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March 14th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Japan earthquake unleashes prayer Tweets

The Twitter hash tag #prayforjapan was trending during parts of the weekend and again on Monday morning, drawing many tweets from Japan - and from many other parts of the the world.

Here's a quick sampling from early Monday:

Manga University After two days filled with anxiety and despair, we are just incredibly sad right now. Please pray for Japan. #prayforjapan

Nikki Blade Found out my mate who lives in Japan is fine!!! Thank GOD!!! Praying that everyone else finds their loved ones. #eqjapan #eqjp #prayforjapan

EmilyRose: my heart is so sad for those in japan. #prayforjapan

Maine_Val_Erika maine_val Oh My Gosh...watching families being reunited...brings such tears of joy to my eyes!!! God bless...Peace!!! #prayforjapan

mariamhu1 From the coverage i've seen these Japanese people seem so composed, i dont know if its shock, whilst the world watching cries. #prayforjapan

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Japan • Technology

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Does not these verses speak of the Ancient Falling Systems and the Recent Past and Present Falling Systems? It warns and remind all of the future that if you fail you fall...and those blows come to believers and unbelievers on turns..it tests believers and destroys disbelievers....How much of that happens through wars and conflicts....How much of that through Natural Disasters....Aren't we seeing that all? Isn't it telling us some thing is wrong of our own wrong doing and disbelief....? Man can reverse ill-faith by reversing intentions in to right doings in deeds,actions and spiritual worship,prayers in peace with soul,pay poor due and charity as a belief and a spiritual meditation for soul to have mercy on earth,afterlife,resurrection and judgment day.....?!? What we got to lose,since we all ride the same as ship in the middle of this universe as a ship in the ocean..and every body wants it his way such a ship will never set to sail but to crash and drawn with the whole lot...!?      

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Systems have passed away before you. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who did deny (the messengers). (137) This is a declaration for mankind, a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil) (138) Faint not nor grieve, for ye will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers. (139) If ye have received a blow, the (disbelieving) people have received a blow the like thereof. These are (only) the vicissitudes which We cause to follow one another for mankind, to the end that Allah may know those who believe and may choose witnesses from among you; and Allah loveth not wrong-doers. (140) And that Allah may prove those who believe, and may blight the disbelievers. (141).

    March 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muneef et al one more time:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.
      The First Five of the 77 Branches:
      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps to deprogram Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism are available upon request.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  2. Renee Hendricks

    "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer." This country needs funds, charity, and help. Not whispered words that only make the one praying feel better about themselves.

    March 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  3. ShaZamm

    @Pat: " I don't understand is why do people who continually say they do not believe in GOD continually blame Him for everything bad? I really do understand but it is so hypocritical "

    No it is not....
    All U.S. insurance companies who handle claims. All U.S. Gov't agencies especially FEMA call "Natural Disaters", an "Act OF god"
    We are brain washed as small children on, into this false saying from all types of mass media.
    We don't beleive it is a being that exist only to use as a crutch to blame for a Natural Disater referance.
    We don't beleive it is a being that exist!
    You christ loving asses just make us godless creatures laugh that much more at your way of thinking. We are just more educated about the Truth (Science) over your Myth (Religion of any type!)!

    Nerver understood how christians had so much in common with 3rd World Countries to pray to a Mythical Terrorist!

    March 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  4. OnanismO

    Praying does as much good as:
    (1) new age, hippie types who "send positive energy" towards something
    (2) witches, wiccans, etc. who "cast spells"

    It is merely an act of self-appeasement to make one think s/he is doing someone/something some good via some invisible, unmeasurable and unprovable means. Get over yourselves, delusional idiots!

    March 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  5. Peter F

    How awesome! Let us all come alongside the Ja-pa-nese in love and prayer as they work through this incredibly difficult time in their nation. The Lord remembers all his people... so remember them in your prayers.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  6. OnanismO

    Oh, so you can't say Ja-p or nip-ple, but you can say NIP, which is a derogatory term for ja-p?

    March 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  7. You guys are amusing

    To put it in a non-religious standpoint... I could easily say that as much as people's praying may be useless/pointless, so is commenting about how praying is useless/pointless... Get the point? You could argue that my point was pointless as well, but that takes it one step further than it needed to be taken.

