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My Take: Six things I don't want to hear after the Sandy Hook massacre
Ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared to blame the Newtown massacre at least partly on the secularization of schools.
December 18th, 2012
12:58 PM ET

My Take: Six things I don't want to hear after the Sandy Hook massacre

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) – There are a lot of things I am sick of hearing after massacres such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Here are six of them:

1. “It was God’s will.”

There may or may not be a God, but if there is, I sure hope he (or she or it) does not go around raising up killers, plying them with semiautomatic weapons, goading them to target practice, encouraging them to plot mass killings and cheering them on as they shoot multiple bullets into screaming 6- and 7-year-old children. Much better to say there is no God or, as Abraham Lincoln did, “The Almighty has his own purposes,” than to flatter ourselves with knowing what those purposes are.

2. “Jesus called the children home.”

I don’t want to hear that Jesus needed 20 more kids in heaven on Friday that Madeleine Hsu (age 6) or Daniel Barden (age 7) were slain because Jesus couldn't wait to see them join his heavenly choir. Even the most fervent Christians I know want to live out their lives on Earth before going “home” to “glory.” The Hebrew Bible patriarchs rightly wanted long lives. Moses lived to be 120. Abraham was 175 when he died. Madeleine and Daniel deserved more than 6 or 7 years.

3. “After death, there is the resurrection.”

In the Jewish tradition, it is offensive to bring up the afterlife while in the presence of death. Death is tragic, and deaths such as these are unspeakably so. So now is the time for grief, not for pat answers to piercing questions. “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” says the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, and now is not a time for laughing or dancing or talk of children raised from the dead.

4. “This was God’s judgment.”

After every hurricane or earthquake, someone steps up to a mic to say that “this was God’s judgment” on New Orleans for being too gay or the United States for being too secular. I’m not sure what judgment of God would provoke the killing of 27 innocent women and children, but I certainly don’t want to entertain any theorizing on the question right now. Let’s leave God’s judgment out of this one, OK? Especially if we want to continue to believe God's judgments are "true and righteous altogether" (Psalms 19:9).

5. “This happened because America is too secular.”

Unlike those of us who are shaking their heads trying to figure out what transpired in Newtown, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an evangelical icon, apparently has it all figured out. We don’t need fewer guns in the hands of killers, he said Friday on Fox News, we need more God in our public schools.

“Should we be so surprised that schools have become such a place of carnage? Because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability,” Huckabee said in an astonishing flight of theological and sociological fancy.

Just keep plying people like the killer with Glocks and Sig Sauers. As long as we force Jewish and Buddhist Americans to say Christian prayers, then the violence will magically go away. The logic here is convoluted to the point of absent, leaving me wondering whether what passes for "leadership" in America can sink any lower.

6. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

If ever there has been a more idiotic political slogan, I have yet to hear it. The logical fallacy here is imagining that people are killed either by people or by guns. Come again? Obviously, guns do not kill people on their own. But people do not shoot bullets into people without guns. At Sandy Hook and Aurora and Columbine, people with guns killed people. This is a fact. To pretend it away with slogans is illogical and revolting.

The question now is: Are those of us who have not yet been killed by guns going to allow these massacres to continue unimpeded? Are Americans that callous? Is life here so cheap? I have read the Second Amendment, and I find no mention there of any right to possess any gun more advanced than an 18th-century musket? Do I really have the right to bear a nuclear weapon? Or a rocket-propelled grenade? Then why in God’s name would any U.S. civilian have the right (or the need) to bear a .223-caliber assault rifle made by Bushmaster?

If you believe in a God who is all powerful and all good, then covering up for the Almighty at a time like this is in my view deeply unfaithful. Today is a day to shake your fist at heaven and demand answers, and then to shake it harder when no answers are forthcoming. To do anything else is in my view to diminish the idea of God, and to cheapen faith in the process.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Crime • Evangelical • God • Huckabee • Mike Huckabee • My Take • United States • Violence

soundoff (5,447 Responses)
  1. Harry

    It wasn't God's will, it was man's will. This young man walked into this school and killed this kids because of his will, his sinful way. you want to see God at work, look at the teachers who stood up to this coward who shot children, and the first responders who came into this school to restore order. There is no God's hand found in any of these mass shootings across the country, especially this one.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Primewonk

      Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

      Apparently, Harry, you are wrong. Your god IS responsible for this.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • sbp

      If god is all powerful, it was gods will to allow man's will to make this happen. Or is he incapable of reversing his decisions, even just this once to save little kids?

