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.
WHY?? You wanted God out of your lives, out of schools, out of public places and you ask why??
Some of the highlights of atheist governments at their finest! You'll note the name of one of your heroes and then the generally agreed upon number of people he snuffed out – in the name of "progress," mind you.
Joseph Stalin 43,000,000
Mao Zedong 38,000,000+
Vladimir Lenin 4,000,000
Ho Chi Minh 4,000,000
Pol Pot 3,000,000
I can't wait to see what the enlightened set has in store for us in the future!
Sorry about that Scr-oh-tum Bob, but these were not atheist issues, they were totalitarian issues. But, by all means, blather on some more
Of course, you can provide evidence that these killings were done specifically in the name of "a lack of belief in a god or gods", right?
The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)
The Muslim Conquest of India
"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "
Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*
1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")
2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)
3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)
4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)
5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)
6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)
7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)
8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)
9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)
11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)
13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)
18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)
19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C
There is a reason guys that they call all that stuff "ancient history".
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”=FALSE!
A man in China attacked and 'INJURED' 20 children using a 'KNIFE'.
A man in connecticut attacked and 'SLAUGHTERED' 20 children and 6 women and a man (himself) using (3) 'GUNS'.
I wish people are not too blind to see the 'HUGE' difference.
My deepest sympathies to the families involved in Newtown
My post is for all Christians to know why as they worship the "Jesus" taught by the religions, the more terrible events like calamities and violence occur:
What did God say before:
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NIV)
In the Garden, God gave Adam and Eve the “free will” to choose how they may live their lives better. Maestro Evangelista of http://www.thename.ph says, this means that God do not control the way one wants to live one’s life. Man can enjoy a good and happy life if he will follow God’s commandments and will suffer pain and hardships if he will disobey God and worship other gods which he does not know.
Today, countries are experiencing different forms of misfortunes; war, famine, disaster, pestilence, and worsening economic crises. Since we can no longer find a single country that is not suffering from any of these conditions, Maestro Evangelista tells us that it is a sign that the world is truly cursed by God because we worshiped a god-taught by religions known as "Jesus"
Who is Jesus really?- religions as based on the teachings of the apostles in the New Testament claim that God sent Jesus who they claim as His Son to die for our sins. However there is an inconsistency in this teaching of the apostles. God is a powerful God, if God wanted to forgive mankind for their sins, why would He allow His "Son "as they (apostles) say to die for the sins of man when God can easily make a decree saying " I forgive you" to mankind? It appears that this teaching of the apostles is an insult or a blasphemy against God.
Is Jesus really God's son , Did God really sent Jesus to die for our sins? Its time we consult the word of God Himself in the Bible in the prophecy in the Old testament on why did He sent Jesus?
May all be informed:
Based from the Bible revelations of Teacher Erano Evangelista in the link:
There is a Word of God about Jesus-the descendant/offspring of King David that we should know:
2 Samuel 7:12-14
New International Version (NIV)
12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. WHEN HE DOES WRONG, I WILL PUNISH HIM WITH A ROD WIELDED BY MEN, WITH FLOGGINGS INFLICTED BY HUMAN HANDS
In the said verses: 2 Samuel 7:12-14 – we can read that God speaks of a coming offspring of David and not a literal "son of God" as what the religions preach
Is it really true that Jesus was a descendant of David?
…to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.
The virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1:27 (NIV)
Jesus' true father is Joseph who belongs to the house of David. So if we are to believe the teaching of the religions that Jesus is the “son of God,” then it should be Mary who should belong to the house of David.
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
Luke 1:31 (NIV)
And who was Jesus' father?
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
Luke 1:32 (NIV)
"will be called" – As you have read it, Jesus was only a son or a descendant of David not a real"son of God;" he was just a man.
Is this true –That Jesus is a son of David? In Matthew 1:1
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham-Matt 1:1
Now we can see that the prophecy in 2 Sam7:12-14 about a coming descendant of David and not a son of God was now fulfilled
Considering the prophecy in II Samuel 7:12-14 that if the descendant of David commits a wrong or an iniquity he will be punished with the rod of men, Maestro Evangelista says Jesus was also punished by men, what is the proof?
All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Matthew 27:25-26 (NIV)
However Jesus was flogged by men which when we read again what God stated in the prophecy in 2 Sam 7:14:
14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. WHEN HE DOES WRONG, I WILL PUNISH HIM WITH A ROD WIELDED BY MEN, WITH FLOGGINGS INFLICTED BY HUMAN HANDS
We can discover for ourselves that based on what God said in the prophecy that the real reason why He allowed Jesus -the descendant of king David to be beaten by men was not for our sins but for his (Jesus) own wrongdoing.