    If you think praying is pointless, then do something about it. Commenting about how there is no God or that people are wasting their time in prayer... well you're doing the same by sitting on a CNN site mocking others for their beliefs, real or not.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • JohnR

      Anything that brings us even a little closer to the day when people are embarrassed to be caught responding to crisis with meaningless ceremony is the very opposite of pointless.

      March 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "I could easily say that as much as people's praying may be useless/pointless, so is commenting about how praying is useless/pointless... Get the point?"
      Actually, no. If someone got the entire world to pray it wouldn't change anything, but if a comment about not praying gets one person to donate instead of praying it has made a difference.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  8. salmos8318

    For those who are hinting or insinuating: God didn't cause no earthquake! We should stop judging God and instead try to understand what is happening.

    "God is love" (1 John 4:8) is incompatible with a God that does wicked things. PERIOD. Oh but what about... nothing... go back and reread that. He is a God of love. And, no... he didn't create no supposed fiery hell either. If we stop arriving at conclusions trying to establish our own righteousness (ie, trying to think we're a better judge than the Creator) we might begin to understand. "But all of YOU gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones" (1 Pet 5:5). For a change, let us try humbling ourselves and see if maybe... just maybe the wise, just, loving, and righteous God gives us some understanding.

    However, there does exist a powerful creature that has the ability to cause harm – Satan the Devil. And, he has legions at his disposal both spiritual and fleshly that he summons to do his dirty work. If you're going to blame somebody, blame him. Oh, and I suppose you're going to ask me to prove that he even exists, right? As was foretold, we are and have been experiencing woes for the earth. "So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him...Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to YOU, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time" (Rev 12:9,12).

    March 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      *yawn* I agree, god didn't create the earthquake...but not for the reasons you suggest.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Peanut

      who created Satan?

      March 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Godless

      So your proof that the devil is real is a quote from the bible? Really?

      March 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • salmos8318

      Yes, God created the perfect angelic creature that – due to his own wrongful selfish desires – became Satan and Devil meaning slanderer and opposer. He became that way when he developed an impure heart condition and was lifted up with pride at all the wonderful endowments he received from his Creator. He became blinded by this and engaged in a wrongful course. His selfishness caused him to want to be worshiped just as God was by Adam and Eve. (Ezeq 28:15-19). He is crafty and has obviously been quite successful as many doubt his existence. Yet, those who claim to be Christians take note that even God's own son was tempted:

      "Again the Devil took him [Jesus] along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’" Mat 4:9,10

      Jesus did not deny that the kingdoms of the world (the worldwide governments and TPTB behind-the-scenes) belonged to Satan and are therefore under his direct influence... otherwise, Jesus would've dismissed this request as being foolish if it weren't true. Nor was he here having a supposed inner-struggle with his "bad" side as some would have you believe... no, the archenemy... the creature that became Satan is real.

      So, whether it's a man-made weather-manipulation instrument directly being used by man to cause earthquakes (haarp or "global warming" or solar flares or some planet on a crashcourse with planet earth or some UFOs as some would have you believe, etc., etc.)... make no mistake... the master disguiser ventriloquist himself is behind it in some way form or fashion. The Scriptures do not lie... Satan is bent on taking down with him as many as he can mislead.

      March 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • NL

      salmos8318-
      ""God is love" (1 John 4:8) is incompatible with a God that does wicked things."
      Then that would make the god of Moses, the one who ordered the genocide of the indigenous Canaanite peoples, a different god than the deity Jesus referred to as 'Father', right?

      "However, there does exist a powerful creature that has the ability to cause harm – Satan the Devil."
      This guy must have went rogue after he asked God's permission to test Job, right? And powerful, how? As powerful as God? Can he make people do things, like God 'hardened the heart' of Pharaoh, overriding human free will, or does he just whisper in people's ears, convincing them to do ridiculous things like take the bible as literally true, or persecuting people who just happen to be born differently?

