gun control but I believe the problem goes deeper. We need to look at the societal pressures placed on males that has led so many to turn to such acts of violence. We focus on the psychological and emotional problems faced by females, but often overlook the many hardships that males endure.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • northern light

      The solution is obvious.......enact the gun laws that most other sane nations have ....yes there are tragedies such as this elsewhere in the world but not to the extreme extent of that in the USA .
      Guns do not kill people.....but people with guns do.....
      Compare the freqency of gun death in the USA with Canada ,,,,nuff said.

      December 15, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • John Sharp

      Non Believers don't offer solutions.
      What? That is a ridiculous statement. Non-Believers offer just as many solutions, it is just that none of the solutions contain fairy tales and imaginary friends.

      December 15, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Atheist all day

      Yes.. I think we need to put aside our religious or non religious feelings and focus on the victims of this event. A Theologists debate should be set in a BLOG somewhere.. Talk about this tragedy.. If your a Theist, pray to God to help those who lost their loved ones, to give them strength to go on... If your an Atheist, keep those who lost loved ones in your mind(you don't have to know their names) and hope they can find the strength to go on. Prayer or just keeping people in your thoughts in a caring manner is all you can do. Or if you have the skills.. Go and offer counseling to the people who are suffering here. As the University of Connecticut professor on Friday , saying, “This is an immense tragedy, and you want an academic speculating on the problem of evil?” Lets not focus on any religious aspects. I cried for these children and people who were killed. I was worried at first it might have been my kids school and I am in Oklahoma. When my children returned from school.. I did hug them a little tighter and I let them know why. As a parent my heart goes out to those parents who lost children and the children who lost parents.. This is closer to home, yes, but I feel the same way when I hear about incidents like this around the world.. If I had the power I'd stop all the crimes in the world.. but I don't so all I can do is weep..

      Let the police focus on the person or persons who did this and give them space to do it freely without being interrupted, so they can perform their duties to give us the answers when it is time also..

      December 15, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • jmans

      Here is a solution, quit being dishonest with yourself, and admit god does not exist.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Lena

      You are the most compassionate and sensible non-believer on this blog.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  2. laurab68

    It's really simple....there is no such thing as God or Jesus and the Bible is just one big story book! Seriously people, never mind what you've been told since you were old enough to understand english. Do you honestly think that he created this planet and all it's inhabitants in 7 days (magically of course) and then waited and helped out a small group of Jews and parted the Red Sea and then was never heard from again.....not during any famine, flood, massacre, the holocaust, etc, etc and etc. And to keep you hooked with the promise of Heaven or that Jesus will rise again.....Use your logical brain here.
    Now I for one have never died and come back to tell what the truth is or is not, and for that matter, neither has anyone else. I can't say one way or another what's after this life. It could just lights out or there could be more. Either way, I'm keeping my kids out of church. More people have died or have killed in the name of God than anything else. Quite frankly find it silly how so many people are sheep and will believe that some magical invisible being is all around us and created everything.....baaaaah

    December 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • T Jacobsohn

      You say more people have been killed in the name of God? Not true. World Wars 1 & 2 resulted in about 89 million deaths and these had nothing to do with religion.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Ludwig

      A "day" in the creation story is generally understood to mean a generic period of time, not our English definition of 24 hours, so in that sense it easily lines up with scientific explanations of how the earth was formed, developed, etc. The Bible, much like other religious texts, is poetic and allegorical, and not meant to be taken literally, especially in a translated form. WW I and II were not fought in the name of religion, neither was Vietnam, Korea, or Stalin's purges, so unless you can give actual numbers I find it difficult to believe more people died in the name of God than anything else. You can believe what you like, but try to make an actual argument next time instead of just repeating the same old tired lines. Sheep?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Marty

      Yeah, I'm sure that all the wars fought had nothing to do with religion. Not even just a little.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • truthseeker4

      @laurab68
      i completely agree with you on everything you have said, but for all the people who have replied to this great comment, multiple people have died over religion all the time the crusades for example were fought just for the sake of religion, i cannot speak for ww1 but ww2 yes definetly people died because of religion, nazi's used christianity AS AN EXCUSE TO KILL JEWS and do everything else they did that some christians would say would if you dont believe me look it up! and the war we are waging today with the jihad and other terrorist groups today KILL for the sake of religion, if anyone has ever heard on the news about bombings from terrorist groups, people dont kill for no reason at all, their reason for killing is for RELIGION. and for all of those other blind people commenting saying that the world wasnt created in a 24 day that we know today, i would just like to say you people give those "storytellers" wayyyy to much credit... what your assuming is that these people that practically lived in a society that knew very little about science at the time magically just knew that a day was actually in our time millions of years... im not here to start a fight, im here to lift the veil that i geus most of these people commenting are under and for anyone to lift this veil, do your own research and find your own conclusions about the world not what someone at church is feeding into your brains

