'Soul Surfer' opens after fights over depicting faith
"Soul Surfer" is a feature film about Bethany Hamilton being attacked by a shark and getting back in the water
April 12th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

'Soul Surfer' opens after fights over depicting faith

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

"Soul Surfer," the feature film based on the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton being attacked by a shark and her journey back to surfing, opened last weekend in the fourth spot on the box office charts - partly a testament to its appealing family-friendly message and a marketing campaign that heavily targeted religious groups.

But even though Hamilton and her family's faith plays a key role in the film, many audiences would be surprised to learn that the question of how to show their religion in the film caused huge debate on set.

"I think to get anything in the film was a battle," said Sarah Hill, Hamilton's youth group leader at North Shore Christian Church, who was played by Carrie Underwood in the movie.

"Basically, what you're doing is you have all these people who want to make a movie about Bethany and they don't know the Lord and they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. For what we have in the movie it was such a battle."

In one scene, Hill's character is shown counseling Hamilton as she struggles with living as an amputee. She reads from Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "

The morning they went to shoot that scene, said Hill, who was on set often, "Twelve producers, me and the director were all sitting at the table and they all are just adamant about the Scripture not being in the movie. And they were saying at least let's not have the reference in it."

"For me it was a hill worth dying on to keep God in the movie," she said.

Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s father, said, “In my heart of hearts I wanted as many Christians as we could get to play parts in the movie. They just have a different spirit about them. ... Craig T. Nelson, who is a really strong Christian and goes to our church in Kauai, I called him and begged him to be in the movie.

“A lot of the producers didn’t want to go too overboard because they thought Christianity doesn’t always sell well,” Tom Hamilton said.

Kevin Sorbo, who plays Holt Blanchard, the father of Hamilton's best friend, said, "Sony (Pictures, the film's producer) was afraid to throw in the word Jesus. They said you can have God but not Jesus. They were worried about that.

"The studios, you can't really fight them," he said. "Hollywood screams for freedom of speech but only if you agree with them. It's a very two-faced industry."

Sorbo said Sony wanted to take out another scene in which Bethany Hamilton wakes up in the hospital. Her father, played by Dennis Quaid, is shown reading a Bible. He reads to her from Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

Tom Hamilton said the studio rented a house for the family during the filming so they could be on set every day.

“They changed the script a lot,” Hamilton said. “Dennis Quaid would come up to say, ‘Hey, this doesn’t sound right, we need a Scripture here.’ The script was in constant motion, it changed on the set even.”

“They listened to us. We had some pretty heated discussions. Everyone saw how passionate about it we were, getting the message we wanted out there,” he said.

Rich Peluso, the vice president of AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures, said the studio made no efforts to whitewash the Hamilton family's faith for the movie. He points out that Jesus is mentioned twice in the film and that the family's faith is central to the plot.

On set, he said, "There were certainly lots of discussions," specifically about the inclusion of Hill's character quoting Jeremiah.

"There were some that voiced the opinion that may have made it sound too faith-focused," Peluso said. "The counter-argument was, 'Well, if her character uses those words and doesn't attribute them to the Bible it seems like she's stealing them.' We came to the agreement the best thing to do was to use the Scripture there."

The biggest question the movie's producers were trying to determine was, "How do we have it come off (in a way) that is authentic to the family's faith and doesn't push it too far so that it appears to the viewer to be forced in?" he said. "We didn't want it to appear we were pushing in faith to appeal to the faith community."

The studio made a big push to attract faith leaders to the project, setting up screenings for pastors and ministry leaders. But it's hard to characterize "Soul Surfer" as a Christian movie.

Like the hit movie "The Blind Side," though, the characters in "Soul Surfer" are decidedly Christian.  The movie opens with Bethany Hamilton rushing into a beachside church service because the Sunday morning waves were just too good to pass up.

"It's not that it's a Christian movie, it's an American movie," Peluso said.

In 2003, when a tiger shark attacked the 14-year-old Hamilton near Kauai, Hawaii, the story gripped the nation. Just three weeks after the attack, Hamilton was back in the water learning how to surf with one arm. A year later, she won a national surfing title.

Battles over how to portray religious themes in movies are becoming more common, as Hollywood becomes more open to addressing faith and marketing movies to religious audiences but worries about alienating nonreligious audiences or viewers from other traditions.

“After all the back and forth - and there’s always back and forth - it’s always best to err on the side of authenticity,” said Michael Flaherty, the president of Walden Media, which has helped produced the Chronicles of Narnia franchise and other Christian-themes movies.

