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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. Erin

    People immigrated to our country to be allowed to worship whatever religion they believed in. Religious freedom is something our country stands for. Our public school are open to ALL children and they are paid for in part by taxes from citizens of ALL faiths ad people with no religion at all. We can not expect public schools to teach about just the Christian faiths. People who think God has been taken out of school and want it back should pay for their children to go to a PRIVATE

    December 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • PK

      Come on people - this guy was a wacko! If you believe in God and you believe he will stop this stuff from happening, you really naive. If he's up there – why isn't everything down here perfect.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  2. sybaris

    Gods only work in fiction and the imagination

    December 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Childlike Oneness

      Well, there's at least one thing you lack.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • sybaris

      So you are admitting your god only exists in your imagination. Thanks for the assist.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  3. Childlike Oneness

    Eat Pray Love

    December 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      And aside from the possible benefits that chanting or meditation of a secular nature would bring, what is the benefit of praying?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • MithraLives!

      Eat Think Love

      December 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  4. Galaxy

    Of course the reason there is silence, is because nothing is there. We are on our own to solve our problems.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  5. Are their truely atheists or just Soulless humans

    God gave man one of the greatest gifts , freewill. And though it brings him great pain to see how we abuse it, he will not take it away. A loving God lets his children learn from their mistakes. If we were coddled our entire existence, what manner of spirit would be in the end?? Certainly NOT one deserving of existences GREATest reward, oneness with the creator. No my friends you have to earn that. and sadly many in this world are falling short of this goal.

    For those of you who question his existence, perhaps, just perhaps, you dont have a soul. For Christians, moslems any of the other faiths, they feel the connection and wonder how the rest of the world can be so blind :( hence my name.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      And what exactly did those murdered children learn? Nice of your god to give them that opportunity, but I think that they just might have learned more if, say, they hadn't been killed?

      Moron.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • sybaris

      More evidence that religion and the belief in god(s) is a filthy perverted disease of the mind

      December 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • JWT

      I have never questioned the existance of god. I have always known.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • sybaris

      JWT "I have never questioned the existance of god. I have always known."

      Nah, you were born without knowledge of any gods. Social conditioning is the predominate factor for your belief

      Regardless, you should question the existance of your god or else you have no reason not to believe in Zeus or Ra or Quezocotl.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Oh Boy...

      How do explain the fact the many of the most immoral Americans are Christian?? Just look to any Republican politician for proof... Atheists are FAR more peaceful than people of any religion... and far more logical too.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • JWT

      I don't believe in any gods Syb.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • sybaris

      Sorry JWT, was getting ahead of myself. So many christians, so few lions

      December 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Callign Dippy! Calling Dippy!

      Could you clue in the OP about his astoundingly bad language skills? I know it would take all night, but that's really a disaster, like he didn't get past the third grade.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • PK

      I don't consider myself an athieist. I just don't believe. Why does there have to be a label. You're a Christian, probably because you were raised that way. I wasn't – and I'm glad I can accept the truth and not expect miracles.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  6. Larry

    God did not allow this to happen, and He did not turn His back on these people either! Bad things happen and they are carried out by bad people! The only person that made this happen was the low life coward that pulled the trigger on innocent lives. God is about right and wrong, good and evil. Whether you are a Christian, Muslim, or whatever theory of belief you have in a higher power, this freedom was taken out of the public sector many years ago. Good people don't kill other people and the ideology of a higher power, no matter what religion, has a universal paradigm that good comes from good. When you remove teachings of morality and love from daily life, we end up exactly where we are today, mourning the loss of precious lives. Please don't make God the enemy?

    December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • JWT

      503.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Galaxy

      The first thing I felt when I realized I was no longer a believer was: Relief that there was no deity actually allowing this suffering... it really was all random or natural events.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  7. Christian Logic

    If something bad happens, it is not God's fault, because if he did something, it would interfere with free will.

    If something good happened, God did it, even though it interfered with free will.

    No contradiction there!

    December 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Childlike Oneness

      sounds like you have a problem accepting responsibility.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • sybaris

      No, it sounds like christians have a problem with making their god accountable

      December 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Bet

      @Childish one.

