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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. UncleBenny

    Where was God? AWOL, as usual.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • LinCA

      @UncleBenny

      You said, "Where was God? AWOL, as usual."
      For those that have the capacity for rational thought, all gods are absent with leave.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Oh, oh, a debate.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • jimmf

      So what you are asking is.... Why don't we live in Heaven?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bet

      @ jimmf

      That's not what nonbelievers are asking. We know that we can't live in heaven because heaven doesn't exist. We live in the natural world with other humans. Sometimes humans can be wonderful, sometimes they do horrific things. God has nothing to do with it because there is no god. Hence, the OP said god was AWOL. We realize that you aren't used to thinking critically, so feel free to ask more idiotic questions.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • jimmf

      Atheist say Christians cannot prove God exists. However, there is an amazing amount of arrogance coming from Atheist when they cannot prove that God does not exist.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      jimmf=Brophy.

      Same inability to write coherently or present a cogent argument.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bet

      @ jimmf

      Prove that I'm not god. You believe that god can become a human, right?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      jimmf=same stupid troll;different name. Yesterday, he was Blaster.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    The thing that attracts so much objection (or protest) is not that people are looking to a non-existent God for explanations, comfort, etc. It's that Huckabee, Chad and their sort are drawn out by tragedy and hope to use it as a sort of pry-bar to create little chinks of guilt in us in hopes that their God can cling onto us. It does not work and it is disgusting.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Atheists....

      Agreed, but honestly people will use anything. If its not a diety it would be something else I guarantee it. Besides not every religious person is a huckabee fan. Most human beings have some belief in something wierd.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • lol??

      I concur. Little chinks of guilt are worthless compared to the massive dose of baggage that you think a HOLY God has to ignore in your wicked heart.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Great post, TTTOO.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  3. jimmf

    When I see the rabid haters of those who believe on this page, I understand why the unstable act with such violence killing like there is no eternal judgment, no higher being to answer to, just this life to make a big show even if it means making it short.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • JWT

      No higher being is, or ever was, necessary for being a good person. Or are you suggesting that chirstians never commit crimes?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, jimmf, if the shooter had been a Christian, he'd never have done this?

      If the only thing that keeps you from gunning down innocent kids is belief in eternal punishment, then you are mentally ill and have no moral center.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • jimmf

      Those that have have no fear of eternal judgment are far more likely to kill and go out with a bang.

      After all, this life is all there is. Nothing follows. Right?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you should be able to cite your sources for statistics that prove your belief, jimmf. I'll be waiting.

      I repeat: if you need the threat of eternal damnation to keep you from murdering 20 children, then YOU'RE the one who has no moral center.

      I don't need to believe in some sky-fairy to know that it's wrong to injure others, you witless wonder.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • JWT

      Quite a few serial killers were devout chirstians. The majority of people in prison are christians. Anything else ?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • jimmf

      This is common sense. Why do these killers, intelligent but obviously unstable, dress in bullet-proof protective gear just to kill as many as possible and then commit suicide?

      ANSWER: This life is it. They can make their grand statement and exit famous with no fear of what lies ahead. THERE IS NO GOD TO PUNISH THEM!!!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Every time one of you zealots says "it's common sense," what it really means is that you have absolutely NO facts, NO sources, NO proof, and are simply braying your opinion, based on absolutely nothing.

      Thanks for playing, jimmfvcktard.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • jimmf

      Was this Lanza a devout Christian? NO
      Was Kelbold and Harris devout Christians at Columbine? NO
      Was the Virginia Tech a devout Christian? NO

      All these were mass killers killed and committed suicide with no fear death.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anecdotes do not const itute evidence, jimmmyfvcker. Produce statistics or admit you're just making up crap as usual.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It looks like jimmy is starting to froth at the mouth.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • jimmf

      Giving the largest school massacres in American History is not anecdotal.

      Let's face it all you have is insults and hate.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • JWT

      David Berkowitz – born again christian
      John Floyd Thomas Jr – christian

      December 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • jimmf

      Berkowitz was not a Christian when he was killing. He was supposedly a jail convert.

      I don't know the other.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • jimmf

      The combination of hate and Godlessness leads to these horrible mass murder-suicides.

      NO FEAR.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course it's anecdotal, you moron. The fact that you don't have any statistics to back up your silly assertions makes it obvious that you are just blabbering.

      If atheism breeds crime, then why aren't all of us out killing people right now, you bozo?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • jimmf

      Your hateful name-calling is starting to worry me Tom Tom. I do believe you getting to the boiling point Klebold, Harris, Lanza, and Cho were at when they decided to go out in a blaze of glory.

      Why not? You have no judgment after this life. You can make a big name for yourself and be done.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh? Then why have I never committed a crime of any kind? Belief in a hereafter is no guarantee of moral behavior and lack thereof is no predictor of immoral behavior. If you can prove otherwise, go ahead. Oh, wait. You've already shown that you can't. Are you this lame in the sack, too?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your posts show the same lack of intelligence I've seen in Brophy/Clown Question/Blaster/1400's asinine drivel. So sock-puppet that you are, i'm sure you'll disappear and show up under some other alias, now that your ass has been handed to you yet again.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Those that have have no fear of eternal judgment are far more likely to kill and go out with a bang."

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited."

      -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

      December 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bet

      Those that have have no fear of eternal judgment are far more likely to kill and go out with a bang.

      I would think that someone who believed that they had a one way ticket to paradise because they believed in a deity and his zombie son/self would have even more motivation to act that way. For them, it's a win-win. Eternal fame and eternal paradise.

      Mark David Chapman – only killed one guy but it was John Lennon. He became a born again christian in 1971 and killed Lennon in 1980.

      Another win-win for the christian. For the other guy, not so much. Dead and in hell, because he didn't believe in the magic man.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • JWT

      I have never comitted a crime either TT and I have never believed in any god ever.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • jimmf

      In Nazi Germany, the pictures of Jesus Christ in the churches were replaced with pictures of Hitler.

      HITLER WAS THEIR SAVIOR.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Huh?

      "In Nazi Germany, the pictures of Jesus Christ in the churches were replaced with pictures of Hitler.

      HITLER WAS THEIR SAVIOR."

      but still a Christian.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • jimmf

      Mao and Stalin, Atheist dictators, killed 70 million combined.