      March 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • salmos8318

      Regarding God "hardening the heart" of Pharoah... now honestly... is it possible that there may be a reasonable explanation such that God isn't as you seem to have concluded... taking people's free will away? (or predestinarian thinking)

      God did not actually harden the heart of Pharaoh so that Pharaoh lost his free will in the matter. His heart hardened because of the message declared to him by Moses and Aaron. It was what caused him to react in hard stubbornness and anger. But since the message Moses and Aaron declared was really Jehovah’s message, the account says Jehovah hardened his heart. The repeated extension of God’s mercy to him by the lifting of plague after plague did not soften the Egyptian ruler, but as is usual in the case of bullies and tyrants this forbearance only made Pharaoh more intolerable, brought to the fore all the more his bullying characteristics. At Exodus 8:15 the result of relief is shown: “When Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart.” And again after the lifting of one of the plagues: “Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also.” (Ex. 8:32) Also 1 Samuel 6:6 states: “The Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts.” Does it not say Pharaoh hardened his own heart? Yes, because that was actually what happened. It only says Jehovah did it because that was how Pharaoh reacted to Jehovah’s message. So, as you see... this is a reasonable explanation (only if you're willing to concede it as such).... it was a matter of point of view... like many other things that are misunderstood in the Bible.

      Like I said in my initial post above... humility is a great quality for each one of us to seek... or, if I may, God gives us humility? 😛

      March 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • NL

      salmos8318-
      Exodus 7
      "1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

      Now, the way the narrative seems to play out is that, during the early plagues Pharaoh's magicians are able to recreate them so, unimpressed, he hardens his own heart. After the plague of boils however the magicians are out of action and the Lord himself takes over most of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. It's almost like Pharaoh is changing his mind, but the Lord wouldn't lent him give in too early. Why? Maybe God just likes doing things in even tens, so letting Pharaoh give in after six plagues just wouldn't do, or maybe God really wanted to unleash plague number ten as a coup de grâce. A ind of foreshadowing of the kind of genocide the invasion of Canaan would bring? Any way you cut it it appears that it was God's plan all along to use Pharaoh as a puppet to demonstrate something to the Hebrews, and that Pharaoh really had no choice in the matter.

      Now, what do you think about what I said about Satan? When did he, or did he ever, stop taking orders from God as per Job?

      March 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  9. JohnR

    Just the other day, after noting how few people have died from terrorist attacks, I conceded that this might be the year of a massive terrorist attack, but it also might be the year of a massive quake with thousands of casualties. Prophesy? No, but it was an object lesson on how painfully ironic sheer coincidence can be.

    Meanwhile, the creepy irony HERE is that according to the Christian view of how this world works, the all loving god first allows the tsunami to cause mass death and then tosses all the poor victims into hell to be tortured for all eternity. How ANYONE considers any of this a benign world view is beyond me.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Po

    Found it....j-apanese is definitely a "bad" word according to the list, so that will mess up most people who want to post a comment here. Did CNN know this already? If so, they are nasty trolls.
    The list:

    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:

    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.

    NOTE: You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ----------–
    ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
    ba-stard
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    do-uche
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck......!
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    ji-sm
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sn-atch
    sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -----
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:

    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    execute
    hell
    kill
    masturbation
    murder
    penis
    pubic
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles
    ---
    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

    I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, look for and fix the problem, delete your cookies, and then hit "post".

    If you don't want to use dashes or other characters and seriously want your words to remain correct, you can paste in the proper code strings to take the place of any letter. To do this, either google "html ent-ities" (without the dash) also known as unicode strings or go to "w3schools.com/tags/ref_ascii.asp".

    Look for simple tables that show the alphabet with the associated character string and replace any letter with the string – and it will post the correct letter without falling afoul of the nasty filter.
    Example: fuck (I used the characters &,#,1,1,7,; to form the "u") 😯
    --–
    Also: there is no "moderator" as many people like to assume. The filter is automatic. As is the "report abuse" button – it deletes the post without human review after a certain number of hits. This is not to say that CNN might actually have someone check things once in a while, but they do not, I'm pretty sure, "moderate" the comments in this anonymous blog as far as I can tell.

    p.s. All "Smilies" supported by this blog can be found at: en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    March 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  11. Po

    Prayer tweets are perhaps comforting for those under severe emotional distress, but only if they don't mind such things.

    If mumbling some nonsense will make those poor children feel better about losing friends and family, then go ahead.

    I am not so heartless that I would tell them the harsh truth at such a time.

    But then again, some of the religious lies can be pretty sick and twisted, and all I can do is wince at the completely insane things some religious people will say when they pray.

    Well, that's how religious people are, I guess. I see and hear examples of it everyday.
    Emotional crutches are all well and fine when you can't think of else or cope any other way, but they remain emotional crutches in the end. If you don't heal, the crutch remains. If the crutch remains, you might not heal.