      You sound like you have a problem using your brain.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Christian Logic

      No, YOU are the one who is not taking responsibility. Free will must apply to both good and bad occurances. God cannot be involved in either of free will is what is important. You are saying God is not responsible for bad because of free will, but that he does become involed with prayer and other things – which prevent free will.

      You can't have it both ways. Which is it?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  8. Childlike Oneness

    You cannot spend an hour in prayer a day and still hate your neighbor

    December 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • What?

      The inquisitionists had no problem praying and hating. Same with the Puritans, the Muslims, the Jews, and just about every religion.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • JWT

      An hour of praer was never necessary to not hate your neighbour. But then again I do not know your neighbours.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      I'm currently coveting my neighbour's wife's a-ss – which commandment is that, again? I'm also coveting her rack – man, she was rocking a sweater the other night – it was enough for an atheist to say, Thank God!

      December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Childlike Oneness

      Sounds like you have a wellspring of hatred yourself. Pity.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Dude...Relax

      What? Who are you talking about?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  9. malik

    If God intervenes in every human activity, we will be robots, not human beings. God gave us free will, and whatever happens in this world is not God's responsibility. Stop blaming God for tragedies.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Childlike Oneness

      Malik – not so aggressive please

      December 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tali3

      So true! It's funny how we dismiss God when everything is fine, but look to him to intervene when everything goes bad!

      December 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • You are a loser

      There was nothing aggressive about his comment. You are being slanderous in saying so. Bearing false witness.

      Hypocrite

      December 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • rafael

      Or, there isn't one.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • sybaris

      Boy the Almighty Caveats are a flyin' tonight. You christians just can't make excuses for your god fast enough.

      If you give it credit for the glory you must also make it accountable for the tragedies as well.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Bet

      @Tali

      That's not true at all. Christians give god all the credit for good things like winning sports events and getting a raise, but when bad things happen, they rush in to excuse him. He is suddenly too mysterious to understand but everything will turn out okay, because he has some grand plan.

      I don't give god credit for anything. I don't blame god for anything. God doesn't exist.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  10. Childlike Oneness

    prayer changes things!

    December 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • No it doesn't

      Oh it's you. I should have recognized by the stupidity of you comments that it was you.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Childlike Oneness

      prayer changes me. I'll leave it at that.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  11. getaclue

    Our countries creator's made a tie between national well-being and collective belief and dependence. Conversely, when we turn away we bring things on ourselves. Just because they didn't have an iPad, doesn't mean they didn't know what would keep America from destroying itself.

    "God rules this world. It is the duty of nations as well as men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow... and to recognize the sublime truths that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord." – Abraham Lincoln

    "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors. – George Washington
    "It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence." – John Adams

    "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated by with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." – Thomas Jefferson

    "As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities." – George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights

    We are collectively responsible for those kids and this systemic problem, shame on us.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  12. Hope

    To all we turned our backs on GOD!! When we allowed 1 atheist come and take PRAYER out of our schools!!! Everything has gone haywire in the schools now!!!

    December 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • JWT

      502.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • sybaris

      So in other countries that are more prosperous than the U.S. the kids must be praying to a god better than yours.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • rafael

      And how exactly does your view factor into the scenario of twenty 6 year olds from families that attend church being massacred?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Bet

      God hasn't been banned from movie theaters. Was he in the lobby buying popcorn when James Holmes opened up his gun on the crowd?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • ATadLate

      You HAVE to be kidding! I am an atheist and take issue with what you say. While raised in an Anglican Church setting, I outgrew the 'need' for religion at about 20 years old. Or maybe better said, I 'evolved beyond religion'. I do, however, have strong philosophies about many of today's issues. I hold high morals in all aspects of life.

      I live the type of life that is 'taught' in the bible, but not because I 'fear God'! Perhaps that's due to my early years as a regular at the church and in the church choir....maybe not? I brought my children up to be responsible, caring, compassionate, and with high morals much as my own. My children have NEVER been to church....but they have heard MUCH about my philosophies. I THINK they are both atheists.

      PLEASE don't take the easy way out and give us a sweeping generalization that, "It's the damned atheists".

