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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. Jone

    GOD's MIRACLES would look like this:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5dV2v1Cvu4&w=640&h=390]

    December 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  2. Rudolph

    God is exactly where we have rejected Him. He is waiting for us to turn towards Him. Therefore its not Gods fault. But its our fault.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      It truly is amazing. We run God out of our lives, then we whine that He wasn't there.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Woops

      "No one shall come to me unless the Father draw him".

      December 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      Yes, he's waiting for us to come back to him by not helping, not showing himself and generally not doing anything to make himself known to the people who are turning away.

      It'd be like me waiting outside a house and saying "Damn it, why aren't they letting me in." And then seeing a man trying to break in and saying "To hell with helping them. They don't know I'm here. Clearly I should just keep standing here. They'll open the door eventually".

      NONSENSE.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Brian

      "God is exactly where we have rejected Him. He is waiting for us to turn towards Him. Therefore its not Gods fault. But its our fault."

      Really that's what you're going to tell the Christian families who's innocent children where killed today. You're full of it.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Woops

      Eventually all the "Christian" families will have to wonder where exactly there god was today. Obviously, nowhere.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I whined because when I tried to find god to run him out of my life he wasn't there. If you'll throw out that bathwater you'll find that there's no baby Jesus in there and there never was.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      Rudolph's thinking is the result of being kept from competing in The Reindeer Games.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  3. Guest

    Keeping God away is keeping goodness away. Evil is the absence of goodness. We decided to say no to God and his goodness and invited evil like this horrible tradegy to happen. We need to bring God back to our lives and society. His love and healing is the answer to this degenerating world. Again CNN should be ashamed of using this tradegy to promote there atheistic views.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Woops

      Morality does not come from gods. It's an Evolutionary advantage. Have you ever considered getting an education ?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      The "tradegy" is your level of education, muttonhead.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Guest

      Wow now your right because of a typo error....

      December 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  4. Priscilla

    I DO NOT BELIEVE GOD HAD A HAND IN THIS. I BELEIVE HE ONLY KNOW'S LOVE, ESPECIALLY OF THE LITTLE CHILDREN AND I BELIEVE HE IS CRYING TEARS, JUST LIKE WE ARE. I AGREE WITH ANNE GRAHAM, THAT WE HAVE TAKEN GOD OUT OF EVERYTHING AND TOLD HIM TO GO AWAY, NO PRAYER IN SCHOOL, SO MANY OTHER THING'S, WE CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAY'S, EITHER WE WANT HIM IN OUR LIVES, GUIDING US BY HIS HOLY BOOK, OR WE DON'T. HE LOVES US ENOUGH TO BACK AWAY AND LET US MAKE OUR OWN CHOICE'S. BUT, YOU SEE WHAT HAPPEN'S WHEN WE MAKE OUR OWN CHOICE'S. I AM PRAYING MIGHTILY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS. WE NEED TO FIND A BETTER WAY TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM THE EVIL THAT SURROUND'S THEM AND US EVERY DAY. GOD BLESS THOSE LITTLE SOULS.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • doc77

      it's ok to ask these grieving questions of God, but one thing MUST be remembered; this is not God – it's us. We did that.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      CAP LOCKS!!!!! Clearly the work of Satan.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      @Priscilla: A couple things first. There's a "caps lock" key on your keyboard. Consider turning it off. Please Google "apostrophe" and learn about its proper use. We all make mistakes, but your pattern suggests you really don't know why it exists.

      ***
      "I DO NOT BELIEVE GOD HAD A HAND IN THIS."

      Isn't it convenient that god acts just the way each believer feels inside? If they feel this massacre was punishment, then they proclaim it was god's punishment. If they are saddened, then god is saddened. See a pattern?

      ***
      "I BELEIVE HE ONLY KNOW'S LOVE, ESPECIALLY OF THE LITTLE CHILDREN"

      You obviously have not read the bible. God is violent, obsessive, vengeful, angry and very deadly versus children, whom he is said to have killed by the millions. What may be worse is, ask any good christian if they OK god's killing of children and they'll say something like "if it was god's will," meaning you find the murder of children just dandy as long as it comes form your imaginary sky fairy.

      ***
      "I AGREE WITH ANNE GRAHAM, THAT WE HAVE TAKEN GOD OUT OF EVERYTHING "

      We have not taken him out of everything. Mostly we've simply shown he never existed in many places claimed by him in the first place. This country was founded on the principle of keeping god out of certain other areas, so if you don't like that idea, why stay here? Move to Iran – they love religion there.

