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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 • God • Mike Huckabee • United States • Violence

soundoff (5,447 Responses)
  1. Mike P

    "...no all knowing all loving GOD would allow innocent children to be massacred days before his sons alleged birthday."

    What an unbelievably stupid thing to say. How many days before that alleged birthday would be appropriate? People who argue against the existence of an all-knowing, all-loving God based on the existence of suffering have shallow minds that cannot fathom how an all-knowing, all-loving God might have higher purposes in mind for human beings than granting them nothing but comfort and joy. How many people experience spiritual growth from comfort and joy? Doesn't it rather come through adversity and suffering? If you think this world is all there is or ever will be, sure, you have a point, but if there is a world beyond this one that matters more, then your point is refuted. Faith is the belief in the latter - that what we do has meaning and consequences that extend beyond this life into the hereafter. Without that, who cares whether anyone lives OR dies, is happy OR sad - because it's all moot then, for nothing matters.

    December 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Mike P

    "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."

    But then what? Eventually you have to come down from your pedestal of anger and realize that God has His plans and purposes, and there is nothing written into the consitution of the universe that obligates Him to make those plans a purposes known to you. As the saying goes, eventually you have to "be still, and know that I am God."

    December 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • The Colosseum is full

      Sorry God met me while I was shouting out real loud with all my might.......
      I was thanking him for the blood, the cross, his judgment on me for believing.. eternal life...

      i drank from his river.. mentioned in John 7:38... also mentioned as well in John chp 4...

      December 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Bob

    I am not a follower of any religion. Whatever religion this author is make no difference to me. However, this is a very well written piece and it is sad that so many people say things like "this is God's will." I'm tired of the religious freaks, and that is what they are, doing everything they can to scare little kids. It is child abuse, what they do to kids in these churches. And I am 100% correct on this.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • cymom611

      I'm curious what I, as a Christian parent who takes my children to a Christian church, do when we allegedly do "everything they can to scare little kids." I'd like to know what kind of "child abuse" I force on my children "in these churches." Could you please expand on your 100% thoughts? My children are being raised in a Christian church, but I have had the benefit of having a variety of friends from different religious backgrounds, including athiest, throughout my life. I explain each religion to my children when they ask, and have discussed what other religions believe during my middle school Sunday School classes. I think it's important for children to know not only about their church and what we believe, but about what others believe so they can be respectful and tolerant of all religions. Both of my children are happy, healthy, and do not seem to have an ill effects of child abuse from attending church, Sunday School, and youth group. So, please explain to me how I and our church are abusing our children, because I'm very concerned to know.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jake

      Cymom, I happen to agree that raising children religious is unquestionably a form of mental child abuse. I realize you don't see it that way (likely because you too were indoctrinated as s child) and it's not meant to be harmful, but I assure you it is. When you teach a child, during their formative years when they are too young to develop their own views on matters as complex as where we came from, that it is virtuous to believe in things that make no logical sense and are not supported by factual evidence (and in many ways, are debunked by factual evidence), that is mental abuse / brain-washing. If it's not just ok, but virtuous(!), to believe things that make no sense (faith), then how can a person determine the difference between right and wrong? How can a person know that the people telling him to fly planes into buildings so that he can go to god and hang out with 40 virgins is insane and not virtuous? Religious childhood indoctrination methods are how terrorists are created and yes – it is most definitely a form of mental abuse, whether intentional or not.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • cymom611