      December 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • MithraLives!

      So we took prayer out of schools and god got angry abouit not enough worship and sent in a hit man to kill a bunch of kids? Sounds like you worship a physcopath. ANd why arent there any of these shootings in China, where prayer is prohobited?

      December 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  13. Childlike Oneness

    I sense a new, civil tone developing on this site. This is a good thing :-)

    December 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Yeah right

      That's just the thorazine kicking in.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Please go forth and multiply, with haste!

      December 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  14. PK

    I can't stop thinking about Huckave (or whatever his name is on Fox News – which I don't watch) saying that all this happened because we don't allow God in our schools. Is he saying that God allowed 20 6- and 7-year old babies and their teachers to be killed just because we don't allow prayer in our public schools. Give me a break!!!

    December 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • JWT

      You were expecting reason out of huckabee ?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  15. Tym

    MAN TOKE GOD OUT OF SCHOOLS, REMEMBER!!!

    December 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • JWT

      That never happened.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      So you're saying your god is mad and sent this young man into the school to murder innocent children. Some god you got there.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bet

      "Man toke god out of schools"??

      So all it takes to get rid of god is to blaze up a fattie? Another reason to love living in California!

      December 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  16. rexdogcanadien

    God is everywhere. He is all knowing. He is all powerful. Truth be known, Satan and God are one.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tali3

      please!

      December 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Dave Burnett

      You are not a wise to mix the word Satan and God in the same breath . GOD represents life and Satan is death. Read the word and stop fooling yourself .

      December 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  17. TG

    When tragedy strikes as this, many pose the question, "Where was God ? " Even religious leaders present this question, with some alluding that this is God's will. However, this is far from true.

    When our Creator, Jehovah God, made Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan the Devil, posing as a "serpent", challenged God's right and way of ruling over them. He suggested to Eve that she should think independently, seeking her own direction without Jehovah, by saying: "Is it really so that God said that you must not eat from every tree of the garden ?" (Gen 3:1)

    In challenging God's right to rule or his sovereignty, Jehovah God allowed Satan to rule over mankind since Adam's rebellion, some 6000 years ago. Some 2000 years ago, Jesus was well aware of Satan ruling over the masses of mankind, telling his 11 faithful apostles, that "I shall not speak much with you anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming."(John 14:30) The "world" is infected with his wicked spirit or dominate force.(Eph 2:2)

    Thus, tragedies of this nature are a result of Satan's rulership over the earth, for the apostle John said that "the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one."(1 John 5:19) Only when Satan is permanently removed or destroyed (Rev 20:7-10) can anyone look forward to genuine peace on the earth and of which is noted at Psalms 37:11, 29.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      TG,a serious question: from your post I would take it that you believe the god created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. What do you believe as to when this happened?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      Typical excuses.

      You cannot give your god glory without making it accountable for the tragedies too.

      It's similar to the debacle in the catholic church. Priests can be using both christianity and church as a front for a child molesting ring and your god does nothing. Why? Because it is real rather than fiction. Your god only acts in fiction or the imagination.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Whoops – never mind – just read the rest of your post. So, 6000 years ago God created man? So, then, all of the scientific evidence that hominids have been evolving into humans over the past 3 or 4 million years – what do you make of that?

      December 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Stora K.

      Thank you for trying–it is a seemingly difficult concept to grasp, but so simple once people have opened their minds and hearts. They say that "information is power," and I find it interesting that, in this case, the information in the Bible is so much more revealing than people might imagine...and so comforting. I hope that more will avail themselves of the Bible's message.....

      December 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Stora – the message that murder, r-ape, genocide, and slavery are what god commands? It's all there in the bible – hateful, immoral book that it is.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  18. AbleWitness

    A nation that has turned away from God should not ask, "Where was God?!" after whatever tragedy or war. To God, death is simply the movement of a soul from one plane of existence to another. In this shooting tragedy, we have pictures of the children who were lost to us in this world. We have stories of their lives. Each and every year in this country, over a million babies are murdered by abortion - we will never know their beauty. The cities on our Pacific coast and on our Atlantic coast have turned away from God. If these cities end up under the oceans, do not ask where God was.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • sybaris

      By your logic all non-christian countries and regions should be in total chaos. That is simply not the case.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  19. Trouble

    Why are atheists so obsessed with disproving another's view?. I have a question for you atheist. How did the world start? No, seriously where did it all begin? You have no answer. No one does!