      Seems to me y'all think he changed his mind about all the laws in the Old Testament. One day, eating pork will send you to hell. The next day, it's OK. (Did all the pre-Jesus pork eaters leave hell and get a free pass to heaven?)

      December 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I do not see God at work in the actions of the first responders, or the teachers and principal who died trying to protect the children. Just as the shooter's actions were his own, so were the heroes' deeds.
      To attribute their bravery and selflessness to God is to diminish their nobility and the comfort all people can take in knowing that while there was one madman, there were many heroes.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  2. E.J. Germond

    Job shook his fist at heaven and demanded answers and, boy, howdy...he got an answer. Read all about it in the Book of Job. Interestingly, Job stopped shaking his fist at heaven when he got his answer. Who do we think we are, anyway? God does not owe us an answer or an explanation for anything. God's judgements are "true and reightous altogether". You said it yourself, Steve. Bottom line, Mr. Prothero? I'd be very, very careful at whom I shake my fist.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • johnson

      shut up.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Ryan Hobbs

      Yeah, seriously, shut it. No one is afraid of you or your imaginary friend.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  3. maryte

    Huck is only searching for notoraity he never was able to earn by his ow actions, his exspessions belong on the same bench with the shooter. Religion is a private thing and for those that believe in God, thas is their right that freedom allows. I am an athiest since my early childood, now I am 68, never needed to believe in any deity to be an honest, caring and decent person, and so are millions of people in the world shat share my views. Also remember, the worst crimes agains humanity were and are comitted in the name of Gods..... and where was God when the tsunami killed thousands of innocen children? will of God?, I do not think so... If that is your God, you can keep it and bear the consecuenses....do not force your derrailed views, and justify horrendous crimes that only humans can be blamed for.....

    December 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  4. Maria

    There is only one Just Judge, none of us have the right to speak about anybody else, we need to fix our own act because for Our Lord there is no sin big or small only sin. We might not be directly guilty of these murders, but we are guilty of raising children away from the LIGHT, away from God. And those in denial, Hell is real, and Evil prowls throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Satan does not want to be alone in Hell, and he does not want us to reach our inheritance. We will ALL seeGOD's Face either on the last day or before then on our own last day on earth. There will be no excuses for our actions then, we can lie to other and they might belive us, but God sees the truth insinde very soul. Let's work on healing our souls and making sacrifices for others and ourselves. Evil will never win over Good, but if WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW IT, it will do a lot of damage and many,many more souls will be lost for Eternity. Only good comes from God, everything else is the influence of Satan but WE ourselves by OUR OWN will are the ones who deliver these evil actions. From judging, to lying, to criticizing, to killing, there is no smaller or bigger sin only SIN. May God Bless each and everyone of us, and may the Light of the RIsen Lord Jesus Christ shine much brighter in our souls so we can go back to the One WHO Created each en every single one of us, that is the inheritance HE left for us with His Death and Resurrection.. Amen

    December 19, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • richunix

      Maria, you need to read the Bible from a biblical scholar point of view, not a religious belief and you will find what your reading may not be the truth.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sin lies only in harming others unnecessarily.
      All other "sin" is invented nonsense.
      There are countless theories about the afterlife, many of which involve Divine judgement.
      Mormons believe that you need to know secreat handshakes and passwords to get into the Celetial Kingdom.
      Jehovah's Witnesses will tell you that you're headed straight to hell, becuase despite being a Christian, you're not the right kind of Christian.
      The Norse thought one had to die gloriously in battle to be judged worthy of Valhalla.
      Some thought that Ma'at would weigh their hearts against a shu feather to determine their posthumous destination.
      Hindus take comfort in the thought of being reincarnated as something better as reward for living a moral life.
      There is no evidence for an afterlife. But then again, there is no evidence against it either. Soon enough, we'll all know – so why fret about it?
      Belief in the supernatural is not needed to life a life of charity, humility and compassion. If the God of Abraham is petty enough to eternally punish those who lived as His Son but without religious faith, then He is not worthy of worship.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • sbp

      You keep lecturing as if you KNOW any of this for a FACT. Your only basis for saying anything are words in a book. You ASSUME it's all true because you've been told it's all true. Pretty shaky foundation for such arrogance. What if the Bible was written by Satan specifically to deceive people like you. And God lets the deception happen to test the intelligence of people? Since you can't understand his purposes, that's POSSIBLE, isn't it? So maybe your entire world is a lie.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • mk