    March 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  12. OnanismO

    You prayer-tw|ts would have been praying that "god" MADE this earthquake/tsunami happen 69-70 years ago and there were probably tons of people doing just that, but yet, no "god" made anything bad happen then, which would have been terribly convenient for the USA, but I guess "god" doesn't really pick sides after all....because "god" doesn't exist! Fools!

    March 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Hope

      You know it really seems funny to me that there are so many in this world that try to lay claim that God is not real, yet there's a 2000 year old book called the Holy Bible that has stood the test of time and all you have to do is read it in order to understand everything you see happening in this world right now. And the real thing is, if you do believe in God through Jesus Christ then you are promised eternal life after this one, if you die tomorrow and find out God isn't real you've lost nothing. But if you don't believe in God, and you die tomorrow and find out that he is Real, Then you lost everything....Hmmm, might want to think about that one....

      March 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Hope: The Iliad is older than the bible, and yet you don't believe in the Greek gods, do you?

      March 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • OnanismO

      [Lack of] Hope: Yeah, there are SO MANY pre-existing religions which the bible was based on it's not even funny! You realize your "hell" started out literally as "Hades", 100% ripped off from the Greeks?! It didn't even have fire and torment in the early days when the first books of the bible were being written. Read more than just your stupid fairy tale book and LEARN before you die, having wasted your insipid life on NOTHING!

      March 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • OnanismO

      Hope: Also, these are not necessarily religious, but please Google/WIkipedia search for Gilgamesh and Hammurabi's code. Interesting. Note the similarities with Noah and the Ten Commandments.

      March 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @Hope: "you die tomorrow and find out God isn't real you've lost nothing."

      No this is incorrect...you just lost all of that time spent trying to please a god that doesnt exist. Or what if you die and realize that the christian god you subscribe to is not the real god and Buddha actually is? What do you do then?

      March 15, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • NL

      Hope-
      The Bible isn't 2000 years old. The Jewish scriptures are older than 2000 years old, but none of the Christian scriptures are yet that old. Also, the selection of what Christian scriptures to compile was hundreds of years after Jesus' time.

      "if you die tomorrow and find out God isn't real you've lost nothing."
      Well, if I spent my life believing in God and judging people harshly only because I was told that doing so pleased God, spent money that I could have used to better purpose supported clergy and other entrepreneurs who made a living on selling a lie, and taught my children and others to do the same then that's a whole lot of waste that could have been avoided had I spent more time thinking about others than getting myself into heaven.

      Pascal's Wager fails in that it doesn't account for the actual cost of perpetuating a superst.ition. I'm sure that rhinos would appreciate the day as well when stupid people give up the idea that their horns make men virile. If you can practice your faith without affecting another person and the planet. Just keep it in your head then fine, what do you have to lose.

      March 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  13. b4bigbang

    @HeavenSent

    Why argue with fools?
    "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you". Matt 7:6

    March 14, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Luke

      b4bigbang

      Please explain your theory of before the big bang, as per your handle on this blog. Cite references and evidence. Ready? Go.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      Judging others as "fools" must feel pretty good to you and there is something about judging others in your bible that must not apply to your "selective" faith. Just because you don't think you should, does not mean you will not burn in your own hell for all eternity. I think you have a pretty good jump start.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • JohnR

      I work with animals and consider dogs and swine better company than much of human society and vastly better company than any religious zealot can offer. Indeed, I consider the latter an absolute plague unless they vow to STFU about their beliefs and maintain that vow assiduously.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  14. HeavenSent

    Oh, I see the spiritually dead are among us today on this blog. Dry bones, creaking and and stinking. Hard hearts. Eyes that don't see, nor ears that hear. Hey, you can always move to one of the communists countries that block out God. That will surely make you miserable.

    Carry on with your babble baloney.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Luke

      Since I already know you are a pios crazy person. I do have an honest question for you.

      What is it with you and communism? You are saying that a Buddhist is unwelcome in America?

