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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. Don't Take The Bait

    Why do atheists love this blog section? I would never commit so much time trying to disprove gold at the end of a rainbow or the Easter bunny because it would be silly. They're not real so who cares if someone told me that they were and wanted to pray to them and song songs to them. I would not be mad – I would be cracking up laughing then I'd do something else with my time. Yet atheists flock to this page an strongly and even profanity argue about how much God isn't real. It's very interesting. Why does it matter so much if someone isn't real?

    December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Answer

      It's called laughing at the religious nuts. XD

      December 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Why does it matter to you?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Patrick

      Because of the harm those false beliefs cause. And I'm not talking about belief in God, I'm talking about belief in the fundamentalist Christian God.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Bait, are you familar with the Evangelical Right?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Damocles

      Is anyone trying to pass legislation in the name of the easter bunny?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Athy

      Because the vangies make such easy targets. It's like bobbing for apples in a shot glass.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The real question is this, Don't Take the Bait: Why does it bother you so much?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Don't Take The Bait

      @I'm not a GOPer - I like to see how the nation responds to blogs like this. It give me an understanding of the world I live in. Where the general public stands on religion impacts other things like politics, economics, laws in the work place, entertainment and lots more. I read them so I can gauge where we are headed and what we are becoming as a nation. Comments use to be funny but they have gotten more hostile over the years.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please, what a crock! If you want to gauge anything, you don't really on an anonymous blog, you simpleton. Go read reliable polls and consult credible news sources. What kind of moron thinks THIS is a reflection of reality?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Look at all the posts calling for god in gov't insti.tutions and blaming natural disasters on gays and atheists.....when you guys knock it off we will stop. Until then get used to it.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Don't Take the Bait – So you're basically saying you didn't mean a word you said. You're just trolling. Nice. Get help.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Truth1117

      It takes more faith to believe that there is no God and that our world and life were developed by a random "bang". Atheism is a belief. That's why they're here. They're so against outspoken beliefs, when they are the worst about it.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • I don't like mondays

      December 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Saddened

      @Tom Tom – I never said this reflects reality. You said that. I said it helps me gauge where we are headed. I'm reading the opinions of the general public and coupling it with other sources then I form my own opinion (which I have a right to do).

      December 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Thepacific

      Well, sir, because it's fun to even read and respond to comments and or "prayer" by those nutty religious freaks. It's good to have fun or else we all go "mental" in this violent society.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  2. Mike

    Our world is a mess because of man. We create chemical weapons and other disgusting ways to kill each other. We have gotten to a point where there is so much corruption and greed among our so called trusted leaders that there is no way out. we have pushed god out of our lives thinking we don't need him, we can do it ourselves. Take a look around.. the headlines are only getting worse and man is in the drivers seat. I say it's time to move over and let Jesus take the wheel for a while. Man does not have the capacity to fix the problems that we ourselves have created. JMHO

    December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Oldster

      If you go out on the highway and let Jesus take the wheel, please make sure that nobody else is around.

      Jesus will not do a dang thing...

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Thepacific

      Our world is messy because we don't have a sense of sharing and caring for our own kind in our upbringing. We don't honor and follow certain codes of conduct to which we tend to expect others to abide but not us. We have leaders to turn blind eyes to torture. We have leaders to turn blind eyes to the huge gaps between rich and poor. We have cops who are supposed in the profession of protecting citizens commit violent acts against citizens. We have politicians, on tax payers payroll, who won't hesitate to trim down mental health care budget. We have "leaders" who just voted down the UN "bill of right" for the disability. We have politicians who are born rich, uneducated, and power hungered to divide the nation. And best of all, we have Americans who are following capitalism "BLINDLY". Listen folks, I don't care whatever "ism" you adhere to, but when you are so blind into believing in something, you simply evolve to fools. All "ism" can fool you if you don't put a check on it from time to time.
      You see? those are only a few things that I have in my thought. Let me take a look at this society as outside observant and to tell you frankly Americans, you folks need to teach the next generation "PEACE, TOLERANCE, SHARING".. not "WAR, INTOLERANCE, and SELFISHNESS" How on earth a civilized society is still preaching imaginary friends with INTOLERANCE? Quit that. Stay away from hatred.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  3. Patrick

    God (the Christian one anyway) murdered plenty of children himself and also ordered the murder of many children. Forgotten about the Great Flood? Forgotten about Sodom and Gomorrah? Forgotten about this, the Midanites?

