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A family shattered, reborn
September 29th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

From grief to grace: Wife of Amish schoolhouse shooter breaks her silence

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog co-editor

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Among the flowers and plants in Marie Monville’s sunny yard sits a rosebush, a gift from her first husband, Charlie.

A few years ago, Monville painstakingly unearthed the roots and transplanted the bush from her old house 10 miles away - a house that Charlie had thrown into tumult and grief.

The bush’s prickles recall the pain she and her family have endured, Monville said, and its peach-colored blossoms offer a yearly reminder that God creates new life from old.

After years of silence, Monville is now telling a story of her own.

It’s the story of how a milkman’s daughter became a murderer’s wife, and how she found a divine calling after a devastating tragedy.

“If this wasn’t my life,” Monville said during a recent interview in her kitchen, family pictures smiling from the fridge, “I never would have expected it to look this beautiful.”

On October 2, 2006, Charlie Roberts - then Monville’s husband - burst into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, with a handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle, cans of black powder, a stun gun, two knives, a toolbox and restraint devices.

Roberts ordered a teacher, a teacher’s aide and the boys to leave, then bound 10 young schoolgirls and lined them up against the blackboard.

He boarded the windows, apparently preparing for a long siege, but as police surrounded the schoolhouse, Roberts shot all 10 girls before killing himself. Five girls died; the others were severely wounded.

The gentle, quiet man who had shared Monville's bed, children and life was now a mass murderer, guilty of unfathomable evil.

In mere hours, Monville lost her husband, and her children lost their father. Her close-knit community was terrorized and her family's name disgraced. Her innocence was despoiled, and her evangelical faith tested.

“I felt deserted, left behind to bear the weight of the world’s judgment and questions alone,” Monville writes in “One Light Still Shines,” her new book about the shooting and its aftermath, “and I felt that weight pressing me down.”

Stepping out of the shadows

After the shooting, Monville tried to keep her family, especially her three young children, out of the public eye.

But with the release of “One Light,” which goes on sale Monday, Monville is stepping out of the shadows, sharing her story in deeply personal detail.

Zondervan, one of the country’s largest Christian publishing houses, won't say how many copies it plans to print. But it has launched a “robust” marketing and publicity campaign, with a billboard in New York’s Times Square and interviews with TV networks, including CNN’s Piers Morgan.

“It will sell millions of copies," said Donald Kraybill, co-author of "The Amish" and a professor at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "Millions."

Not only is Monville’s story powerful and largely untold, it also hits a burgeoning market for book publishers, Kraybill said: the cross-section of evangelical spirituality and interest in all things Amish.

Christian fiction best-seller lists brim with Amish romance novels, largely because of their large evangelical readership, which scholars trace to the 2006 shooting and its stunning postlude of Amish forgiveness.

Monville said she kept silent for so long because that story - the grace and compassion the Amish offered her family - was already making headlines around the world.

“There wasn’t much more for me to say,” she said.

Even if there had been more to say, the intensely private Monville was reluctant to speak publicly. Shy and quiet, she sometimes joked that the label under her high-school yearbook picture should have read, “Most Likely to be Forgotten.”

But as the shooting’s psychological wounds began to heal, Monville said she heard God calling her to a new mission: to share her message of hope and to tell others that, even after Charlie's crushing actions, her family not only survived, they thrived.

“I now saw a grand purpose in telling my story,” Monville writes, “I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

Walking on water

The morning of October 2, 2006, was sunny and warm, Monville recalls, the trees in her rural neighborhood radiant with red and golden leaves.

Monville, then Marie Roberts, was living her deepest childhood dreams.

At 28, she had a vibrant church community and spiritual life, a dutiful husband who doted on their three young children and a home next-door to her grandparents in idyllic Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised.

Charlie Roberts, her husband of nearly a decade, drove a truck that delivered milk to nearby dairies, just as Marie’s family had done for generations. He sometimes brooded over the death of their first daughter, who was born three months premature and died after just 20 minutes, but he usually pulled out from these bouts of depression.

On the morning of the shooting, Marie led a prayer group at a local church, where they asked God to keep schoolchildren safe.

As usual, she and Charlie later walked their two oldest children, then 7 and 5, to the bus stop, kissing them goodbye before Charlie left for work.

At 11 a.m., as Marie was pouring herself a cup of coffee, Charlie called.

“I had never heard Charlie’s voice sound like that before,” Monville writes, “not in almost 10 years of marriage. Something was horribly wrong.”

Charlie told Marie he was not coming home. He left a note explaining everything, he said. Marie pleaded with him to come home, but he hung up.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, Charlie also told Marie he had molested young family members two decades before and had daydreamed of doing so again. Monville said she left that out of her new book because police found the claims to be false.

“Charlie said a lot of things on the phone or the letter that didn’t make a lot of sense,” Monville said in an interview. “His mind was filled with all of the things he was planning to do, so he wasn’t in a place of being OK.”

The three-page letter Charlie left for Marie said she was the perfect wife, but the death of their firstborn child made him enraged at God.

“I am sorry to put you and the kids in this position but I feel that this is the best and only way,” Charlie wrote. “I love all of you and this is why am I doing this.”

Marie called 911. Sirens wailed in the distance. Hanging up the phone, she stood in the living room, staring at her ceiling fan, and prayed.