      We'll have to agree to disagree. I've seen good and bad in all religions, including those who choose to not follow any. Mass murders and other evil exists independent of religion. Every religion at one time or another has had off-shoots whose teaching were not kind and not virtuous. The purity of most religions is based on being kind and loving towards everyone; however, some people choose to dilute those teachings and twist them for their own gain. If you raise a child with a firm foundation of treating others with respect and making choices based on what is right and good for everyone not just themselves, then religion is just an extra in that teaching. I don't think the problem is in religion itself, but in the lack of respect that people have for other's choices. The problem with making sweeping generalizations about anything is that they don't account for individuals. Each person paves their own way, makes their own decisions, and decides what is right or wrong on their own. For example, I know some parents do take their children to church and tell them what to believe. That is doing a disservice to their children. If you give children opportunities and knowledge, and let them choose for themselves what they want to believe they grow up mentally stronger. When I teach, I tell the children what the church believes, what other churches believe, and what I believe, but tell them that they have to figure out their own path in life. People get so defensive of their point of view, without realizing that there's a big wide world out there of people who believe in a host of different things. My main point wasn't what Bob chooses to believe; it was about making generalizations. For example, people can't say "Merry Christmas" anymore without being afraid of offending someone who isn't Christian. I say Merry Christmas and send Christmas cards because that's what I believe. However, am I going to be offended if someone says Happy Holidays, or Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanza, or even Happy Festivus (Seinfeld reference there)? No, because everyone has a right to their own, individual beliefs. Am I going to condemn an entire population for the actions of one person? No, because everyone is different. I'm just sick and tired of everyone looking down their noses at someone who is different than them, or believes something different then what they believe in. THAT is what causes problems, and fights, and wars.

      January 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  4. SugarKube

    Nothing worse than a preacher who allows money and fame to turn him into a partisan politican and a false prophet.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    He may have his perceptions, but he is out of his prescriptions.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  6. SugarKube

    Nothing worse than a preacher who allows money and fame to turn him into a partisan politican and false prophet.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  7. SugarKube

    Stick to feeding the poor and widows you whackjob. Jesus stayed out of politics ans so should you.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • lol??

      He was bullied out, chitown style.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  8. really?

    Last I checked, the person who is armed with ANY WEAPON is the murderer. Guns, knives, explosives, or whatever they have. I never heard of a gun, or knife being tried in a court of law for killing someone. Guns existed long before school shootings became rampant. As a society we need to take a long hard look at WHY there was a change in gun use, not point the finger at the gun. Its so much easier to take the position of banning things, because then we can sweep under the rug and ignore how we have failed to instill morals in our youth and nation as a whole.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  9. Lars Johnson

    "Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor"

    A "religion scholar" does NOT indicate a religious person. However, the fact that he is a regular CNN contributor tells you everything you need to know about his leftist beliefs.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • SugarKube

      AMEN

      December 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  10. Gayle

    YOU are an idiot, Mr. Prothero. You had me until you revealed that you don't understand the fact that the mentally ill BEHIND the gun kill people, just like the OVEREATERS behind a fork get fat.

    December 31, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • CNN is way better than Faux News

      Anyone can pull a trigger, Gayle. Gun control, for all its weaknesses, is the best way available to reduce the carnage, stupid.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Gun control legislation has not been shown to statistically reduce violent crime or even mass murder rates. It has been linked statistically to reduced personal liberty and victimization of populations by tyrannical governments.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Chuckie

      Yes, Bill, Aghanistan, where every male above the age of five has a firearm, is certainly a bastion of freedom and absent of tyranny.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  11. Mark

    God never once said there was no evil!!! That is why He warned of the tree of Knowladge of Good and Evil!!!!! You make your choices with the blinders of Satan!!! Like this sight, Satan Decieves Man Also! No you don't see the splinter in my eye, with the log in your eye

    December 31, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Huck

      Mark, what are you doing pushing that log up your ass? There's no god, so get over your delusions and move on.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Chuckie

      Mark, was Satan created, and, if so, by whom? Is Satan's power independent of God, i.e., is Satan as powerful as God? If Satan is a creature of God and his powers are derived from God and are under God's dominion, wouldn't Satan be doing God's bidding when he torments or tempts other creatures?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  12. lol??

    There are actually many, many "single moms" that are PROUD of their status. Course somebody else picks up the tab on the out of control male offspring. This was an exaggerated case of headline grabbing horror. It's more common than the, head in the sand, "progressives" admit with their little made up theories. Women's rights, right or wrong, full steam ahead!

    December 31, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  13. matt

    this is another idiotic CNN take on liberalism. no wonder cnn has lost popularity and media such as fox is trampling on it, ha ha ha. CNN is one of the bastion of liberal fools who only believe that their opinion matters, no one else.