      ***
      "HE LOVES US ENOUGH TO BACK AWAY AND LET US MAKE OUR OWN CHOICE'S."

      This isn't "backing away and letting us make choices" - this is "not existing".

      ***
      "BUT, YOU SEE WHAT HAPPEN'S WHEN WE MAKE OUR OWN CHOICE'S."

      You feel you're incapable of being moral without god. Awesome, so let the church make all your decisions and keep sending them your money. Me? I can make my own decisions, and they rarely involve shooting up schools. Your assertion is simply pathetic. You're basically admitting you can't exist without others controlling you. Grow a spine.

      ***
      "I AM PRAYING MIGHTILY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS."

      Praying has been shown to work as well as flipping a coin. If you want to help them, go volunteer.

      http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html

      ***
      "WE NEED TO FIND A BETTER WAY TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM THE EVIL THAT SURROUND'S THEM AND US EVERY DAY."

      It's time to take your thumb out of your mouth and grow up. We cannot stop every individual act of naughtiness. Most of us don't want to see violence perpetrated against anyone. So grieve for the victims, fine. But if you want to help alleviate violence then let's get rid of religion, one of the leading causes of violence in the world.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  5. Green1955

    T

    December 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  6. Jeff Jordan

    Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... And I absolutely hate the %ucker. Yep, science has already proved that there was never a god or anything close to that.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  7. ***********************

    Earth timeline

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/earth_timeline

    Does it makes sense to shake a fist at ___________....
    Pope said abortion and g_ay marriage are preventing peace
    ???????????????????????????

    December 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Well, THAT was a cogent and coherent post.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      A rival to lionlylamb's eloquence.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  8. Dwayne

    “Why?” With the recent tragedy in Connecticut, that is the universal question regardless of a person’s race, gender, religion, social status, etc.
    When tragedies occur, either in the local area or in another part of the world, it is common to hear the expression: “It was God’s will.” Many say this to bring some type of comfort to those that have been adversely affected by an event. To be honest, it is difficult to try and comfort someone who is or has suffered greatly. Thus, people are moved to say and do what they can to bring some relief to those that need encouragement and comfort.
    However, when events happen that cause people much pain, including death, whether that be due to natural disasters, war, illness, etc, is this truly the “will of God”? In other words, is God really responsible for the suffering that results when tragic events happen and lives are lost? Some feel that God has reserved the answers to these questions for himself and will reveal them to humans later. Well, many in this community believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Thus, what does the Bible teach regarding this matter?
    When it comes to human suffering, the Bible helps us to understand certain important aspects about God’s personality which have a bearing on how he feels about human suffering. Consider just three:
    First, when humans suffer because of whatever reason, God feels compassion for people. When people were suffering in the past because of many reasons, the Bible states about God: “In all their affliction [or suffering] He was afflicted.” (Isaiah 63:9) God does not look upon human suffering with indifference but it actually bothers him to see people suffer.
    Second, the Bible states that “God is love”. (1 John 4:8) Everything that God does is governed by love. Consequently, God is not responsible for the suffering in this world. If a decent person is repulsed by the idea of performing an action that would cause someone else to suffer, how much more so would God find that idea even more appalling!
    Third, the Bible helps us to understand that God is “merciful and gracious…abundant in goodness”. (Exodus 34:6) The word “mercy” as used in the Bible means not only having warm sympathy and pity for a person who has suffered but someone is moved to help the suffering person. The Hebrew root word for “gracious” conveys the idea of someone who desires to help a person from the heart because he sees a person in need. The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament states that the word translated “goodness” in the King James Version includes “intervention on behalf of someone suffering misfortune or distress.” Thus, not only is God hurt when he sees humans suffer, but because of his mercy, graciousness and goodness, he offers help now and will end all human suffering in the future.
    So, then, why do people suffer? Basically, the answer to this question falls into three categories:
    The first, random events: In the Bible, a tower fell on 18 people and killed them. Referring to what happened, Jesus asked: “Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem? Certainly not!” (Luke 13:4, 5) Jesus knew that God did not punish these people or “take” them by causing the tower to collapse on them resulting in their deaths. He knew this important truth, “time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) A person can suffer because he can be at the wrong place at the wrong time or he can be the victim of human error. For example, if a person was to ignore warnings and buildings are poorly constructed, when a severe storm comes and causes much destruction, this has nothing to do with God.
    The second deals with personal choice: Galatians 6:7 states: “Whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.” So, for example, a person who chooses to make unwise decisions–say squanders his money–will have to deal with the results of those choices. We also may have to deal with the bad decisions of others. A person who becomes a victim of crime is suffering because of what another person, not God, did to him.
    Thirdly, consider the ruler of the world. The Bible teaches that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Three times Jesus called Satan the Devil the “ruler of this world.” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) This helps us to understand why so many horrible things happen today.
    Is it not comforting to know that when tragedies strike, which result in pain and suffering to many, that God is not responsible for such events? Consider, also, this final scripture: James 1:13 reads: “With evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” God is never the source of the suffering humans face.
    While everyone has to deal with some form of suffering in their life, they can be sure that God never causes or wills such things. On the contrary, God promises, by means of Christ Jesus, to remove all the suffering that we deal with including destroying Satan, a major source of this world’s problem. In your own copy of the Bible, please read these scriptures and know that one day we can look forward to living on this earth in these conditions: Psalm 37:9-11, 29; Isaiah 25:8; 26:19; 33:24; 65:21-25; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:3, 4.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • jezuz