      December 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • truthseeker4

      sorry i realized i left a part of that out... but continuing from would... would be considered evil in a normal persons eyes or even a christian person's eyes

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

      Thanks for bringing it up all the facts. The Luddites don't like to think about the Spanish inquisition that killed 50 to 100 million in the Americas or the crusades 2 to 3 million killed, all in the name of religion. Killing people in the name of an imaginary friend in the sky is just another excuse for murder.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • LA

      Nazis also persecuted Christian churches

      December 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • John Sharp

      I love your post, you can see all the delusional religious people trying to argue how the Bible lines up with Science. Yes a day is really only a period of time. Ha Ha.
      Sorry but the truth contradicts your book of fairy tales, not my fault. But you look really weak trying to make an argument that the story of Creation in the bible was actually referring to something other than a day when referring to 7 days.
      The book was not written by God. Period.

      December 15, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • SCOTTA.

      IF GOD DOESNT EXIST YOU DONT EXIST SO STOP TALKING YOU FIGMENT OF OUR IMAGINATIONS! IF YOU BELIEVE NOTHING EXISTS AFTER YOU DIE YOU WILL BE SURPRISED! ITS CALLED HELL A REAL LAKE OF FIRE WHERE YOU WILL LITERALLY BURN ALIVE 24/7 FOREVER .WITH NO END. AND NO RELIEF .BUT IF THATS WHAT YOU WANT FOR ALL ETERNITY THATS WHAT YOU WILL GET! SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS IN PAIN FROM BEING BURNED ALIVE. BOY SOUNDS GREAT HA? YEAH I GUESS IF YOURE DELUSIONAL!! DO ME A FAVOR AND ANYBODY THAT DOESNT THINK HELL EXISTS KILL YOURSELF AND COME BACK AND THEN TRY TO TELL ME IT DOESNT EXIST. DOCTORS HAVE EVEN WITNESSED PEOPLE ON THEIR DEATH BED GOING TO HELL THEIR FACE WAS ALL CONTORTED. AND THEY COULD LITERALLY FEEL THE FLAMES OF HELL TAKING OVER THEIR BODY. AND SCREAMING NO DONT LET ME GO TO HELL! 100% TRUE STORYI LOOKED IT UP ON THE INTERNET. PEOPLE AT MY CHURCH HAVE WITNESSED THE SAME THING.

      December 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • pt

      @T The Germans had "In God we Trust" on the belt buckles and the Americans had the same slogan on their shoulder. Both sides were blessed by their churches and told that God supported them. Hitler teamed up with the Pope for his blessing in return for more Catholicism exposure in Germany. Even though this war was fought with different intentions, it certainly was guilty of the large influence religion played in it as well.

      Pretty sad when Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, and many others, on BOTH sides were sent out to slaughter each other.
      Imagine, if all the churches and adherents refused to fight! Hitler would not have had an army! And no one would have needed to defeat him!
      There is one religion that did refuse to fight for Hitler, and they were thrown into Concentration Camps because of it. They were Jehovah's Witnesses. Many suffered and died upholding the Bible's commands rather than giving in to Hitler's regime. Got to give them credit for that!

      December 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • David

      Amen! Preach on Sister.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Ahmad Habib

      Laurab68, read the Qu'ran and trust me, you and your family will see the truth and find peace.

      December 16, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  3. Moobert

    I hate having to see all these posts and tweets and such about prayer for the victims, while I have to bite my tongue. Yes, let's thank God for what we have, for what he's given us, for the love he's shown us. How he protected the children when he- oh wait, he didn't. He either doesn't exist or doesn't care, and either way we need to stop living for the afterlife and live for our fellow humans. It's the delusion of afterlife that gives way to things like suicide bombers who think they serve a higher purpose and their reward will come .. 'elsewhere', and it's also what has kept the middle east slaughtering each other for decades.

    I'm also sad to say that no amount of gun control would ever stop something like this, though the replies from 2nd amendment enthusiasts get sillier as the day goes on. "The teachers should be armed" "there should be armed security at the front" Yes, because more guns will definitely solve the problem and couldn't possibly lead to more death.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Madero

      The situation is so sad because there're so many children involved. In my personal opinion, I think there's been too much focus on banning guns, violent videogames, and behavioral issues. We need to recognize God's place when going through these various hardships.  Isaiah 2:4b states "And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore." who of us will be the first to work for peace instead of merely speculating and blaming violence?