Monville calls this her “walk on water” moment, recalling when Jesus challenged the disciples to show their faith by following his footsteps across the Sea of Galilee.

“I was faced with two choices, and only two,” she said.

“I could choose to believe that everything written about God in the pages of the Word were true, and that he was going to rescue me and my family. Or I could choose to believe that we were going down like the fastest sinking ship.”

The falling flower 

Raised a churchgoer in deeply religious Lancaster County, where churches far outnumber bars, Monville said she always enjoyed a close relationship with God, hearing his voice call to her, feeling his embrace during prayer and worship.

Even after the death of her firstborn, whom they named Elise, and a later failed pregnancy, Monville said she kept hoping that God held better days in store.

But Charlie’s faith faltered, and he shrugged off her pleas to talk to a pastor, counselor or friend about his deepening depression.

“He was angry at God, which I didn’t realize in those days,” Monville said. “I just thought he wasn’t connected to the Lord in the ways I was. The harder I pushed, the more he withdrew.”

Counselors later said that Charlie Roberts likely suffered for years with untreated clinical depression over the death of Elise, which led to a psychotic break with reality, Monville said.

“I did not know the man who went into the schoolhouse and did the things he did there,” she said. “I did not know that Charlie.”

Counselors told Monville that depression can be difficult to diagnose, especially when a sufferer is trying hard to hide it. “There were a lot of things I asked myself,” Monville said. “How did I not see this? What are the signs I missed?”

Those questions didn’t yield easy answers, just more difficult questions, she said: How could God allow this to happen? What should she tell her children? Would people hold her responsible for Charlie’s actions? Could she rebuild her life in Lancaster?

The community - including the Amish - showered her family with gifts, meals and love after the shooting, Monville recalls. They waved hello on the way to the bus stop, dropped by to see if she needed groceries, encouraged her to stay in Lancaster.

Still, Monville had always been a people-pleasing middle child, shyly hoping she could somehow escape the world’s gaze. Now she was the center of attention, with news vans parked in her neighborhood and reporters prowling around her yard.

With her newfound notoriety came questions from strangers that made her skin crawl. Did Charlie have life insurance? How do you sleep at night knowing what your husband did? 

In fact, Monville didn’t sleep at night. She tossed and turned, grieving over her husband and the deaths he caused, and worrying about her children’s future.

But with Scripture and prayer, in reaching out to God and hearing his reply in shouts and whispers, feeling his fatherly care in signs and wonders that people of lesser faith might take for coincidences, Monville said she found healing.

On the day of the shooting, after Charlie’s frightening call, she saw a vision of God’s hand catching a falling flower petal just before it hit the ground, Monville said.

And that’s just what God did for her, she said, every time her spirits fell.

She saw God's hand when the Amish attended Charlie's funeral, when neighbors sent baskets of food, and strangers filled her mailbox with supportive notes.

Most importantly, Monville said, she felt God's strength when she had to tell her children that their father had made some very bad choices, and some people had died, and he had died, too.

“Over and over again," Monville writes, "(God) broke though my pain, revealed his presence, and restored my hope.”

New love

Along with restored hope came another miracle, Monville said: She no longer cared what other people thought.

Marie needed that fearlessness when, just four months after the shooting, she told her family she was engaged to a family friend, Dan Monville.

She and Dan, a divorcé, had bonded after the shooting as they supervised play dates with their young children. She felt a connection with Dan as their families bonded, she said, which ripened into love.

Maybe Dan was the right man, her family said, but it was definitely the wrong time.

Marie had doubts, too. It was so soon after the shooting. But she felt God whispering to her, telling her that Dan was the man she should marry.

Marie said she wrestled with that revelation, fasting and praying for days. Again, one of those signs and wonders - the kind that others might take for happenstance - broke into her life.

Early one morning in December 2006, Marie awoke to hear her Christmas tree tumble with a crackling crash.

Each year, she and Charlie had exchanged Christmas ornaments, their own family tradition. Only two broke when the tree fell, Monville said, the first and last Charlie had given her.

“At the precise moment I noticed this,” she writes, “I heard the words 'It is finished' echo through my heart and mind.”

Dan and Marie were married in May 2007, seven months after the schoolhouse shooting. They now live in the house with Charlie's rosebush, their five children are healthy and happy.

Joyful messenger

Sipping a cup of coffee in her tidy kitchen last week, Monville said she relishes her return to routine, dropping the kids off at school, grocery shopping. "Normal mom" stuff.

She keeps the letter Charlie left and reads it from time to time, even though some parts leave her feeling shaky. Monville also keeps cartons full of letters sent from strangers around the world. She tries not to dread the arrival of October 2, but still finds her eyes fixed to the clock each year, remembering when Charlie left her work, when he called, the day's devastation.

Monville said she has spent years trying to remove the “the shooter’s wife” label - but in a way, she embraces it now, as long as she gets to tell the rest of the story.