      If it is the work of the devil who is corrupting us and causing us not to believe in your god, then the devil is winning against an "all-powerful" god because there are more non-religious people now than ever.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • richunix

      To start with, the (academic field) consider both Paul’s letters 1-2 Thessalonians to be Pseudepigraphic (forges) and if you understand the written it is obvious they are. Again be careful on what you say GODS word is. ALL religious leaders (who attended higher education) know for a fact the Gospel are written by anonymous authors, not by the person label as “The Gospel According to: only in the 2nd century the Church leader Irenseus assigned the names to the Gospel, I could go on but this not the forum.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • SkepticalOne

      Your religious ranting makes you look almost as crazy as the shooter.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  5. dzerres

    God's "will" is just an easy excuse for doing nothing. Blaming secularism for all of the evil and attributing all good to God is not even logical. Either God get's all the credit for all good and evil or He gets none: you can't have it both ways. I personally don't think God would massacre 20 innocent little kids to make a point nor do I believe that a touchdown pass caught in the end zone at the Super Bowl was God's will either.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • ROO

      Then it will mean it is not all powerful if his will can be thwarted. Why should one call such a mythical thing god?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  6. Rational Human Being

    Any god that is so insecure that a few people not believing he exists would upset him, to the point of punishing someone for an eternity, is a god that needs to grow up. I would like to think that if I am wrong, he would commend me for not being a sheep and following blindly. I don't think I will be wrong though.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • ????

      Who says God is insecure. You are displacing humans inability to understand adverse situations as a character of God. God is not insecure, if He was, He would no longer be God. People can not comprehend how such an unthinkable event could happen and therefore try to explain the unexplainable by making it part of Gods will. What type of God do you desire to serve? Sheep follow the Shepard not because they are blind and stupid but because he has proven his provision and protection to them.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Rational Human Being

      I wish to serve no god. It is this desire to be servile and a subject of someone else that I find troubling, among other things. And these sheep are net lead by a god. They are lead by men pretending they speak to god. So the sheep are following blindly, because if they could see then they would realize the fallacy in all of this.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  7. Me

    Good points! As for Mike Huckabee: what would God/prayer in school have to do with this, on any level? It would be different if a student of that school came in and did the shooting, but it was a person outside (not even affiliated with) that school; therefore, it wouldn't make sense to say that the school's prayer (or lack, thereof) had any weight in this situation. I am trying very hard to believe, so I consider myself Agnostic; however, it makes it hard for me to believe in God, when he can't be bothered to "step in" and take care of this type of situation (make the kid have a heart attack, for all I care). Christians will argue that man has "free will"...this is true, as the shooter had "free will"; however, the children did not.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    Nothing like the circular arguments coming from gun nuts.
    "I need a gun to protect myself."
    "From whom?"
    "Other people with guns."

    I once lived at HQEUCOM, a US military base whose security is 2nd only to that of the Pentagon. Armoured vehicles mounted with 50 cal. machine guns patrolled the perimeter 24/7. Even the crossing guards at the elementary school carried 9mm pistols and M16s. Living across from me was a southern gentleman who griped to me about how we wasn't allowed to keep his personal weapon. He believed that despite the insane security all around him, it was his right as an American to have a .357 under his pillow in order to protect his family.
    I asked him what threats he believed there were that he could handle better than the on-duty soldiers. He didn't rightly know, but he sure done feeled nekkid without his gun at night.
    As a Canadian, I've never understood that particular aspect of the American psyche.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • ram

      I'm American and I don't get it either except that fear makes people totally irrational. It is totally bizarre to see more guns as the solution. There are many things we can do to help these tragedies stop, but the idea that this guy would say this happened because kids aren't forced to pray in schools is pure nonsense and is offensive. It says a lot about Mr. Huckabee, but I have seen the lows he will stoop to further his agenda and was expecting this from him and a few others.