      March 14, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @HeavenSent
      Spirituality and religion are not the same thing. Religion is dogma, blind faith, taking someone else's idea as the Truth. Spirituality is a direct experience, a state of being that is free of any dogma, idea, faith. Direct experience is available to anyone. Religion is an obsticle to that experience and a distortion of reality.
      Peace.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • NL

      Ykcyc-
      "Spirituality is a direct experience, a state of being that is free of any dogma, idea, faith. Direct experience is available to anyone."
      So, let me see if I get what you're arguing. You can have an experience, like narrowly escaping death via natural disaster, and that becomes a 'spiritual' experience to that individual because it affects them deeply on an emotional level, and maybe even gets them to reevaluate their personal philosophy and the things that matter most in their lives. That's a direct experience that every human can have.

      Dogma, idea and faith then are frameworks that people use to interpret this experience. Some people may see a narrow escape as evidence that they live a charmed life, that they're lucky. Others may see it as a sign of their higher preparedness, intelligence, or other personal survival skills. Others may see it as a act of divine intervention in their lives, while still others may see being one of the few to escape as a curse, a personal torment, even a judgment. Is this what you're saying, that these responses are just different frameworks we place around the same basic human response to events such as this?

      March 15, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @NL
      I am not arguing anything and NO, this is not at all what I am saying. The spirituality I am referring to is rooted in being (conscious presence / acceptance) not an illusion, delusion, or hallucinations. Don’t take my work for it – take a look for yourself.
      Peace.

      March 15, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • NL

      Ykcyc-
      I wouldn't consider being emotionally affected by something like a disaster an illusion, delusion, or a hallucination, but I would consider placing some transcendental meaning on that experience to be.

      March 15, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @NL
      The event in itself has no meaning, other than the meaning we give it. However, any meaning we give it is not going to be the true or an accrate one. Either way, another earthquake and tsunami are coming. The Yellowstone will explode. The sun will die. We can not escape death, no matter what we do. Best case, we can postpone it for a tiny bit. Any meaning will disapear, just as any idea, thought, believe, opinion, etc.

      March 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • NL

      Ykcyc-
      That's somewhat like the statement about trees falling in the forest, yes? Tornados have swept through the US long before Christians landed, long before humans of any faith settled there even. What use were they to a God without people to affect in their path? Religion seeks to give meaning to events larger than the individual, it seems.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      A lie, no matter how pretty can not be the Truth. Making stuff up (believing in santa) may make it seem easier and more enjoyable, then the total acceptance of whatever is, without making the Eternal and the Infinite fit into a little packaged concept in order to escape that, which we can not. God gets what God wants, God help us all.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  15. jackinbuaa

    pray!

    March 14, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Jcork

      Use your brain.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Magic

      Wish upon a star!

      March 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  16. catadmin

    I think it's interesting that people post anti-God messages on a 'Belief Blog'. Thats like going into Church and yelling everyone is stupid for believing in God.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Luke

      Not really. Many of the articles are not necessarily about religion. Some swing on both sides of the fence or are about people that debate pro or con on religion and religious affiliations. Oh, non-believers also get a little joy out of reading the utter nonsense that gets posted here. It makes us laugh and we kindly (or not so kindly) correct the believers' statements about history, science or societal norms.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • catadmin

      When can we discuss empathy towards the people who are affected and be glad that an article was written reflecting hope and offering inspiration? One can even mention they don't believe in God and leave out the ridicule and name calling. For instance, a message may be posted like this: (and it shows some respect to others who share a belief they may not hold to themselves)

      "I am glad that people have found their loved ones. Although I do not believe in God myself, it is good to see people find peace and perhaps a bit of hope in sharing their prayers on a social media. Who would have thought a social media could provide so much help and generate a means of reaching out to people in need and become a means to allow help from others who were not directly affected."

      Doesn't that sound like something that might show a bit more dignity? I'm sure people who don't believe in God also believes in honesty, goodness, and respect for others.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Luke

      catadmin

      I tend to find that the religious show goodness in times like these, and as soon as the 24 hour news cycle stops covering tragedies, they go back to hating people and telling me that I am an evil communist that does not deserve to live in America for being atheist. They tell me I am cold and have no heart. They tell me that my science is misguiding and wrong. They insult my family and my upbringing. Give it a week – they'll go return to indoctrinating children about Noah's Ark with tax exempt status soon enough.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Jcork

      I have been holding on to this quote for quite some time for people like you who ask silly questions such as this.