It’s the story of how the milkman’s timid daughter, the murderer’s grieving wife, became of all things a joyful messenger, telling everyone who’d listen about the grace of God’s love.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Death • Faith

soundoff (1,271 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    Religion was born to serve the same purpose as science; it answered questions about the world and how it worked. Of course, when we required religion as a psychic salve science was unable to answer such questions; science didn't even exist except as a "hey, stop pushing me into the water or I'll get wet" practical exercise. Religion was the first symptom of our sentience, of our consciousness and of our acknowledgement of our own subjectivity.
    When early man, his little brain bent upon survival at all costs, discovered that the world worked independly from how he thought it worked, (or at least how he had hoped it worked), early man was frightened and scared. That can't be! said early man to other early men. There must be some explanation, nature can't just be arbitrary!
    Ugg, said other early men, and thus "God" was born–or, more appropriately, gods. Early men weren't really very good at generalization, and since everything seemed to work independently from everything else, several gods were needed to explain the "stuff" that affected early man so profoundly. But instead of "Gravityman," "LightWavesWoman," "FractalDemon," and "FunctionChild," early man, unaware of such mystical things as provability and objectivity, figured that somebody just like him, but a little smarter, must be responsible for how and why the world worked like it did.
    Religion is now the safe haven of people who don't take their reality straight up, who don't like to think about some things while thinking about other things at the same time.
    Religion is an impossiblity our mind allows because it makes us feel safe, the ultimate goal of earlyman survival; religion is the ability, honed by our parents in our youth by the impatient hushing of our incessant "why?"s, to completely fail to learn how to reconcile some parts of one's knowledge with other parts into a coherent worldview.
    Religion happens when people aren't paying attention.
    Religion is the cave-man instinct that comes upon us when we're confronted by something we don't understand.

    Religion is the emotion that precedes thought

    September 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • D MURDOCH

      Who gave birth to religion?

      Who gave birth to Christ?

      September 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • Steel On Target

        A primate.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • KJones

      It is also possible that you disinvented religion because you were confronted with something that you did not understand? Perhaps it is much easier for a simple mind to pretend there is no Creator than to acknowledge there might be higher power.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

        September 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • lol??

      ".........................When early man, his little brain bent upon survival at all costs,............................" You have a bigger bwain?? Now that's some mighty fast evolutin'. No wonder science HAS to keep pushin' the origins back further in time. That's a mistake, though. It just means a greater poignancy to this end time if ya play by percentages.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  2. jacquelynny

    I have no idea why news outlets allows public commenting on news stories. I started reading just the first page and was totally disgusted with the way people talk about others. Has it ever occurred to anybody that any one person can "snap" at any given time and do the most horrible things imaginable? None of us are incapable of terror. There's no such thing as being normal. If anyone were truthful, people would admit their thoughts. And besides, for someone to talk as nasty as they do in comments about news stories, whether its opinion or not, kind of shows I might be going somewhere with this, no? It just ruins a good debate when a person doesn't open their mind before stating an opinion. And who says this is a religious piece? I thought the point of this story was about a mother and wife moving out of the shadow of a tragedy her husband committed? Whether it was religion or community support that helped her get through it, writing a book that could help someone else get through something similar (but maybe not like their husband killed people) is a good thing. I think these comment boxes provide grounds for argument, criticism. It's like Jerry Springer show. eck. Come on! Can't we talk to each other without saying things like "it's the wife's fault the husband killed those kids"???? really???

    September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Your time on Food Network hotline has expired. To add more time, say "Creme Fraiche".

      September 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  3. jhat

    On the existence of God:

    If man is the highest authority and subject to no one, why would man ever invent or need to invent a being a that he is subject to and is higher than his authority?

    Why would man, as the highest authority, create a being that imposes rules upon him?

    It makes no sense that man would create God or need the idea of God if man is the highest authority.

    September 30, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Man simply doesn't

      know if he is the highest "authority" here IMHO..

      September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • lol??

      Contrary to the educratist's fascination with Hegel's dialectic, debate teams are not the avenue to truth, just pleasure and prizes.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Jhat
      See my response to "NotFooled" – it applies to both of your comments.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  4. guest

    God allows misfortunes caused by sin, however He can, but not always, use these misfortunes to His advantage. A person I knew died of a heart attack, but because of her death others have chosen to accept Jesus as their God and Savior.
    This may mystify some, but God works in mysterious ways.

    September 30, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • bacbic

      Too boring.. too much BS.. too many unnecessarily capitalized letters.. but not too long!

      September 30, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Bubba

      Oh yes, so God killed him so he could get more followers. Sounds a lot like Hitler mentality, kill those who question and to put fear in those weak enough to follow.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  5. Neil deGrasse Tyson

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1te01rfEF0g&w=640&h=390]

    September 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • lol??

      Seen his scan??

      September 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  6. jonusb

    While I would acknowledge that the wife and her children should be spared from any abuse from the media as they obviously had no involvement, I doubt many people would be interested in reading about what a "charming" and "spiritual" man her husband of ten years was after knowing the details about what he did to those Amish schoolgirls. I'd spit on his grave before acknowledging anything good he did for humanity. Maybe I'd feel sorry for him if he simply killed himself, alone, rather than also including several innocent schoolchildren.

    September 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Bubba

      Only spit???

      September 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  7. Snake-Eyes

    2 questions have plagued mankind since the dawn of time: 1.) How did we get here (intially) & 2.) what happens to us after we die? I have the answer to both of these questions: No one knows the final answer to either question. Now, see how easy that is? No rerason for any debate.

