December 17th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

My Take: Praying for questions about Newtown that go beyond ‘Why, God?’

Editor’s note: Margaret Feinberg is a popular speaker and author of numerous books, including “Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God,” which releases on Christmas Day. Follow her on Twitter @mafeinberg.

By Margaret Feinberg, Special to CNN

Why, God, why? Why do you allow the horror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School?

Why do you allow the loss, pain, terror, heartache and death? Why do you allow evil to triumph and innocence to be stripped away? Is this kind of evil stoppable? And do we have some role to play?

In the wake of so many unanswered questions, what kinds of questions do we really need to be asking? Are you cajoling us to ask how we can prevent this from happening again? Is the answer found in gun regulations, better security or deeper changes in our own hearts and lives?

Does preventing these kinds of crimes actually begin with us? If we had more compassion on those on the margins - those who wrestle with the demons of mental illness and social exile, who may be pondering violent acts at this very moment - can we prevent this horror from happening again?

My Take: Obama's Newtown remarks show pastor-in-chief

Are you prompting us to search our own lives and hearts to identify who we need to recognize that we’ve overlooked? In our families? Neighborhoods? Schools? Workplaces? Communities? Retirement homes?

Who are the kids and adults being shoved to the sidelines of life on whom we need to extend compassion? Where have our arms been too short, our hearts too closed to embrace?

Is this a potent reminder that our call is to be more sensitive to those who feel unloved, marginalized, shunned from our society? Are you awakening us to the fact that we all play a role in these matters?

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Have we helped create troubled souls like Arizona gunman Jared Loughner, Colorado gunman James Holmes and now Connecticut gunman Adam Lanza through our failure to extend kindness to those who need it most?

What are the words we need to learn to say not just with our mouths but our actions? Are you challenging us to express, “I love you!”;  “You matter!”; “You’re good at that!”; “We’re glad you’re here!";  “Want to join us?” or something more?

Will you grace us with the courage to extend a love we do not have on our own?

Why does it seem that before we can change, we need to encounter you? Will you give us eyes to see those who feel invisible, ears to hear their cries for help and hearts broken for victims who prey on victims?

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

How can we reflect you and your love during this difficult time? Will you pour out your grace, strength and love on those who have lost so much? Will you wrap your arms around them? Will you be with them in a tangible way?

Will you give them unexplainable peace? Will you do something miraculous? Will you unleash your redemption and restoration in this situation? Will you take prayers we’ve offered this week and make them habits of our hearts?

Will you do what only you can do, and take our breaths away again? Will you astound us with the wonder of who you are in the midst of that which makes no sense? Will you draw us all closer to you and to each other through this time?

In the wake of your love, will you teach us what better questions we need to ask and how we need to respond? Will you help us, oh Lord? Will you let it be so? Amen.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Margaret Feinberg.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Prayer • Violence

soundoff (1,166 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    – Epicurus [341–270 B.C.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      This is a tired argument that is invalid. Able and not willing does not necessarily mean malevolent because malevolence is based in one's opinion. What you might determine is malevolence is not necessarily what I would see as malevolent which might be something completely different from what an omnipotent supreme being might determine is malevolent. Invalid argument. No substance.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  2. The Truth

    If you read the question as "Why God?" instead of "Why, God?" it makes much more sense. In fact I am amazed that there are not more people asking this same question, why God? Why do we wrap our love and our fear up into an unknowable ball of idea's and hopes and then label it "God" and then ask questions of it? Funny how the only voice we hear answering back is our own...