      For James 1:22-25 states: "However, become doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, and off he goes and immediately forgets what sort of man he is. But he who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom.". If we want to live in a better world, we need to work towards it.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Moobert

      And work towards it for the sake of working towards it. You've every right to believe in the bible but the fact that 10 people can read the same thing and take 10 different meanings away from it, is a large problem. We need to work towards helping each other succeed, not helping ourselves arrive at some better afterlife. Our reward needs to be in life, not after death.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  4. GHC

    God, if there is one, is saying we need strong gun control. There was a guy in China that went after school kids today with a knife, they all survived. http://www.ibtimes.com/school-stabbings-focus-attention-chinas-mental-health-care-system-938335

    December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  5. Rob

    God never promised to prevent stuff like this from happening. He only promises to judge those who do such things. This world is not perfect and He never promised it would be but He has prepared a perfect place in eternity for those who believe. John 3:36 "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

    December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Christian

      Preach it.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Natty Dread

      Pie in the sky nonsense. Everything good awaits you after you die. What a delusional idea! God has prepared a place for "believers". What a hustle! Worthy of the slickest pimp. Fire burn this backward a** philosophy coming from bloodthirsty Roman origins! Its not necessarily "God" who should be rejected, but definitely your bloody, vengeful, a** backward theology about him!

      December 15, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Mace

      Excellent post and dead on actuate. Trolls and atheists will never understand it, but myself and many, many others will. Thank you so much.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • NYGirl

      Perfect. I couldn't have said it better.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • David

      So the shooter may have believed and he is in Heaven while those he killed may be in Hell according to your logic.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  6. GAW

    Despite the human tragedy involved what is also tragic is that Evangelical groups will now take advantage of the vulnerable to try and convert them. Trust me I know this to be true since I used to be one.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  7. Robert

    Where is God? WHERE IS GOD????

    Go ask the ACLU. Go ask Hollywood. Go ask the atheists. They are the ones who are responsible for chasing God out of American life, right through the court room door. And they pursued God as a pack of wolves would pursue a criminal. That's what we allowed them to do to God; the perfect, all wise, all loving, all giving, all holy God. We allowed the cursed atheists and that damned forever ACLU to run him out of our lives as if he were a criminal. And then we willingly turned away as we, as a nation, followed the morals of Hollywood. So where is God? God is right where we've put him... on the periphery of society. And how did we really think things would go after having done that?

    December 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • GAW

      If God can be chased out by the ACLU and everyone else then he's a little pip squeak.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Art

      You make God sound like he's an invention of mans imagination or an ideology. You have a very small God

      December 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Robert

      You're mistaken. The fact that God could be pushed out by the ACLU wasn't because he was weak, but rather, because he allowed it to demonstrate the sinfulness of man. And all this that we have done, together with the terrible consequences, will be the basis of God's final judgment when his power will be revealed. God allowed himself to be pushed out for the cause of judgment. But in heaven, there will be no pushing God out. It will be God pushiing us out with unimaginable power... and the place where he will push us (i.e., all those who have not come to him for mercy and repentance) will be pushed straight into an eternal hell. At that time, you'll find out who is really powerless, and it won't be God.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Brian

      " will be pushed straight into an eternal hell. At that time, you'll find out who is really powerless, and it won't be God."

      Your God is an evil monster by your own definitions and excuses, but we all know it doesn't really exist.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Robert

      I have the God of the Bible, the God who revealed himself through the prophets and through Jesus Christ, his Son handed down to us by the apostles. If you're God is anything other than that, then your god is nothing more than a god of your own vein imagination. And just the fact that people continue to resist God, as He has revealed himself, shows that you are still pushing God to the periphery and are only setting yourself, and our nation, up for more of the same. When will you stop? When? When will you give up your foolish pride and admit that God is your only salvation and the only hope for mankind? The only healing for a nation comes from God.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Nancy

      I suppose god used 20-year-old Adam's guns today to kill only the atheist and muslim children, right? He spared the christian children because they are the innocent ones? And surely we will find out that Adam was not a christian himself, probably a mormon. Probably Adam meant to shoot up the atheists gathering at the local Humanist meeting but got lost.