      914 words

      December 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Athy

      You want the simple explanation? There is no god. Everything that happens is a random event, no god needed. All your silly bible quotes are placebos to make you feel better. Religion is for people incapable of rational thought. Unfortunately, that seems to be most people.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Woops

      tl/dr.
      Stop quoting 2000 year old books. They are irrelevant.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Dwayne

      @ Athy and Woops: You two made my day. Love ya! @ Jezuz: You seemed to be nicer to me than to others who posted thoughts that you disagreed with...love ya for that too! @ all three: I appreciate you three reading my post though.

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

    My deepest sympathies go out to all the families in this horrific event.

    Funny when something terrible happens we ask "where was God?" Well, we kicked God out of our schools and out of our government. We turned our back on Him as a nation. Who do we thank when something wonderful happens?? I guess its the simplest co-out to blame God when something like this happens.

    My heartfelt prayers are going out to these families. May God help through this time of grief.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • csa3

      Well said!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "Who do we thank when something wonderful happens'? Umm – the person or people responsible? As opposed to some imaginary being?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Separation of Church and State caused God to slaughter 20 innocents?
      Well, he let a lot of innocents get slaughtered in the OT, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Marty

      What a disgusting thing to say. You should be ashamed of yourself. So your heart goes out to the victims, but really, this is all America's fault for shunning God. So God is getting even now. Yeah, you sound real sympathetic there.

      You make God sound like a lost puppy who got kicked out then grew some claws and came back for revenge. If you honestly believe that God caused this, then why do you love God? You religious people are completely ignorant. Do you listen to yourselves? It's like hearing a child talk about his imaginary best friend. It's also completely arrogant to claim that YOU know why this happened even though you have absolutely no more information than anyone else.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      Colebot, you're a tool.

      Where then was God in the 1970's with Ted Bundy and Wayne Gacy?

      Then we switch from "We kicked God out" to "God works in mysterious ways."

      Your argument is idiotic.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  10. Jone

    If GOD doesn't want to help. What if people choose to go around say SATAN LOVES PEOPLE and SAVES PEOPLE?

    December 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  11. csa3

    Immediately a tragedy turns into a debate...can't we just unite to support these families, whether by prayer or other means?

    December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Athy

      Prayer won't help them. What other means do you have in mind?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Culpepper

      I am sure there will be some donation programs set up soon for the affected families, that will be a start

      December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Valdomiro B

      Were are God? God was crayim autoside school! They do not permit God enter at school! They do not permit ask about God at school!They not permit talk about God at school! They not permit learn about God at school.Please if you not permit God enter at school why this moment you remember the God!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      @csa3: and yet, in the next question or 2 above this one, you weigh into the debate on the side of god. Do you have no sense of yourself? Why chastise us about debating and then JOIN THE FUCKING DEBATE YOURSELF???