    Grow up.
    Accept Reallity.
    Work for change if reallity is unacceptable.
    Assault weapons and large clips in society are unacceptable and unnecessary.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  3. Tony

    What midwest rail asked. Great response.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Martin

    Instead of asking God 'why' have
    Faith, Hope and Love

    December 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Adam says

      we live in a fallen world

      December 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tony

      Just leave the faith nonsense out. The god that the Christians boast about obviously does not exist. Get with the times or be left behind with your feeble old supersti-tions.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • The Truth

      "we live in a fallen world"

      The world has not fallen, only some men who cling to the pacifier of faith claiming to be the righteous all while thrusting out their hand in judgement of their fellow man. Cut out the disgusting thing from your hearts, that cancer of division, the sickness of superiority and accept that you are no better or more valuable than the next human life and we are all equal in the eyes on the earth. Humble yourselves and admit that you are just like everyone else, no divine future or special status, no fluffy clouds for some and fiery torment for others. You are human children and now is the time to grow up.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • mk

      Well-said, Truth.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. Believe in Facts

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.
    Human Evolution (1 of 2)

    December 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      Isn't the really important question... was the cheese good?

      December 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  6. Colin

    To the simple religious person, whenever there is a tragedy, it is “man’s doing,” but whenever anything good happens, it is often a “miracle” from God. This is why, in virtually every tornado, shooting or other disaster, the survivors will proclaim it a “miracle” that they survived. Never is responsibility for the disaster laid at the feet of God. Often the same set of facts is split up, with God getting the credit for the good, but “imperfect mankind” being responsible for the bad. That is what this article subtly does.

    For example, if a tornado just misses a certain house, its occupants will readily declare that the loving hand of god steered the tornado around them. What they overlook is the fact that it thereby took out their neighbor’s house. In essence, “God” is nothing more than a metaphor for “good luck.” A CEO might as well ignore the liability side of his balance sheet and declare it a “miracle” that his company just doubled in value.

    A far simpler explanation is that there is no god, ghost or goblin looking out for us and we are on our own. How well we survive disasters and deal with life in general is up to us. Depending on the benevolence of sky fairies as a grown adult is a pretty weak, emotionally childish and intellectually insipid way to approach life.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      It's far worse than that Colin. As atheists we are accused of having no empathy yet Christians right now in some way are happy for the kids at Sandy Hook. They believe they are in heaven. They are not properly grieving the loss. We know they are gone and senselessly as well. The tragedy is almost inconceivable...and final. They powder coat the gravity with platitudes and lessen the lesson. There is no way a Christian can feel more greef for their loss than I.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So sorry Steve but I would like to suggest you have fallen into a trap common to people who find themselves at the center of the universe. The conviction that your pain is deeper, greater and more profound than others is the height of arrogance.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Says the man who feels at least some joy for the victims. Your duplicity is what's appalling and your ego exceeds mine. I don't conssider my existence as cosmically significant as you.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It is always interesting to hear someone who believes they can personally interact and have a relationship with the creator of the universe accuse anyone else of arrogance.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The conviction that your pain is deeper, greater and more profound than others is the height of arrogance."

      No, the height of arrogance is purporting to speak for god

      December 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  7. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    God's ego is so great he created evil so that we have purpose to k i ss his ar se

    December 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      I would argue, and it is my opinion, that God allowed evil to exists so that we might have knowledge of what good really is. You can't understand good if you don't know what evil is.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • I wonder


      So I guess there will be evil in 'heaven' then... or we'll never know that we're blissful?!

      December 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      No, I don't believe he will allow evil in Heaven. This is why we come here, to learn what evil is and how to overcome it.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  8. Zag Zaggy

    Why god? Exactly! Why an imaginary being? Belief in god is an irrational hold-over from Bronze Age goat herders. There is no proof that god is real. Christians are guilty of “cognitive dissonance” — in which bare fact cannot undermine strong contrary belief. There are no facts supporting the existence of god. To believe something without a shred of evidence is irrational and ignorant.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • The Truth

      "There are no facts supporting the existence of god." True, but there are an awful lot of fools supporting it... from the way they tell it the more fools they have believing it increases their validity... and that is all the proof a fool needs...

      December 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Rynomite

    If I have the power to stop a great evil and I do not act, am I being a kind, just person? Prevailing sentiment in today's society would say no.

    The Xtian god is ostensibly all powerful. Yet he fails to act again and again to prevent evil.

    Why do Xtians hold their god to lower standards than people?

    December 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      When you cannot prove imaginary beings to be real, you must lower the standard next to pathetic "nothing".