      I'm confused. Who am I supposed to hate? To blame? To hold responsible?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "I have the God of the Bible, the God who revealed himself through the prophets and through Jesus Christ, his Son handed down to us by the apostles."

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • diana horton

      well said, robert.. i think yours was the best one i have read.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for the love of Pete, Robbie. If your almighty, omnipotent, omniscient GOD is so weak he needs to sacrifice innocent kids to a crazy gunman, he's a fvckin' pig and you're an idiot for worshipping him.

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

      It's shocking how little people actually know of their own God. God gives free will and WILL NOT go where he is not wanted. He is God, not a dictator. He is the light, if you shun the light, then you have darkness. If you have darkness, then you allow in evil. Understand now? Ban God from school, and YOU have let in evil, not God. Blame yourselves atheists, you add NOTHING to this world.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  8. pn

    God exist centuries ago. From Egypt to Israel to Mayans.... Moses, Jesus, Prophets, Muhammad, buddha, hindus, etc.

    The mayans foretold something about december 21, 2012. It's got to be minority report. They know something we don't know about. they might have advance technology than modern day computers and calendar.

    Maybe we should close down all public schools and high schools this december 21, 2012. Government should put massive spending for December 21, 2012.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The Mayans were so good at predicting the future that an unforeseen event that led to their demise. I wouldn't waste your time worrying about their predictions.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  9. Forgiven

    Where's God? The same place He has always been. He hasn't changed, we have. We have thrown Him under the bus and have embrace evolution, survival of the fittest. We've thrown Him out of our public squares and have embraced "you are your own god; do whatever you feel is right". God is still there but He has promised to leave us to our own destruction if we turn from Him. And this nation has done just that. "Repent and Turn to the living God", and then you will see His mighty hand of blessing this country again, but until then, things are going to just get worse. I pray for all those that are hurting over this horrible tragedy ... I can't imagine their loss and pain. God please bring comfort and peace to those in need .. Amen.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Brian

      " God is still there but He has promised to leave us to our own destruction if we turn from Him. And this nation has done just that. "

      Many of the people who's children died where Christians. All you are doing is making excuses for your non-existent God. What loving God would kill it's own people's children – NONE. The God you worship is an evil monster.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, nonsense. If your god is so hateful that he would allow a madman to kill 20 children because everyone didn't kiss his ass, your god isn't worthy of worship.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Art

      So what you're saying is that God is an ideology?

      December 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • illuminated genius

      NO THERE IS NO GOD. IF GOD EXISTED HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED THIS TRAGEDY AMONG MANY OTHERS. GOD DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE HE IS NOT OMNIPOTENT.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  10. Captain Crunch

    God isn't real

    December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Robert

      I felt like that a long, long time ago. But God is real. Everything has to have a cause. Philosophers call that the law of causality. Yes indeed. Everything must have a cause, except by definition, God. If there wasn’t a God, nothing could exist and nothing could have ever come into being, not even over hundreds of millions of years. And the very fact that you and I exist proves that there is a God.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Brian

      " If there wasn’t a God, nothing could exist and nothing could have ever come into being, not even over hundreds of millions of years. "

      Your God doesn't exist stop making excuses for being delusional.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • T Jacobsohn

      Prove God does not exists. Sit down and write a convincing argument by taking in all the evidence. The incredible design of our bodies and nature around us. You can't. There is too much evidence that He does exist. See http://www.icr.org

      December 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Common Sense

      T Jacobsohn, do a little research and you will learn our bodies are not an incredible design. Everyone thinks our eye is so complex that an intelligent design must have created it but in reality, our eye is the most simple. Anything and everything can pretty much kill us, our own world can kill us at any second. It was not built for us, we evolved and learned to adapt.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Bella

      Is is just me or is there too many little twerps on their smartphones that their Mommy and Daddy gave them and they think they KNOW IT ALL ON HERE
      GET A LIFE! Put your phone away and go to bed you silly fools. So obvious that there are too many little teenagers on here who do not know a damn thing about suffering the loss of a child. THIS IS ABOUT LOSS OF INNOCENT LIFE
      NOT GUN CONTROL OR WHERE IS GOD
      These poor parents dropped there kids off at school this morning and did you think they ever imagined that tonight, 2 weeks before Christmas that they would never see them again??This is too sad for words
      My prayers go out to all the people of Newtown xoxoxox May God heal your hearts, calm your minds and hold your hands to lead you to peace

      December 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • John Sharp

      "Robert" No God is not real. But please submit any evidence to the contrary. 2,000+ years and not one proof of his actual existence. The reason, is because he or she is imaginary.
      The Bible is a horribly written book by an ignorant and primitive people in their childish attempt to explain what they did not understand. As time passes and as our scientific understanding of the world around us grows the more obvious it is that the writers of this book were not God and had no special relationship with any all knowing imaginary friend.
      It is time for us as a people to move forward and not continue to be held back by a primitive and easily provable false theology. Now is the time for rational thought.