    Numbers 31: (Moses Speaking) 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now ki11 all the boys. And ki11 every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  4. GinnyD

    God is watching and hurting and grieving more than we can imagine. This terrible tragedy is not His will. Unfortunately mankind has chosen to rebel against God and as a result many innocent lives are destroyed and the suffering goes on until He comes again to gather His people.This is not God punishing us, this is only a result of a fallen world. Even so Lord, come quickly.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Patrick

      I sure hope you don't mean the Christian God. He's murdered plenty of innocent children in his time.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      so somehow mere mortal men have subverted a god's will? sounds like a pathetic weakling, not a god.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Answer

      Tell us more.

      What other feelings are your god experiencing? Let's hear it from one who is so in touch.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Logic

      Ginny, I respect your right to an opinion and your right to practice whatever religion you want. Freedom of religion is one of the many things that makes our country great. My problem is this: I cannot worship a God who is not held to the same standards to which I am held. If a child was drowning and I could save him or her, but chose to watch and just let it happen, wouldn't I be negligent? I don't believe God exists, but even if he does exist, he isn't worthy of worship. Any God who would allow this to happen cannot be good. People worship him because they are afraid not to. Religion is mankind's way of dealing with its own mortality.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • GinnyD

      If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then you can't understand what I am talking about.I know it sounds like craziness to you but if you want to know HIm better you will seek Him and find Him. :)

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      If one has a "personal relationship" with imaginary beings it *is* craziness.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  5. non believer

    Seems like god is in vacation in Hawaii

    December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Patrick

      He is, but his mother Mary flew to Kenya for one weekend to give birth to him, and then flew back.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  6. End Religion

    Hey you pipsqueak Talibangelicals, Jim wants to know why you and god allowed limp-wristed liberals to steal your god from you?

    December 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • sam

      It's kind of amazing that people seem to think god was banished from school like a kid who's been suspended. I had no idea humans were so powerful they could expel god from anywhere. Pretty weak god.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sam, you speak the truth. Who knew that god couldn't hear a prayer unless it was spoken aloud in unison by 600 children in a school room? Who knew that god was so hard of hearing? Who knew that his super-powers didn't include reading the thoughts of his flock? Oh, wait...don't the zealots claim that their god sees all that is in the hearts and minds of all people?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah...apparently god sees and hears everything right up until you shut him out, and then he turns his back like a pouty kid and pretends not to see you suffer.

      Nice guy! Totally worth worshipping!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  7. Larry

    Whoever asks "Where is God?", should re-focus & ask "Where am I with regard to THAT shooter owning THOSE guns?" The NRA's agenda will successfully allow every person - regardless of background - to be legally armed to the teeth because we allow our representatives to endorse mass ownership of weapons, which keeps growing despite the increasingly frequent occurrences of Newtowns & Auroras. 61 mass shootings in the past 30 years & in 80% of those horrific tragedies the weapons were purchased legally!! And each time we ask "Where is God?" Dumb beyond belief!

    December 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • blogo

      We must limit the guns (and perhaps only one shot at a time) hunting guns to registered hunters only.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      Well said.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Neal

      I'll just say that I find it humorous how many times I find the same people and the same arguments arguing against the existence of God on this website. They are most always simplistic, emotional and full of personal animus. Begs the question... are you trying to convince others, or yourself?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Neal – Obviously your motive isn't to support someone who claimed that those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  8. Mohammad A Dar

    truly believing in God is going to make you an humble, compassionate, and a carrying person, HE will make you think 100 times before you pull a trigger on some innocents, that's what the God is about, nothing else, goons

    December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • blogo

      I'm sure Osama bin Ladin was a true believer.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Answer

      Sure ..sure.

      Look at you religious nuts being so humble..

      December 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • 1400

      The problem is atheists people don't believe in God, so they just pull the trigger.without thinking. That's how lost they are.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Answer

      Ya really lost.. without you religious cvnts who can't provide the evidence.

      Just look at how lost you religious t-w-a-t-s are at the fundamentals of providing evidence for your claims.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      stupids blogo and Answer to Nothing, look at the message, not messenger, bigot goons, and I am not muslim, except screen name, fools

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • PsiCop

      You do realize, of course, that bragging about your humility, is proof that you don't actually have any. Don't you? Humility and bragging are mutually exclusive.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • sam

      I liked you better when you were the hindu troll.