    December 31, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Pierre - Westmount

      You have your perceptions, others have theirs!

      December 31, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Gayle

      I agree, Matt.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • CNN is way better than Faux News

      Matt and Gayle, you're both pretty stupid. Thanks for giving CNN more page views, you imbeciles.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • The Colosseum is full

      I just can't figure it out , please tell me why you are worried about CNN's bottom line..
      if you are throwing dirt on them then isn't that actully anti-Christ of you... 🙂 🙂
      If you R a stock holder of CNn , then I apoligize... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      December 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  14. mksimms11

    To say that we should shake our fists at God and demand answers shows your lack of humility and respect. Who are we to demand answers? Are humans not the ones at fault for sinning in this world? If you are a christian, you know that the Bible says we are all sinners, so who are we to shake our fists at God? He doesn't owe us anything, but in fact offers us a saving grace in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was humble, we should also be humble. While we are beloved by God and he sees us as valuable, we shouldn't think that we can demand anything from Him. We can expect his promises as recorded in the Bible, and be grateful for anything/everything we go through. God tells us we are blessed when we face trials as they strengthen us and our faith in Him. Please don't tell Christians to shake their fists at God and "demand" answers. While surely He can handle it, it doesn't mean that's how we should react. The Book of Job is also a good book in the Bible to reference when something like this happens. He lost everything (family, wealth, home) but he still gave God praise. God bless you all.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Mike

      I agree it is not our place to ask God why he would allow an event like this to happen. It's pretty apperent from the bible that God created man with freewill, we are not robots, we can all make decisions in life. This corrupted world is a result of mankinds own choices and bringing corrupt/sin into it. I would agree with Huckabee that it seems stupid to ask God why he would allow this event to happen when no one wants to talk about him any other time and have tried to seperate themselves from him. Sounds to me like most of what the Author has to say is coming from a Jewish perspective, patriarcs, Jewish Traditions, and not wanting to hear about resurection. There is alot more to Christianity than the Jewish traditions and the Hebrew bible, alot of things changed after Christ came.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  15. Ani

    About the hurricane Sandy and many other disasters
    Well i'm sorry, but it seems to me that all of the six frequently said statements are absolutely true! "cheering them on as they shoot multiple bullets into screaming 6- and 7-year-old children"- it's not about children, may I remind you that after total disorder on earth, after too much secularism, corruption God flooded earth. You don't seem to believe in God anyway, so it doesn't really matter what I say. This WAS God's judgment. After denying every single commandment of the Bible, it's God's way of saying to stop!

    December 31, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  16. lulz

    So many religious idiots, soo many people that should not be allowed to have their opinions count. The zealots hold society back, the atheists are the ones who progress it.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Greg

      I'll assume you are "trolling" but either way, you illustrate my point quite nicely. Thanks.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  17. Greg

    The responses to this article are much more telling than the article itself. Civility in public discourse has become so rare that most have come to accept uncivility as normal and necessary. Though many (especially those who have been around for many decades) recognize this, I'm afraid very few recognize just how significantly this is affecting our country. Like courtroom lawyers, no one is all that interested in the truth, just the data points that will support their position and help them "win" the argument. If you lack facts, no problem... smear, belittle or silence your opponent however you can. Certainly that is how elections are won and that is just a reflection of the broader culture casting the votes. Heck, Americans surely have more news media than anyone, yet so often poorer understanding of international affairs because all the new outlets play this same game with truth always much lower in priority to entertainment and ratings. This is why we are in a state of "cultural warfare" and will stay there until some degree of civil discourse is restored. The person who sees things differently than you doesn't have to be your enemy.

    That said, I don't agree with the criticism of Mike Huckabee's comments from the article writer. That is, unless he has more facts to present in his case than what he has offered. First – I don't think Huckabee's comments reflect a desire to Christianize our schools as the author assumes and Second – I think there is merit in what he is saying. Somehow, the idea has caught hold in our country that it is best to separate public education from any inclusion of ethics, character, or accountability. Presumably because so many of those things have underlying religious foundations or moral convictions that can be subjective. I'm sure it can be debated as to the extent this has impacted our culture but surely an honest person can see that there is risk. I think Huckabee is simply suggesting that this is a factor that figures into some of these tragic headlines we are experiencing in recent years. I don't see the need to take that as some kind of political maneuver but simply one man's opionin, and, in my opinion... a reasonable one at that.