    September 30, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Live4Him

      So, why did you post?

      September 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • lol??

      God was right there talkin' with Adam. Adam did a lot of namin', what science calls classifyin', too. Copycats.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • guest

      This is about as silly as the joke my dad had: he would say, "I know what the score of a game is before it starts. Answer: 0 to 0.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • mr sensitive

      I thought it was 3? The other question being – "What's for supper?"

      September 30, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Uh oh

      you've upset the theists, Snake. Remember, their circle will be unbroken. That is, their circle of inquiry and verification. It works like this:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=390]

      September 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • guest

      But you can have a choice.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Poor little hamster-taxpayer. He can't keep up with inflation courtesy of scientific economic theory from the Kweirdo Keynes.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Doris

        There's only one thing more pathetic than a theist trying to use circular logic to validate their beliefs. And that would be one trying to do so in a cave. That would be you, loll??

        September 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • lol??

          I didn't put the poor little guy in the wheel and yell, "Run Faster!!".

          September 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  8. lol??

    The A&A's turn the crucifiction into a cruci-FICTION. Like fearless leader psychopaths who are pleasure driven, the lake of fire means nuthin' to em............................. Insist on bwain scans, a photo ID, and a birth certificate before following yer survivor of the fitist. Lowball estimates are 1% of the population so amerika has 3 million in leadership positions.

    The mark of the Beast resides in the forehead, too. Sickos.

    September 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Frank

      Ah, the cave-dweller rears its ugly head. The hobbits had their Gollum, and we humans sadly have the lol?? beast.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • lol??

        1%er Frank?? Show me yer scan.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  9. tparis00ap

    Takes a angry bunch to take a good story and focus on "OMGZ – THERE IS NO GOD U FOOLZ!"

    September 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Aim that

      at the D MURDOCH, Rebel4 and Live4 types (see below) and you might see more adherence to topic...

      September 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  10. Izzy Goldstein

    I wonder what the wife did to make him snap like that?

    September 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • tparis00ap

      If you read the story, he dealt with depression from losing his first child. Not his wife's fault.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • mr sensitive

      Izzy, you are still so funny. Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  11. Nem

    Who cares about her story and illusions. Not me, I care for the victims and their families. This is not important, the killer's wife should be more humble than ever and not make a book about her life with her evil partner. People actually read this trash?

    September 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • tparis00ap

      She is a victim as well. She was innocent and she has to face being married to a killer. She had no action to cause this.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  12. Bernardo Gui

    Better to believe in God, die & find out he exists, than no to believe in God , die & find out that you should have..

    September 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Which God?

      September 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • mr sensitive

        study a bit of each till you find one you feel is appropriate to your own beliefs.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Hmmmm....
          Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama....

          Eenie, meenie, miney – Quetzlcoatl.
          Beware His serpentine wrath!

          September 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • lol??

        You're a big boy and it's your choice, not like the 3 gangs the felons get in prison, courtesy of the socies.

        September 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods, Bernardo. There's a lot of potential for mistake. Better worship them all, just in case. Better get off the computer and get to work. You've got a lot of ground to cover before you die.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • I've changed

      Nice.You win the PASCAL'S WAGER AWARD for the best use of this logical fallacy today.Take a bow.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  13. E Avila

    If there is a God, or someone who created the universe, we as humans would not understand him/her. There has never been one person on earth who could create matter out of nothing, so if someone like that exists, it would be beyond our current reality.

    To see God we need Him to reveal Himself to us. In Jeremiah 29 He says, "If you seek for me, you will find me, if you seek for me with all your heart." Why not seek Him, if He is real, you will find Him.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The problem is that to get the "proof" of God's existence, you must furst abandon your need for tangible proof and accept the God hypothesis on faith.
      Believe it first, and then the proof appears... I'm afraid objectivity doesn't work that way.
      If you just believe that Joseph Smith read a new Testament of Jesus Christ our of a hat with magic Seer Stones, then the proof of his encounter with an Archangel will appear....

      September 30, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

        Exactly

        September 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
      • Nannalow

        Yes – but I think the argument can be made that over time scientific discovery has been made because people had faith that something existed even though at the time it had not yet been discovered. I have read Einsteins biography, and many times he had belief that something existed that something could be found and then pursued it and found it. If you only believed in what currently IS than we would never progress into what could be ... I like to think that there really is no battle between God and science – because if there really is a God (which I believe) than ultimately science will prove it. I think in many ways we are already getting there – it is getting more and more difficult for scientists to explain the complexity and machine like abilities of a single cell in the human body. How can something so complex, so ordered, so factory-like ... how could that have come from nature – how did nature create something so orderly... especially since there are several scientific theories that say that we (the natural world) are constantly .. not progressing into more order .. but into chaos. I think you can make a argument against different facts in the Bible (which is how most Atheists attack the belief in God)... but I think you begin to stretch it when you say that science indicates there is no God – I think there is plenty of science indicating that there is a God (creator).

        September 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • mr sensitive

          I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH to be an Atheist

          September 30, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • AE

      Seeking humility was the key for me in seeing the evidence for God. Pride and arrogance were and are my greatest obstacles.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • tallulah13

        Because there is nothing more humble than thinking that a being capable of creating the universe is obsessed 24/7 with you, watching you day and night to make sure you follow some arbitrary rules created by a specific middle eastern tribe, because if you do, (and if you say you like that being the best) you get to live forever in a paradise created just for you and people who think like you.