      "The late theologian Paul Tillich views atheism as a legitimate way to express one's 'ultimate concern.' This refers to seeking answers to depth and mystery in life. Atheism, far from being faithless, is a powerful expression of some people's view about 'what it's all about.' So it makes sense for one with 'ultimate concern' to read the religion section and know how others are addressing the question, albeit in different ways."

      March 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Po

      We, the oppressed, are unlikely to ever actually go into a church and start yelling at people. We live in fear that the religious will start murdering us if they knew who we were. We are not free. We are slaves to the religious majority. All we can do is complain anonymously.
      Those who don't mind using their real names are walking a dangerous edge. All it takes is for one religious nut to attempt murder on a non-believer. Then the non-believer will regret letting people know their personal information.
      Our rights to religious freedom have always been severely restricted or outright prohibited by religious believers.
      And since we have little in the way of organization, being free-thinkers and all that, we are marginalized even further.
      How dare you make it sound like we attack people! It is the other way around!
      We are not driven by delusion, you are. Religious people cannot be trusted to do what's right. All they need is a made-up religious reason for doing evil and they will do it with religious fervor. Non-believers have no such thing to motivate them.
      It takes real-world equipment and supplies to help people, not a stack of paper covered in lies.
      The Ja-panese people need real help, not religious quackery. Stop pretending to be the victim here.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • catadmin

      In my message I did not refer to all non believers. I stated that the 'people' post messages. I did not say anything about anyone other than the people who post 'negative' messages in ways that hurt others in response to article which are meant to be inspirational.

      In most of the replies my post has generated, I've found that "all" believers seem to do evil things. Not once did I notice that someone with a different opinion than I share might actually believe there are those of the Christian faith that do live by their standards and do good by others.

      I believe that non believers are good people too. I was not shoving my ideas down any one. As I live by the phrase, 'my freedom ends where yours begins'. I believe there are many of both sides that live that way as well.

      What does bother me is how much of both sides seems to call each other names. When we react in that manner, it reflects on ourselves in very negative ways.

      Now is the time for us to give a lot of thought behind what we post and hope that what we post is in fact a good reflection on our belief concepts. Perhaps a well written resonse will either turn a believer into a non believer or a non believer into a believer? Both are options.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • JohnR

      @catadmin But this is just the sort of situation in which the screaming ineffectuality of this sort of religiosity is at its most contemptible.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Pat

      catadmin

      You can go on just about ANY Christian or religious interchange and you will find the blood sucking, blood thirsty, atheists there to attack and mock anything that is good and try to blame that for all the bad or evil in the world. They call this moral or amoral. They justify themselves by saying they are trying to set the record straight but they are just doing the same things they accuse others of. They are the true hypocrites in this world.

      March 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Religion is to dangerous to leave unattended.

      March 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Pat..Blood sucking, blood thirsty atheists.. what is all that about honestly.. you may be a child of god, but he did not mean you to be childish for god. We are the same as you with all of good parts and bad.. you are no better for believing in the supernatural than we for not.

      March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  17. Godless

    I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing people stating that the devastating earthquake / tsunami combo is god's way of punishing non-believers, and that this is all part of the pending apocalypse that has been prophecized for millenia but has yet to happen....

    March 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Luke

      They've already stareted.

      March 14, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Luke

      Spellz gud.

      March 14, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Pat

      Just read above ... your "Godless" buddies have already done so.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. doctore0

    Dear imaginary Mass murderer in the sky,
    Please dont kill us all
    Ugga bugga
    Amen

    Disaster like this = Religions uber-marketing-tool; Shun it at all costs; Praise humanity

    March 14, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • matt

      Doctore0: I feel sorry for you when you die. What are you going to do if there is a GOD?

      March 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • doctore0

      @matt

      There is no god, we are dead when we are dead.
      Game over, no continue.

      Sorry

      March 14, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Luke

      matt

      Sure Matt, what if there is a god? Which one though Matt? Explain.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Ahmad

      When we die, we go the same place we were before we were born. WE SIMPLY DON'T EXIST. why is that difficult for religious nut jobs to understand. study science, and leave your ignorant religions which have already been proven false by evolution, space/time, etc.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • JohnR

      @Matt If I find out when I die that Ganesh really exists, I'm gonna feed him peanuts like you used to be able to do with elephants at the zoo. Yep, that's what I'm gonna do.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Peanut

      @matt....what if you have the wrong one?

