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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. LORDCOMESOON

    magic prayer? You read the bible judging it as you read? or a open heart and understanding?

    December 15, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Not even close

      As with everything that humans wrote, one should read skeptically. The babble is not special.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Love That Jesus

      I open heartedly accepted the Bible and now lust for the day God kills everybody and sends the people who don't agree with me to eternal torture!

      God is love.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Jeebus lies too

      Verily, I say unto you. THIS generation shall not pass away until these things have come true. Oops.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Jesus

      If you pray and believe, your prayer will definitely come true, even if you pray for a mountain to throw itself into the sea.

      Ooops.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Natty Dread

      There is no book in the world that I would put all my chips on. Its a tool of hustlers man, you can't see that? Thats why you are a perfect dupe for the hustle. Probably not being from the streets you can't see that. Wanna play some three card molly?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  2. Truth

    This is where God is. Discussion ender.

    2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    Until then, expect the worst. Not by his sending, but by your own rejection of God (of which he is also all Good, for those still in the fog)
    God doesn't owe us anything. We owe him everything. We were duped into a deal with the devil. We cursed ourselves. But He STILL planned a way out for us, before the Universe was even created. As the verse above says, you can't reject him at every turn...kick God out of the Schools, out the very fabric of your lives, then expect him to come running.

    One of my young relatives is in jail right now for serial burglary. For the second time. Are his parent's "evil" for not bailing him out again? Nope. He ran away. He got himself mixed up in this. They are willing to help. But he has to be WILLING to TAKE the help.
    If you can't put that together, your heart is hardened. It may very well be too late. I pray not.

    "....One Nation, Under God..." two little words we no longer have in school. It left a void. Guess who's filling that void now?

    December 15, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Not even close

      Haha. Good joke. So in 2012 you actually still buy that there are angels and demons ? You are hilarious, and belong in the nut house.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Not even close

      For most of the history of this nation we did just fine without those words. The Netherlands are mostly atheists. They don't have this problem. Maybe you could buy a clue.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Observer

      Truth,

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written ORIGINALLY without mention of God. That was the way it was INTENDED. Study some history.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • No Way Yahweh

      You're delusional.

      People ask where 'God' is... same place gods always been... in your imagination. Right there along side Bigfoot.

      Now if people had any real sense they would put their faith in the Pink Invisible Unicorn. There's only this one book that talks about him... so you have to believe it.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your god is petty and vain and is an abuser.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Truth

      So, where are these Neanderthals?
      Right. Thought so.

      You look at our history and call that "Doing FINE??". See...THAT is the problem. We spend most of our corporate history killing each other, and you (and most others) deem it "find and natural".

      It's not. By a LONG stretch. And WHO do you say is clueless? I truly hope you never have to send a child off to war to help us "do finer". And, while he/she is over there on front lines, maybe ask yourself "Is this really what the human race is all about?"

      Sad sad frame of mind, my friend.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Natty Dread

      I don't know about God per se, but your concept of him,including depending on the bible for it, is SCREWED! The bible did not come from God, but from ancient Rome and Constantine. You ever heard of the council of Nicene? You folks better do some research on history before you swallow hook line and sinker. But I bet 10 to 1 you don't know jack about that.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • mama k

      Listen idiot – Christianity has never been doing fine in the U.S. It was causing so much trouble between different groups around the time of our founding that one man said:

      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.

      to the Virginia General Assembly

      That was James Madison, who was chief framer of the Constitution & Bill of Rights

      December 15, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Demon god

      The Neanderthals prove that evolution is true. There is Neanderthal DNA in only some human lines.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Natty Dread

      @truth – Yo, NotEvenClose said "the Netherlands" not "Neanderthals". C'mon you are making this too easy. What a moron!

      December 15, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Truth

      @Observer

      When / how the pledge was written is not the issue. The words were there. Now they are not, and it's not just the WORDS we removed.
      God himself has been kicked out of our Schools. And every where else.

      I mean, we can't even explain why an ATOM keeps it's energy in steady-state, haven't the SLIGHTEST clue. All we know is, it does.
      It shouldn't. But it does. Every Atom that has ever existed still exists, and has it's original amount of energy. Against everything we think it should do.
      We have not the slightest notion how to explain that.