        Nope. Nothing more humble than that.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • AE

        Do you know what demonstrates humility?

        September 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Better yet, AE....find for me an ounce of humility in your church or the churches that dot the landscape of the US

          September 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • AE

          I think as individuals there are things we can do to seek humility. The words we say about others and how we treat them demonstrate humility. At my church we are reminded that we are called to love our neighbors. Sometimes that is difficult, but with humility the way becomes easier.

          September 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Who is your neighbor, AE? And what about your enemies?

          You want religious humility....what this article refers to is a great source...those Amish families who went to this woman's house hours after her husband murdered their little ones....

          That is humility in evidence...in the churches I attended as a Christian and the ones that are on every cornere here in the US, they would be grabbing their CAR-15's and Sig Sauers had that happened to them.

          September 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • AE

          Yes, this article demonstrates how to love our enemies and neighbors.

          I can't speak for all the churches you've been to or what you imagine goes on in the churches of every corner. My church follows Jesus, so seeking humility is kind of a big deal.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          No, AE...not this article...what the original families who lost their little ones did....

          I hope you are correct about your church...but your witness to the folks on this forum will tell just how much you are genuinely seeking humility....

          I hope you are genuine...

          September 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • AE

          Ok, I learned from this article about the Amish offering her forgiveness. It is not the focus of the story, but it does mention it.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          If you havent already, read up on what they did...truly remarkable...also, as a counterpoint, read The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal

          http://www.amazon.com/The-Sunflower-Possibilities-Forgiveness-Paperback/dp/0805210601

          It provides a troubling and, at the same time, wonderful discussion on forgiveness.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Sorry, that middle line was supposed to be the link to amazon.com

          September 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • lol??

          Now's a great time to get your name off an Inc'd gubmint church's membership roll. Their allegiance is to the governing authority and creator the gubmint Beast, and the mob is hungry.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • AE

          Thanks. I struggle with forgiveness; I'd rather plot revenge!

          September 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          🙂 Thanks for your honesty...and humility.

          September 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      What about all the Muslims and Hindus that are earnestly seeking God and believe they have found him? They claim to have those spiritual revelations as well and claim to have felt God working in their lives. Which God is right? They all can't be right since their doctrines contradict one another.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • I've changed

      Xenu demands your obedience.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • sam stone

      look up "confirmation bias" and get back to us

      September 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  14. D MURDOCK

    This is my debate and I'll cry if I want to

    September 30, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • D MURDOCH

      Cry if I want to, cry if I want to. The world revolves around me posting here and you'd cry too if evidence was shoved down your throat! I'd love to believe. I'm dying to believe. I'd do anything to believe. Anything.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Ben

      Jesus teaches us to love and love only. Much of what I read from my fellow believers and non-believers has hateful undertones. Drop the tough love with people who don't believe and maybe you can reach out to them effectively. Funny story. . .I had an Atheist friend once that called out to God when he thought he was about to get into a car wreck. I think deep down he knew about God. We narrowly avoided a wreck. I don't believe in coincidence.

      September 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        And my atheist wife called out the name of God in bed last night.
        Your argument is akin to using the names of the days of teh week as proof of ancient gods.
        Does your calendar say "Thursday"? See! The Norse God of Thunder is real!

        September 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • I've changed

          Have you ever noticed that 1/7 of all accidents happen on Thor's Day?Weird right?

          September 30, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • Get Real

        Ben,
        " Funny story. . .I had an Atheist friend once that called out to God when he thought he was about to get into a car wreck."

        Funny, I know a guy who called out "Oh, sh!t!" as he steered his car out of danger on an icy roadway. Do you think that deep down he credits that 'product' for his survival?

        September 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  15. D MURDOCK

    There is no evidence for god. Face it reborners. Never has been and never will be. There is no evidence for anything. Just trying to prove anything is a waste if time. Believe me. I used to be as pathetic as u delusional freaks but I've seen the light. The evidence that there is no evidence is simply overwhelming, but don't ask to see the evidence. R u crazy? There isn't any.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • D MURDOCK

      And another thing. If I say that there isn't any evidence, you better believe me or prepare to show me the evidence because the only evidence that there isn't any evidence is the only non-evidence that is evidence I'll accept as evidence that doesn't exist.

      And, I set the rules for debate. Any time you want to prove something, use evidence that there is evidence of evidence because u no, there isn't any.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
      • Mik

        Shuddup. Live and Let Live you eh-hole

        September 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
      • ed dugan

        I am an athiest and your stupid posts are giving us a bad name. Please just shut up!!!!

        September 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • mr sensitive

          I haven't enough faith to be an Atheist.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Athy

          You haven't enough intelligence to be an atheist.

          September 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          FYI – MURDOCK is faith/hrrai troll pretending to be an atheist.

          September 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @D MURDOCK : There is no evidence for god.

      Here is the evidence that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

      Natural origins or Supernatural origins?
      a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary.

      Which supernatural event or being answer the above?
      a) Multiple religions address the creation of life.
      b) The Biblical account (which includes all the Abrahamic religions) begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
      c) No other religion begins with the creation of matter, energy and time
      Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the basic issues.