      HINDU HINDU HINDU

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      And without God I guess you wouldn't have a conscience?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Sam, hahahaha, pay attention closely to Hindu troll's posts, learn to understand who is Jekyll and who is Hyde, goon

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Logic

      Mohammed, you are infected by the disease known as Islam. There is no god and I do not understand why Muslims believe so fervently in a fairy tale. I wonder the same things about evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews. How anyone can believe this foolishness is beyond me.
      Deal with it, you are going to die one day and you will cease to exist, just like you didn't exist before you were born. That man shot those kids because he was mentally ill. No sane person with a functioning brain would do such a thing. And no god worthy of worship would allow him to do so.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  9. Truth1117

    Where's God? Oh yeah....we banned God and prayer from our schools because we were offended by him.

    fail.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Truth1117

      School shootings began in late 90's....right about the time we asked God to leave our schools. God, you have my support on coming back to our schools.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Akira

      So God gets mad at that and kills 20 innocents? Really?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Damocles

      Did all that pesky famine and poverty and war stuff start up in the 90's as well?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Truth1117

      No, we asked him to stay out of our business at schools, and he is just listening. God didn't do this. He guarded our schools from this for years.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Patty

      Let's bring god back, but this time lets try Allah. Is that going to be ok with you?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • sam

      Yes. Your god is so weak and pouty that we little humans were able to push him out.

      Your god seems to be some kind of 7 year old girl.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • mama k

      No we banned mandated prayer and Bible reading from public schools because it was unconstitutional.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Patrick

      Yeah right and that explains the shootings in churches too, right?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "School shootings began in late 90's....right about the time we asked God to leave our schools. God, you have my support on coming back to our schools."

      Well, you're an idiot. Where'd you come up with this historical fact?

      Pulledoutofyourass dot com?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "School shootings began in late 90's....right about the time we asked God to leave our schools. God, you have my support on coming back to our schools."

      Wrong again

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

      December 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Damocles

      So he used to protect them when they got to school, but if they died at the hands of their parents or from some disease, he just shrugged his shoulders and said 'golly gee whiz if they had only gotten to the school'.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      What about the Manitoba school shooting in 1902? Truth1117, you realize lying is a Top 10 Sin, right?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Charles Whitman, a good catholic, may have started it all in 1966 at the U of Texas Tower in Austin.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  10. blogo

    The atheists are not asking " where is god". They know it's nonsense.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • 1400

      Are you serious? I see atheists asking that question all the time on every darn articles where something as bad as this is happening.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • blogo

      You must be a comedian, or look like one! :-)

      December 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Athy

      C'mon, 1400, it's a sarcastic question. Don't you get I?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They're asking it because they're showing how idiotic people like 1400 are for believing in a benevolent, all-powerful, omniscient sky-fairy when such a being allows innocent children to die horrifically at the hands of a madman.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      1400,

      are you really so daftnthat you don't get the nature of the question?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Get it"? Come on! 1400 needs help wiping his own ass.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • 1400

      You're the clown, you're fighting for something you don't believe in. Keep fighting the invisible idiot.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would anyone fight with a wad of dung?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • sam

      @1400 which orifice do you keep pulling these nuggets of faux wisdom from?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • 1400

      Here comes the same usual gang that hangs on CNN hunting for religious people. Thecheesemaker, Tomtom the dumb atheist and some others. Is that what your boring atheists lives is all about? You are spending more times of your life showing up on comments board making fun of believers. And i'm speaking of you doing this on a daily basis. It's obvious that you have no life other than that. Just a bunch of kids with a big mouth of becomes 10 feet tall and bullets proof sitting behind a computer and insulting people. The truth is you are just a bunch of cowards.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • sam

      Is that all you've got? Very weak. You seem to be new.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Athy

      1400, your writing skills are right in line with those of a religious dimwit. I can recognize a biblebabbler by their poor writing every time.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Safety of the North

      Hi, 1400....odd question since, as you've made clear, you've been on this blog long enough to know the atheist bunch...

      As to your question? When one takes scriptures literally, one can't comprehend the nuances of language in general and words in particular....

      But stay where you are...it's safer and requires nothing of you...

      December 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Requires nothing of you." Perfect-that's precisely what fvckwit like 1400 has to offer–nothing!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  11. Chad

    The Bible says, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward."

    Yes, to be sure, science has done much to push back certain types of human suffering, but think of the suffering that we still face in the world today: Inner-city children trapped in cycles of despair. Children of divorce described increasingly by researchers as carrying deep and lasting wounds. Orphans and desperate children, around the world, torn apart by war.