      I do. And, thank God, so do most of the physicists I work with. What's more, most of the true physicists, especially those working in quantum chromodynamics, are now starting to understand, a bit, the nature of our reality, and the more the understand it, the more we realize it's NOT what it seems, and that there is something "driving" this reality we live in. From superposition to the immeasurable energy level constant of the Universe as a whole, we are now beginning to see a glimpse of the true nature of reality.

      Something is "there". Something, other then our local consciousness, is "aware". Matter behaves different based on if it's observed or not. (Don't throw me Heisenberg, already hashed that out years ago)

      I's very sad how many have touted "high and mighty science" as the "thinking man's response to God". Most often it's touted by those who don't have the implicit understanding that our science is nothing more than a series of "less wrongs". We don't make advances. We just get this "less wrong". IT's still wrong now, just not as wrong as 10-100 years ago. And even that is not definite.
      We thought the Atom was indivisible. Opps. We thought the Earth was the center of everything. Oops. We thought neutrinos traveled faster than light. Oops. We thought meat spontaneously produced maggots. Oops. We thought the Earth was expanding. Oops. Einstein’s Universe, the man himself, thought the Universe was static. Oops.

      Now, what is it you think?

      Once again, as in science, the time is coming when the Truth will be revealed. Be on the right side of "Oops" when that happens.
      Have you ever been wrong? Ever been man enough to admit it, or at least explore the possibility you might be?

      I did. I was Atheist. Then I was Agnostic. I asked "God" to make me a believer "if he truly existed". And he did. Sitting in a science lab, staring at a paper, he made me a believer.

      I implore you, those who would hear, hear that message. Those who won't....just won't. I challenge you to be one who will.
      What do you have to loose?

      December 15, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Truth

      Natty dread – sorry, I misread his comment. But, not sure where he got his facts: I wouldn't call 27% "Most" of anything.

      Netherlands Belief in God – 34%
      Believe in spirit / life force – 37%
      Belief in neither a spirit, god, or life force – 27%

      From wikipedia

      December 15, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Natty Dread

      Truth, (not a good name for you,by the way) – as to where the neanderthals are? They are in the genes of the europeans, the same ones who have developed and spread this brand of christianity. DNA research has all but proven this. Don't get all mad about it. It is more true than your moniker.

      December 15, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  3. kimmerkel

    If people find comfort in believing in a god, then good for them. The problem arises when folks use the "God's Plan" or God's Will" arguments and fail to act to make this world better. When you think this life is simply the waiting room before heaven, you diminish the meaning of our lives on earth. I do believe this is it, and that makes our time on earth all the more precious.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Natty Dread

      Right on my friend! "If you know what life is worth, you would look for yours on earth.
      And now you see the light
      You better stand up for you rights"
      – Bob Marley

      December 15, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  4. Ken

    I feel so sorry for those of you that deny God...you have no idea what's coming to you when you die. :-(

    December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Angel Moroni

      Yeah, tell that to the 20 children !

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • According to your Bible . . .

      Oh no! A frowny face! Be afraid!

      Thanks for the fear-mongering, Christian. Always pushing fear.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • fsmgroupie

      warm beer?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • robert

      Well these children certainly didn't have god coming from them while they lived. Guess he was too busy protecting his pedophile priests to protect these poor children.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Athy

      Ken, you're a poor deluded fool. Don't you feel embarrassed that you wasted all that time praying to a nonexistent god?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Jeebus lies too

      Like Ken knows. Heh heh. No one, not even once has ever come back to life. When you're dead, you're dead. Get over it.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • LinCA

      @Ken

      You said, "I feel so sorry for those of you that deny God...you have no idea what's coming to you when you die. "
      Are you familiar with Pascal's wager?

      Pascal's Wager:
      In effect, Pascal's wager states that while we can't know with absolute certainty whether the christian god exists, a rational evaluation should lead to a belief. If having to choose between believing (in the christian god), or not believing, the reward for being correct, and the price for being wrong, tips the balance in favor of believing.