      Nevermind, I know why. It's because you're religious and cannot help but wag your finger at others while not following your own rules. That's par for the course with religion, eh?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  12. Culpepper

    If there is a God (which there isn't folks !) then he/she/it is either ineffectual, finds sick joy is sitting back and doing nothing during events like this, or just doesn't give a hoot about our measly little insect-like lives. A God who supposedly created the world in six days would certainly have the power to make a gunman suffer a fatal stroke or a car accident on the way to commit a school shooting. Einstein, Hawking, Sagan all say God is a mute subject not even worth arguing about because God never existed, never will. It's as much non-sense as arguing about whether you "believe in tacos." I tend to listen to what the smartest and most educated people on the planet have to say. But if you want to take the word of a preacher with nothing more than a mail-order bible college education that there is a "God", then that's your right. Sure beats getting a real job for all those preachers. If folks find comfort in events like this by embracing the flavor of God of their choice, then hey, I support everyone's right to do whatever gets them peacefully though their day. Prayer is cheap, actually doing something of substance for the affected families is real.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Exactly! If god exists, he is a sick SOB and in not deserving of love or respect.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  13. Ted

    The people who pump their chest saying "No God" are just as arrogant as those who claim there is one.

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

      Well Ted ... if there is a God, he/she/it obviously was nowhere near Sandy Hook Connecticut today

      December 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Aaaah... no. People that claim there is no god live in reality. Your god proves its non-existance every hour of every day. You wanna call that arrogant? Knock yourself out.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      No. All of the evidence that we have points to no god existing. There is NO evidence that points to a god existing. Therefore, while it is arrogant to say that there is a god – in the absence of any evidence whatsoever – it is simply a matter of common sense to say there is no god.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Culpepper

      Hawking has already proved conclusively that God never existed, proved it all the way back to the moment of the Big Bang

      December 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Marty

      No Ted. The people who believe in God take it a step further and claim that they know why or how God operates as if they have some sixth sense. I don't believe in God, and that's it. I don't need to make up some stupid story about why this tragedy happened.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      Wrong, the people who claim there isn't a God are making a conclusion based on how the universe is observed to operate.

      The majority of people who claim there is a God are making a conclusion in opposition to how the universe is observed to operate. Specifically, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. That is to say an all powerful being willed the universe into creation by using incantations and spells. OOOGA BOOGA.

      If a man is standing on a tower and jumps, one man says "He'll fall to his death". The other says "He'll start floating." That determination is based on how we've observed the universe acting. And the truth doesn't lie between the two opinions. :)

      December 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      I could scream at the altar of a church, with a crucifix stuck deep up my asshole, that I fuck Jesus Christ hard through the hand holes and cream on his crown of thorns, and I will never hit the level of blasphemy that’s required for someone to pray to god for their family’s pet dog to return home. The idea that someone can claim that they know there’s a god because they feel it, because they trust a book that they were raised with, because they had an epiphany, and then ask this god to change its mind about its plan for the universe is arrogant. Once you say you have the answer to everything, but you can’t prove it to anyone else, I don’t think you can accuse anyone else of being arrogant. I think you are the king of kings of the arrogant assholes.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  14. Louis

    God is nowhere. There is no God. We are the masters of our own fate. This is a result of a culture of guns. Don't blame God or the Devil, both convenient excuses for people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Thank you. I'm always the one that gets blamed.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • jezuz

      Amen

      December 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tomoko

      Well put! We need to grow up!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Culpepper

      Louis ... don't let that get around !!! because then all those priests, pastors, rabbis and other charlatans would have to go get real jobs and work for a living

      December 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • John A

      All will take responsibility to whom, to man. I wish it were that easy.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  15. Robert

    . Brian, be silent. Your hostility and convoluted accusations are part of what has caused this problem. In fact, when Jesus was on this earth he called reasoning like yours evil and of the devil. God did not do this and no one has said otherwise. Rather, these kinds of things happen because we have not followed God and have given a place to the devil. And the fact that God sends wicked people, such as the one who committed this heinous crime, to hell does NOT mean that God is a monster any more than a judge who sentences a criminal to jail, or even death, is a monster. To say otherwise is both irresponsible and ignorant and even outrageous.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Brian

      " Brian, be silent. Your hostility and convoluted accusations are part of what has caused this problem. I"

      You are such a liar. I was at work all day idiot. What caused this problem was a delusional mass killer.