“It actually is not in your commercial interest to secularize something like that, people will reject it,” he said of “Soul Surfer.” “People think they are making these decisions to broaden their audience but what they end up doing is narrowing it.”

But Flaherty said he thought “Soul Surfer” struck the right balance. “To see a movie where she wasn’t talking about her faith … it would have flopped,” he said. “It’s silly to narrow (the family’s faith). It’s like someone saying, ‘Let’s make a movie about Bethany but not talk about surfing.’”

Today, Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer. In 2010 she was ranked 23rd in the world. "The shy kid has gone on to have a legit pro surf career despite her massive physical impairment," Joel Patterson recently wrote in Surfer Magazine, "and, in the process, she's inspired uncountable people struggling against cruel twists of fate."

Hamilton has long been outspoken about her Christian faith and the positive role it played in her recovery.

"We work with a lot of films, but the Hamiltons have to live with this for the rest of their lives, so that balance was important to us," AFFIRM's Peluso said. "I think we threaded the needle after a lot of work."

Tom Hamilton said Peluso constantly went to bat for the family with the movie, adding, "There was some give and take, but everything that was very important for us to portray ended up in the movie. We were very happy over all with the movie. We just wanted the real story told.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Movies • United States

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soundoff (2,051 Responses)
  1. pat

    That Christian tastes like Snickers.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Will 18E

    I don't get it. There's no direct quote from the family here, it all hearsay and conjecture, what a youth group leader and no name actor think they think an organizations official stance is. If it's not important enough for Bethany and her family to publicly complain, then it's not a issue..

    April 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Matt

    Why all the hate toward Christians? I know some and they are good people. I know many other people who are not Christians but are good too. It seems like whenever religion pops up in the news, all religions get a pass (buddism, atheism, islam, etc.), but at the mention of Christianty, LET'S CRUCIFY THEM! I'm not arguing pro or against...I'm just saying I see and here so much anti-Christian rants, but why? The folks I know are good people.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Richard

      Matt, the Bible describe why Christains are and will be hated:
      John 15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
      1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
      1 John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
      Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!

      And the scriptures go on and on about this type of haterd towards Christians. Must be some truth to it. No other religion is hated like Christainity.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  4. GodIsImaginary Dot Com


    April 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Ah, child like prejudice. It's so humorous.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  5. Donald

    I spent years searching for God and Jesus using school, church, friends, family... any method I could. I never found him. I found great works of art (the Bible), with great inspirational stories and amazing words of wisdom credited to Jesus... mixed in with amazingly close-minded ancient traditions. And far too many American Christians feel the need to force their beliefs on the American public. Far too many American Christians believe that Christianity is the only way, all others are not truly American.

    I refuse to believe in a God who would deny a truly good person entry to heaven because he/she hasn't found faith or proof or doesn't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God. That type of God doesn't deserve my faith or devotion or even the slightest bit of reverence.

    And lastly, if you have faith, and it makes you a better person, or helps you get through a tragedy like this or difficult times, great. But if you use religion as a crutch, or use it as a political weapon, or use it as justification for hatred of others, or use it as justification to deny the sick and needy the help they need (Republicans), or use it to justify war, etc.... Then shame on you. You are embarrasing any memory or any piece of truth that is Jesus Christ.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "And far too many American Christians feel the need to force their beliefs on the American public."

      Well thank goodness no one is making you buy a movie ticket for the film eh?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Donald

      I'm sorry if you thought my comment about forcing Christianity on the public was directed at this film... it wasn't. It was actually directed more towards public office, politics etc. As my post clearly points out, have all the faith you want in anything you want as long as it's for your own good. But once it starts to try to make moral judgments about me, you've gone too far. From what I can tell, this film doesn't do that whatsoever. My comment was just that, a comment on religion and not so much a comment about this film. Again, sorry for the confusion.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Avdin

      Read Job

      April 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Donald- My apologizes as well. After seeing all the anti-christian comments on here directed toward the movie...it's difficult sometimes to look at every comment from a neutral position.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  6. Lycidas

    It was a nice film. Saw it this past weekend and it was done pretty well. It might not be for everyone but it's not suppose to please everyone.