      December 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  10. afiget

    I have also questions why Lord but at the end of the day He alone is God and His ways are not our ways neither is His thoughts our thoughts and I do believe that evil will not be win.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Thats because you're a delusional fool.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      This is so easy and convenient. When good things happen god is omniscient and omnipotent but when bad things happen god was busy or we can't really understand its mind (even though we could when good things happen). Pretzel logic.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I love it how people can explain all kinds of personality traits of their god but when the really hard questions are asked they fall back on "his ways are not our ways" and "it's a mystery".

      December 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      afiget get help and break away from the cult called Christianity

      December 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bet

      This was the exact justification that got me questioning god. I was five years old and in catholic school. The nun was telling us that you can't get into heaven without a catholic baptism, and that babies who die before a catholic baptism go to limbo, not heaven, because of original sin. Limbo has everything that heaven has, except god isn't there. This seemed like a punk ass way to deal with babies, and I kept asking why god wouldn't want to be with them. She pulled the "it's one of god's mysteries, you will know after you die". She also told me that asking questions like that was sinful, and shamed me in front of everyone, so I learned to keep my questions to myself.

      Since my parent's sent me to 12 years of catholic school, it took a while before I went from questioning god's reasons got to questioning god's existence and finally to realizing that there wasn't any good reason to believe in him at all.

      By the way, that experience was a mild example of the abuse I witnessed in catholic schools. Children were subjected to emotional and verbal abuse daily, and physical abuse frequently, often for tiny infractions. We were hit with everything from hands to thick metal rulers and wooden paddles. That was in the classroom, in front of everyone. Can you imagine what happened behind closed doors? (I became a very, very good little catholic, so I didn't get beat much).

      December 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      I could have written that post, that was pretty much my experience as well.

      I love the term "recovering Catholic".

      December 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      "neither is His thoughts our thoughts"

      Yet man claims to know god's thoughts

      December 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  11. CausinAScene

    One would gather from the articles lead line that the author had some kind of answers as to why "God" would allow this, or at least perhaps some insight, But, all I read and see is a very familiar tactic among those who are straight out lying, unsure of their answers, or are simply trying to avoid the question: They answer with only more questions...

    December 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  12. Honey Badger Dont Care

    And the Euthyphro dilemma rears its ugly head again. God is all good so everything that god does is good. Therefore anything that god does is moral no matter what. B S!!!

    December 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I had a guy on here argue that anything god did was moral. He actually said "might makes right".

      Have you ever seen the movie "God on Trial"? If not look it up, it is excellent.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      That's the exact meaing of the Euthyphro dilemma. Anything god does is automatically right.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      C.S. Lewis examines the same concept in his book "God in the Dock" which I presume predates the movie mentioned. One awareness which seems recognizable to me is when Lewis tells how ancient man felt himself to be susceptible to the judgment of God, knew he could not pass a moral examination and found he needed salvation. Modern mad by contras has lost his awareness of sin and places God on trial demanding an explanation for man's judgement of God's failings. I think, like Job, I am most comfortable letting God be God and I will remain myself.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      You realize that what you just posted is wholly irrelevant don't you?

      December 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bill, the concept of the Christian god is illogical. Believers such as yourself know this and therefore in order to overcome the cognative dissonance they must "let god be god", it is the equivalent to putting finger in yours ears and saying "lalalalalalala".

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


      I fail to see cognitive dissidence in stating he will allow one being be themselves and have his own thoughts and actions and him being himself. This is like me saying, I will let you be you, and not try to put words in your mouth or attribute actions to you and will choose to think my own thoughts. It is very transferable of an idea.

      Beyond that you make the assertion that "the concept of the Christian God is illogical" as if it is proven fact. There is no such proof that his existence is illogical and you have provided none. This invalidates the rest of your logic.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  13. Joe

    Another troll from an atheist CNN writer. Atheist are blind dumb. Don't ask why this happened, don't ask where was God. Kids kill others because they don't believe in God period. They're not afraid of killing others because there's no punishment in the after life, that's what they believe in. When you end up with a society that believes that there is no price to pay in the after life for our bad actions then that's what happen. Stop being hypocrites, you know this is true and stop blaming God you atheists, you know damn well why you prefer not believing in God. Life is not a free for all like you might think atheists, we need guidelines in this life, like it or not that's the way things are.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Thoth

      do a little research on how many murderers were raised in a religious setting, and claim to believe in god, versus "atheist" murderers.....