      It says, if you believe and are correct, you will gain heaven, while the price for being wrong is nothing. On the other hand, if you don't believe, it says you will gain nothing for being right, yet lose everything if you are wrong. So, belief results in a win/neutral, and non-belief in a neutral/lose position, tipping the balance clearly in favor of the "belief" position.

      Why Pascal's Wager is a fallacy:
      a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options.
      b) Pascal's Wager assumes the christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions.
      c) Pascal's Wager discounts the price paid for belief before death.
      d) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the odds for the reward and the risk of punishment.

      Positing only two options is ridiculous. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. Based on the evidence available for these gods, it is not reasonable to assume one is more likely than any of the others. To increase the odds of a positive outcome of this wager, the believer would have to believe in, and worship, every possible god. Including the ones that haven't been invented yet. Aside from the drain on the available time, it presents the problem that quite a few of these gods are pretty selfish. They frown upon believers believing in other gods. In some religions that is enough to not be eligible for the reward (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      Also, just going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      The price paid for the belief position isn't nothing. It involves going through the rituals, day after day, week after week. It may have severe side effects on physical and mental health. Sex life suffers, too.

      In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation of risk versus reward is in order.

      Risk is (simplistically) the chance that a negative event occurs, multiplied by the cost of that event. As an example, being hit by a meteorite carries a very high cost (probably death), but since the odds are extremely low, the risk associated with it is low. Similarly, the chance of getting rained on is pretty high, but the cost is very low, representing also a low risk. On the other hand the cost and chances of, and therefore the risk associated with, a traffic accident are high.

      The choice whether to mitigate a risk depends on, among other things, the severity of the risk, the cost of the mitigation and the tolerance of that risk. In the above examples, the cost to mitigate each risk are; exorbitant, low and high, respectively. Methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of meteorite impacts are cost prohibitive and far exceed the risk. An umbrella and a check of the weather forecast effectively mitigate the risk of getting rained on, and is easily worth the cost. Car crashes, and their after-effects are mitigated to various degrees by expensive technology (from street surface technology to driver training, airbags and traction control). People bear those costs to their financial ability and tolerance for the risk.

      A similar reasoning applies to reward. The choice whether to pursue a reward is guided by the perception value of the reward, the perception of the odds of gaining the reward and the cost to pursue it.

      In the belief versus non-belief question, believers tend to irrationally overestimate both the reward for belief, and the risk associated with non-belief.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  5. Wisdom4U2

    Well, let's see. They kicked God out of public schools and now they want to know where He is? He's in the same place He was when His only begotten Son was killed. And those sweet kids are resting in His loving arms .....and are dancing in His presence.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • You are an idiot

      Hey stupid! Seculars are not the ones asking "where is god?" Catch a clue.

      This kid seems to have been from a church-going Catholic family, so god had a good xhance with him, and failed.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • According to your Bible . . .

      The Jewish and Muslim children are burning in hell.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Wisdom4U2

      I'm pretty sure everyone knows who the fools are. Grow a brain, clowns.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • fsmgroupie

      if they refuse to dance will your god cast them into hell

      December 15, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Jeebus lies too

      So, "wisdom4u" thinks an ancient angry deity required his own son to die, before he could say "I forgive you". Nice god ya got there.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Jeebus lies too

      BTW, wisdom4U2, when a Hebrew said someone was a "son of god" it just meant they were righteous. Jeebus never claimed to be god's only son, and there were many sons of go. Most generals, priests, and even some women were called "god's son". You really should take a class in your cult.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • LinCA

      @Wisdom4U2

      You said, "I'm pretty sure everyone knows who the fools are. Grow a brain, clowns."
      Since your god is no more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy, I know who the fool is.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  6. Phillyboijr

    Gotta love the useless athiests on this posting thread offering absolutely nothing but ridicule for those looking for comfort. They love tragedy because it gives them a chance to get on a soapbox. They seriously are sad, inept, human beings.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • robert

      The sad and inept human beings are the ones that believe the literal truth of bronze age myths.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  7. LORDCOMESOON

    I never said this guy is going to hell. your right. dont know where he is at right now. im no one to judge but can we say these precious kids are in heaven? I believe they are because they didnt deserve what happened to them. Jesus loves the kids(us)(believers)

    So you people who dont believe in God, Believe that someone(nonbeliever) on earth can kill people all there life and then die and face no judgement?