    It is odd that in a very open minded society, that there are so many ppl that don't want to accept Christianity as a part of that society. If this was about a Buddist girl striving against a disability, would they be so hard on trying to keep the religion out of it? I doubt it.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Donald

      Lycidas: I think I speak for many from the agnostic/atheist side when I say that our problems stem not from wanting to deny people their faith necessarily, but they stem from being forcefed faith through politics, through school, through American society on a daily basis. For instance, one thing I find offensive in this country with regard to religion is the total takeover of the Republican party by the religious right. I also find it offensive that Christians claim abortion is murder, yet don't care at all that many tens of thousands die in America every year due to lack of health insurance or coverage of some sort. I find it offensive that Christians in America would deny simple freedom of marriage to gays because of ancient texts. I can go on and on. The problem is not that we want to deny Christians their faith, it's that we're sick of their faith being forced upon us through public policy.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Lycidas

      That is a problem with having a govt represented by the majority (or determined minority), they get the say in govt.

      I don't see a force feeding of religion upon the population. At least, not in the manner you see it. The govt represents the majority and the majority in the US is Christian. It would almost be foolish to assume the nation would not express a Judeo-Christian aspect of morality into their govt.

      April 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  7. JesusisLord

    You gotta accept Him with childlike faith, Rob.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Porterfield

    It must be difficult to make money for one master while part of your intended audience wishes to serve another.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  9. KRG

    I wanted to see this film until I heard it was faith-based. I hope it sinks at the box office.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Lucky for the film, it will make all of it's investment back this weekend. Not bad eh? After this weekend everything they make will be profit. How many other movies out there right now can claim that?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Alexus

      How sad for you.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Listen to HIM

    God does not want her to surf! He took this girls arm as a message for her to stop. She had insulted the Lord by continuing.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Ann Q

      Really? So, based on your thinking, this surfer is not a Christian because she didn't listen to Jesus? And what's really sick is the fact that you seem to take joy out of this situation that she lost her arm. Yep, that's Christian thinking, isn't it?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • crlasu2010

      That type of comment is the reason why there are so many non-believers out there. God didn't DO this to the girl. He may have allowed it to happen, but not to punish her or stop her from chasing her dreams. Think of all the people out there who've been touch by this story. Little girls and boys who didn't believe they could accomplish their goals. God is using this young woman to prove no matter what happens He can help you through any situation and use you to help others.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. JesusisLord

    In the movie Blindside the name of Jesus is never mentioned, and Sandra Bullock's Wikipedia page mentions that she turned the movie down several times because she did not want to play a believer. Satan has Hollywood in his back pocket.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  12. Rega

    "...AIR on the side of authenticity"? Great editing/writing there ....

    April 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I believe in Leprechauns.

    I believe that the Leprechaun King loves me and hears my prayers. He intervenes in my life periodically by saving me from various ills. All I have to do is think to myself and he reads my mind and answers my prayers. He loves me and when I die, provided I have lived a good life, I will go to Leprechaun Heaven, where I will live happily ever after with all other humans who have ever led good lives.

    I know there is not a lot of evidence to support my beliefs, but that is just the point. The Leprechaun King wants us to have “faith,” so he never reveals himself. To make an unambiguous appearance and settle once and for all the question of his existence would deprive us of free will and, even though he is all knowing, he would not know who his true believers were. In fact, I believe that the Leprechaun King is “beyond understanding”. He is “outside the Universe” and any time I am faced with something about my Leprechaun belief that makes no sense, I don’t dare question it, I just close my mind and tell myself that "the Leprechaun King moves in mysterious ways" or that my mind is too small to understand the greatness of the Leprechaun King. These are satisfying answers to me.

    Some people, called “atheists,” are skeptical of my belief in the Leprechaun King. They point out many inherent contradictions and unsupported assumptions that underwrite my belief in Leprechauns. But, they can’t prove he doesn’t exist, so he must exist. They also can't definitively explain where the Universe came from or how life on Earth first started, so it must be the Leprechaun King.

    And so what! Even if I am wrong, and go my whole life believing in nonexistent Leprechauns, I have lost nothing. However, if they are wrong, the Leprechaun King will send them to hell to burn forever in the presence of the Evil Ground Troll.

    Am I convincing you to believe in Leprechauns yet?

    April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Thank you for your copy/pasting

      April 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • by Zeus!

      that's just silly.

      the chosen people believe in elves.

      basically the same tenants as your leprechaun belief system; too bad for you, cause now you're gonna burn in elven hell.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • HZD

      Nah, I don't believe in Leprechauns, but I definitely believe in trolls now.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Donald

      Ha. Very funny. I hate making fun of religion, but it's just too easy.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Avdin

      Just one question:is reason reasonable?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  14. God

    the sharks have fallen from grace...
    once, long ago, they were the chosen fish! but then they became prideful and jealous of the dolphins, who are always typecast as being really friendly.
    some of the whales tried to intervene, "the dolphins are mammals, you needn't be jealous of them!"
    but the sharks wouldn't listen, and thus were banished from the Kingdom.
    so now the sharks prowl the oceans searching for tasty believers to feast upon in an effort to fill the vacuous hole left in them when they turned away from God.
    nom nom nom.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Not a believer

      that was great! LOL

      April 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Lycidas

      that was not great

      April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  15. really?