    Yet, you spend countless hours on cnn.com putting down people with Faith when you have no basis for your belief that there isn't a God, because nothing has even been proven.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • JWT

      The world started from gravitational and other forces gathering debris from a prior supernova near here.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      They (atheists) have no intelligent answer concerning the creation account in Genesis. All they will do is finger-point, mock, ridicule, scorn and scoff at the LORD and believers in Jesus Christ...

      December 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @trouble – it's not a case of disproving your view. Atheists are interested in finding out the basis for your belief. Why do you believe there is a god, and where does that belief come from. You can believe whatever you want, but when those beliefs start to for the basis of laws, well, we get a bit concerned

      December 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • sybaris

      "Why are atheists so obsessed with disproving another's view?"

      Because believing in invisible sky fairies is on par with being 50 years old and still believing in Santa Claus. You have to question a persons ability for critical thinking if they hold on to such delusions.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • sybaris

      Correctlycenter, you have no proof of your claim

      December 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Trouble

      None of you atheists answered my question. You're still trying to logically disprove something. You don't have an answer how the world started. One of you attempted but that's never been proven. Nohting has never been proven. You try and try to disprove but it's based off no logic.. something you prize in all of your arguments.. man that's a contradiction isn't it.. When you guys find out how the world started let me know.. in the meantime you're in the same boat as a Christian.. The Christian has faith though.. you have your logical brain you prize w/ no real answers..only youre own arrogant opinions.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Trouble

      by the way i'm aware of my spelling errors and grammatical errors.*

      December 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • JWT

      You have your opinion and I have mine. No problem there. But keep your version of a god to yourself and out of our laws and away from my children.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • rafael

      JWT gave you the answer that is most consistent with the available evidence.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Yeah right

      We are trying to get religious people to stop forcing their delusion on us in school, in laws and elsewhere. You don't mind your own business, so we must be decisive in stopping you shoving your insanity down everyone's throat. To prove your ideas are false, we must show there there is no evidence anywhere in the universe that supports what you say, that your scriptures are filled with major errors which debunk their credibility, and do all we can to stop people like you from tyrannizing the world with your dark delusions.

      I'll let someone else field your "origins of the universe" foolishness, though needless to say, it's been thoroughly debunked as ludicrous.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Trouble

      To disprove something don't you need a solid truthful, aligned with reality basis to disprove a claim?? Atheists are all about disproving that there is a God but on what basis.. NONE.. They just have opinions.. and general anwers such as most consisten with available evidence.. Could you imagine a policeman putting you in jail based off of that justification.. you would say you were wrongly accused weren't you... @JWT that's a common theme with athetists.. arrogrance.. you say keep your version of god out of our laws.. i didn't know you owned them.. when you say our aren't you implying christians partially have ownership in them.. wasn't this country initially founded w/ the words "In God We Trust".. I can keep them away from your children because they are yours and yours alone.. but don't act like you own the laws..

      December 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • JWT

      The nation was founded as secular. In god we trust was added during the communist feeding frenzy of the 50s.

      The laws belong to everyong – exactly true. Which means they must work for all and not just one group. Take agay marriage as an example. A place where so many religious people want the country to follow their perceived law and not one that works for the country. Just because something isperceived as a law in the bible is no reason to make it a law of the land.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • me

      @trouble – The evidence is pointing at the theory that the Earth formed around 4.54 billion (4.54×109) years ago by accretion from the solar nebula. Volcanic outgassing likely created the primordial atmosphere, but it contained almost no oxygen and would have been toxic to humans and most modern life. Much of the Earth was molten because of extreme volcanism and frequent collisions with other bodies. One very large collision is thought to have been responsible for tilting the Earth at an angle and forming the Moon. Over time, such cosmic bombardments ceased, allowing the planet to cool and form a solid crust. Water that was brought here by comets and asteroids condensed into clouds and the oceans took shape. Earth was finally hospitable to life, and the earliest forms that arose enriched the atmosphere with oxygen. Life on Earth remained small and microscopic for at least one billion years. About 580 million years ago, complex multicellular life arose, and during the Cambrian period it experienced a rapid diversification into most major phyla. Around six million years ago, the primate lineage that would lead to chimpanzees (the closest relatives of humans) diverged from the lineage that would lead to modern humans.