      December 15, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • John Sharp

      "Robert" ##The very fact that you and I exist proves that there is a God##
      This is simply not true. There is no correlation between our conscious thought and any God at all. None. The relationship between the two is not provable, because it isn't true.
      There is no God. I don't need an imaginary friend to explain the dark and mysterious world around me, I am very comfortable with my existence in it.
      I don't even need the night lite I used to use as a child. I grew up.

      December 15, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • HM8432

      God is very real. His proof of existence and presence is all around us; to ignore it is like noticing a tree but forgetting that you're in a forest. The fact that all natural cycles and things (scientific) function so flawlessly, is evidence they were designed by an Intelligent Creator. I've read Darwin, Dawkins, and Hitchens, and everything they talk about is effect (anyone can step outside and declare that the sky is blue), but they can't explain any of the causes, or in other words, the BIG questions people care about; at least the Bible logically attempts that. Then there is the human soul. Explain that. Where does it reside, where does it go when we die, and why do we have emotions and advanced intelligence unlike animals? None of those guys explained that! Religion, unlike radical atheism has the better, and more convincing argument. Sorry guys, and Merry Christmas!

      December 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  11. Robert

    Where is God? WHERE IS GOD????

    Go ask the ACLU. Go ask Hollywood. Go ask the atheists. They are the ones who are responsible for chasing God out of American life, right through the court room door. And they pursued God as a pack of wolves would pursue a criminal. That's what well allowed them to do to God, the perfect, all wise, all loving, all giving, all holy God. We allowed the cursed atheists and that damned ACLU to run him out as if he were a criminal. And then we willingly turned away as we, as a nation, followed the morals of Hollywood. So where is God? God is right where we've put him... on the periphery of society. And how did we really think things would go after having done that?

    December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      If even a fraction of those who claim to be Christian were actively doing something, this wouldn't be the case. It is, in fact, the church in the 'West' that let this happen. We got lazy and stopped making disciples. There are now so few disciples who are trained to respond that we're in incredible trouble. The atheists, ACLU, etc. are all easily bested by anyone who can think clearly... there just aren't many of us like that.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • pzo

      God wasn't there in Newtown because god isn't anywhere.

      Atheists don't kill people, Christians and Muslims do. One does not need religion to have high moral standards. If fear of eternal punishment is the reason you behave, you are a child.

      Stop believing in fairy tales. It's very unbecoming for allegedly rational beings.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • TurnYourBrainOnBeforePostingPlease

      I had no idea an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent magical being that created all there is, even created humans in imitation of himself (and therefore perfect), could be run out of our culture so easily. Maybe that tells us something of the actual nature of god. I think he's exactly where he's always been...nowhere.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Judy

      Amen, Robert. People today don't want God to "interfere" with their lives UNTIL something like this happens. The American people have told God they don't want Him, don't need Him and He had better stay out of everything until they need Him. Well, God Almighty does not work that way. It's not guns that is the problem, and that's all we'll hear about. We need God in these kid's lives BEFORE something like this happens. You don't see anybody tonight trying to tell people not to pray and not to dare mention God. They want Him now, but it's too late for these poor people that died today. God help the people of the United States and please speak to Barack Obama's heart through this. He couldn't mention God at Thanksgiving but he did tonight. Wake up people!

      December 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • akahmed

      Is it absolutely the right time to question. Irrespective of what we believe in or don't believe in, if god can't protect innocent lives then really even "if" he exists what good is he? If god really exists then most likely its an amoral god, who doesn't really care or needs to care about human emotions, certainly can't be a loving god! You can choose to live in a delusional world or try to understand the natural world so you can do something about it. It's really your choice.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      @ akahmed –

      Or, God stops a heck of a lot of stuff, and without that, this kind of thing or days like 9/11/2001 would be considered typical. One might also want to take a look at the 'state of the nation' and see if any of that might be a contributing factor. God never promised to stop our every evil act. If God did, you or I wouldn't be here.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  12. sciwisc45

    Argument: God is all knowing. God is all powerful. Free choice is real. Then, God is choosing when he created this man to kill all those kids. Why? Because God is all knowing. By creating a supposed "monster" of society, he is allowing the death of these children. He could have been like , nah I'll just make a productive loving member of society. How could this be part of any good plan? Some people's only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others? How cruel and unjust..