      Some people try to help others heal and some people are just disgusting and hurtful. When will this country wake up and fix this? How sad that it seems to have been only over some imaginary line when so many children were murdered when each person's life matters and so many have already been killed. Huckabee, you disgusted me when you said so many other hateful things over the years, but this time you have shown you have no caring for anyone but yourself. Go crawl under a rock and let the people who can actually contribute to some healing speak now.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • ram

      I am watching a news program at the moment and am in disbelief...maybe more like sad belief...that I am still hearing how if only all the teachers had guns they could have shot it out with the shooter. More guns? I am amazed...resource officers with guns since they are police? Sure. Arming teachers...this is insane. So many problems to adress and all they can say is get everyone a gun so we can shoot it out? My heart hurts to think these precious people died and all some can say is to stop having gun-free zones at school and requiring teachers to be armed. Insanity.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  9. Lydell Zeigler

    Well, it seems that outside of the company of God himself or as you put it."If he exist" It looks as though YOU have it all figured out. Oh by the way. "If" He does exist you should know there is a good possibility you will have a talk with him about your views of" Him" and all of the lovely influence you are having with all those who read your articles. It is comforting to know we can find comforting words from each other, because we are coming to terms with the "idea" notice I said idea that there is no God. But I still wonder what will we do if we find out one day and one day soon he does exist. And he was listening and watching the entire while just to see in part if you could believe in Him. And actually loved you enough to bear with your frustrations so you could criticize or critique what He does. Any way may "He" and by that I mean "God" richly bless you and all your readers.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Me

      Lydell,

      If he does exist and I have that talk with him, I will possibly be asked to explain why I ever doubted HIM. I will explain that I now KNOW that he exists (as I have no proof now), and that I simply doubted because HE gave me a mind, which creates doubt, love, anger, jealousy, sadness, and a whole plethora of emotions. There may be a GOD (and, I certainly hope there is); however, there is no such thing as fate or a predetermined destiny. These children were killed for no reason at all, other than the fact that some @sshole with a gun decided to fire off rounds at unarmed children ("unarmed" is bad enough...children adds another layer to it). He may have been insane, as far as the courts go; however, he wasn't completely insane, in my book, if he was sane enough to take his own life before the police (and consequence) closed in on him.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • SkepticalOne

      Ah the old, "but if he does exist you are going to be in real trouble" argument. This one never get old with the true believers no matter that it is ridiculous. I could ask, "what if big foot or aliens or the flying spaghetti monster really exist and you are not doing what they want?" and the argument would be no different. The bottom line is that, if you have no EVIDENCE other than your fervent belief, I and many other rational people are not going to believe you no matter how loudly you threaten us with eternal damnation.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  10. Rational Human Being

    Wait a minute, doesn't the world end Friday? You guys should be praying it up. Or do you not believe it because it wasn't white evangelical radio hosts that said it. Last I checked he was wrong. Twice. Third times' the charm?

    December 19, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  11. seanmyr

    I think you are wrong when you are saying that it's people with guns that kill people. Yes it's true that people with guns kill people but if you're going to go that far you might as well go all the way. People with knives kill people. People with cars kill people. People even kill people with their bare hands and baseball bats and whatever else they can find lying around. I will grant you that a gun has the potential to kill more people in a shorter amount of time but it's still not right to simply say that people with guns kill people and therefore guns should be banned.

    Like I said, if you go that far then you also have to ban cars, alcohol, knives, and pretty much everything else. It's stupid. Guns of and by themselves do not kill people. Also, lots of people of have guns and don't kill other people or even kill anything at all because they simply shoot at static targets and what not. It takes a person to choose to kill people wether it be with a gun or anything else.

    I do believe we need more gun control but I don't believe that it needs to be so strict that the average generally law abiding citizen with no mental health issues cannot purchase a gun if they so choose.

    However I do agree with you on everything else you said. Very well stated.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • JPX

      Guns don't kill people. Unstable people who have easy access to guns kill people.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Guns People

      The answer based on your post then, is to keep the guns and get rid of the people. Let's address ALL parts of the problem. Easy access to guns and lax laws are contributing to the problem.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • ThinkRationally

      seanmyr said, "I think you are wrong when you are saying that_ it's people with guns that kill people. Yes it's true that people with guns kill people..."

      Wow. In the very next breath. Confused much?

      As to where you went with this, answer me this: if you knew someone was going to attack you at some point, and you could choose what they would use for a weapon, would you choose a knife, a car, or a gun? What would your order of preference be? If gun isn't the last_ item on your list by a mile, then you are a either silly or a liar.

      The premise of your argument is that these weapons have some sort of equivalency. If that were the case, then you should have no preference over your attacker having a knife or a gun. But if you're sane, they you do have a preference. And that destroys your equivalency argument.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • lol??