    And among those of us who are the most protected against poverty and violence, families self-destruct, friends betray us, psychological pressures bear down on us.

    Why do we suffer? That is an age-old question that none of us can fully answer.

    King David too suffered heartbreak. His own deceit caused the death of his infant son. His children were involved with rape, revenge and murder. His son Absalom led a revolt against him.

    Yet David, again and again, in the most agonizing circmstances, could turn to God and say, "The Lord is my shepherd."
    Billy Graham

    December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Boooooooo

      December 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Athy

      Go away, Chad. You're like an itch I can't scratch.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The Bible says,

      Whatever you want it to say

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • sam

      The bible says shellfish is bad. So what?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      King of Stupid, you're not wearing any mixed linen/wool clothes are you?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Safety of the North

      Chad, I'm new to communication with you...but I have been following your posts...particularly your views of the resurrection...

      What I would like to know, is at what point are you going to stop copy/pasting what others have said...you are "well versed" in pasting the apologetical views of C. S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Tim Keller, etc. and now Billy Graham.

      When do we get to read the "real" Chad...the above gentlemen have done hard work to compile and develop their thinking...how about doing your own work...

      Otherwise, your integrity is, well,...lacking....

      December 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  12. ScienceSoma

    God is where he has always been: only in the minds of his believers.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Our Creator does care

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/why-does-god-allow-suffering/

    December 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      suffering is "allowed" for one reason only – god doesn't exist.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  14. blogo

    It's a travesty to push something as fake as god and religion on people that have suffered this horrible tragedy. It just adds insult to the injury!

    December 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Actually

    Where's God? People are asking where is God? Not in public schools; He's not allowed to be there. Not in many homes; people are too busy watching unGodly programs. Not in many "Christian" churches; they don't want to give up their addictions to sin. Not in the government; they think Separation of Church and State means Humanism is better. Where is God? Are you kidding? We've kicked Him out and we have the nerve to ask? Wake up to reality America; evil fills the void when God is kicked out.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • LVguest

      God's a myth . . . GROW UP!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • blogo

      The atheists, the only rational people, are not asking "where's god?".

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • mama k

      You're welcome to go to another country and bring God back into the schools.

      Listen to James Madison, POTUS #4, and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:

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

      (A Remonstrance . . to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

      Listen to John Adams, POTUS #2:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

      (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

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

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

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

      Listen to Ben Franklin:

      Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

      (from his Autobiography)

      Thomas Paine was very Deistic. He witness Quakers being hung in Massachusetts by other Christians:

      I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      Thomas Jefferson had his own Deistic version of the Bible.

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (from Notes on the State of Virginia)

      Of course Deism holds to the belief of God as the creator of the universe. But many Deists also believed that God did not interfere with the lives of his creation. And many Deists disbelieved in all of the "magic" in the Bible – some of them refuting the Bible and Christianity completely.

      Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Mason & Madison all witnessed the violent persecution between Christian sects in their home states around the time the government was being established. So it is of no surprise that they needed a secular government and they knew the only way to enforce freedom of religion was to keep religion out of the government as much as possible.

      Listen to James Madison speak about the need for the need to keep religion out of government (Jefferson wasn't the only one to explicitly speak of the separation of church and state):

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

      (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

      Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

      President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

      Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

      I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Just how many of these "this is divine retribution for the separation of church and state" posts will there be?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • mama k

      When they stop squawking about God being removed from public schools.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Good stuff

      Mama K, that was very informative and intelligent, thank you! :)

      December 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Sick of stupid

      Don't preach in my school and I won't think in your church.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Safety of the North

      Actually's comments betray 2 things...

      1. His god is apparently not powerful enough to counter the Supreme Court
      2. All the Christians who abondoned the public schools for their own church/home schools should then be held accountable for their cowardice and failure to keep the presence of their god in there...

      Paul said something about "where sin abounds, grace abounds that much more"...and yet the cowards ran away en masse...

      But, the fact is, the Body of Christ doesn't care...sad.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  16. lionlylamb

    Do not blame God for mankind's harvests! We sow what is reaped! In reaping what is sown do we all harvest in likewise amounts what is solemnly sown!