      REASON: Why not?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • jimmf

      Hitler was a manipulator. He was not a Christian. The Bible says to look at the fruit of a person to know their heart.

      When you order the replacement of pictures of Christ with your picture, you are OBVIOUSLY NOT A CHRISTAN.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • .

      "Mao and Stalin, Atheist dictators, killed 70 million combined"

      The actions of Mao and Stalin were totalitarian. They sought total authority, which means getting rid of religions which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of atheism was not the cause for the bloodshed; it was the pursuit of control over a people.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • jimmf

      Tom Tom, Are you still out there? I have a question for a person that is so sure there is no God.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Huh?

      "When you order the replacement of pictures of Christ with your picture, you are OBVIOUSLY NOT A CHRISTAN."

      He believed he was doing the "Lord's" work and often spoke about his Christianity.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • jimmf

      Mao and Stalin – Atheistic totalitarian MURDERERS

      December 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      jimmf/Brophy/Blaster/teenage troll: I didn't say I was "sure there was no God." As usual, you can't read for sh!t.
      "

      December 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bet

      A religious person believing they can commit mass murder (go out with a bang, as you so elegantly put it) and still get to heaven isn't that hard to understand. It's as easy as flying a plane into a building.

      Oh, but that's not your god, or your beliefs, so it doesn't count. Besides, all the christians went to heaven and the rest went to hell, so it's all good in funditard land.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • jimmf

      Tom , What do you believe? THIS IS A RELIGION BLOG.

      Are you here just to insult believers?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • jimmf

      More mindless insults by non-believers.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • .

      "More mindless insults by non-believers."

      since this is a mindless insult what does that make you?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it isn't a "religion blog." You really can't read, can you, Brophy?

      I'm here to point out the stupidity of zealots like you. Unfortunately, you're pretty dull sport, being so obviously deficient in the cerebellum.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As for what I believe? I believe you're a little turd who goes by a different name every few hours because you're a loser who can't get anyone to talk to him in real life.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • jimmf

      What a disgusting example of people that get on a belief blog for the sole purpose of insulting believers.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • .

      "What a disgusting example of people that get on a belief blog for the sole purpose of insulting believers."

      You're including yourself in that comment since you are trolling now.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, you really are, jimmf, but don't feel too bad. You can't help it.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • jimmf

      Tom Tom,

      How do you explain the complexity of life?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • jimmf

      Be back later.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Anon

      Hey jimmf take a bible and ram it up your ass until it comes out through your mouth, bwhawhawhawha

      March 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Mary

    For all you non-believers, God has not forgotten about you in the Scriptures! Psalms 14:1, THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Athy

      Oh, stuff it, Mary. That's nonsense written by some quack to convince people to behave.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, Mary – what bout Zeus? What about Thor and Odin? Do you believe in them?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Mary,

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • ME II

      "...anyone who says, 'You fool' will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Matthew 5:22)

      December 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mary

      I would think that common sense would also make people behave!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, Mary – have you forgotten about Leviticus? Hares chewing their cud, bats are birds, insects have 4 legs. Quite the authoritative book you're relying on. And never mind the r-ape, murder, genocide, and slavery your god commands and condones.

      Really – have you actually read the Bible? That is one evil, immoral MoFo you have for a god!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • JWT

      Even if your god exists – that does not make it my god.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Mary,
      Do you worship the god of the old testament who ordered the murder of women and children? Who killed men women and children including pregnant women and only spared 8 people on a boat? A god who ordered a man to murder his only son? If so, why should we view you any differently than this psychopath who killed all of these children? How do we know your god didn't order this too?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Name calling in scriptue....how convincing

      December 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • lol??

      GodFreeNow, that's your assignment to figure it out. Report is due back in a couple hundred years. I don't want to put you under too much pressure.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • jimmf

      Fools.....yes indeed!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • lol??

      ""fool"
      occurs 66 times in 62 verses in the KJV " Now isn't that amazing?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      And as usual, the first thing a christian reaches for is insult and hatred.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • jimmf

      Truth is truth. When you believe you are the product of a purposeless process, you truly are a FOOL!!!!!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense, jimmf. Provide statistics that show atheists to be less moral than idiots like you.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Rhi

      lol??

      "fool" occurs 66 times in 62 verses in the KJV "

      I hear that in the soon-to-be-published RSV (Rappers' Shizzle Version) it'll be changed to "muh fu-er".

      December 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • jimmf

      Tom Tom,

      Do you want me to list the MILLIONS murdered by Atheistic dictators like Stalin?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure. Go ahead and list them. Then figure out this, HeavenSent/truthbetrolled: atheism didn't motivate dictators like Pol Pot or Stalin. Power did.

      Anyone with a brain and even a minimal knowledge of history would know that. Too bad you're lacking in both departments.

      Why don't you answer the question, nincompoop?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Tom Tom TPS, why are you arguing with a nincompoop? Why do you constantly feed these trolls, girl? Seriously.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Same reason you continue to change your name, dear, and pretend to be someone you aren't.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      TTTPS, I rarely pretend to be someone else. It is amazingly rare. I change my name because of the name hijackers and to provide a fresh narrative for others to respond to without the massive baggage of previous-named posts to deal with...and because it's fun to think of a new name to use.
      Somehow I doubt that you are operating in the same manner. If you want honest answers to anything at all, just ask me and I will endeavour to respond as openly and as honestly as possible. That is part of who I am, so I do not understand who it is you are assuming I am...as your response seems to indicate.
      But have fun blowing bubbles at Chard and all the other nitwits. They need to feel like their words mean something, I think.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you won't mind telling me what other name you've posted under. Otherwise, begone.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Ironicus / Sum Dude / Raison / Fast Eddie / Sanity Claws are the easiest to remember....okay?

      December 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      While I recall seeing Ironicus around, I don't have any recollection of your posts. I don't have any questions for believers. I'm not here for information. I'm here to poke fun at the funditards, as someone else put it, who think they have all the answers, know god and his thoughts, and have some sort of "proof" of his existence that they can never seem to provide. I have no quarrel with those who believe and live that belief by doing what Christ commanded. Most of the "Christians" here don't even come close.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Well....let's just say I used to do what you're doing but I was always much more long-winded about poking the fundies.
      I used to be quite, um, vicious and angry on a much more constant basis and my posts resembled yours to a large degree in the old days....so I am on your side, to say the least (which I am once again being long-winded about it, see?)