      Did the Judaism God Do It?
      a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
      b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
      Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable contender for this supernatural being.

      Did the Islamic God Do It?
      a) Given inaccurate transmission of the Koran Bible,
      b) Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
      c) Given the lack of specific prophecies in the Koran
      Therefore, the God of the Muslims is not a viable contender.

      Did the Christian God Do It?
      a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
      b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
      Therefore, the God of the Christians is a viable contender for this supernatural being. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is the most plausible answer to how we got here.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        1) "God of the Gaps" argument.
        2) The creation myth of the Kono people of Guinea deals with such things.
        "In the beginning there was nothing: neither matter nor light existed. In this world lived only Death, whose name is Sa, and his wife and and their only daughter." – they then go on to create the matter, energy, time, the Earth, the plants and the animals.
        3) Using the New Testament to prove the accuracy of prophecies in the Old Testament is like saying that Return of the Jedi proves the prophecies in Phantom Menace.
        4) Islamic God is Abraham's God. Same deity, different prophets.
        5) Accurate transmission? Why then are there two conflicting Creation accounts in Genesis?

        September 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

          Another win for Doc!

          September 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Doc Vestibule : "God of the Gaps" argument.

          Are you sure you've got a doctorate degree, because it sure doesn't sound like it.

          FACT 1: Matter, energy and time exist.

          FACT 2: The Bible describes their creation as the first step in Genesis.

          FACT 3: There is no natural explaination (that has passed the scientific method) for the existence of these three elements.

          Rather, it is a fork in the road with one branch which bridges the supposed gap and the other road which has no bridge. Thus, the logical choice is to follow the path with the bridge rather than try to jump the gap on the other path. I'm sure with your faith, you could jump the Grand Canyon created by the "gap" in the naturalist road. Personally, I'd rather go by the safer route.

          @Doc Vestibule : 3) Using the New Testament to prove the accuracy of prophecies in the Old Testament

          Ummm.... The Re-Birth of Israel (foretold in Eze 37) did not happen in NT times, but in 1948. But, a nice example of obfuscation.

          @Doc Vestibule : 5) Accurate transmission? Why then are there two conflicting Creation accounts in Genesis?

          Duhhh!!! Two different viewpoints – God vs. Adam. When Adam told the story of the creation of man (and the Fall), his focus was on the story of man, not creation.

          September 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Doris

          L4H: [ "There is no natural explaination ...

          Rather, it is a fork in the road with one branch which bridges the supposed gap and the other road which has no bridge. Thus, the logical choice is to follow the path with the bridge " ]

          Again, you are making excuses to try to further define something that is unknown to fit a story that you like that seems to make it make the best sense to you. Maybe OK for daydreaming, but please, you have no FACT here at all.

          September 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • Chuck

          There are not two conflicting accounts ? There is a general overview and then a more detailed account.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Which came first, humans, plants or all the other animals?

          September 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Doris

        [ L4H: " Here is the evidence that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

        Natural origins or Supernatural origins?
        a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
        b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
        Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary. " ]

        Ah, too presumptuous. There simply is no explanation period yet that is universally accepted for the issue. No need to embellish with "natural" nor concepts from "spooky" physics at this time for things unknown.

        [ L4H: "Which supernatural event or being answer the above?
        a) Multiple religions address the creation of life.
        b) The Biblical account (which includes all the Abrahamic religions) begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
        c) No other religion begins with the creation of matter, energy and time
        Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the basic issues. " ]

        Since you were too presumptuous on your first point, it kind of makes this one moot, but the way in which the Abrahamic writings allegedly address creation is certainly laughable. Of course many believers don't agree on the interpretation of the creation stories.

        [ L4H: " Did the Judaism God Do It?
        a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
        b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
        Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable contender for this supernatural being." ]

        Same as above. Point is moot based on presumptuous point #1. Even a good story can't cure that presumption.

        [..]

        [ L4H: " Did the Christian God Do It?
        a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
        b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
        Therefore, the God of the Christians is a viable contender for this supernatural being. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is the most plausible answer to how we got here. " ]

        Did you really think they would have had any chance at making Christianity work if the screenplay didn't fit nicely with the previous screenplay? Of course we do see how He went from being a prick to a really nice fun guy (..you know when the writers and directors changed..)

        September 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Doris : There simply is no explanation period yet that is universally accepted for the issue.

          Not surprising, considering that atheists are disinclined to accept the Biblical viewpoint.

          @Doris : the way in which the Abrahamic writings allegedly address creation is certainly laughable.

          When the atheist lacks facts, they resort to mockery.

          @Doris : Even a good story can't cure that presumption.

          When the atheist lacks facts, they resort to mockery.

          @Doris : any chance at making Christianity work if the screenplay didn't fit nicely with the previous screenplay?

          When the atheist lacks facts, they resort to mockery.

          Thanks for demonstrating the lack of facts for atheists.

          September 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Doris

          L4H: [ "@Doris : There simply is no explanation period yet that is universally accepted for the issue.

          Not surprising, considering that atheists are disinclined to accept the Biblical viewpoint. " ]

          Well, in the U.S., one would have to acknowledge that the viewpoint exists. It's quite unavoidable as the atheist lives and works amongst many believers. But accept the Biblical viewpoint as facts as you have purported with such obvious presumptions? Absolutely not.