      December 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Most whacko murderers are very religious people. They do the things that they do thinking, much like you do, that they will be forgiven for what they do and go to a paradise. You dont see how this causes problems? It is NO DIFFERENT than people who fly planes into buildings. Xtians are no better.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Rynomite

      "They're not afraid of killing others because there's no punishment in the after life, that's what they believe in."


      Atheists revere life because we don't belief there is faiytale lane after it. Whereas Xtians think this life is merely a transitional period and they can do whatever evil acts they want as long as they take Jebus into their hearts on their death bed.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Joe

      Atheists just look at every single replies that any of you did, you have a clear example of your morality which is about none. You storm in every articles about religions and you insult,attack, people. You are arrogant and not compassionate toward another. That's how you teach kids to be, don't ask yourselves why these bad things happen.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Plenty of examples out there regarding xtian murderers, care to explain them?

      December 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Joe – Pot. Kettle. Christian.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • mk

      How about just using common sense to guide your moral compass Joe. I'm sure your mom told you 1000 times: Don't do something to someone else that you wouldn't want them to do to you. No need for that silly list of ten rules, a book, a priest, a god, or a church to tell you how to act. Common sense.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bet

      Who is more likely to kill, someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife or someone who believes in a glorious afterlife and a get out of jail free Jeebus ticket?

      Religious people kill in god's name all the time, Jim Jones, David Koresh, 9/11, Parts One and Two, Wade Michael Page, the Crusades, the genocide of Native Americans.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Atheists are blind dumb? Get off your knees, you subservient diseased gash

      December 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      Also, Joey, people cannot blame beings in which they do not believe.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      "...and you insult,attack, people."

      Aren't you the one who called atheists "blind dumb"?

      "You are arrogant"
      You purport to know the thoughts of god, punk.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  14. abqTim

    Well, there is the devil and God is constantly trying to lead one away from sin, but the devil is there. God gives us everything we need to live and make our own choices on Earth. but the devil is always there to mess things up every chance the devil gets, this is why it's important to follow Gods word because in the event that God can't save you on Earth he will save you from hell, if you did your best on Earth to follow his word and ignore the devil. Religion is good in that you socialize every week and TRY to be kind to each other and THINK ABOUT EACH OTHER AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO OTHERS once a week, when does and how often does an atheist think about their FELLOW BELIEVER AND NON-BELIEVER and pray/meditate for good things to happen to them, especially the young atheists who have no children of their own yet. And I mean really wish for the best for them. I think weekly reminders that we need to think of our fellow man is very important. If religion is taught properly (here to save and help, not here to prove we're better and make others feel bad) and is used to create a strong sense of community and family then it's a very good thing for believers and non-believers.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • mk

      Oh, they're still feeding you that "the devil made him do it" schtick? Tell me, why/how does an all-powerful god not defeat a devil??

      December 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • InChrist

      The devil was defeated when Christ cast him into Hell.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • mk

      And yet he's still around, convincing humans to commit crimes. Doesn't sound defeated to me at all.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Tony

      So, InC, why then do we still have evil? The real reason is that your sky fairy doesn't exist, stupid.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • InChrist

      The devil will ALWAYS be around until Christ comes for His people. When Christ comes, He will take His people to live in the eternity of Heaven. All that are NOT God's people or who are following the devil, will be left to perish on the earth. Free will.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      People don't need religion to think good things and be kind to others. Sure some religion groups and people do, some don't (ref the Westboro Babtist Church), and some atheist do and some don't.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tony

      InC, you just contradicted yourself, having previously said that your devil had been defeated. Grow some courage and face the fact that your sky fairy obviously does not exist. Might be time for you to let go of Santa Claus too. There's a real world out there.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • InChrist

      Understanding the Word of God and the devil is too much for some to comprehend. They will continue arrogantly believing they are only living for themselves.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      InC: How do you reconcile free will with an omniscient god?