      Now doesn't sound a whole lot more believable than a being waving a magic wand one Tuesday afternoon? I'm sure we will fine tune this theory somewhat, but the evidence is there to support it so far.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Trouble

      @me you're obviously very smart and educated on science. I think you're analysis is in line with science and I respect that. Where did the solar nebula come from, or where did the first molecule come from? What started that? I'm pointing at the very beginning.. Not what just started earth.. There is still NO answer for that..

      December 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • MithraLives!

      Trouble,
      You honestly cant be this dim. We do know how the Earth was formed, we've known that for quite some time now. And if you dont beleive it, it doesnt matter. If someone cant answer a question, it doesnt mean your god exists. It doesnt mean Thor exists. And it doesnt mean Vishnu exists. You are making the claim that there is a god, its up to you to prove it, not for anyone to disprove it. If I state I can fly, its not up for you to prove me wrong, its up to me to prove it, since I made the claim. Try to catch up, you are why atheists always win on these boards. Because you are just rambling nonsense. We're all here waiting, prove your god exists. If you cant, just admit your wrong.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Trouble

      And all that scientific stuff somehow created a human with human emotions and principles of good to guide our life.. and somehow these molecules and other scientific stuff just happened to create a woman whose body could sustain and grow life on its own in her body.. the solar nebula somehow way down the road created that specific miracle.. seems like some great chances.. if evolution is true.. why are apes still around.. isn't the keyword in evolution evolve.. some apes must've not got the memo

      December 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Trouble

      @vishnu I haven't made any claims on here.. I'm asking you as an atheist where your basis for an argument that there isn't a God is.. because your basis is an opinion.. not a FACT.. and yet no one has answered it.. just ADMIT it.. no one knows.. NO ONE.. because if you did know you wouldn't be wasting your time with me now would you.. and there wouldnt be over 7,000 comments of debate if people had answers..

      December 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • MithraLives!

      To all of the religious wack jobs on here blaming this on the fact that prayer isnt allowed in schools, please explain why these incidents dont happen in China, where prayer in schools (and probably in general) is illegal. Seriously, answer this question or we all know that you are full of it. Ignore this and we know you are full of it.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Trouble

      Mirthralives.when you answer my question I will attempt to answer yours..
      @vishnu I haven't made any claims on here.. I'm asking you as an atheist where your basis for an argument that there isn't a God is.. because your basis is an opinion.. not a FACT.. and yet no one has answered it.. just ADMIT it.. no one knows.. NO ONE.. because if you did know you wouldn't be wasting your time with me now would you.. and there wouldnt be over 7,000 comments of debate if people had answers..

      December 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • MithraLives!

      LOL at why are there still apes. Thanks for admitting you are a troll, unless you really are this stupid. There are still apes, becuase we evolved from a common ancestor as apes, not from apes. Why is it up to me to disprove your god, whom you are even too scared to admit you beleive in, because you know you can prove it. So if you dont admit you beleive in it, which histarically pathetic, why would I try to disprove it. While were at it, do us a favor and prove that unicorns dont exist. Not an opinion, i want facts. I want you to be the first person in eternity to prove a negative. Go, this should be fun.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Trouble

      Goodnight Mirthra.. God Bless You.. May you come to the Lord one day and receive his wonderful spirit.. I'm going to watch some Sports now..

      December 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • me

      @trouble – You asked where the earth came from, I told you. Now you want to go further, we can be here all night. It is obvious that you do not want to hear what the evidence is saying. I do not blame you, I wish I can bury my head into the sand as well, life would be so much simpler.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  20. Childlike Oneness

    Pray for those killed in CT, and their grieving loved ones.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
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About this blog

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