          September 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • seaann

      Murdock,
      The fact that you are alive is the evidence of a Creator. The evidence is all around us .Psalms 36:9 The Source of Life. His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the creations onward .Romans 1:20 .For his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.

      Your argument is null and void.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "The fact that you are alive is the evidence of a Creator." Well, that's just too stupid to ignore... I'm alive because my parents had sex... because evolutionary/biological instincts drove them to reproduce... just like every other creature on this planet and I daresay the Universe. No deity required...

        September 30, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • mr sensitive

          I have eaten from the tree of wisdom and know better. Pull the splinter from your own eye, so you can see the truth.

          September 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #6 – If you routinely ignore physics, geology, astronomy, biology, etc., and are happy with “god did it” then you are mentally retarded.

          September 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Motoman

      The fool has said in his heart there is no God! Book of Psalms
      It is appointed unto humans once to die and after this the Judgment! Book of Hebrews

      If you are right – no one has to worry
      If you are wrong – good luck!
      God is not a puppet master – do you understand what a puppet master is? God is not one using people to do his bidding!
      So don't take scriptures and try to twist them like religion dose to fit your belief!
      You seem angry with God if he don't exist why do you rant about it? Why is Jesus used as a cuss word?
      Why not AhhLaa or MoHam used as a cuss word?
      Good Luck in the after life!

      September 30, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Of course the book says that, otherwise few people would have reason to fall for it.
        The rest of your mumbo falls in to Pascals Wager, pure failure and pure gullibility on your behalf.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I'll be drinking flagons of mead in the gilded halls of Valhalla becuase I'm going to ensure that I die gloriously on the field of battle, bathed in the blood of my vanquished foes.
        Good luck in YOUR afterlife!

        September 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          skål!

          September 30, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • The Tenets of Atheism

        1. There is no God.
        2. I hate him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        🙂

        September 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

          Ah.. more of that willful ignorance.

          It is the theist who claims atheists hate your or any other god for that matter. We hate the things such as bullying, racism, tax evasion, genocide, ect, ect… that are committed by theists in the name of your god. If you can’t understand that distinction…its really no wonder you believe in magic.

          September 30, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • mr sensitive

          God Loves you! ...but He likes me better...

          September 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #5 – Circular "holy" book reasoning + sweaty fervor = mental retardation. (See Law #4)

        September 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • TED

      Just as you say there is no proof that god exists, there is also no proof that god does not exist. You cannot prove your point any better than I can prove mine. Faith is faith regardless of what you believe.

      September 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  16. April

    I can tell you.. it is not a form of mental illness

    September 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What isn't?
      If you're referring to one way conversations with invisible, ineffable, intagible, imortal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent beings, then I'm afraid it falls under the category of delusion.
      But, hey – whatever works for you.
      The man widely considered to be Canada's greates Prime Minister routinely conferred with the spirites of his dead wife and dog.
      I won't begrudge you your gentle delusiosn if they help you get through the day, but don't doubt that belief in teh supernatural is indeed a form of delusion.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:10 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        So many spelling mistakes.....
        Doc's brain not work coffee good without.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

        Well said Doc.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • It's more like

      a sick fad that won't go away. It's goes under the guise of goodness, but causes more harm and divisiveness than any other fad in history.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  17. Rebel4Christ

    Atheists the more you argue and the more try to prove that there's no God, the more you take hope out of life ,and were all about as pointless and meaningless as a rock on the ground.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • That's

      silly. If you still need your blanky at your age, well that's you. That's not me.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Rebel4Christ

        How could you be that dumb? Look at our world, first off were the only planet with life, were the perfect distance away from the sun, not to close to burn up and not to far to freeze, second off your telling me that an explosion came from nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, no matter in existence! No time or anything absolutely NOTHING NOT EVEN A VACUUM, but some how everything came from that, not only that you look at how our bodies are set up, with our organs in the right spots, and everything but your telling me that out of the billion even trillion chance that this random explosion set us up like this and were all just random bits of matter, and somehow that's believable. That's ridiculous!! That takes more faith than Believing in God!!

        September 30, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • tallulah13

          Your lack of understanding is not proof of god. Life on this planet was shaped by the conditions on this planet. Life nearly died out several times over the millions of years the shaping took place. The vast majority of species that ever existed are now extinct. It is utterly ignorant to claim that the planet was made for life, specifically human life. And it is utterly arrogant to think that in all this vast universe we are the only planet where life has formed.

          September 30, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • I've changed

          You forgot to mention the absolute perfection of the banana.Rather than blow off scientific inquiry,you could try to explore what people have discovered trying to explain our existence.You will find more beauty and magnificence in this journey than you ever could reading a mouldy book of myths.C'mon,give it a shot.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

          You have the nerve to call someone dumb and then state we are the only planet with life. You’re ignorance though expected is no less appalling. You do realize we’ve discovered hundreds of planets and are expected to discover thousands more. You assume….there is no life on them and THAT sir/madam is the height of arrogance and just another example of why religious types like you have a reputation for willful ignorance. You ignore reason to instead live inside your narrow, primitive perspective.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • That's silly

          Presumptuous4Christ: "Look at our world, first off were the only planet with life, were the"
          Presumptuous4Christ: "your telling me that an explosion came from nothing"

          Talk about "dumb". (I think you meant "we're", not "were"; you're", not "your".)