      December 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      InC: And you will continue to arrogantly believe you know the thoughts of god

      December 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  15. Kev

    I do have the belief that there is a kind, just, and certainly loving God, who although does allow for horrific things to happen to the innocent, also has a fuller knowledge and understanding of the big picture than any of us, who have limited knowledge and are subject to mortality.

    I do believe that one can turn to God for comfort and strength as well as from each other. I also believe that God does at times help through other individuals as well as many other means and ways.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Kevin

      Nice of you to let your omnipotent creature off the hook like that when it is convenient so as not to destroy your unsupported beliefs.

      It would be better to face reality, and have real human accountability for human actions, than to slough off responsibility to some on again, off again sky daddy. Give that a try. Reality can be tough, but there is a lot of joy in life too. No reason to give a god credit for the latter without also blaming him for the nasties too.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Kev


      Who said anything about letting God off the hook? The thing is do we really have the whole picture to make an accurate judgment?

      December 18, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      If our death or death of children are for the purpose bigger picture of such god then that god is evil. Your christ and god are sick mf 'rs.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • What IF

      "The thing is do we really have the whole picture to make an accurate judgment?"

      And yet you have done so.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • InChrist

      People who do not believe in God will never understand Christians. No matter how hard we try to explain. No one is saying that God allowed this to happen. IT IS MAN that allowed this to happen. God gave us free will. It is our choice to act however we choose. Innocent people will always suffer because of other people's choices. It is easiest to believe He does not exist and have no concern for consequences. It is much more difficult to believe in Christ and know that all of our choices and actions will be judged.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      @ Kev

      You are letting God off the hook. God supposedly created everything...including the devil. A supernatural, invisible malevolent being who deceives and manipulates mankind. How are we to defend against that? If we are to be held accountable for our own choices then why must we also responcible when our choices might not be our own? Face it...your house of cards has no base.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Kev

      Yes I made my own judgment call in a way. I have faith or belief in God and having a belief in a just and loving God, but it's just that a belief. It's not complete assurance. The thing is there are allot of conclusions made that do appear to be absolute conclusions that may be based on evidence that is incomplete.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • InChrist

      The Angels were created before the earth. The devil was an Angel (God's Highest Angel). God cast him from Heaven into hell because the devil desired to be God, not to be a servant of God. He was not content with being God's highest Angel nor his position...he fell because of his pride. Nothing evil comes from God.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • mk

      @InChrist...I was a christian for 30 years, so I've heard (and believed!) all these stories. You can explain all you want to others, but they will still sound like fairy tales, because they are.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Tony

      Inc, yeah, right, and then after satan got booted out of the Angels gang, he shacked up with the tooth fairy and they produced hobbits and unicorns while Spiderman and Batwoman flew off to Vulcan to form a vegan colony of fruitbats.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      So let's see if I've got this right. God's right hand man tried to usurp the throne but gets defeated and banished to hell and somehow WE have to contend with this monster? So your God is allowing an almost God to fuck with us and not prevent it? That makes him just as evil in my book.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • fred

      We were created in the image of God so that we could have capacity to relate with God and join in the goodness of what God has given. If God removed that capacity God would also remove a key part of our capacity to love which would diminish the experience.
      That capacity can turn away from God and when it does it joins in the knowledge of good and evil. This is main point of Gods plan as revealed. Souls are being redeemed from this union with good and evil such that there will be complete separation of good and evil for all eternity. You reject this plan because you have united with good and evil while rejecting God (as clearly pointed out with Adam and Eve).
      You can accept the plan or reject it. I have yet to hear a better plan.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • AtheistSteve


      You can't honestly tell me you read Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and not identify it as the clear unadulterated fantasy tale it is. If you think for real that the people, place and actions of the characters in that fiction actually happened then we got nothing to talk about. It takes a special type of gullibility to sink that low.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      How about this fred.