      March 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • ShaZamm

      matt: I, like other godless creatures don't give a hoot about worrying if there's life after death with a " Abrahamic god ". But I'm sure all who are godless like me, if we were wrong about your myth when we die, I would not want to be your god. WHY???

      We will never avert to your god, we will be very angry with what has gone on in our lifetimes.
      Your god is going to here it 100 fold by me, let alone all other godless creatures, on how screwed up and not perfect he or she or it are. And how it has supposedly left this world in our hands. Aloud such sick karnage to be released on this planet. Animals that have to eat other animals. Why do that?? what a stupid god! You really beleive a forbidden fruit started all this yahooey? LOL
      Oh and I have always been a stewart of this Earth. A non-hippie tree huger from California. One who only leaves footprints when in a fragile ecosystem. Better than most christian idiots.

      March 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Pat

      What I don't understand is why do people who continually say they do not believe in GOD continually blame Him for everything bad? I really do understand but it is so hypocritical I had to point it out. I don't think I have ever seen as much animosty from anyone as from those "pious" atheists who tout themselves such humanitarians. All those I have encountered are vicious and cruel and ... Oh bother, not worth it!!

      March 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Pat:

      You said: "What I don't understand is why do people who continually say they do not believe in GOD continually blame Him for everything bad?"

      Oh, we don't. We don't think a god had anything to do with it at all. We're merely pointing out that if god existed and had the attributes the faithful wish to endow him with, nothing else could possibly be at fault.

      March 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  19. Luke

    That's right – pray for a largely atheistic society. That makes sense. You could, however, donate to relief funds and get something done.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Sybaris

      They sure have a lot of shrines and temples to be largely atheistic or do you mean atheistic in the sense that the christian god is not their imaginary friend of choice?

      March 14, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Luke

      The latest data show 84% to 96% of them follow Buddhism. About 70% have no religious membership. 84% of them claim no personal religion.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Ron

      @Luke,
      Sorry, I miss understood your comment. Too early in the morning and no caffeine.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • curious

      how much money did you donate today?

      March 14, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Luke

      curious

      $150.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Sybaris

      You must subscribe to a different definition of religion and atheism than Websters. Regardless, you left out Shintoism which comprises about 84% of the population. Shintoism asserts that everything has a god. Most practice Shintoism and Buddhism.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Luke

      Sybaris

      And I assert that you are confusing the idea of what god means. Shintoism and Buddhism are largely spiritual and deity-less. Atheism rejects the idea of a theistic being/overlord. Personally. I don't even like the word atheism. It's a nonsense word to describe me anyway. We do not apply words to things we do not do or believe in except in this case. As my friend over there explains to me, they apply the term god like Einstein did – the unknown.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Sybaris

      Luke you need to call on the Shinto diety Tenjin.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Luke

      Sybaris

      Yes, and all of the people I know there understand that deities are myth. Not the case here. That is the point I am – poorly – making.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • curious

      sweet

      March 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Pat

      How about if we do both? God can handle it and so can we.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Jcork

    It's unfortunate that so many people could possibly justify praying to a god who created the tsunami in the first place. Instead of praying and only making yourself feel better, try sharing a link (http://tinyurl.com/6ygamun) or donating if you have the money

    March 14, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Sybaris

      Right. The irony is that there's a conference in the U.S. on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims for fear of more terrorist attacks but they fail to see that the Abrahamic god is the real terrorist.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Christy

      Why not both? Even IF God created the tsunami, Christians are instructed to pray that God's will be done. It's not our place to ask why, just to keep focused on Him in good & bad times. My 38 yr. old husband died in a accident at work 6 months ago & the devastation I feel is more than words will ever express. It has changed me forever. My heart extends to all who suffer the loss of even 1 loved one, but what these poor people are enduring is beyond comprehension. Yes, PRAY & SEND $/help!

      March 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Pat

      The one true God did NOT cause the earthquake or the tsunami. When God brings judgement He tells you He is doing it. It's only right to pray and ask Him for help now because it opens the door for His intervention other than that people are left to their false kami and false religions which can NEVER help them. They only keep them from the One who can. satan is the god of this world and when people wake up and realize "he" is behind all the destruction in this world and stop blaming their Creator than they will turn to Him and He will save them and help them as He always does. God has forewarned us of the things coming upon the earth and they ONLY way to be delivered or rescued from what's coming is to turn to Him. It IS coming and it's not the Mayan's that can save us. There is NO OTHER name whereby men can be saved other than the name of JESUS. Call on Him and He will help you.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • TheRationale

      I cannot believe people would say stuff like Christy did. (Pat seems died in the wool...)