    I'm a person of Christian faith and I don't claim to know why Sandy Hook happened. Opinions certainly vary and why wouldn't they? Probably the one I'd be most skeptical of is the one claiming to have it all figured out. I do believe the Bible is the Word of God but I don't believe it has all the answers, just the ones we need. The message of the BIble is simply to trust God in all things. Maybe not particularly comforting words to the families grieving from this tragedy but then I'm not sure words are really what they need anyway. Why not encourage the way we sincerely think is best and respect the right of others to do the same?

    December 31, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Nara

      Thanks Greg

      December 31, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      You can divorce religion from morality and ethics pretty easily. In fact, many would argue that religion's demand of ultimate submission is a great source of immoral behavior in society. Exercising empathy is a pretty good way to decide right from wrong. No sacred text or divining of the will of the almighty is required to put yourself in the shoes of the person on the receiving end of a potential action to see if the outcome is fair/just.

      As far as responsibility, many people would argue that religion in society is also a great source of irresponsibility because of the common "god's will" or "mysterious ways" excuses. We probably will never be able to figure out exactly why AL decided to do what he did, but we should keep asking and researching in order to provide the best proactive solutions to prevent/minimize the chance of it happening again.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  18. Duane

    Stephen Prothero, you are a complete idiot. You think God did this and you want to shake your fist a heaven. We as a Nation have been turning our backs on God more & more over the years, but when things like this happen you blame God. Kids are not taught that they get what they earn. In little League now they bat until they get a hit, a strike out is bad for thier self being. Get real. The same with home work, pass these kids through school without teaching them anything about the real world & the work force. Yup, they are set to fail and plot things like your story. Revenge. As for the guns, could anyone have stopped him from chopping these kids up with a machete? Or stopped him from crushing thier skulls with a baseball bat? Or he could have found the info off the internet & built a bomb out of house hold items. Or burnt the building down with gas or another form of ignition. Do we ban them too?

    You can't stop mass murder by taking away guns.

    And stop blaming God and blame the people who do the crime and the society that raised them.

    I hope you didn't get paid for writing this article.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Maya

      It seems like God just wants all the credit for the good and none of the blame for the bad. Voltaire expressed this perfectly in Candide, where a character sees a ship with many people aboard sinking and sees the people drowning, and utters "God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest." If you believe that God is the creator of all things that exist, and you believe that evil exists, then the only honest and logical conclusion is that God also created evil. Christianity has some severe theological problems, a fact which theologians centuries ago recognized and struggled to deal with (without a great deal of success) and which modern Christians are either too dim to realize or delusional enough to ignore.

      Think about it, if you are willing and able. If God is omniscient, God knew that this mass murderer would do what he did, even before said mass murderer was born. Yet, God still created him. Sure, you can regurgitate some nonsense about free will in a rather lazy attempt to explain it away, but you're still faced with two problems. First, free will or not, you cannot deny that God was still complicit in the crime. I doubt many would say that a human who knew that mass murder was about to take place and was entirely capable of stopping it would be considered innocent if he or she chose to do nothing. Second, you have the glaring problem of the logical impossibility of the coexistence of an omniscient, omnipotent God and free will. If God is omniscient, he must have known this person would commit mass murder. Because he is omniscient, he is by definition incapable of being wrong. Because God is omnipotent, it is by definition impossible for any person to defy his will. If one puts these propositions together, the only logical conclusion is that the mass murderer had no choice in the matter at all. If God knew that it was to happen, then it was impossible for it not to happen. Where the Christian God exists, free will is impossible.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • hethanangel

      @ Maya,

      Where your logic seems to be flawed is when you say "If G-d is omnipotent then humans cannot have free will." G-d can be omnipotent and humans can have free-will, if G-d acquiesces that free will to them. You also say that G-d cannot possibly be good if He allows these things to happen–but by whose standard of good are you speaking? By a human standard that is limited and biased?