    December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Bobspelled backwards

      "Didn't deserve it" is not listed in the Bible as being a path into heaven. If those kids were of a different religion, or secular, then God is the next being that is committing an atrocity on them, one that is worse, because he is torturing them forever for not believing in him.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Natty Dread

      Its not that I dont' "believe" in god. "Belief" implies not knowing. That means that you are basically wagering that you're right,but not truly sure. When I "believe" something or someone, it means I'll take what you say at face value but I can't say for certain. I will look into it until I can "know" for sure either way. Then I can say, yes I now know what you said (for example) is true, or, no, I know what you said is a lie. Notice the difference between "believe" and "know"? What I, and I think others, definitely do not believe in is the doctrine and dogma of christianity as it has been propagated for many a century by a very narrow segment of our earth. Most of what you espouse is medievel,European bull. Do some critical thinking if you still have the ability after so much indoctrination.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  8. heaven bound

    “We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien

    December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Anon

      Even if the books and movies are good, he was still delusional.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  9. robert

    If you believe in God, then you must believe that chose those children to die. There are any number of things he could have done to stop it from an anonymous call to police to popping an artery in the brain of the killer. But he chose not to anb because of that the hopes and dreams of many familes have come to an end. Of course you could also accept the fact that there is no god, no one looking out for us but us and then that makes sense. But there is no way to see this incident from the perspective of belief without seeing god as nothing more than a callus monster. If god exists, he doesn't deserve your love, he deserve your hate. With or without god, you are on your own.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Bobspelled backwards

      If god were human, he would be guilty of gross negligence, and sent to prison.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • heaven bound

      He created paradise w/o death, pain or evil. We chose evil.

      He is holy and loving.

      He created heaven.

      This world is not the end of the story. It is full of pain and sorrow and evil.

      The death of 20 beautiful kids (kindergarteners) is an act of evil.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • robert

      but he created us. If we have a capacity for evil it is because he created us with it. Why would he put evil in the universe in the first place? He is supposed to be this great all seeing being yet he didn't foresee what would happen if he created us in this way? Is he incompetent or just ignorant?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  10. Please, give it a read.

    My friends.

    God is not the cause of evil, but rather He is where we can take refuge in dark times.

    What I saw today with the shooting was not an absence of God, but the presence of Him. Why?

    I saw ONE evil act. I read of twenty children shot dead, with six adults, in innocence. But that has been trumped by THOUSANDS upon MILLIONS of kind acts. I saw people cry that I thought could not be broken. I saw people confess that they feel like they need to take action. While this man committed a horrendous, evil, disgusting act, the rest of the world hid it with billions of acts of kindness.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • robert

      god is not the cause of evil, he just stands aside and lets evil do its thing to your children.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Bet

      So you're saying it's a wash, then?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Demon god

      You are deluded. Cherry picking your reality. If god did not create "evil" where did it come from / I thought she created everything. How can a perfect creator create evil ? Oops. Try again.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  11. Ditzmore

    >>10 chaplains dispatched from the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on Friday.
    I just threw up a little when I read this.... tell me Billy..exactly why did God allow this to happen again? Oh wait.. let me take my dumb down pill so I can believe your poo... The Sky Fairy is screwing up a lot these days...

    December 15, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Now Now

      They are chaplains from the Billy Graham Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Media Whores. They are they to provide comfort to Billy's bank account.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  12. Frank N. Furter