      I have gotten over the need to stomp on the empty heads of the fundies and am tired of writing arguments that are only read by a few people, most of whom are fundies who will ignore anything like sense, reason, logic, facts, etc.

      That's why you haven't seen much by me in a long time. CNN is like a dirty alley filled with greasy garbage and I find HuffPost to be a much better place to get my news – but I don't bother arguing with fundies there.

      Fundies are mentally ill. At some point I decided that without any way of treating their illness, trying to show them how wrong they are isn't really going to do much good – although venting is a healthy sort of thing....
      ...so go ahead if you like. I was just wondering how long it would take you to get to the point where you would try to improve on your tactics and strategy. There have been times when I thought you were going through some sort of tough times in your personal life like I had done. Anyway, I am glad you are still around.
      It's nice to know that there are intelligent people like you who actually come here instead of just stupid fundies.
      (I was going to bug ME ll, but am on my way out the door and won't have time to respond to this thread for many hours. Sorry.) I was just getting tired of seeing Chad threads everywhere with a bunch of otherwise intelligent people trying to argue with that nitwit. Have a great week, Tom.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • lol??

      Yikes, sike's is tryin' to pick up TTTPS. EEEeeewwww.

      December 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  5. Anon

    It's simple christards are f-cked up in the head.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • lol??

      How long have you resided in Egypt?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      oooh! It's lollipop with a scathing retort!!!!!! Wow! All hail lollipop – best debated in grade 3!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Debate teams get ye olde high status in what passes for education these days, err last days.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  6. Chick-a-dee

    Pope feels "heartfelt grief" after school shooting

    The following Telegram was sent to the Diocese of Bridgeport on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI when he was informed of the horrific shooting attack in Connecticut in which a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children.

    "The Holy Father was promptly informed of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and he has asked me to convey his heartfelt grief and the assurance of this closeness in prayer to the victims and their families, and to all affected by the shocking event. In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy he asks God, our Father, to console allthose who mourn and to sustain the entire community with the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love."

    Cardinal Tarcisio Berton,
    Secretary of State
    VATICAN

    December 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Matt

      "the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love."

      You can have those things without the need for a God, that's the point. It will be humans helping humans through love and forgiveness, but there will be no God involved in it, and there never has been.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Telex

      Plat-itude-filled PR.

      I'm sure that as a human being he does feel bad about the tragedy, though... who doesn't?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      p.s. Unless you use co-ndoms, in which case you are going to Hell.

      p.p.s. Or unless you are a member of our clergy who se-xually as-saulted children, in which case, bad priest, now, move to this parish and keep quiet and try not to do it again.

      p.p.p.s. But if you MUST se-xually a-ssault children again, don't use con-doms. Or you'll go to Hell.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      It's just a reminder. There are thousands of posts here and it seems that the majority lack any message that includes love.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Matt

      "There are thousands of posts here and it seems that the majority lack any message that includes love."

      That includes yours.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  7. I don't THINK so

    The fact that so many people won't hesitate a second to use this tragedy to push their own political and/or religious agendas is....well, it's not astonishing because selfishness never is.....but it IS nearly as horrifying as the tragedy itself.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Ah, the nature of selfishness. Did you know that most feelings of grief are almost totally caused by selfishness and that total self-less-ness is almost impossible for humans to do?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Atheists....

    Why oh wy are you still asking the Christian's to justify their beliefs. You've already come to the conclusion there is no God, they don't know anything. Yes it'd be nice if one of them could say something that would make us all feel better or proove that there is something beyond death...but they can't. Leave it alone and move on.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No problem, as long as politicos like Huckabee knock off their proselytizing and observe the separation of church and state. I don't object to your belief in the slightest as long as you stop trying to force your beliefs into law. Leave the public square, the hospitals, the doctors' offices, and the schools alone and worship as you see fit in YOUR space.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Tell the christards to quit pushing their beliefs into the government and we have got a deal, OK.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      We will go away when you and your bretheren stop claiming you god is angry because he was kicked out of puplic school or because abortion is legal or the acceptance of gay's in society and therefore we deserve school shootings and hurricanes, ect, ect. Until you guys knock it off we are going to keep calling you out on your insane claims. Get used to it..

      December 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Charles B

      Why do the Mothers Against Drunk Driving bother to make statements aimed at those who still do drive drunk when they've clearly ended this behavior themselves?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • skytag

      A lot of them are claiming God let this happen because America isn't Christian enough. They're trying to pin this on people who don't share their beliefs and I won't stand for that crap.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      And on a subtle level if someone is capable of believing that supernatural and mythological tales are factual truths it calls into question their faculty at discerning whats real and whats not. This calls into question how far you could trust them to make good decisions.
      Example: I am not in favor of the death penalty. The reason is simple. Any crime, however heinous, should merit punishment for the perpetrator. Death isn't that....it's a release. Since I don't believe for one second that the evil doers are burning in hell or facing any post life judgement whatsoever, I'd rather they suffer a long torturous solitary confinement...where they have to live with the consequences for their actions...be punished...for the rest of their lives if necessary. Only here is justice served...not wishing for it in some afterlife fantasy. Plus if the accused ever gets exhonerated then you don't have to say "oops....

      December 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Atheists....

      Guys, listen. I"m not religious either. Non belief in supernatural things is totally understandable. But humans are going to believe whatever they want. Like it or not you are sharing your voting space with people who believe that Elvis is still alive, that Bigfoots roam the earth and that the CIA is following their every move. It's part of being part of humanity and I was used to that 30 years ago.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Franklin

      Atheists....
      But nobody is saying that we have to make banana and peanut butter sandwiches on the Fourth of July to honor Elvis, or that we need to quit Washington State and make it a refuge for Bigfeet. Most Christians are happy enough just keeping their beliefs to themselves and letting others be. All most of ask is why can't the rest of them just mind their own business like good Americans?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  9. Rachel

    Why are atheists so mad at God?