      Which is where the writer's logic is equally flawed: He claims that children, aged 6 and 7 deserve a much longer life than 6 or 7 years–but by whose authority does he make this claim? From the perspective of a human being? The creation has demands for the creator, is that how it works? What have these children done to even earn the right to be born in the first place? What have you or I done to earn (which is what deserve is all about isn't it?) the right to be born, to experience this wonderful life, even for a moment–but then to take for granted, without appreciation, but with expectation, that we are somehow owed 90 or 100 years?

      G-d did not kill those children–Adam Lanza, using his own free will, whether there is a G-d or not, killed those children.

      And for the other religious people on here who are quoting the Bible, how G-d punished Sodom and ended creation with a flood and etc etc etc. To attribute an isolated incident like this, specifically directed at children, as an act of G-d because people are wicked is contradictory to what you profess to preach. You are completely ignoring the law that says no child shall be punished for the sins of his father (and we are not talking about the generational curses here which say nothing about the murder of young innocent children)–you are completely ignoring the entire book of JOB, in which G-d DOES bring down His wrath on apparently otherwise innocent people, simply because He can and He does it merely to PROVE A POINT.

      We, as humans, in our arrogance, far too often think that we are somehow equal to G-d, or that G-d owes us one single breath. We, far too often, forget that we are nothing more than a CREATION, and by being that, we are the PROPERTY of G-d, to do with as He so CHOOSES and it is none of our concern to say what that is.

      However, the author is right about one thing. It is our obligation, not our privilege, but our obligation, to shake our fists at the heavens and demand accountability from G-d. It was G-d who made a deal with us that if we do certain things, then He too will do certain things. G-d is not some sugar daddy who gives things away freely, but a deal is a deal, and it is our obligation to check G-d on it when He seems to not keep up His side of the bargain...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Gayle

      Amen, Duane!

      December 31, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  19. Deb Banks

    Everything happens for a reason and God makes no mistakes. His word is our road map to Heaven when this life is over, but we live in a lost and dying nation that has turned it's face from God. We cry church and state everytime a student has a prayer in public school, christians are looked upon as crazy,foolish, and evil. But we will continue to uphold our beliefs. God is needed in schools, prayer does help, children "of such is the kingdom of Heaven", Gay rights and "The Sinner's Prayer" are not found in the Bible. God Bless and PRAY for our NATION.

    December 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • ThereIsNoGod

      "Everything happens for a reason and God makes no mistakes..." So he is perfect, really?
      So it was god's plan that Adam eat from the forbidden fruit then? So if Adam did as god planned then how exactly did he sin? I mean if he was suppossed to then why be punished when he in fact did.
      Also, why did god send the great flood to kill everyone and everything? Did he maybe make a mistake and "scratch and start over?" BTW since when is committing genocide an act of perfection?

      December 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Bet

      Something tells me you'd change your tune pretty quick if your child had a Muslim teacher who prayed to Allah.

      You only want god in schools if it's your god.

      December 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • kenny

      wow it must be nice to be delusional and think there is a heaven after you die. since when the end comes you will be scared out of your mind knowing, deep down, there is nothing and you've lived a lie your entire life. i despise people like you. you are part of the reason i spent two years in iraq. the most miserable thing i've ever had to endure and it still haunts me.... people like you have ruined more lives than you can imagine and if there is a hell ... you will spend eternity in it with me...

      December 31, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • John

      Any Christian who regards this tragic event as God's will has as twisted a mind as the man who committed this heinous act. That's the same kind of thinking that led to the crusades in the middle ages. The world we live in isn't God's design which was originally perfect, it was corrupted by Adam and Eve because He gave man free volition, not a predestined fate. As a result, tragedies like these occur because we live in a sin cursed world, not because God preordains it. Thinking God planned for those children to be led to slaughter leaves no surprise as to why Christianity is becoming synonymous with insanity.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Brian L.

      I think if you believe in God that's great! I bet you get a warm felling thinking "God is watching you all the time." If I thought there was an all knowing being watching and keeping me safe, I would feel better too, I guess.