    Nobody more deserves to be put under harsh judgement for his sins than God.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • john

      well i always try to keep God out of everything. i dont believe in religions but i dont believe we ended up here by accident.. i just observe the earth and is easy to come to the conclusion that there is a God look how everything works so perfectly theres night time to sleep daytime to work theres beautiful animals the land was set up perfectly in a way the ocean cant cover us everything was done perfect.we as human beings are here on this world for the experience God let us have "FREE WILL"...we should be blaming ourselves for our own actions many ppl that blame God now didnt even say thank you to him when they had good things coming their way and God loved them no matter what!! everything that happens in the world has to do with the human beings free will in choosing to do right or wrong?? if you chose to do something bad and GOD stops you everytime then theres no "free will" we need to grow as human beings and learn to bring more love into the world instead of more violence that start from video games we play and music videos ect...dont get me wrong is bad very bad its terrible what happened to those kids it has no name and we can sit here and blame GOD is understandable this is a time of hopelessness and frustrations is gona get tougher i hope all those families out there can find the strenght to overcome this a lil bit i know is not ever gona be forgotten completely i know they mad at God and some might turn away from him forever and will continue to blame him when bad times come around but i think we should learn from this stand up and instead of blaming God we should try to help better the world ourselves if God dont wanna better the world for us then lets do it ourselves like it should it been done lets try to fight bullying more we dunno why this kid did it we blame him and curse him but we dUNNO IF HE WAS BEING ABUSED or bullied everyone has a brealking point! lets try help get rid of things that help promote violence like call of duty!! i bet yah rather blame God and not the society we live today were 4yr old play call of duty get the picture

      December 15, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  13. someday

    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

    December 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Athy

      Bullshit.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • someday

      So you are basing this on what exactly?

      In other words: I don't wanna believe; I don't wanna believe; you can't make me believe. Even if God opened up the heavens and tapped me on the shoulder, I still wouldn't believe. Nanny, nanny poo poo.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      And if these children didn't say the magic prayer before they died... condemn to hell for all of eternity? What's the cutoff age for auto-entry into heaven? Where is that stated in the bible?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Natty Dread

      Huh? I am where I am. If heaven is such a reality, why would jesus have to go prepare it? Because your only reference is a book and not natural, intuitive knowledge, your theology is nonsense. Its not god or not god, its just that what has been propagated is utter b.s.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • heaven bound

      Have you ever bothered reading the Bible, New Testament or are you basing everything on your best guess of what it says based on how people purporting to be Christian behave? If the latter, are you going by fanatics who act like they are holy and everyone else is dung? If you read the Bible, you would find that Jesus actually condemned 'those' people and hung out with the people they despised.

      It's kind of how crazy right wingers refuse to believe Obama is a Christian when he is acting more Christ-like (loving, caring, empathetic) than most of them.

      All of Jesus' parables were about how God cares so much about every one that He personally goes after each of them trying to get them to accept his free gift of mercy and grace. That's why it's good news.

      Prodigal Son
      Lost Sheep
      Lost Coin
      The Great Banquet

      December 15, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  14. onemorehere

    Only God by his grace and forgiveness can forgive the negative paradox that is sin...only through repentence can the negative paradox created by our sin can be eleminated- negative paradox/ sin = evil, only through god's mercy can evil=our sins be eleminated while still allowing the human body to remain intact...God is the only one in control over all things, the reason why evil is allowed is cause is so attached to human existence, the only way out of it is repentance and the acceptance of God our creator, through faith that he'll deliver us from evil and save our souls...

    December 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • God

      I meant to deliver those children from evil, but I was on my coffee break.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Bill Reid

      Humans were given dominion over the earth when we decided to place our will before God's. So stop blaming God for what human's do, he's only giving us what we wanted and what we deserved. There is a way out of the mire we've created, it's in the Bible. If you don't want to believe that, it's your choice.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • robert

      Only he can forgive sin, but then again, it is only he who says we have sin. In fact the idea of sin must originate with him as he is the origin of all things. So only god can forgive us for the sin he created and which he put on our souls. And we should thank him for that.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Natty Dread

      You so-called christians are very guilt ridden. The midievel european theology you espouse is all about how sinful you all are and only repentance,etc. can save your souls,etc. Maybe you yours are sinful and need reformation,but that's just the mindset of midievel european society. Babies aren't born sinful. Hell, they aren't even "ashamed of their nakedness"! Becoming indoctrinated into that nonsense is the beginning of their descent into confusion and "hell" if you ask me.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  15. pntkl

    Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;
    For there shall be no reward to the evil man;
    The candle of the wicked shall be put out.

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

      I, God, am wicked.

      I will torture most of the human race fro the rest of eternity. That's very wicked.