    December 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Matt

      Why do you assume they are angry at a non-existent God. You can't be angry at something that doesn't exist. Maybe you should reflect on why you read anger into others.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • JWT

      We cannot be mad at what does not exists. But so many (not all or even most) of followers have this idiotic notion that we need to believe anyway or else.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Pete

      Matt Christians are brainwashed into thinking that if you don't believe as they do that you are evil and angry, they can't comprehend it any other way.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      We are mad at his fan club.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Charles B

      That's like asking why environmentalists are angry at Chinese superst itions for the poaching of rhinos for their horns. They're not really angry at the superst ition, but they are angry that people still believe enough in it to push species to near extinction because of it. God is just an idea by our reckoning, and sometimes a very bad one when it causes the kind of harm that it does in our society. We don't hate the superst ition, but we are very frustrated by the superst itious, if that answers your question?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      We're not. We're mad at christians for denying the evidence offered by this incident and ones like it for the non-existence of god. We're mad at them for refusing to do anything to effect change, and instead clasping their hands and wasting time talking to the empty sky. We're made at them for blaming the victims, claiming that god killed 20 young, blameless children because, in christian eye, those children were part of a society that doesn't bend over and do what christians tell it to do.

      Get it now?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Maybe anger is perceived because so often messages that are inflammatory, hostile, defaming, and often use vulgarity are written and posted by those who identify themselves as non-believers.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Matt

      "Maybe anger is perceived because so often messages that are inflammatory, hostile, defaming, and often use vulgarity are written and posted by those who identify themselves as non-believers."

      That's why Christians repeatedly tell the non-believers their going to hell. It goes both ways pal.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Maybe anger is perceived because so often messages that are inflammat0ry, h0stile, defam1ng, and often use vulgarity are written and posted by those who identify themselves as non-believers.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Not only have I never told anyone they're going to Hell (or anywhere else), I CANNOT tell anyone anything about the dispensation of his or her soul and neither can anyone else. There are truths that have been revealed that tell us how to live in order to reunite with God in love for eternity. A Christian is one who wants to share that message with you.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • skytag

      Why would you say something so stupid?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chick

      There is a fine, upstanding person posting on here with the handle of 'Athiest Basher'. This poster child for how every believer should behave is constantly going on and on.... and on about how atheists are 'sick', and depraved and all manner of other things. I don't think the hostility is nearly as one-sided as you would wish.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • skytag

      How about we just add this to the list of silly things you believe for no reason?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Damocles

      *sigh* atheist, not athiest... heh.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Matt

      "There are truths that have been revealed that tell us how to live in order to reunite with God in love for eternity. A Christian is one who wants to share that message with you."

      They are not truths, that's the point. There are many made up Gods in human history and they are all false, just like Santa Claus.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      No, unfortunately is isn't one sided. Meeting angry, belittling words with equal or greater aggression does nothing to reconcile people or to create peace.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Rachel – why are you so mad at Zeus?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Rachel: Why is it so difficult for some christians to grasp that the very definition of atheist is one who doesn't believe in any god? It is not god that we hate, but mindless christian slavery to a god for which there is no evidence.

      Perhaps you should consider the behavior of some christians - their defense of bigotry and attempts to legislate their beliefs into law in this secular nation - and then ask yourself why atheists should respect your belief at all?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chick-a-dee

      You said, "Maybe anger is perceived because so often messages that are inflammatory, hostile, defaming, and often use vulgarity are written and posted by those who identify themselves as non-believers."
      The vulgarity and belittling sometimes serves a purpose. While they are on occasion used in response to particularly derogatory or hateful posts from believers, it sometimes is the best way to convey the message. Some posts just display such fucking infantile beliefs that it is best to point it out without beating around the bush.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Know What

      Rachel won't be back to answer your questions. She's undoubtedly a 14 year-old (mentally, if not physically) drive-by.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Chad

      yeah.. should have said "objections" oh well, the principle I was getting across was correct. Protestations arent allowed in court, objections are. The difference is the degree of vehemence.

      and that's the thing with the anti-theist attacks. It's the degree of vehemence that leads one to conclude an increasing likelihood of suppressed feelings for the contrary of that which is being argued. I.e., the more pa.s.sionate and fervent the argument, the greater likelihood the cause is a suppression of belief for the contrary argument, and the subsequent confirmation that it is the (actual) truer statement

      December 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • midwest rail

      The far more likely reason for their vehemence is frustration with repeated assertions absent proof.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Chard, if that's your reasoning, then it should also follow that those who vehemently object to gay marriage and h0m0s#xuality must indeed be gay.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Franklin

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      Hmmm, Ted Haggard would lend credence to that assumption. Chad's thinking would suggest that he doesn't believe that anybody who disagrees with a practice ought to actually speak out against it. I wonder what he thinks pastors ought to talk about in church?

      December 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  10. John Stefanyszyn

    Where is God? people ask with anger, confusion, and self-righteousness.

    Instead, people should ask "Where is man in relation to the One God?"

    The One Creator God is. So is Christ.
    ...it is man that has rejected to serve the Will of the Creator and instead worships the freedom to serve and magnify oneself, one's own will, one's self defined and justified rights.

    Man suffers the consequences of his way and tries to blame God as if God's duty is to serve man's way of life.

    It is Christ that will rule as the One and Only King, according to the One True Way...the Will of the Creator Father.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Waco Lover

      What makes christianity more valid than any other religion?

      December 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Matt

      "Where is God? people ask with anger, confusion, and self-righteousness."

      I dare you to tell that to the children who died in that school. Wow the cold heartlessness of people is amazing. No, idiot people are asking in anger how society failed to protect them, not a non-existent God.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • skytag

      I ask why people believe in God when there is no rational reason to do so.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • skytag

      Waco Lover's question deserves an answer. It's bad enough you have no rational reason to believe God exists without arrogantly declaring that your understanding of him is superior to anyone else's. What evidence do you have that your understanding is correct?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  11. Waco Lover

    Cute, tiny, innocent children being shot repeatedly in the face is all part of god's plan.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  12. Here is Real

    Chad
    Surprise, none of them are real. Back to the proof and evidence you are so disingenuous about.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only three children survived.[18]"

    Wikipedia has an excellet review of the topic.

    And the shootings obviously have not stopped.

    What to do?

    Background checks not only for the teachers but also their relatives.

    Added security for all schools.

    More at-home/internet education.

    Gated parking lots.

    No toleration of bullying or bullies.

