home
RSS
May 6th, 2011
08:16 AM ET

Faith unshaken by tornado

By Aaron Brodie, CNN

Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) - The sound of someone playing a piano drew us in to the Alberta Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, two days after a devastating tornado ripped a deadly gash that will scar this Southern town for years to come.

I had been looking for a high spot where I could to shoot a panoramic image of the endless landscape of destruction, but I turned back toward the church with CNN's Wayne Drash to see where the music was coming from.

Alberta Baptist seemed to have fared better than many of the buildings in the immediate area. It was an oddity in this neighborhood, because it was both standing and clearly recognizable. Whatever had been next door was neither.

The church was hardly unscathed, though. Much of the roof was missing. Stained glass windows were blown out. And the facade of the main chapel was reduced to a pile of rubble spread across the front sidewalk like a bag of building blocks.

Inside the church, we met a small group of members who had come to witness firsthand the challenge that lay ahead. A young girl stopped playing the piano as her mother began to tell us how the building had recently been renovated.

I started taking photos of mangled metal and shattered sheetrock, all covered with a thick dusting of insulation that made you itch just by looking at it. As I was about to leave, I met Joe Southern, a member of Alberta Baptist for 45 years.

Joe lives in a part of Tuscaloosa that was spared the monster's wrath. Yet he decided to make the trek across town through military checkpoints, driving down streets littered with debris into what can easily be described as a war zone, to see the fate of his religious home.

In this video interview, Joe explains that while "we've lost a building," the church is more than just bricks and mortar: The church is the people. He says the congregation will rebuild, and that the tornado and its aftermath have only served to strengthen his belief in God.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alabama • Baptist • Church • Houses of worship

soundoff (969 Responses)
  1. abamagirl4life

    From the ashes we will continue forward a faithful people a people who are wiser and more appreciative, a people who will be better armed next time, a people who knows the strength of nature and will be prepared for the next time it decides to take a swing at us. The story is absolutely true, the mall is University mall on McFarland Blvd., and I went 30 miles away to Pickens county to my family in Gordo.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Leighton

    prayer is talking to God like a two year old and everything takes care of itself. Faith is using a religious excuse to avoid the actual energetic effort involved in developing and directing objective energies. People are only what they are able to bring to the table. No more ; No less.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  3. abamagirl4life

    Whoever said I was christian? or muslim or baptist? I am none of those things. We don't think god sent this tornado to do any specific thing. We know only that after something like this we have even more reason to appreciate all that we have and do as much as we can for one another so that we may all carry on. This tornado wasn't a sign from god it was a freaking force of nature on a planet he created. It wasn't a mistake or a test. It was what it was. Each of us takes from these experiences what we need to to reinforce or redirect ourselves toward the eventual outcome we seek as individuals and that I believe god has intended for us.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Artist

      abamagirl4life

      ....It was what it was. Each of us takes from these experiences what we need to to reinforce or redirect ourselves toward the eventual outcome we seek as individuals and that I believe god has intended for us.
      ----------
      its a shame that others cannot follow this idea and not impose it.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • JesusFreaker

      When you say that God came to you two hours before the tornado hit, are you referring to a deity or to Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel?

      May 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  4. CJack14dt

    Everyone this is just like the story of Jobe in the Bible. God is willing to kill and destroy the lives of innocent people just to prove that they fear and worship him to the extent that he can be as cruel as he likes and they shall not abandon him and continue to feed his ego. He will even do it repeatedly to the same person just to prove his tyranical control to others (in Jobe's case, Satan). Fear is a powerful control mechanism God revels in using.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • CJack14dt

      *misprint Job

      May 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • JesusFreaker

      The televangelist take that fear all the way to the bank.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • airwx

      Dear CJack...just a little tidbit for you.. Job is not a book of history. Job is a Jewish morality play probably performed before the written word came into use in the Middle East. It is not a story of what happened to a man, but teaches what it looks like to become self-righteous. Just thought you might want to know....peace

      May 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • CJack14dt

      Air, its a story to describe the nature of God. That's my whole point. Not only are we learn that God is egotistical and cruel but also interestingly enough, a gambler.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Artist

      CJack14dt

      *misprint Job

      ------
      Do not ever misquote/mispell his word again. He will bring down fire upon you and beat the Job back into you. I am serious, he just told me, "tell CJ I will whi p his happy jack ar se to hell qand back" I saw the vision of gods backhand...it was huge.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  5. abamagirl4life

    What my faith did for me 4/27/2011... my god came to me while at work 2 hours before the first tornado came into Alabama and said go get your baby, take her and go to your family outside of town. I disregarded it and continued working and mused about leaving work and taking my daughter to the mall (the same one from the youtube video that the tornado crossed over), after all its a fairly large building and was surely safer than her daycare or my work but eventually I took heed of gods words and went and got my child ran by my townhouse and took her with me to my family while my husband was at work in Birmingham. When I arrived at my aunts house I saw the horror that was unfolding in the town I left behind my husband made it home and rode out the tornado in a closet and my daughter and I watched from 30 miles away. That you unbelievers is why I have faith and why I know that god chose to direct me to safety. He has a plan for me or my daughter that didn't involve us dying that day, maybe tomorrow maybe in 50 years I don't know but not one second before each of us has fulfilled his will for us.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Artist

      And there are muslims, jews etc who can tell similar stories. Lets say it is all the same god, then their word or your word cannot be deemed the only true word of god. If we are to accept the idea of a ogd then he/she/it is universal. The writings of man is simply a scam/fraud. In reality religion would be successful in a universal sense, not religious. However, the delusional cling to their respective man written books and the conflict continues.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Artist