It appears now that the Apostles-the writers of the New testament who claimed that Jesus was sent by God to be beaten for our sins were hiding from us what really happened to Jesus.
Worse than that-The apostles made us worship Jesus -who in reality was punished by God for his own wrongdoing! How will God hear our plea of salvation if we worship the one whom He has punished! We are indeed cursed as written in Deut.11:28 because we worshiped a false god made by the apostles?
It is a shame that we even question God for the real reason why we are suffering today is because we allowed ourselves to be deceived by the teachings of the apostles!
The pastors would say -it was King Solomon who was prophesied in 2 Samuel 7:12-14 but he wasn't flogged by men when he committed sin against God.
It was Jesus -the offspring of David who was flogged and beaten by the rod of men.
Again, Read this link: http://www.thename.ph/thename/revelations/greatestdeception-en.htm
What is the authority of the teacher in http://www.thename.ph -Maestro Erano Evangelista to reveal this truth about Jesus:
Read Jesus' own words in the Bible:
If you think that Jesus was the one prophesied in Isaiah 53 -go to this link:
Share the said website to all you know and study it with your Bible
Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.
Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!
As most of these crimes are committed by the mentally ill, it is the continuing job of atheists to try and help the mentally ill. As the delusions of religion are a classic example of a mental illness, i will keep up my good work on blogs like this.
Know that there is no God.
Your statement "Know that there is no God" is not provable and therefor an invalid argument. There is no substance to what you have said.
This is a needlessly pedantic argument that tacitly admits the fringes of possibility to which God is left – that you're left telling people that you at least can't disprove him shows how little you have to offer. It's a solipsistic distraction that generally tricks people into thinking that there's some real chance that God "exists." He's nowhere past the null hypothesis and is just as "likely" to exist as the purple three headed demon I've just thought of.
It's counterproductive to be so pedantic, actually. As far as you're concerned, elves and hobbits and terminators don't exist, but why on earth would you "correct" anyone who said "know that elves do not exist'?
Like the great quote says, Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them.</b
Here again, the god fraud fails to deliver the goods.
Fails to deliver what goods?
Kev, are you really so stupid that you can't guess?
Well Kell, If you are going to prove a point it's usually a good idea to be specific, especially since there many different ideas and beliefs being posted, so since you figured it out, please do enlighten.
Kev is as dumb as a stump.
And still yet no one cares to explain. If it's so obvious, why not just explain it so as to rub it in?
Only for the new members of this blog:
School shootings have been occurring since 1764 in the territory that was to become the USA:
Some recent statistics and history:
"According to the National School Safety Center, since the 1992-1993 U.S. school year there has been a significant decline in school-as-sociated violent deaths (deaths on private or p-ublic school property for kindergarten through grade 12 and resulting from schools functions or activities):"
1992–1993 (44 H-o-micides and 55 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1993–1994 (42 H-omicides and 51 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1994–1995 (17 H-omicides and 20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1995–1996 (29 H-omicides and 35 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1996–1997 (23 H-omicides and 25 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1997–1998 (35 H-omicides and 40 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1998–1999 (25 H-omicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
1999–2000 (25 H-omicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 1998-1999 School Year, 3,523 students (57% High School, 33% Junior High, 10% Elementary) were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.
The late 1990s started to see a major reduction in gun related school violence, but was still plagued with multiple victim shootings including;
Cnn needs to cover the news not shove it down our throats. We are not a stupid nation as you insinuate. We know what needs to be done for our family and the only ones who can do it is the congress, as we know they can't do anything but disagree. We don't need your bias opinions constantly thrown at us.
Maggie, ever heard of free speech, you dimwit?
Maggie, ever think of just not reading it instead of whining to everyone about it?
This article and thoughts just like it are the problem. We are the only ones who can solve the problems that we face. People just need to accept the fact no celestial dictator is coming to our aid.
Since He has already come to our aid, I would say you are correct. The option now is to co-operate with Him or not.
Bill Deacon is as dumb as a stump. The Secret Decoder Ring fallacy is a well known one. Bill, learn to use the google. Seriously.
Hey roy, you know what? I don't like the common accepted definition of the word "crepuscular." Could you please give me your own, special definition of that word. I just might like it better.
Thanks – Bob
@Scranton Boob, do try to find the reply button.