    And instill in all global citizens, three words: DO NO HARM!!!

    All other suggestions are welcomed.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Based on what little information is currently available, none of these suggestions would have made any difference. As the investigation progresses and more information is made public, it's possible something may be gleaned from it that will help prevent such incidents in the future. But that is very unlikely. People who study mass shootings have never been able to come up with a reliable profile that accurately predicts who poses a risk, and it isn't likely this incident will change that in any meaningful way.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Re a profile, we could start with:

      - is delusional as in believes in some god and
      - owns or ha access to guns.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • the AnViL

      this is clearly a mental health issue... yet another nutter slipped through the cracks.

      we need renewed efforts to detect these types before they can commit atrocities.
      we need new means to educate their families, friends and associates... so when something is amiss – it can be more easily detected.

      also – it would be good to find a way to keep these episodes from being exploited and sensationalized by the media outlets.

      psychopaths do these things because they see the impact of it in news outlets – not because of tv, movies and video games.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Fergus spake these words and he said,

      This shall be my creed, whereby shall I live my life, as it were a shining example of Virtue and Excellence, well worthy to be enshrined in Heaven as a model for all who are wise to follow. My creed shall into three parts, like Gaul, be divided. Firstly, I shall constrain myself to Mind My Own Business. Secondly, I shall endeavour at all times and in all places to Keep My Nose Clean by the most expedient possible means. Thirdly, and finally, I shall always exercise the utmost care to Keep My Hands To Myself.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • No bullies??

      CNN belief blog will have to close it's doors.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Reality, I am amazed you failed to include anything about treating mental illness in your list. Bad dog! No! No!

      December 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  14. Just for arguments sake

    Today (for argument's sake) I believe I have a magic horse living in my cereal box. Now who can tell me why I don't see miles of atheists lined up to ask me my explaination for why cereal-horse allowed this to happen?

    December 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You have not explaned why your horse had the power to affect the outcome.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Man O' War

      Your magic cereal box horse come with a 2000 year old book of BS? Quote me a few verses in horse, I will understand.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Just for arguments sake

      Okay Cheesemaker..the horse in my cereal box is telepathic. He could have levitated the gunman..but he chose not to.
      Does it matter? Do you think I have a horse in my cereal box? Do you care what I think it is capable of?

      December 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ME II

      If you had a good portion of the country claiming that we need more "magic cereal box horses" in the classroom, then you would get the line of atheists.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Chad

      The quotation "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, scene II, where it is spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother. The phrase has come to mean that one can "insist so pa.s.sionately about something not being true that people suspect the opposite of what one is saying."[1]
      Furthermore, the above meaning is based on a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "protest" as it was used in Shakespeare's day, as the "protest" of the lady is not a protest in the modern sense of the word, but an affirmation or avowal.[2]
      The phrase's actual meaning implies the increasing likelihood of suppressed feelings for the contrary of that which is being argued. I.e., the more pa.s.sionate and fervent the argument, the greater likelihood the cause is a suppression of belief for the contrary argument, and the subsequent confirmation that it is the (actual) truer statement.

      note: the key word here is "protest".

      Now it can NOT be claimed that theists "protest" that God does exist.
      It can be said that anti-theists "protest" that God does not exist.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No I don't. But if you had a cult of cereal horse believers that blamed school shootings and natural disasters on non-cereal horse believers and a majority of people agreed with your horse delusion including most leaders in gov't I would take issue.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      you certainly seem to have mastered the art of equivocation. How many definitions of "protest" is that? 1) the 'common misunderstanding' 2) the original intent 3) the "protest" of theists and atheists.

      Are you claiming that God exists by virtue of Shakespeare?

      December 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      Do you know the one about the Emperor having no Clothes?

      December 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Charles B

      I think that you'd find that the average atheist would debate somebody if they stated that they believed in astrology enough to vote according to their zodiac readings, or were so convinced that black cats were unlucky that they wanted government to make owning one illegal. You know, if the people with other superst itions behaved like some Christians, thinking that what they believed ought to rule over all of us.

      As it stands, they may believe in things just as indefensible as Christian faith, but they have the good sense not to try pushing those beliefs anyway, which is why there really isn't a need for atheists and other rational people to debate them.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Dan Barker quote:

      "Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it."

      December 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad...watch
      Redzoa
      "He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenuous."
      Now you know what you are dealing with.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "you certainly seem to have mastered the art of equivocation. How many definitions of "protest" is that?...."
      @Chad "as far as I know, there is only one definition:

      Protest:

      - to show that you disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc
      - to say something forcefully or complain about something

      you are probably confusing "to object" and "to protest"

      December 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Almost always misquoted as "Methinks the lady doth protest too much," Queen Gertrude's line is both drier than the misquotation (thanks to the delayed "methinks") and much more ironic. Prince Hamlet's question is intended to smoke out his mother, to whom, as he intended, this Player Queen bears some striking resemblances [see THE PLAY'S THE THING]. The queen in the play, like Gertrude, seems too deeply attached to her first husband to ever even consider remarrying; Gertrude, however, after the death of Hamlet's father, has remarried. We don't know whether Gertrude ever made the same sorts of promises to Hamlet's father that the Player Queen makes to the Player King (who will soon be murdered)—but the irony of her response should be clear.

      By "protest," Gertrude doesn't mean "object" or "deny"—these meanings postdate Hamlet. The principal meaning of "protest" in Shakespeare's day was "vow" or "declare solemnly," a meaning preserved in our use of "protestation." When we smugly declare that "the lady doth protest too much," we almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility. Gertrude says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent. More cynically, the queen may also imply that such vows are silly in the first place, and thus may indirectly defend her own remarriage.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard is a blockhead.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it."
      :-)
      wow. where to start

      1. Not all Christians "join hands singing". I dont hold it against you for not knowing that, as your understanding of Christianity is extraordinarily limited.
      2. Those that DO "join hands singing" are not doing it to convince themselves that the God of Israel is real, they do it to praise the real God of Israel.
      3. Christian faith is NOT believing in something despite evidence to the contrary, rather it is: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 1
      note "substance", "evidence".
      4. Atheist scientists have their own version of "joining hands singing", it's called academia. Darwin gradualism survived for 100 years(until Gould had the courage to state the obvious) in the face of a fossil record that utterly debunked it due to that.
      5. ALL scientists have "belief" in things they can not directly observe or experience. Examples are multi-verse, string theory, quarks. These enti..ties are posited to explain the directly observable characteristics of the natural world. The God of Israel is identical in that respect.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      Despite your mental gymnastics your religion has never beeen able to demonstate any of its dogma as being true. Science demonstrates all of its conclusions.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Here is Real

      One of the Chad's favorites "the god of isreal is real and nothing gets done without Him" Except everything gets done without him, including slaughter of the innocent, because mankind has free will, does that make sense to anyone but a christard.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheesemakers "your religion has never been able to demonstrate any of its dogma as being true."
      @chad "certainly it has been demonstrated that the God of Israel is the best and most reasonable explanation for the origin of the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, the origin of life on earth and the empty tomb"

      =====
      @Cheese "Science demonstrates all of its conclusions."
      @Chad ":-)
      wrong.