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

      "And the fact that God sends wicked people, such as the one who committed this heinous crime, to hell does NOT mean "

      Nah, your hell doesn't exist and neither does your loving God, because nothing is loving that allows the killing of innocent children, that is a MONSTER!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      So god allows innocent children to be slaughtered because there aren't enough sycophants kissing his holy A$$ enough to satisfy him. Yeah, that makes complete sense in your delusional world. Fvck your god.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Art

      Brian be silent? Looks like someone doesn't believe in free speech.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  16. Bones

    I doubt any God who inflicts pain for his own pleasure.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Robert

      I would too. Where is the world did you find your god? Not in the Bible, that's for sure.

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

      Robert, helllllo? OT? Or is that not a part of the bible anymore?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Robert, the Bible is filled with vengeful actions by your god, plagues, locusts, floods. Any god who allows his "children" to kill each other is not deserving of love or respect.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Art

      I think that someone once did a total of all the people killed by God in the Bible. It made Satan look like a wus.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  17. PJ

    Judgement comes to the man who did this, and to the person who rejects Jesus Christ. Sin entered the world, and death through sin. My sin, your sin, we are all guilty. Yes it's tragic, yes it is over our heads, but Jesus makes it clear, and doesn't shy away from the point that man's heart is desperately wicked, that perilous times are coming, that it will only get worse

    Romans 9
    22 [a]What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

    The real question is are you a vessel of wrath, or a vessel of mercy

    December 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      No, PJ, the world isn't full of "sin". It's full of people who do stuff – some we call good, some we call bad, some we call both, depending on our points of view. there is no "judgment", especially if one rejects your Jesus. We just have one life to live, and at the end – that's it. Lights out. Show over.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Marty

      What a lovely religion you have there. Worship me or you will pay the price!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • todaymessage

      PJ, What is the role of your god in this senseless killings.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  18. EnjaySea

    The only valid question to ask, is where was the shooter's sanity?

    Any other question about philosophy, politics, religion, or deities and their imagined motives, is completely irrelevant.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  19. Rob

    God has been here...He gave us His word which says thou shalt not murder but unfortunately some don't care what He says and the ACLU and atheists don't want God's law taught nor for kids to even believe in God. God gives us free will. When I was young we used to sing God Bless America in school, you could never do that today. Do you want God in our schools or do you not. Seems quite a while ago we decided we did not want God in our schools so whose to blame here, God or those who cast him out, but question where he is when things like this happen? What a joke.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Brian

      "atheists don't want God's law taught nor for kids to even believe in God"

      Keep making unfounded excuses, but you forgot all those loving Christian parents of those innocent children that died. Your non-existent God still let it happen, that isn't loving, that's a monster.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Akira

      PublÍc schools teach math and reading and sciencem
      Churches teach about God.
      Suggesting that God is pist off because of separation of church and state is retarded.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Rob – ever actually read the Bible? The whole Bible? Your god is the biggest ma-ss murderer going. And his holy book is full of commands to kill people. Genocide. R-ape. Slavery. Your god is one nasty sob

      December 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • todaymessage

      rod, if you put the blame on non-believers, then what kind of blame you assign to your god who failed in protecting the innocents. if your god is the guardian of the innocents, he is not doing his job.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  20. P1 Gore

    Ben Stein said it best a little while ago.

    Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

    My heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones, their children. I cannot even fathom to understand what they're going through.

    But to everyone else, the hungry media, the attention seekers that's using this tragedy to further themselves that goes on television, radios, newspapers, etc and ask "Where's God?" needs to get off their soapbox and actually do something about this tragedy.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      You're right... people need to do something, because your god never ever does anything. You religious dolts will never learn will you. Cling with fear to your god that does nothing. Fvcking sheep is all you are.

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

      Billy Graham's daughter's presumption that there is a god, and his feelings are hurt because we don't worship him enough, is as childish as it is ridiculous.

      And the fact that she apparently knows all about this "policy change" by her imagined deity, is even more preposterous.

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

      Keeping God away is keeping goodness away. Evil is the absence of goodness. We decided to say no to God and his goodness and invited evil like this horrible tradegy to happen. We need to bring God back to our lives and society. His love and healing is the answer to this degenerating world. Again CNN should be ashamed of using this tradegy to promote there atheistic views.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Scott Allen

      Saying "where is God" is a good question. But a better question at this point, was where was parenting? Parenting has been declining for years. Our kids are exposed to more and more violence, and people ignore God until a tragedy happen. This happens because of the society we allow, and because we ignore God. He gave us freewill, and we've done evil with it, and we are reaping what has been sown.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
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About this blog

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