      It's not the idea of God that is the problem, it's when you pick a Religion, that is when things go wrong. Picking a religion is like picking a football or baseball team; You usually go with the side your family roots for or you pick one that all your friends like and you go too. The problem with that is, now that you picked a religion everybody else is wrong. Right off the bat you have lost the message. People don't respond to finger pointing, or telling them there belief system is evil. Jesus, in the bible was never the one with a hateful comment or harsh judgement. He was a meek and mild man who used parables to explain his ideas, not telling his followers to hate other people who don't listen or walk the same path. That's where I have a problem with religion, everybody is preaching nobody is walking the path. Like our Conservative Politicians preaching about Capitalism and all it's wonderful works and the prosperity it provides.(But no one can balance the budget) It also leaves the poor more hungry and allows the rich to buy everything when the poor can't pay. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 18:25)” But when the rich talk about the poor they say they are "lazy" and "Looking for a hand out." People claim that America is a nation of Christians, but I don't think you can't be both Christian and American. Americans spend more than they have, treat people with other beliefs other than our own, like crap. Heck, we treat people with different color skin, other nationalities, even our own Native Americans like crap!

      I think God is a defense mechanism, we fall back on in times of crisis. It helps us explain what we think is unexplainable or is a scapegoat when we really should be looking for real ideas and answers.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  20. Bibletruth

    The bible has the answers to the many questions asked. There are no answers to these questions outside God's revelation. I am speaking about Jesus Christ, the focus of the scriptures we call the bible, old testament and new testament. I will not respond to smart alec requests for the answers . If you are truley seeking for the answers open your bible and carefully read...they are there. The comments dozens and dozens of people make here, atheists and most professed christians, are wholly ignorant regarding God's truth. All God's ways are rightousness. In the end every knee will bow before God, the wicked included, and acknowledge his justice and rightousness in everything. Most people are looking for solutions where they will never find any, ever. They do not know, love, or trust God, who has all heaven in action concerning the salvation of the human race.

    December 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Actually, the bible contradicts itself and because of various silliness within it cannot be trusted on any of the supposed "answers" it supplies. Observation and measurement of the physical world do not support the claims of the bible, and "faith" can be used with equal veracity and success for any religious book or god belief so that does you no good. Unfortunately, those who believe are left with just that: belief. You believe because you believe and you believe because you were trained to believe by someone else who believed and was also trained to believe. If you'd been trained to believe something else from another part of the world or some other time period or society, you'd believe that instead. Good luck with your brain virus.

      December 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • dan

      you know we kind of had a thing called the Enlightenment maybe you heard about it

      December 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • xx4zu1

      My suggestion is that you ready your own bible and stop listening to the 30-40 passages repeated over again to you by the man you follow on Sunday. Then you will come to the same realizations as a good portion of the US, that the stories are just that. They were written by man to try to calm an out of control society using fear of an afterlife. If you look deep inside, you know the truth the problem is it scares you especially in times like these. Your Blind faith is just that, blind and you are left walking in the dark looking for answers because no all knowing all loving GOD would allow innocent children to be massacred days before his sons alleged birthday.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • kenny

      the bible is a collection of fairy tales passed down through the ages. there is wisdom.... there is NO GOD... NO SKY DADDY... NO SUPER BEING of infinite power... deep down we all know this... but for some of us the truth is just too hard or painful to accept.... and even when the rest of us smack you in the face with reality ... you still seem to find a way to delude yourself... have fun in fantasy land... i sure do

      December 31, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • The Colosseum is full

      @Kenny, you're aliar Kenny! for doing what you cannot even do which is to qanswer for all of us... you cannot know...becasue you have not felt deep dopwn i know this because deep down inside me is God ... he is now right at the surface in my life everyday.. cause I went down deep and got him... 🙂 🙂 🙂
      YOu could find him if you searched for him with all your heart... This I know becasue I do not consider myself any more superiour than you or anybody else...... and this is the judgment that all have sinned and are far short of the glory of God..
      from my fallen place i found God to be as real as the bible says he is , and more so since I have known him..

      December 31, 2012 at 2:52 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.