      For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

      — Paul Davies, A Brief History of the Multiverse

      --
      Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation; they can be found only within baryons or mesons.[2][3] For this reason, much of what is known about quarks has been drawn from observations of the hadrons themselves.

      --
      Several major difficulties complicate efforts to test string theory. The most significant is the extremely small size of the Planck length, which is expected to be close to the string length (the characteristic size of a string, where strings become easily distinguishable from particles). Another issue is the huge number of metastable vacua of string theory, which might be sufficiently diverse to accommodate almost any phenomena we might observe at lower energies.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Here is Real "One of the Chad's favorites "the god of isreal is real and nothing gets done without Him""

      “A world of automata – of creatures that worked like machines – would hardly be worth creating.”

      ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

      December 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,

      as far as I know, there is only one definition:

      Protest:
      - to show that you disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc
      - to say something forcefully or complain about something

      you are probably confusing "to object" and "to protest"

      Definition of PROTEST
      1: a solemn declaration of opinion and usually of dissent: as
      a : a sworn declaration that payment of a note or bill has been refused and that all responsible signers or debtors are liable for resulting loss or damage
      b : a declaration made especially before or while paying that a tax is illegal and that payment is not voluntary
      2: the act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval ; especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval
      3: a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action
      4: an objection made to an official or a governing body of a sport

      (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protest)

      December 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      The is no such reason to think your god is a reasonable explanation for anything, You STILL have not demonstarated any of your dogma as being true.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad watch
      The Chad has an endless supply of cut, paste and post, quotes and comments from numerous christian apologetics websites, be prepared.
      Redzoa
      "He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenuous." Do you concur?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      So you are saying that indirect evidence, e.g. "quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation; they can be found only within baryons or mesons", is not a demonstration, but a "reasonable explantion" is?

      That doesn't sound like the same definition of "demonstrate" to me.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      the difference between object and protest, is the degree of vehemence used..

      December 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Chad

      So you are saying that indirect evidence, i.e. origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, is not a demonstration?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad....watch.
      Redzoa
      "He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly diingenuous."
      The dictionary according to Chad, he makes it up as he goes along.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "So you are saying that indirect evidence, i.e. origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, is not a demonstration?"
      1) that is not indirect evidence or your god
      2) that wasn't my point. You seemed to be saying that the indirect evidence of science was not a demonstration whereas the "reasonable explanation" of creation was a demonstration.
      How can an explanation be a demonstration but not evidence?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad..watch.
      It is only a demonstration to those that have bought into the delusion, you for instance!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No, you are claiming a cause for the effect without proper foundation. Your argument is one of ignorance, a fallacy.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "the difference between object and protest, is the degree of vehemence used.."

      'Your honor, I OBJECT!'

      ... oh never mind.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, your personal interpretation of the beginning of life is not proof of god.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad...watch.
      Please define indirect evidence according to the Chad knows dictionary; mine would sat heresay evidence, isn't that what the whole bible is based on, heresay or double heresay?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, empty tomb.

      How can an explanation be a demonstration but not evidence? Excellent question! All of the above are explanations, how can they not be evidence?
      Consider for example the situation that persisted until Huble observed red shift, namely that the universe had always been here and had no beginning.
      Now suddenly we know that the universe HAD a beginning. The God of Israel IS an explanation for that.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad, "the difference between object and protest, is the degree of vehemence used.."
      @ME II "'Your honor, I OBJECT!'"

      @Chad "that's why objects are allowed in court and protests arent :-)
      Need to be orderly..

      December 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad.....watch.
      Redzoa
      He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenuous.
      and Chad proves it with every post.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad
      "that's why objects are allowed in court and protests arent
      Need to be orderly.."

      Okay, that was kind of funny. have to admit.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad

      The only thing your arguments from ignorance demonstrat....is your ignorance

      December 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Chad

      yeah.. should have said "objections" oh well, the principle I was getting across was correct. Protestations arent allowed in court, objections are. The difference is the degree of vehemence.

      and that's the thing with the anti-theist attacks. It's the degree of vehemence that leads one to conclude an increasing likelihood of suppressed feelings for the contrary of that which is being argued. I.e., the more pa.s.sionate and fervent the argument, the greater likelihood the cause is a suppression of belief for the contrary argument, and the subsequent confirmation that it is the (actual) truer statement.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      What empty tomb, Chad? You keep making this claim, but I can't seem to find any non-biblical, contemporary references to any god-proving empty tomb.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad....watch.
      I can give you an explanatioon of how the return of the king ended the Lord of the Rings, or how the Wizard of Oz saved Dorothy, or how , you get the picture, you fraud. You bible book of a god is no better than all the rest; you just had better snake oil salesmen.
      Redzoa
      "He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingeuous." Man I wish I had said that first.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "How can an explanation be a demonstration but not evidence? Excellent question! All of the above are explanations, how can they not be evidence?"

      Nice turn of phrase, but you didn't answer the question.

      You said your God was the "best and most reasonable explanation," as a demonstration and yet the indirect evidence, as shown by science, was not a demonstration.