          You don't know whether or not there is life anywhere outside of this planet. If you really think that's the case, then prove it.
          You are the one presuming that all atheists think that everything came from nothing just because they don't buy into the Abrahamic God.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          OK, what I got out of that post is that you know absolutely nothing about cosmology and astrophysics.

          And BTW, we are not the only planet and most likely not the only planet with life in the Milky Way. The univers is an amazingly large place. Your ignorance shows.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And therein lies the difference in our mindsets.
          You believe that the universe is adapted to Humanity – that everything in the unfathomable vastness of teh cosmos is setup just so that we, as the predilect objects of Creation, can exist.
          I believe that life is adapted to its environment.

          As for the conceit that the Earth is the only planet with life – the Curiosity rover has confirmed that there was once fresh water on Mars, suitable for the development of life as we know it.
          And this comes in the beginning of a mission that is our first proper look at the planet closest to our own.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • TR7

          IN LIFE THER IS NO LINES,WE MAKE LINES AND IF REALY LOOK YOU CAN SEE NO LINES,II"M JUSTS SAYING?

          September 30, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • truthprevails1

      We're not trying to prove anything. We're simply saying we do not see evidence to support a god and thus do not think there is valid reason to believe in one. Belief in god is a crutch and can be quite damaging.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • Sara

        Save your energy and your speech for your sorry comrades in hell if you continue to go down such a path of destruction.

        September 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • tallulah13

          Empty threats only frighten children and make you sound childish. Grown-ups don't fear your bronze age bogie man.

          September 30, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Sara
          And att/itude of "turn the other cheek" will never get you to Valhalla.
          Or do you not fear the wrath of Odin?

          September 30, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • I've changed

          You seem to relish the thought of witnessing the eternal torture of millions of men,women and children.Remember,this will include many people you know personally.Have fun with that.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Sara

          No actually I don't, it grieves my soul greatly. I pray for them – as the bible commands us to pray for our enemies, and for our loved ones as well. Ephesians 1:3.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Sara: First off you'd have to convince me that hell exists and then you'd have to convince me that you're a moral person for wishing the eternal torture of people who are as gullible as you.

          September 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

          So..you are only doing it because your holy book (with its immensely questionable accuracy after so many translation, adaptations and admitted editing by the early church) commands you to do it. And yet… peoples of other faiths and atheist show kindness and forgiveness to others daily. I ask you; who is the more moral then? The one who does something because they are told to…and for doing so will get a reward (heaven) or those who do so of their own volition and with no expectation of reward? Which one do you think YOUR god would approve of more?

          September 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • truthprevails1

          "who are as gullible as you" should have read: who are not

          September 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      So what you are saying is that you need pretty lies and fairy tales in order to be happy? You should probably get some counseling for that.

      The truth isn't the enemy. It is actually quite easy to have a happy, fulfilling existence, even knowing that there is no supernatural father watching over you, waiting to reward you with immortality if you just say you like him best. Just embrace this one life we do get. Good times, bad times - it's all worthwhile.

      September 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Moon Unit One

      Welcome to REALITY!

      September 30, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  18. Dan Dennett at Cal Tech

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYv2WYbK1o&w=640&h=390]

    September 30, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  19. visitor

    I am realizing what is bothering me about this. Not only is this woman exploiting her "fame" as the shooter's wife (although I never heard of her), she is exploiting the graceful understanding shown to her by the Amish. She is taking credit for being chosen for a "grand purpose" which just so happens to be herself getting to tell her story about just how gosh darn grand she is. With of course, the help of Evangelical publishers who publish Amish stories for their own pocketbooks, with Evangelical readers who are hungry for more and more Amish stories.

    Some of the most megalomaniacal people I have known are ultra-committed Evangelicals. Other people die or get sick or get murdered, but Evangelicals are CHOSEN for some sort of martyr trial because well, they are special. Everyone around these types of people including family members are subject to their spiritual dogmatism.

    I hate to bring up the awful Columbine incident, but remember the false story about "She Said Yes"? Never happened. Sold a lot of books however. The author is exploiting the mass murders of her first husband and the grace of the Amish for her personal gain and spiritual applause. The publishing house is exploiting them also.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

      Religion is nothing but exploitation.

      Some use religion to prey on the week minds and fragile emotions of others for power and control. Others use it to justify everything from simple bullying and racism to genocide. For others still, it’s just more snake oil to sell to the masses. Religious types often defend these behaviors by saying only a few use it this way, when clearly history proves them wrong. Some religious types will say you do not need religion to commit such acts.. and they would be correct. However…no one stated it was needed… but used to excuse…to justify. For those of you who would point out all the religious based charity work.. I say to you that buying presents for the children or spouse you abuse does not excuse your behavior or the behavior you turn a blind eye toward. Also of note… not all charities are religious based. So you do not need religion to do good works and do you really need an excuse to perform acts of charity? If so..perhaps some self-reflection is in order.

      In short.. believe in whatever fairytales (and the remain such until you can prove otherwise) but sort your own house but throwing stones.

      September 30, 2013 at 10:25 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.