      Tax laws have killed more people than all the other laws combined. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Tom B.

      seanmyr,
      You must be a very logical person.lol! just read your post and you then see that this kind of mentality is ridiculous. You say that guns of by themselves don't kill people so it's stupid to say that guns kill people, then you actually repeat the NRA argument of cars and bats and knives.
      Let me ask you do cars and bats and knives, just like guns, all by themselves kill people???? You see how dumb your argument is???? Obviously all these items are used by people to kill, however guns a.223 bushmaster rifle does not have any use in today's society. At least mine.

      Yours seems to be a little distrorted anyways so you may need to sleep with one of those weapons close to you.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  12. Pedro Cruz

    People like you who don’t believe in God is why are Nation is the way it is. You just don’t want to face the reality that if we would have left the prayer in our school and let God take care of our children, Nation or Country it would be better. One think I have to say as long as we give God his place, where he is to be first in everything. This would not happen it might sound like a religious fanatic. But reality no one wants to give God its place, then people like you who write this article ignorant of the word of God and what God is really all about. You start blaming God o now you call up to God right. Remember he is there for all of us, but if you don’t have a relation with him and let him in your heart then what do you want. God didn’t let this happen it was us we ignore the power of prayer, we ignore God and when you ignore the traffic rules and accident is to happen. Same with are spiritual life. I’m going to ask one think to the writer call on God and ask him or you are to afraid, this is a challenge, then write back to me.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • mk

      I'm betting, Pedro, that somewhere along the way, you wanted something that you prayed and prayed with all your heart to god for and didn't get. What was the reason? Was he not listening? Was he too busy? Was it "his will" that you not receive it? What is the point of praying if your god is ultimately going to decide what happens?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • seanmyr

      I believe in God. I really do. However I don't believe that God needs to be involved in school. We have such a diversity of people and religions in our nation and our schools so if we make it so that God has to be taught in our schools, then we have to teach not only Christianity in the schools but every other religion as well. That means that teachers would basically have to be come religious experts for every religion in the world just in case they someday get a student in their class that has even some little known religion. What about satanists too? It may not be a religion that you acknowledge but to those that practice it, it is still a religion and so therefore you would need to have their prayers and what taught in schools. The list goes on and on.

      Then there's the atheists. What are you going to do in their case? They don't believe in God or a higher power but if you make God be part of school teachings that means it'll be graded and if they don't believe in that then there's a good chance they will flunk those particular lessons. They shouldn't be made to sit through lessons/prayers/whatever for things that they don't believe in. And don't tell me that it's those people that are the ones that are doing all of the killing. I don't know the facts but I'd be willing to bet that a lot of killers believe in God or have some kind of religion.

      So no God does not need to be in schools or the government or anything like that. Leave it for the home and churches.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • weezer

      Pedro - he's a religion scholar at Boston U - says so at the top, if you bothered to read the article. I don't think there are any religion scholars that don't believe in God. Again, if you read the article, he's saying to attribute a tragedy like this to God is an insult to religion and to people of faith. Pay attention.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • jody

      so what god are you praying to? are you insinuating everyone be forces to pray to christian god? what if the majority in your school is a religion not of your choice? please keep your religious practices at home and at your own place of worship, not in public schools.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Guns People God

      If you happen to notice, the author is from Boston University which is a Catholic-based school and a religion scholar. I think he's read the bible and knows it better than you do PC. Perhaps he's thought about your points and spent years developing his religious beliefs. Questioning God (or even questioning if there is a god) is built into our DNA. You should spend a few more hours on the whole, "Judge Not, lest ye be judged" concept.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • mama k

      Pedro – if parents can't instill the moral values they want to see in their children on their own time, then they are at fault. Public schools provide an education in things that are in common to children of all beliefs: math, science, English, etc. Going backwards in time is not going to help where the problem is at home. Besides, to achieve your ridiculous goal, you would have to overturn a SCOTUS decision. Then you would still have to have a plan as to how your idea would be implemented in a fair way that would not be struck down as unconstitutional. In other words, you're not thinking nearly enough about what you are proposing.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • ram

      Your reality isn't everyone else's, and you choose to believe as you wish. But if you get to then we all do too. Worship as you wish and let others do the same. You aren't the only one who can be right and everyone isn't automatically wrong if they don't believe as you do. Grow up.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • SkepticalOne

      People like you who do believe in God are the reason this nation is the way it is. You elect idiots like Mike Huckabee to represent us.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  13. more huckabee crap

    Creationists like huckabee love to blame everything wrong on secularization. He said it because they always say it. There is no misquote. They don't kill like THIS every year in ANY other secular country in the world. Only where there are gun obsessed WHITE EVANGELS to uphold the laws for it. Made in the born-again USA.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  14. hannah

    This is an absolutely wonderful article, and intelligent people all over the world are grateful that you said what we are all thinking/feeling. Thank you Mr. Prothero, for putting it all into words.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • The Truth Is

      you are as sick as the sicko that wrote this...if not worst. since he is only looking for attention in the worst time

      December 19, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • more huckabee crap

      When tragedies like these happen, all of the creationists begin to stampede to the pulpit to immediately blame the non-believers because creationists are have no concept of accepting blame. That is what make them creationists.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • lol??