      You compound this with the additional equivocation on "explanation":

      "Explanation:

      A statement or account that makes something clear.
      A reason or justification given for an action or belief."
      (google search: "define explanataion")

      Whereas you claim, as I understand it, the 'origin of the universe, etc.' as "a reason or justification given for ... belief" in God.
      Science on the other hand uses evidence to make "a statement or account that makes something clear". The difference being that, as others stated, science can demonstrate, or show, why their explanaitions are correct through verification, falsifiability, and predictions.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "It's the degree of vehemence that leads one to conclude an increasing likelihood of suppressed feelings for the contrary of that which is being argued. I.e., the more pa.s.sionate and fervent the argument, the greater likelihood the cause is a suppression of belief for the contrary argument, and the subsequent confirmation that it is the (actual) truer statement."

      Wait, but, I thought one of the "reasons" for believing in the resurrection was the "passionate and fervent" belief by the disciples and how 'no one dies for false beliefs' (paraphrased)

      So, passion is confirmatory for believers but contradictory for non-believers? How's that work?

      p.s.
      "...the principle I was getting across was correct. Protestations arent allowed in court, objections are. "
      It's really not important but, I wasn't aware that protestations weren't allowed in court.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Here is Real

      Chad...watch.
      The Chad seems to have left the blog, Remember....
      Redzoa
      "He (Chad) is either hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenuous."

      December 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Dr. Leo Marvin

      Here is Real
      "The Chad seems to have left the blog,"

      He's not gone. He's *never* gone!

      December 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Compton Sike

      Stop feeding the trolls, people! And if you can't tell when Chad is using a different name or that someone is just as stupid as Chad on here, then I guess you all deserve each other....
      ...this is one of the reasons I rarely post here. Criminally stupid trolls wasting everyone's time with criminally stupid trolling....

      December 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Wait, but, I thought one of the "reasons" for believing in the resurrection was the "passionate and fervent" belief by the disciples and how 'no one dies for false beliefs' (paraphrased)"
      So, passion is confirmatory for believers but contradictory for non-believers? How's that work?

      @Chad "sigh
      sometimes i wonder if you actually read my posts..you dont seem unintelligent.. I think like most you just scan posts for something that you can object to and off you go..

      1. all kinds of people believe all kinds of things passionately. That doesnt say a whole lot about the truth of that which the believe, it just means they believe it to be true.
      2. the disciples believed they had seen a resurrected Christ, and they believed it to the degree that they were ready to die for that truth of the belief

      now.

      PAY ATTENTION PLEASE

      What that means, is that the disciples didnt steal the body (because they believed they had met a resurrected Christ, which would have been a lie if they stole the body).
      The disciples belief doesnt prove the resurrection (a fact that I have stated a couple hundred times at least), but it DOES prove they all had a powerful experience of some kind which led to the abrupt origin of a belief on their part that they had met a physically resurrected Christ.

      What it means is that the historian needs to provide an explanation for the origin of that belief.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Leo Marvin "He's not gone. He's *never* gone!"
      @Bob "Is this some radical new therapy?"

      :-) one of my favorite movies.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II “You said your God was the "best and most reasonable explanation," as a demonstration and yet the indirect evidence, as shown by science, was not a demonstration. You compound this with the additional equivocation on "explanation":..
      @Chad “my point is that if you are going to accept indirect evidence as demonstration for multi-verses, quarks and strings, then you have to be open to indirect evidence as demonstration for the God of Israel. Either you accept indirect evidence or inference as valid or not. You can’t pick and choose.

      =====
      @ME II “Science on the other hand uses evidence to make "a statement or account that makes something clear". The difference being that, as others stated, science can demonstrate, or show, why their explanations are correct through verification, falsifiability, and predictions.”
      @Chad “science certainly cant do any of that for things which are posited but not directly observable, such as multi-verses.
      It is utterly incoherent of you to say that the notion of the multi-verse is “scientific” and the notion of the God of Israel is not. They are both super-natural ent.i.ties.

      That’s one of the core incoherent aspects of anti-theism. You are willing to accept all kinds of non-scientific hypothetical constructs so long as the list doesn’t include the God of Israel.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  15. chris

    Is God to Blame for Our Suffering?

    The Bible’s answer
    The Bible emphatically answers no! Suffering was not part of Jehovah God’s purpose for mankind. However, the first human couple rebelled against God’s rulership, choosing to set their own standards of good and bad. They turned away from God and suffered the consequences.

    Today we are experiencing the effects of their bad choice. But in no way did God originate human suffering.

    The Bible says: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” (James 1:13) Suffering can afflict anyone—even those who are favored by God

    In the first century C.E., a large tower in Jerusalem fell, killing 18 people. Referring to the victims of this incident, Jesus said: “Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem? Certainly not!” (Luke 13:4, 5, The New American Bible)

    Jesus knew that the victims were not punished by God. He knew what God’s Word had earlier stated: “Time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Many tragedies occur because a victim is in the wrong place at the wrong time or because of human error. Although that does not comfort the victims families it does assure us that God had nothing to do with this tragedy and it was not his will that someone should commit a heinous crime. It also assures us that God does care for all mankind and has made provisions for wickedness to be removed from our Earth very soon.

    Psalm 37:9-11 says "For evildoers themselves will be cut off, But those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will posses the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace."

    Finally to comfort us and assure us of his care, God says at Revelation 21:3,4: "Look! The tent of God is with mankind...And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anyone. The former things have passed away."

    Please read God's Word for answers.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So your god gave man a choice thousands of years ago and continues to punish us for a choice none of us had anything to do with.....what an asshat of a god.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      So we're being punished for something we had no part in. What is wrong with your god? He sounds like he needs a huge dose of Prozac. Or euthanasia.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "Please read God's Word for answers."

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

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

      December 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • james

      chris; keep up the good work and smithy if you are serious the bible is accurate about the history of the jews and about to be accurate history in the future when the prophecies are fulfilled about the last days of this system. also it does explain about the languages. read Gen.ch.11.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Christians are such idiots.

      Your omniscient god put the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden knowing what would happen, so of course he is responsible. He could have put the damn thing safely out of the way on Mars.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Matt

      "bible is accurate about the history of the jews and about to be accurate history in the future when the prophecies are fulfilled about the last days of this system. also it does explain about the languages. read Gen.ch.11."

      You're trying to use the bible to prove the bible is true, what an idiot.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Christians are such idiots.