    December 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  17. God

    Devils did this! Don't blame God

    December 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      God made the devil so it IS his fault.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Jone

      Could GOD escaped?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Don't Take The Bait

      @Cheesemaker - God didn't make the devil. God made Lucifer and He made him good. Lucifer decided to be evil. Just like God made Adam and Adam decided to do the wrong thing. And we've been doing the wrong things by choice ever since.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure. And Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were real!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And your all knowing god knew it would happen before it happened.....so it is still his fault.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • 1400

      Hey cheesemaker, which one of these is your favorite choice? A: a-s-s cream or B: ice cream? Don't bother answering i know already, you prefer A.

      You're just a kid with a big mouth and a coward that's all.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • sam

      Now 1400's go-to insult is to call people kids with big mouths and cowards.

      Boring.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Safety of the North

      Ouch, Cheese....1400's comments must be devastating...

      I'd encourage you to seek couseling in order to regain your lost self esteem...

      December 14, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  18. cigarman

    Lesson number 1...imaginary "Gods" can't stop real bullets.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Jim

    Where is God indeed? Liberals and atheists have robbed us of God.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • CJ

      oh please... i can't rob you of something that doesn't even exist

      December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Wow, your god must be impotent and weak...

      December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Akira

      What, they're holding him ransom? If you believe in him, he's still there.
      What a retarded post.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      Careful, next we will rob you have your little pot of gold, you leprechaun.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • mama k

      Really????

      Listen to James Madison, POTUS #4, and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:

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

      (A Remonstrance . . to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

      Listen to John Adams, POTUS #2:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

      (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

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

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

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

      Listen to Ben Franklin:

      Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

      (from his Autobiography)

      Thomas Paine was very Deistic. He witness Quakers being hung in Massachusetts by other Christians:

      I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      Thomas Jefferson had his own Deistic version of the Bible.

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (from Notes on the State of Virginia)

      Of course Deism holds to the belief of God as the creator of the universe. But many Deists also believed that God did not interfere with the lives of his creation. And many Deists disbelieved in all of the "magic" in the Bible – some of them refuting the Bible and Christianity completely.

      Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Mason & Madison all witnessed the violent persecution between Christian sects in their home states around the time the government was being established. So it is of no surprise that they needed a secular government and they knew the only way to enforce freedom of religion was to keep religion out of the government as much as possible.

      Listen to James Madison speak about the need for the need to keep religion out of government (Jefferson wasn't the only one to explicitly speak of the separation of church and state):

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

      (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

      Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

      President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

      Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

      I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Brasil1958

      Are you mad????

      December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      your god is so weak some liberals stole him from you? LOL, and what does that say of you? You let us steal him too, pipsqueak!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Thepacific

      Your god? your imaginary almighty all powerful friend is useless.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      Keep yer hands off me gold!!!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • bjr

      how have atheist robbed god from you if they do not believe in god then there is not one to take away. Did your god feel bullied by us horrible atheist so he ran away? Good god to have.

      This is a sad day in America and until we tighten the noose on these criminals nothing will change but please don't blame atheist for this tragic day. . . blame the crack pots in our society. Don't forget that these crack pots can be Christians, Atheist or what have you. Godly people do horrible things as well.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Thepacific

      I thought republicans and your religious right wing nuts are the gun advocate. Now you blame it on liberals instead of your impotent imaginary friend. It's not the time dude. I am sorry for the victim families. So sorry.
      Suggestion to gun laws:
      1. all guns should be chipped with GPS device.
      2. all guns can be disabled remotely.
      3. permits are upon requested when guns are to be carried to hunting areas.
      4. Only gun owners can carry and use their guns.
      5. Police should be trained to be less violent. Cops in this society are too violent.

      so that law enforcement can act according if guns are detected to area where no guns are allowed.

      Only high tech can somewhat reduce the high likelihood of gun violence. what do you think gun makers?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • sam

      So you can be robbed of god?

      If he's real I hope he can see you slandering and mocking him like this, implying he's that weak and puny.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  20. Mental1981

    If you've never gone down on your knees in fervent prayer, never looked up th the heavens with thanks for any of your blessings, never believed in the creator, why would you expect him to come to you instead of the millions who live their lives praying, worshiping, sacrificing and loving him? Only a man who has lost his faith or no faith could actually ask "Where was God..."

    December 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, where was god?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Thepacific

      we need to better gun laws. we don't need god. we need better gun education. we need to teach peace and tolerance. ok? Your imaginary friend is worth for nothing.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Thepacific

      The imaginary friend or friends have and are sleeping in peace while we man suffer. It's good to be king, I guess.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:12 am |
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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.