I can find no definition of faith that says it is the opposite of reason and logic., and I've checked several d-ictionaries Hmm! Sounds like you go around making up your own meanings to words and ideas, kind of like YOU are the master of YOUR own private universe
Here's several definitions of "faith": http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith?s=t
You'll note that not one of them says that faith is the "opposite" of reason and logic. It must be nice to go around imbuing words and ideas with your own personal definitions. Kind of like YOU are the master of YOUR universe.
Caelitus mihi vires
Because atheists believe they have the corner on reason and logic, they develop an inflated sense of their own intelligence. They gather for “Reason Rallies” as though reason was a wholly owned subsidiary of Atheism Inc, rather than something inherited from the centrality of Aristotelianism to Catholic theology, and thus to Western civilization
You lost me, are you saying atheism is unreasonable or that we have corned the market on logic and reason, we just need to acknowledge that it was built upon western civilization that has incorporated monotheism and christianity?
Christians are perfectly able to be reasonable and logical, until it comes to their religion.
I happen to work for Atheism, Inc. Est. 2300BC. As a long-time employee, I can assure you that while "reason" is strong part of our corporate identi.ty, no one here is silly enough to believe that reason can be owned, it can only be employed.
Faith by definition is the opposite of reason and logic.
You mean to tell me that your company was founded Bronze Age peasants and boy lovers who thought the world was flat, who had gods for every aspect of human endeavor, who owned slaves, who thought women were inferior, who practiced blood letting, who knew nothing of stoichiometry, who practiced animal sacrifices, who believed in the "evil eye", who believed spitting chased away evil spirits, who believed in omens, who burned people alive in bronze bulls, who believed the earth was the center of the universe – you mean those people? Eeww! I could never follow people like that.
Oh, I forgot to mention their penchant for killing newborn babies that just didn't "look right"
Progress from rational thought has mostly occurred in spite of religion.
RHB you've overstated
Religion. Opiate of the people? A true opium for the people is a belief in nothingness after death – the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murder we are not going to be judged
Oh, but that's not what we believe, not at all. We believe we will be judged, and that we are every day of our lives by those we share our brief existence with. Far from believing nothing matters, we believe everything matters, but not because of what effect it will have on our afterlife. No, we believe that everything we do matters because of the effect of our actions on the lives of everyone around us.
Clearly you've never done drugs. Opiates make you feel good and passive. Try believing in nothingness and see if it makes you feel as good as believing in an eternity with loved ones where all you get is gold, and luxury. Opiates are addictive to the point of causing physical harm. Try giving up god and hope for a week and see how you feel. Opiates make you sacrifice all to keep coming back for more... Starting to sound familiar? How often do you have to drink at the well of "meaning" and "faith" to keep yourself energized in your belief. Belief in nothing requires no such energy... it is nothing, therefore requires nothing but acceptance.
The good news is, there is help for you. While we seem cold and distant, we are still your brothers and sisters and would be happy to help you in your journey to find truth.
"the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murder we are not going to be judged"
Judged? I don't think so. Jeffery Dahmer converted to christianity before he was killed in prison and according to your religion he is in paradise. How is that justice?
If your right to own land, if your right to free speech was given to you by Spiderman would you run around screaming "There is no such thing as Spiderman?" Do you not want to own your house?
You are presupposing rights come from your god, they don't.
FYI, God does not give free speech rights. Have you read the bible? You have death sentences for disrespecting your parents ordained by god. Blasphemy is an unforgivable sin. There is nothing in the bible that promotes free speech or should lead one to believe that free speech is a-okay with god.
2ndly, If people were claiming spiderman were a deity and trying to base laws on the teachings of spiderman, I'm sure you'd hear just as much noise from atheists.
You two obviously don't know what he was talking about. Go read up on legislation.
Where do our rights come from?
Why is Bill Deacon here?
Rights come from people—which is why such an abhorrent practice like slavery is possible.
So if people give them can people take them away?
Don't you know there ain't no devil, that's just God when he's drunk!
There are so many solutions to this problem that have nothing to do with god(s). Rather than getting bogged down in age-old bickering over whether or not supernatural deities exist, let's just solve our problem for ourselves.
After we have done so I think that what we will realize is that while we cannot prove with complete certainty whether or not god(s) exists, we will prove to ourselves, and the world, that he is not NECESSARY for solving our problems.
Can we just stop with the "proof" thing? There is no proof in either direction. Period.
There are many proofs for God. Jesus is proof of God.
Kevin7Harris, by your logic there is Proof for any God anyone ever believed in, so Zeus, Ba'al, (name your favorite deity) are all real. Now do you really believe that?