      What if tomorrow aliens from space landed. They are far more advanced than us and to your delight they announce that God does indeed exist. And they can prove it both to you and even me. But it isn't your God. In fact you've been compleely wrong all along but if you reject your God and accept the new true God then all is well. Would you instantly convert? Or would the deeply ingrained distrust of all that oppose your view or your faith prevent you from doing so? For me it would be an instant snap decision...for you I predict much "soul searching"....

      December 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • fred

      Atheist Steve
      C.S. Lewis took a great deal of grief because he did not believe Adam and Eve were real flesh and bone people. Personally I see the issue of a real live Adam and Eve as a reality check on the inclinations of the heart of the reader. The Bible is as it claims to be the word of the God that separates the reality of God from the illusion of the world. As the serpent (the illusion of the world) said; “did God really say that” and doubt paved the way to reject the reality of God.
      It does not matter if Adam and Eve are real flesh and blood because it is the word that separates like a two edged sword. In the beginning God spoke baryonic matter into existence and then said “let there be light to separated the darkness”. It is the word concerning Adam and Eve not the flesh and bones.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Pete

      "What if tomorrow aliens from space landed. They are far more advanced than us and to your delight they announce that God does indeed exist."

      You might actually be right because if you look at many of the ancient drawings it looks like men in space suits, some ancient artifacts actually look like run ways. Some writings talk about the chariots of fire coming down from heaven. The theorists believe that the advancement in our learning could have come from aliens. Now, that would be fun to watch the Christians heads exploded when they realize they've been worshiping aliens, people just like themselves and not a God.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • fred

      Atheist Steve
      It was not that long ago when men landed on shore in strange ships and were instantly worshiped as gods by the inhabitants. Those gods spread disease, rap-ed the women and took the land. They may have even taken the time to speak about the God of their country. But, you are correct I would not trust them especially if they looked human. As to the god they present or have proof I would attempt to fit their god into the model I am familiar with.
      The Bible shows us a pattern of man that does not follow the God they worship. Do these aliens follow the god they present? Jews, Muslims and Christians follow the pattern of Adam and Eve where they basically reject the way of their God. I suspect that we would reject their god or pretend to follow as do now.
      In short yes you are correct I would go through a lot of soul searching

      December 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      You have the same arguments, the same flaws, and the same mental acrobatics that you will use to justify anything atrocious in your bible, no matter how clearly it is shown to you.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • fred

      “You have the same arguments, the same flaws, and the same mental acrobatics that you will use to justify anything atrocious in your bible”
      =>Nowhere in this post did I justify anything atrocious ……….I suggest you read before posting
      =>I have not previously made an argument regarding the preeminence of the word over the nature of the characters in the Bible.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Ah but you will. You continue to make your assertions about god and the bible, but if I were to say, bring up slavery, you would either give a completely rambling non-answer, or just ignore it and go off on the bible more without even mentioning it. So then tell me fred, do you think this was your gods will?

      December 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • fred

      ,do you think this was your gods will?”
      =>it is not Gods will that children are randomly gunned down as in Newtown. It is Gods perfect will to wipe away every tear and separate good from evil for eternity.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      I refer you to Romans 8: 18-30 and Isaiah 45
      Your own bible refutes you. Then again, theres other verses that will contradict these I gave. So much for clear, inerrant word of an all-knowing being.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • fred

      Read the entire Romans passage in context and you will see it concludes with God working out all for the good of those who believe. That agrees with my statement. My assumption is that you took verse 20 as the focus and do not understand the hope. Are you asking why Gods plan for salvation includes a fallen world model? Asking why God would allow such a thing is different than God directing the act.

      Isaiah 45 is specific action and judgment against those who reject God which is very different from the random act in Newtown

      December 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Do you get dizzy from all that spinning?