    December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  13. Faisal

    God spoke to me just now. He said to ask you all, "where are you?"

    December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  14. mason

    God is here folks–He is building an army. These are his cherubs and the singer Rivera could be one of the seraphims. Repent now. I am going to church this Sunday, for the first time....ever....

    December 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Reaper

      Fear helps religion survive.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • T Jacobsohn

      Perfect love drives out fear – 1 John 4:18

      December 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Mace

      Thank you T Jacobsohn, I love how God has an answer for everything these these atheists fools drum up. Fool is God's term for them, not mine, but clearly God is perfectly right on that account as well.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  15. Sarah Parker

    We don't want anything to do with God. But when terrible things happen we want to blame Him. We don't want Him in our schools we don't want Him in our country. Don't blame God. We as a country have chosen to reject God.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Brian

      "We as a country have chosen to reject God."

      So your God then kills innocent children, that's a monster.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • vlaughlin

      No, we as a country have allowed people to worship whom they want.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • GAW

      Whose God?

      December 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Reaper

      You're effen deluded. Somehow in your crazy story, one man's actions are the product of millions of people choosing to not follow your fairy tale anymore. Keep dreaming.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Anna

      God is Alpha and Omega,The Great I AM, Ruler of Heaven and Earth, Almighty God, Prince of Peace.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Mark

      That is the dumbest thing I ever read. If you think God has left the people who worship him because some others don't believe in him...well then your god must be very thin skinned. Lets see what occurred today with God...the all knowing. Hmmm...that kid from Newtown is going to a school to kill a bunch of innocent children. Well some on earth don't believe. Oh well...what for breakfast. Plane dumb! God does not come because he is a figmant of your mind....trained by your parents and others who know know better. I could have been a God 2,000 years ago. All I would have needed was a Bic lighter.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  16. Jack_Simth

    Teachers get fired for having Bibles on their desks (see http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2008/jun/08062407 ) and prayer is not permitted in schools (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_prayer#1962_and_after ). And then when something goes horribly wrong in a place where those in charge have basically told God to go away, many immediately attack God for letting it happen. Why do so many want it both ways?

    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bullsh!t. Lifenews is NOT a credible source. For ANYTHING. Either find one or admit the story is a fabrication, moron.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Julie

      If god is really omnipresent then he cannot be chased away. I am so disgusted by this argument. You are making excuses to explain something that cannot be explained and blaming those who do not share your specific beliefs.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  17. vlaughlin

    I'm curious, are any Pagan clergy planning to be at the memorial service? It is a bit surprising to hear from a rabbi in an article like this. Generally Christian ministers are the only ones from whom opinions and statements are sought.

    Also, to the person calling the professor's statement a "cop-out": He is human, just like each of us. We are not obligated to discuss anything we don't feel like discussing at a given time. Can the mystery of death not be pondered without philosophical questions about the nature of suffering?

    Blessings,
    Victoria

    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  18. anne-o-gg

    Where is God??? Let's see – He's not allowed in public schools. He's not allowed in government buildings. He's not allowed at sporting events. He's not allowed at graduations. He's not allowed in malls or public property...and someone dares to ask where is He? What a STUPID question. God doesn't treat us like puppets – He gave us free will. If someone wants to do evil, they will find a way and even God can't stop them...

    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • vlaughlin

      You've never been to a NASCAR race then (or seen one on TV). There is a very Christian prayer before every race, effectively excluding others of other faiths.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  19. Billy

    He gave us free will and is not interfering.. as harsh as that its.. it gives us the ability to do tremendous good, or tremendous evil or sat and do nothing. it easy at time like these to blame anyone but ourselves for the tragedies that have hit our nation lately. In the end its us that pay for our deeds.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      I think if you say God isn't interfering, you've greatly underestimated the evil humans are capable of (and not just some psychopath, but all of us in one way or another). I think God is stopping MOST of what we'd do if left to degrade on our own. However, given the escalation of this kind of thing recently (and many other indicators), I'd have to wonder if God is lifting His protective hand and 'giving us over' these days.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Julie

      Then what exactly is the purpose of prayer?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  20. Daniel Lee

    Free will is why this happened. If this is taken away, we become robots and worship is meaningless. God is with the victims.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Julie

      He should have been with them before they died. There is no purpose or meaning to any of this.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:57 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.