      Projection is a condition, and a Socialist trait arising from the practice of the Hegelian dialectic. In most cases it's incurable.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Bill B

      Hannah, I totally agree with you and so do most people. This opinion piece wasn't ant-religion, it was pro-rationalism.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • TC

      Thank you Stephen Prothero! You said it all! People should not use this tragedy to promote their religion. What difference does it make to teach Christianity in schools if the shooter was not a student there? Some people want religion to be taught in schools but what religion may that be, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism? After all if we are to have freedom of religion then ALL should have a fair share. I say religion is personal, leave it to each parent to teach their own kid. Parents also have the option of placing their kids in a Christian private school. Yet they want to take away the option of not teaching Christianity from other parents who do not share their same beliefs. Doesn't seem like freedom of religion to me but more like "you will believe what I want you to believe in."

      December 19, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  15. Marcus

    The massacre seems pretty clear evidence of either no god or an evil god.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Rach

      This has nothing to do with god.... God is a good God, However he gave us Free will.. Hoping we would make the right choices.. "free will" is a gift,, to many of us are abusing....

      December 19, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Rach – "god is a good god"

      Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

      Why would a good god need to create evil?

      As for free will – you cannot have an omnipotent omniscient god and free will. You can have one or the other, but not both. Sorry.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  16. Tom

    I find it hypocritical that a free press opinion piece suggests what we can and cannot say.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  17. WisdomVS

    Huckabee is among those that can't wait for an opportunity to jump into the spot light. To me he is a simple minded fanatic. This is a time for quiet reflection and collective thoughts on how to prevent it from happening again. It is certainly not the time to debate religious views.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  18. The Truth Is

    Listen...If you don't want to part of any religion, that is your call. However, the parents that lost their loved ones had faith, and that is the way they heal. So, unless you lost a child, I hope people like you are never given a chance to express their views in public places in one of the most disrespectful way. YOU NEED GOD because you are lost.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • hannah

      No, people like YOU need "god" to justify horrors like this!

      December 19, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • brad

      I think belief in God makes you lost. This wasn't God or a A god passing judgement, this wasn't an evil soul killing kids, this wasn't Jesus collecting for his anything. This was a Kid, who was sick in the head, who's brain isn't quit right, who got a gun, and killed these people, that is it. So instead of all the BS statements and beliefs, why don't we all look at reality, and invest in science to study the human body, especially the mind, so we can figure out how to prevent these things from happening.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  19. DB1977

    I agree with most points highlighted in this article, especially #6. We can't go around pretending we know what God's intentions are, etc. But what I do believe is that perhaps all these shootings and killings and violence (and not just gun violence) seen every single day across so many cities in the U.S. is symptomatic of a larger problem. There is no denying we are the most violent nation on earth. We kill each other more than terrorists do. Call it a "culture of violence" or a "gun culture" or whatnot, the fact is that we do accept and allow for very violent / immoral things in our society. Think of what we see and idolize in movies, TV, music and video games, just to name a few of the most obvious examples. Sure, other countries see the same movies and play these same video games, and all have their fair share of mental health issues, but the difference is those countries do not even come close to the lax gun laws and amount of firearms / weapons in circulation...not even close. What we've allowed and accepted in the U.S. over decades and maybe the past 100 years or more is a recipe for disaster. And it's unfolding before our very eyes. And it won't stop until all this is addressed.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • tim

      U are exactly the kind of ignorant person he's calling out in this article. Haha, so retarded.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • hannah

      You're spot on!

      December 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  20. hannah

    All Those beautiful little kids died, yet Mike Huckabee is still here, being annoying. Can't rationalize out of this one. There was no reason for this except a nut job with too many weapons. And FWIW: Where was "GOD" in all of this? And during 9/11? On a break?

    December 19, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • lol??

      Why would you ask that here on CNN's belief blogs? You must be new here.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:52 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.