      December 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • fred

      no, I train hard with constant circular reasoning

      December 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  16. luker6401

    God is not wringing His hands in Heaven over what happened. In 1950 this kind of tragedy would have been unheard of. Do you know why? because Children were better disciplined back then, They had respect for people. sure there were fist fights but the kids were friends the next day on the playground. The most important reason? Children prayed in school. Do not blame God. It is American culture at fault.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Kevin

      Actually, you are right about culture being at the heart of it, but it is specifically our gun culture that is the problem. It's hard to kill someone with an assault rifle when you can't conveniently grab one off the rack at home.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Agree with you on culture playing a role, however it wasn't as if assault rifles were abundant and could be found amongst an owners collection

      December 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • I wonder


      I will remind (as only one instance) of the devastating fire at Our Lady of Angels Catholic school in Chicago in 1958. 92 children and 3 nuns died and numerous ones were badly injured. By most accounts it was an arson fire, set by a 10 year old student.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • mk

      Luker, did you know that crime is at a 40-year low? Divorce rates and teenage pregnancy rates are down too. This, and there are fewer religious people now than ever. Hmm...

      December 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      Some of these children did go to church and prayed. Guess your god was unhappy with the others so decided to let them all die. More people these days are simply sick of some (not all) of those promoting religion to try and use a horrible event to promote and recruit for their beliefs and try and put shame and blame on others. Your a horrible person.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God is not wringing His hands in Heaven over what happened"
      Of course not
      1. god is omniscient, so he knew this was going to happen
      2. god, as a spirit, has no hands

      December 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Do you know why?"

      Culture of guns?
      Availability of assault weapons?

      December 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  17. InChrist

    "If you deny me in front of your friends i will deny you in front of my father?" Matthew 10:33

    December 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Please deny me because you are a sick, twisted and delusional christ

      December 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The father" is a vindictive petty pr!ck.

      I cannot understand why people want to spend eternity with such a punk

      December 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  18. Pat

    How anyone can believe in a god under whose "omnipotent" watch these horrors occur is beyond me. A loving creator/father/mother would not allow the suffering of innocents that are commonplace all over the world and to hear "it's god's plan" or "it's god's will" makes me want to vomit.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  19. Herpderp

    For those that ask, "Why God?". Look at all the people who comment on here and look at what our society is doing to him. It's because people told him to get out of our lives and our country. Guess what he did....he left. I know a majority of the people who try to post atheist-style comments only do it because they do not want to be ridiculed. Our country is screwed because of all of you libs who are so ignorant and dependent on the government and only think of yourselves.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      My god are you that delusional and nebtally ill? People have been killing since we could hold a stick.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      nebtally? Mentally lol

      December 18, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Rational Humanist

      Nebtally ill sounds funny. Like talking with a stuffed up nose. Time to go nebtal! Yay!

      December 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Uh huh, right. Maybe we can all just take our cues on morality from the bible where it is okay to: have multiple wives, incestuous relationships, own slaves, massacre entire villages, stone people to death for trivial offenses, etc.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      Our country is screwed up because of partisan fvcks like you, herpderp

      December 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  20. John Spurlock

    God is not responsible for this tragedy.

    God did not leave a school full of inocent teachers and children unprotected and undefended in a world gone mad.
    God didn't ban the adults at the school from being armed and capable of defending themselves.
    God didn't fail to provide armed security, fences or even simple controls on the school's doors.

    God didn't fail
    Man failed, and now man pays the price.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • midwest rail

      Please explain how these children "failed".

      December 18, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Your god at best is an absentee landlord...not worthy of respect nor praise. Your christ has been dead and is dust since 2000 years ago. How many thousands of more years have to pass before the last christard wakes up? You guys are like delusional elvis fans. Wake up.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Didn't bother reading much about the shooting did you? The doors DID have security mechanisms in place. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • The Truth

      "God didn't ban the adults at the school from being armed and capable of defending themselves."

      Riiiiiiiiggggghhhhtttt.....It would have gone so much better if we had our 1st grade teachers whipping out their gun and shooting accross a crowded room at a gunman who may or may not be wearing a bullet proof vest, sure, that would make me feel safer sending my daughter to school, you fvcking moron. Here's a tip, take all that ammo you are hoarding in your Alabama woods "survival" cabin, pile it up, poor some gasoline on it, then sit down on top and have yourself a smoke...

      December 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
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About this blog

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