JohnQuest, to assert there is no proof for God is false. That suggests there is no evidence or arguments for God.
But let's clarify. I certainly hold there is good evidence and arguments for the God of Christian Theism (the contextual God of this blog). Philosophers of all persuasions have contemplated that evidence for centuries.
Further, I think there is not only NO good evidence for Zeus and other finite gods, there is good evidence that they DON'T exist!
There is no proof that Jesus was anything other than a traveling Jewish preacher.
Atheists' will claim that scripture and the life of Jesus are nothing more than legend and a Jewish teacher. Christians will claim he is real and the scriptures are words of prophets. The only real proof comes within us and is proof enough only for that individual. Knowledge of God, in the end, is an individual endeavor.
There is no proof of bigfoot...and therefore no reason to believe bigfoot exists....same with god.
There is also no reason to believe Bigfoot doesn't exist because it is within the realm of possibility. The only way forward is to accept that either option is possible until one is empirically disproved or empirically proved. With reference to God, that almost always happens on an individual basis.
It's the Devil! It's God taking vengeance! It's the end times! It's Obama's fault! Santa is an anagram of Satan! Blah-blah-blah-blah! I have an answer for everything!
It is, Obama's fault.
May God suffer the wicked His vengeance.
Man invents God.
Man prays to God for safekeeping.
Man shoots children.
Man blames God.
It would be sad if it wasn't so shockingly pathetic.
Your argument is again invalid as it is based on an assumption that is not provable. It is not provable that man invented God. As the coup de gras you devolve into name calling... specifically calling everyone who believes in God pathetic. If you have a positive addition to the conversation, please add it, otherwise you are simply spreading snark and hatred, and that is truly sad.
"It is not provable that man invented God"
Nor is the reverse
@Sam - Very true, it can only be proven in the silent chambers of one's heart.
"Man invents God"
The existence of God is not determined via psychology.
"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs."
"Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth."
Had to put that up, too easy!
"you devolve into name calling... specifically calling everyone who believes in God pathetic"
The belief and the reasons for it are dumb, you don't have to take it personal.
I didn't take it personal, was simply pointing out that instead of making a rational argument, you revert to playground tactics.... and again, I know you believe the reasons are dumb, perhaps that is because you lack the necessary experience to make them meaningful.
cranium I think you are on to something. The Scriptures are replete with descriptions of people who will not or cannot accept the Word. They are called hard hearted, foolish, worldly, or people who rely on their own ways or resources instead of God's wisdom and provision. There is probably not much hope for them but we do occasionally see that one who "once was lost is now found" and "once was blind but now I see". It's interesting to me that so many are beginning to claim that believers are the ones who are deficient or even mentally ill because we grasp a reality that they are unable to comprehend.
The scriptures are replete with BS.
Post by 'Bill Deacon' contains an instance of the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy.
"It's interesting to me that so many are beginning to claim that believers are the ones who are deficient or even mentally ill because we grasp a reality that they are unable to comprehend."
The same thing was said by a friend's crackhead brother when we doubted his flying up to the moon on the wings of a swan
My eating a handful of magic mushrooms provided me an insight into a reality that others are unable to grasp
To my knowledge there is no such fallacy argument. More, I could not find such fallacy argument listed at the link provided. The only similar fallacy argument framework I know of is the secret or unkown knowledge fallacy. Which, I don't believe, matches adequately with his comment. Why, most of his statements that might fit that argument are clearly defined as opinion and not assertsion.
Lets take a look... He states that the scriptures are replete with people who will not accept the word of God. This is a true statement. Anyone can read scripture and find stories that state this. He states that scripture calls some people certain things related to why they won't accept the word of God, this is correct as well. Scripture does call people those things. He asserts that the alternative scriptural point of view is that they to live by God's will. This is true as well (although this could be worded more cleanly). The next sentence he says probably, which indicates he is not making an assertion. No argument here, only an opinion. Notice, the next sentence starts with "Its interesting to me" signifies that he is pointing out what he finds intriguing about a specifc topic and that he is not making a specific assertion. Again, opinion. These last two statements, if framed as assertions would be invalid as they do point at hidden knowledge, but they are not framed as assertions, only as opinions. Essentially they are not arguments, only comments.
Best example of reading comprehension I think I've seen on this board
Bill Deacon is as dumb as a stump. The Secret Decoder Ring fallacy is a well known one. Bill/c-t-dumb, learn to use the google. Seriously.
Please provide evidence (link), I could not find such a fallacy (I looked) and I would love to add to my knowledge if it is valid.
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.