      Who would pray to a God that commands the mass murder of thousands of innocent people? What sort of spineless creature are you that you just say "well we can't question it, we just pray that his will be done". That is revolting! That is utter mayhem! There is nothing farther from morality than that.

      Of course Stalin or Hitler or Mao or Pol Pot or Idi Amin could order mass murder and you'd call it evil, but as soon as your God does it, it's justified and you don't question it. Sick. Absolutely sick.

      March 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Muneef

      Very funny one made me laugh loud,may God forgive and have mercy on us all;
       
      Sybaris
      Right. The irony is that there's a conference in the U.S. on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims for fear of more terrorist attacks but they fail to see that the Abrahamic god is the real terrorist.
      March 14, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |

      Kindly read my comments;
      Does not these verses that will follow speak of the Ancient Falling Systems and the Recent Past and Present Falling Systems? It warns and remind all of the future that if you fail you fall...and those blows come to believers and unbelievers on turns..it tests believers and destroys disbelievers....How much of that happens through wars and conflicts....How much of that through Natural Disasters....Aren't we seeing that all? Isn't it telling us some thing is wrong of our own wrong doing and disbelief....? Man can reverse ill-faith by reversing intentions in to right doings in deeds,actions and spiritual worship,prayers in peace with soul,pay poor due and charity as a belief and a spiritual meditation for soul to have mercy on earth,afterlife,resurrection and judgment day.....?!? What we got to lose,since we all ride the same as ship in the middle of this universe as a ship in the ocean..and every body wants it his way such a ship will never set to sail but to crash and drawn with the whole lot...!?      

      Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Systems have passed away before you. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who did deny (the messengers). (137) This is a declaration for mankind, a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil) (138) Faint not nor grieve, for ye will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers. (139) If ye have received a blow, the (disbelieving) people have received a blow the like thereof. These are (only) the vicissitudes which We cause to follow one another for mankind, to the end that Allah may know those who believe and may choose witnesses from among you; and Allah loveth not wrong-doers. (140) And that Allah may prove those who believe, and may blight the disbelievers. (141).

      March 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Pat

      @TheRationale

      I can't understand why you guys can't let us pray to whoever or whatever we want. I also can't understand why everyone seems to think those who God commanded to be destroyed were just innocent people. You have no idea who those people were now do you. Why don't you do some research before you judge what God does. If God commanded their obliteration then it was justified and just because you have no knowledge of why does not make it wrong. If God was into obliterating innocent people just because He can He would be no better than Hitler, Idi Amin, Mao or Pol Pot but He is not as a matter of fact those people He brought judgement upon were more like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. He destroyed them because of what they were doing to the masses of people. You have no idea of what you speak. If He had not stepped in, then there really would have been MAYHEM and those SPINELESS CREATURES He destroyed would have continued to prey upon REALLY innocent people. Now that is REVOLTING. Also, just so you know God's not finished and in these last days there will be other SPINELESS CREATURES who force themselves upon humanity who will find themselves under the judgement of God.

      March 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jcork

      @Pat

      It's people like you who need to do the research. Please stop being so hypocritical and do your own research. Your beliefs are centered around judging others...HARD. You've done it here and I'm sure Jesus is real proud of you for that.

      March 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • NL

      TheRationale-
      "well we can't question it, we just pray that his will be done"
      Yes, imagine if the Colonials had rolled over this easily for King George what would have happened? There never would have been a United States. We would have just ended up calling the whole continent Canada all the way down to Texas. It just amazes me how Americans can long for an all-powerful king so much.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • NL

      Pat-
      If God used this to pa.ss judgment on these Ja.panese, then what does that say about the Bible Belt that regularly gets hammered by tornadoes every year? Get real, man!

      March 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @Pat: "I also can't understand why everyone seems to think those who God commanded to be destroyed were just innocent people."

      And I cant understand why god would let all of those pedophile priests in the church live...get real man.

      March 15, 2011 at 10:34 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.