    Thanks for the heads up. I won't be going now. I'm not interested in paying for a Christian propaganda show.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Caroleigh

      I have not seen the movie YET, but from what I have heard and from what I know about the true story of this girl, the movie is not about "Christianity or God or Jesus". It is about a girl who lost her arm in a vicious attack with a shark and she just happens to believe in God. Nothing should be held against her or her family. If you don't believe, you have that right. If you do believe, you have that right. Does not change the fact that this obviously, since it is 4th at the box office, is a great movie.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Would you be so hard if the film was about another faith striving to get over a tragedy? Or are you just prejudice against Christianity?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Phil

      Don't go – it's your loss! Many others will go and the movie will be a success regardless. It's sad you choose not to go just because religion scares you. This country was founded by good, respectable, religious people which are the same ones who pray for people like you today. God Bless America!!

      April 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • akruckus

      It's about a real person! They are religious! PROPOGANDA!!! GEORGE BUSH!!! 911!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

      See I can be a lemming too

      April 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  16. LC16

    Why do Christians have to give in to non-Christians? What makes their beliefs more important and significant? Christians are offended if Jesus is removed, and non-Christians are offended if it's in? Too bad for the non-Christians, because the character portrayed in this movie are real life people who are apparently Christian and believers in Christ. It's a fact that cant' be overlooked, just to suck up to the non-Christians? Non-Christians have plenty of movies out there where God and Jesus are not even mentioned once. This is one movie out of millions where it is mentioned. Too bad. BTW...I'm against murder, and I'm offended by all the murder, horror movies out there....and movies about satan. Why hasn't anyone said anything or protested those movies????

    April 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • vel

      because dear Christian, movies about Satan are about imaginary things. Just like your god.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • JibbaJabba

      They do, its the same people who protest that games are too violent.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • MasterB

      "Why do Christians have to give in to non-Christians? What makes their beliefs more important and significant?"

      Well, if you and a Christian were standing in a well lit empty room and the Christian said "Watch your step, theres an invisible grand piano right in front of you!" You are more likely to think he's crazy then to stop in your tracks for fear of the invisible piano. I'm always more likely to believe someone who makes rational comments then someone who try's to convince me of something that not only has no proof but goes against what I do know of our visible world.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Donald

      For the same reason movie studios don't give in to Travolta and Tom Cruise to have a movie with the main character believing that Xenu (or whatever it's called) will come from space and save all Christian Scientists. It's absurd. And just because a few billion people believe it, doesn't make it any less absurd...in fact it probably makes it even more absurd, although more accepted also. Have your faith, but don't try to sell crazy around here, we're all full up.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  17. Noble9

    Ugh, christian surfer? No thanks!

    April 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • LC16

      Yup...a christian surfer...who has probably done far more with her life with one arm, than you ever have or will.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Chrstians are awesome

      Christians murder nearly 1 million innocent people during the Crusades. Christians infiltrated America and stole it from the Native Americans, murdering nearly 1 million more people. Every president of the United States has been Christian, how many unjustified wars have there been, why are we still executing people? Christians are responsible for nearly as many Deaths as the Nazi's... its great to be a Christian.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • MasterB

      Youv'e obviously never seen what I can do with one arm...

      April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • akruckus

      I find it really annoying how there is a deplorable part about every religion but what everyone always brings up are the crusades. Saying that I, a Christian am responsible for the crusades is about as effective as saying every white person who posts on this article is guilty of racism and slavery. If you don't believe in something then that's fine, nobody here is trying to force you into anything. But by comparing Jesus to a magical wizard you aren't going to get people to stop going to church or believing what they believe in.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • BullzFan

      LC16, what a Christian thing for you to say! Nice job, and please keep up the double-standards!

      April 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Fenster5199

    I think Homer Simpson said it best: "Awww, this isn't gonna be about Jesus, is it?" To which Reverend Lovejoy responded, "Everything is about Jesus, Homer. Except this."