      So you wouldn't be responsible for the results if you left a bowl of razor blades with a pair of 2 year olds and told them don't touch?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Charles B

      Christians are such idiots.
      Yes, in civil law placing such a hazard on your property even with a verbal warning would still make you liable should your tenants come to harm from it. In today's courts Adam and Eve not only wouldn't have been evicted, but they likely could have sued God for everything that he had. :-)

      December 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Charles B

      chris
      Yet, the bible is full of stories where God did cause disaster to befall the wicked, and where he even boasts of being the creator of evil.

      I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

      So, how can you possibly ignore this contradiction? Do you only consider what parts of the bible support what you choose to believe?

      December 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • james

      and yet he gives you all so much time to learn and love him but that time will end and the words of Ezekiel in many places
      "the nations will know....."

      December 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Matt

      "and yet he gives you all so much time to learn and love him but that time will end and the words of Ezekiel in many places
      "the nations will know.....""

      Still doesn't mean it's true.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • skytag

      Read the Bible if you want rationalizations and excuses. I don't need answers. Some guy whose brain was screwed up killed a bunch if innocent people. Very tragic, but there is nothing more to it that needs to be explained by unsupported conspiracy theories.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • james

      matt; that is why they call it faith.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  16. james

    if you really want an answer to these and all of the other questions please contact Jehovah's Witnesses or listen the next time they call. please do not just ignore them because of something someone else said about them. talk to them and be civil and reasonable and you can learn what the bible really teaches about these subjects and the only hope for the future. if you choose to not discuss with them anything then you have no reason to criticize them. if you want to just learn about them and their beliefs go to jw.org and in the privacy of your home and mind read and learn and have a real wonderful hope for eternity.

    December 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Right...because they have the secret decoder ring of the almighty leader of planet Kolob. I think their magic underwear is too tight.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      oops...that's for Mormons...Oh well....one brand of crazy is just like any other.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Mormons and JW's both come to my door. I invite them in...listen to what they open up with and then tell them I'm an atheist. Stunned is the best way to describe their reaction. Then anything they try to say that isn't supported by evidence gets torn to bits. I highly recommend this activity to any non-beievers looking to develop their debating skills

      December 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The leaders of the Jahovahs Witness' have predicted the exact end of the world and return of Jesus multiple times....and failed.....they are a joke...

      December 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • skytag

      They don't have any proof to support their fairytales either.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • OTOH

      Yes, the JWs' teachings are pretty close to the original Bible's words. Problem is: The Bible is nothing (as proof of any supernatural beings or events... past, present nor future).

      December 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Delbert

    To me the issue of school shootings is not about religion in school vs. no religion in school. For example, we know this kind of thing doesn't happen in Saudi Arabia – and they have PLENTY of religion in school. Nor does it happen in Cuba – and they have NO religion in school.

    It's about totalitarianism vs. freedom. The less you control every aspect of peoples lives, the more likely something like this will happen.

    December 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • True Conservative

      Saudi Arabia does not have public schools. If your parents are rich, you go to westernized private schools, or private schools abroad, which focus very little on faith. Poor people go to mosques because they have nowhere else to go if they want to learn how to read.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Delbert

      Your distinctions about public schools v.. private school in KSA do not nullify my argument. Public or private, right or poor, the KSA is a highly controlled state – so is Cuba

      December 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Delbert

      "RICH or poor"

      December 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  18. Angel Moronic

    But it was God's freewilling that they can't choose LIVE or DIE ??????

    December 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • SImran

      This whole idea of free will is so damn confusing. So, god gave the shooter the free will to choose whether to shoot or not to shoot but he didnot give the victim the free will to live or die!

      December 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  19. Angel Moronic

    Tim(Huck.) 12:16 – Those who don't have God must be struck down !!!!!!

    December 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  20. CJP

    God had nothing to do with this. God (if you CHOOSE to believe) gave man free will. That was God's greatest gift – freedom. Now, in doing that, he also gave people freedom to buy guns, and aim and shoot those guns at anyone they choose. Why would God let children die? God didn't kill the children. A young man killed the children. If you think that "God" should prevent things happening to children, we'd be living in utopia where babies are born disease free, walk on water, walk through fire, and never die. Then EVERYONE would believe in God, wouldn't they? Again, God gave us free will – to choose – to believe or not to believe. He can't intervene everywhere or the mystery would be lost.

    December 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      Those 20 children DID NOT have any CHOICE at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Why is mystery necessary? I think you are spewing meaningless crap to defend your non-existent god.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      So your imaginary friend is not so powerful after all. If God gave this man free will, what happened to the free will of the 26 innocent lives that were lost at the hand of a man gone crazy? This is rather simple...your imaginary friend is just that-imaginary...non-existent and thus has no place in this equation.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If god truly cared about free will he'd have protected the free will of the 26 not the one who took away the free will of the 26.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      The free will argument is total baloney. Not to mention that it only seems to serve those who choose to do bad things. It completely ignores the free will of the victims to live out their lives while offering a pat excuse for the inactivity of a supposedly all-loving God.
      God could have allowed the free will of the shooter to pull the trigger while at the same time making the gun jam to protect the innocent. Now that would be consistant with an all-powerful, all-loving God.
      And for those who claim that even the children were not without sin....this whole idea that we are somehow beneath contempt for our sinful nature is utterly demeaning. You've enshrouded yourselves in fake guilt without cause and reduce what it means to be human.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • skytag

      If there is no god then we get free will by default.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • skytag

      If Christians do anything well, it's rationalize.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The whole free will argument is a cop out.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Bet

      When christians get a new job, a raise, see a nice sunset, enjoy good health, their sports team wins, it's because god did it.

      When bad things happen, it's because of free will. Or we haven't paid enough attention to him.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Notice how CJP is pulling the classic christian Herbie "make stupid statements then run and hide" act? We won't hear from this azzhole again, at least no under that handle.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • skytag

      If God won't influence the actions of people because they have free will then why bother praying for anything that involves other people? If your kid gets kidnapped, there's no point in praying about it because the kidnapper, the police, and everyone else involved has free will God will respect, so God won't do anything because to do anything he'd have to influence the actions or thoughts of someone, which would violate his free will.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • skytag

      If your daughter gets into drugs and prost itution, don't pray about it, because she has free will, and God wouldn't do anything to violate that.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Christians are such idiots.

      The gift of free will without the knowledge of good and evil is like the gift of razor blades to a 2 year old

      December 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.