      I make people the way they are, then blame them for being as I made them, and I torture them for the rest of eternity. That's wicked.

      I let children be born with birth defects, of addictions, or horrible diseases. That's wicked.

      I do nothing when evil makes my creations miserable. That's wicked.

      I, God, am wicked.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • pntkl

      Hello, friend, who I will call OR. You've already pasted this reply; months ago. I was hoping you might have written a more compelling piece, by now. While I understand the sentiment, I have yet to understand what fulfillment you might receive from recursing the same text ad infinitum. In any case, hope you feel better. At least, that's what I'm trying to do, although you're not helping.

      "Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."

      December 15, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • God

      I just wrote that off the cuff. I have never ever posted anything like it.

      You are a liar claiming that I have ever posted that before. You are attempting to slander me with that assertion.

      You are definitely a Christian: a liar and a slanderer.

      December 15, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  16. Angel Moroni

    There is no God but not any god ;-)

    December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  17. LORDCOMESOON

    People who dont believe in God answer me this question(s). This man killed 20 precious kids. Took his own life. So what happens to the guy? He just dies and thats it?? He got what he deserved already by dying?? So this guy was allowed to kill these precious kids without any knid of judgement?? We all live our life the way we want then, oh look, we die and thats it..... ?? So i guess people on this earth can go around killing people and get away with it and then when they die witout getting caught, so what happens to them? They just lived a free life of killing and boom thats life?? Father God Lord Jesus Christ, heaven, angels, demons, and hell are REAL. Blows my mind that if someone on this earth can go on a killing spree then die and face no judgement after that..... use your free will thinking wisely. READ YOUR BIBLE.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Anon

      Reading the bible is another reason I'm an atheist.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • End Religion

      Yes, he's just dead. No punishment aside from his own bullet in his head.

      And with LCS we see the real reason religious people preach this stuff – they only want vengeance. They are hypocrites who only want to say "i told you so." Religion is a Trojan horse promising love and tolerance yet it only delivers hate and divisiveness.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      Can any punishment really balance what he did to those children? You miss a greater truth when you scapegoat your bad men to a hell.

      The truth is, no one know what happens to this man after he dies. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. If you're okay with that then carry on.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Ken

      Anon...please spare us a chuckle by not trying to convince us that you've ever read the Bible...because if you did, you wouldn't be an atheist.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Ditzmore

      It's ok.. as the killer believed in Jesus so he will be saved and live with Jesus in Heaven. Some of those kids didn't so they will go to hell (sorry, I didn't make up the Christian rules). Of course God meant for this to happen as he knows all and controls all... This is the B S my pastor told me.. that is why I am no longer Christian... I have a brain and I use it. I recommend you do the same.. right about now would be a good time.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Ken, Fallacy Alert: I've pointed this out about 50x on this forum. Most atheists come from religious backgrounds. I spent 13 years in a xtian school and 18 years in a baptist church. I believed as fervently when I was a child as you do now. I have read the bible many times from cover to cover and still have much of it memorized. The only difference is, I grew up. I put away childish things, to quote your bible. There is fantasy and there is reality. Without evidence, all you have is a personal opinion. You're enti.tled to it, but don't be surprised when others don't swallow it as easily as you do.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Anon

      Christian for nearly 20 years and now an atheist.
      I don't why it surprises you Ken since many atheists used to be Christians as well.
      Wait it's called using my brain for once in my life.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  18. weeknow

    @Jm ,,,FOOL's and People Like Hitler are getting what they Deserve, I agree because they believe in Humans came from APE's and Monkey's ..Instead of CONCEIVE Through GOD!!!???? IT's JUST DUMB the way they THINK!!

    December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • JM

      Um, no. That's the way Jonah thought. God wanted him to warn Nineveh; he didn't want to because he suspected God might be merciful towards them when he really wanted God to nuke them. Fortunately, God's not a jerk (like Jonah or any of us who think that we are better than anyone else). That's what all the parables are about: forgiveness, mercy, love, good news.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Athy

      weeknow, you really need help with your writing. There are way too many errors in your posts to even begin to point out. You're essentially illiterate. Go back to school. And stay awake this time.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • End Religion

      weeknow, you're dumb as a box of rocks, and btw, there is more than a week left until the end of world. I hope you didn't put your life savings into setting up your bunker.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  19. progfaith

    When will you people finally figure it out! THERE IS NO GOD!