    April 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Bridgette

    If her faith is truly part of her recovery, why would it be an issue in the movie witch is the story of her recovery. If it was thrown in to "add" something then I take issue. I am not a practicing anything, but I don't pretend that other people can't find strength in their faith and community.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Bridgette

      I promise, I can spell... sorry about the typo – which witch.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • JesusisLord

      Because the name of Jesus Christ is supernaturally powerful, and we're all involved in supernatural warfare. Hollywood is very clearly on the wrong side of the war, as noted in this article.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • vel

      oh how powerful. I was saying "Jesus Christ help me not lose my faith" and funny how those words had no power whatsever considering I'm an atheist now. Shall I say "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" too? oooh, will something magical happen?

      April 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • ARob

      Because, in case it comes as a surprise to anyone, movies are about marketing. The primary priority is appealing to the largest number of people while offending the fewest (unless it's one of those movies intended to offend). The producers probably thought that including the religious references would be off-putting to some people, while not having them in there would not be. You can't be offended by what isn't there...unless you know what's missing, and most people wouldn't.

      Only extremists assume that the presence or absence of religion in popular culture is the subject of a battle. Most people don't care, so long as there's no obvious sides taken.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • ScottK

      "and we're all involved in supernatural warfare. Hollywood is very clearly on the wrong side of the war, as noted in this article."

      Now that sounds like an exciting movie! To bad in reallity you have a bunch of undereducated bible thumpers trying to use their superhero like prayer to attack those who keep doing things they don't like, and on the other side you have a bunch of people who didn't know they were war since they never actually get hit by the prayer bombs being hurled at them, so they just continue living life and enjoying the day.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Johnboy

      If you disbelieved in the wind enough, would it stop blowing? Neither will God's love.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Donald

      Johnboy... by the same logic, I can say that if you jump out of a plane at 30,000 feet and believe that you have a parachute, it doesn't make the parachute any more real... and you will still certainly die.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Sublime


      You twisted his logic. He said "by not believing in something it doesn't stop it from happening".

      You said this was the same as "by believing in something, it will make it happen".

      Don't use the word "logic" in a sentence unless you know for a fact you are using it.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  20. Anna

    I like that the character they picked to play a 14 year old girl actually looks 14. Not some 26 year old still attempting to pass as a high schooler. Anyways looks like a good family film. I'll probably rent it.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • vel

      Yes, a good family film. How a shark injures a young woman and how she copes by claiming it was God's will. Then answer your children's questions on why God doesnt' heal amputees? Why no amputees with new limbs like supposed cancer victims who get completely cured of cancer? Didn't Bethany pray in the "right" way?

      April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Avdin

      I struggle with my faith too vel. But i would like to encourage you to try just one more time by reading the book of Job. When you do though, being as reproachful to the text as you like (even possibly considering the story to be an alagory as opposed to factual), just watch and see if God ever explains why He allowed Job to suffer. Job thinks God must be being unjust. We so often think that we are owed an answer. We wouldn't be able to comprehend it if He did.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Kyle

      I take it you have never read the Book of Job? Because if you had, your rediculous questions would have already been answered. But thanks for trying to be demeaning. Next pease.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Sublime


      I am a Christian who has several very good atheist friends (as I'm sure everyone does on both sides of the spectrum). We both agree that it is completely inappropriate on any level to bash someone's belief system. I don't do it to them, and they don't do it to me. I think it shows a sign of emotional immaturity for any belief system to devalue another. I don't claim to know what you're experiences are that brought you to your belief system and I certainly don't appreciate you insulting what brought other people to theirs.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • jammin4eva

      @vel – IF YHWH provided for our comfort in every situation, we would not be human. Free will and the determiniation to seek that will are the hallmarks of humanity. How much more is the worth of something if it is given and not taken? Especially love.
      Healing happens daily. Most of the time we have a pretty good grasp of how to handle illnesses and injuries on our own, based on our observations of how the world already has done things since it was created, and we help the process along. The Natural order of things is rather limited in mammals to adaptabillity in varying environments, not limb regrowth. -Arms aren't lizard tails.- The healing and miracles were PROGRAMMED (DNA = Genetic CODE) in from creation. Yes He can influence and downright upset the natural order, but that is because He IS Nature. Doctors and scientists aren't separate from His design, they are the users and students who discover it to His Glory! No matter who they give the credit to, His Will is achieved. By the way, this is just my take. I know that and don't hold you in contempt for disagreeing!

      April 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • John in NY


      Is your life so empty that you can't keep from reading religious blogs just to belittle other people's faith?

      That's real pathetic.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Avdin

      well kyle. i have read the book of Job and no God never explains TO JOB why He did what He did. Job never knows. only the reader does. And can we really say that the reader truly knows? We know that God was proving a point ot Satan, but was that the only reason?

      April 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
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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.