    December 15, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • JM

      I don't know. Ask President Obama. Our president is apparently nuts; he believes in God.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Anon

      Which is ironic since his parents were atheists but apparently the christian kool-aid was more appealing.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Bet

      I think Obama's faking it.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Ditzmore

      >>I think Obama's faking it.
      That is ok as I think that Jesus was faking it also...

      December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Melrose

      People have already come to that conclusion, but nothing changes. Whether you believe in God or not, isn't really the issue...the issue is – how can you be a blessing to the families that suffered? It amazes me how people only bring God into something beyond their control, or when tragedy strikes. The flags were raised half – mast today...but soldiers died in Afghanistan yesterday...hmmmm – O, I guess that's God's fault too. We are victims of our own humanity...people kill people...it's that simple...painful, but simple.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  20. Anton Dubinski

    Asking where's god is the same as asking where's bigfoot, lochness monster, tooth fairy, etc.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • JM

      Tell that to President Obama.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • JM

      Or, tell that to the families who lost children who believe in God and heaven (and hell and justice for the perpetrator of this horrendous crime).

      December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Athy

      Why should we tell that to president Obama?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • JM

      Athy, are you a halfwit?

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

      Presidents always claim to believe in God whether they do or don't. That started with the first or second president.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • JM

      So, you're saying that Obama is a liar who we shouldn't trust/believe?

      How about Colin Powell?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Dostoyevsky

      Observer – can you even name the "first or second president"? And no wikipedia!

      December 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Observer

      Dostoyevsky,

      If you can read the minds of Washington or Adams, then tell us. Otherwise, it seems likely that either or both DID NOT believe in the God you apparently are thinking of based on what they said or was said about them by contemporaries..

      Grow up and get an education.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • mama k

      The 2nd POTUS wrote to the 3rd POTUS:

      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. "

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

      December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • mama k

      But I think one of the more beautiful, Deistic things Adams wrote was this:

      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])

      December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • mama k

      And of course the 4th POTUS, father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights said this:

      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.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Melrose

      People ask that question because they are afraid of the glaring truth...that truth is = for God to prevent evil in one person, He would have to prevent it in everyone. We are sovereign just as He is...He created us that way...the real question is how could He stop it? If He were to stop this kid from killing these babies, He would also have to stop the murders that occurred seconds before this one > the gossip minutes before this one > the lies told before this one, and so on. God is not a micro-manager...we want Him to be, until He begins to meddle in our affairs

      December 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • mama k

      And what about that 3rd POTUS? Well:

      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.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Observer

      "God is not a micro-manager...we want Him to be, until He begins to meddle in our affairs"

      Not much use in praying, is there?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • LinCA

      @JM

      You said, "So, you're saying that Obama is a liar who we shouldn't trust/believe?"
      I will take an atheist who claims to be a believer over a believer any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I am a realist that realizes and acknowledges that it is virtually impossible for an open atheist to get elected in the US to almost any office. I also recognize that is is far easier for a sane person to act insane, than the other way around. Jack Nicholson even received an Oscar for it.

      I trust and believe Mr. Obama where it matters. I trust him to have the best interest for the US at heart. Which is far more than I can say of any of the republicans in Congress. An elected official who may place his imaginary friend above his duties to his country is one of the worst things for society.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • JM

      @LinCA

      How do you know that Obama doesn't trust his imaginary friend and his imaginary friend's teaching to dictate how he leads?

      December 15, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • LinCA

      @JM

      You said, "How do you know that Obama doesn't trust his imaginary friend and his imaginary friend's teaching to dictate how he leads?"
      I don't know for a fact (can you ever?), but he appears to be smart enough to not fall for the bullshit.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • JM

      LinCA:

      "I didn't become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God's spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose - His purpose." – President Obama

      December 15, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • LinCA

      @JM

      I will be sorely disappointed if he is truly deluded. I'm holding out hope that he turned on the act because he was going into politics.

      December 15, 2012 at 2:15 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.