      CJack14dt

      Everyone this is just like the story of Jobe in the Bible. God is willing to kill and destroy the lives of innocent people just to prove that they fear and worship him to the extent that he can be as cruel as he likes and they shall not abandon him and continue to feed his ego. He will even do it repeatedly to the same person just to prove his tyranical control to others (in Jobe's case, Satan). Fear is a powerful control mechanism God revels in using.
      --------–
      what is really messed up is God allowed job to suffer over a wager with the devil. What is interesting is god was associating and conversing with the devil. Satan and god were in the same presence. Interesting isn't it. In a nu t shell the god created by man is a twisted MF.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • ScottK

      Ah, so he came to you and warned you, but not those other shmucks, yeah, their faith was weak no doubt so they couldn't hear him I guess. Newsflash – You worship one crazy deity if any of that story were true, which I rather doubt.

      Oh, and I was wondering, whats his voice like?

      May 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Atrist... have a good night/day must leave now.. check out my reply below to CJack

      May 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • James Quall

      you're a semi-evolved primate living on a water-filled rock that's been orbiting a giant fireball for billions of years. please, get over yourself.

      May 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  6. believer12

    Freethinksman...there are no words that can help you. Stop grabbing at the air for a fight. Your an atheist so all I can say is too bad. Too, too bad.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • abamagirl4life

      I am from Tuscaloosa and I must say that believe in god or not, the belief of god has brought more good to the people of this town than any other power on earth. From those who find solice in prayer and relief from grieving in knowledge that their loved ones are with god in heaven, to the christian man who stayed awake for 3 days digging for the survivors all the while knowing his home was gone because it is what the good lord would ask of him, or the people who are driven to donate time, money, and belongings, the people who open their homes to strangers so that they may have a place to stay. So what if you choose not to believe in god, our choice to believe has brought nothing bad to us in fact it has brought us nothing but comfort and good will. If it were your town would you really mind a bunch of christians coming in bringing you food, helping you find a new home, and bringing you assurance that everything is going to be okay? I don't care if you are muslim, budhist, or baptist some faith must surely be better than none at all. If not for faith that there is something more why bother living at all...

      May 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Artist

      "I don't care if you are muslim, budhist, or baptist some faith must surely be better than none at all. If not for faith that there is something more why bother living at all..."
      -----------
      It is sad that you view life this way because there is so much more.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • JesusFreaker

      Yes too bad for Freethinksman. He could be following your immoral "good book" and reaching into the air for the land of make believe. According to your book, Freethinksman has it wrong. God is the world's biggest mass murderer. Then, like Freethinksman was alluding to, millions more have been murdered in the name of God. What does God plan to do with his time in the future when he's not making people bow down and worship him? Torture people for all of eternity. Why? Because he loves us.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • ScottK

      "If not for faith that there is something more why bother living at all..." This is the kind of ignorant statement that frustrates me to no end. First, everything good you mention in your post could be and has been done without any need for a belief in God. Second, the fact that this life isn't good enough for you to say "why bother living at all" if theres not more is the most self-centered unappreciative thing I've heard in a while. You claim to believe in God based on all the things around you that you cannot explain, then turn around and say "Is this all there is?" like some ungrateful child. Well I reject you, I reject your imagined deity, and I reject your conclusion that man cannot be good without god. Talk about not having faith. I have faith in humans, that someday we will shrug off the old decaying mantle of religion and take responsibility for our own actions. At least I hope...

      May 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • abamagirl4life

      why what could be more than faith? What could bring more happiness and joy than life everlasting?

      May 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Artist

      abamagirl4life

      why what could be more than faith? What could bring more happiness and joy than life everlasting?

      ---–
      That is a journey outside the box that you have to choose to take to answer that question.

      May 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Abamagirl4life
      I related this story to another devout believer recently and believe you may benefit from it as well.
      In 1991, Sadaam Hussein pursued a genocidal campaign against the Kurish people in Iraq. More than 100,000 of them grabbed what they could and began an exodus into the mountains.
      As their trek became more arduous and supplies ran low, they began dying by the hundreds of dehydration.
      Six medics set up camp in the mountains of Iskirven, Turkey and were overwhelmed by the devastation.
      They focused their efforts on the children. They could not orally rehydrate them as the water was fetid and caused them to choke. They could not use intravenous methods as the dehydration and malnutrition was so severe, they could find no viable veins.
      40 children died in the arms of one of the medics that terrible night and it haunts him to this day.
      Thanks largely to American military efforts, clean water, oral rehydration salts and medicine were airlifted in and distributed.

      It was religious persecution that killed those children and secular medics who saved them.
      Religion is not a requisite for compassion. Some simply cannot abide suffering and, regardless of any god's opinions, dedicate themselves to helping others.

      May 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  7. Freethinksman

    A tornado wrecked the town. God didn't wreck the town. People kill each other, God does not. People save each other. God does nothing. Why people give authority to a "power" that refuses to use his power, or give praise to something that has demonstrated no care or concern for humanity, is beyond me. I do believe there is a power that set all of creation into existence. But I don't anthropomorphise it. Gravity has as much care and concern for us as the power that sparked the big bang. There is nothing to suggest otherwise. Pathetic people will see tragedy and give thanks. Reasonable people will see tragedy and do something about it.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  8. believer12

    I'm in Alabama and I've seen the destruction first hand. Atheist are pessimists. You all want the world to be dismal and grey. Slink back into your dark caves and leave those of us who are happier than you because we are not a part of damning worldly cluture and beliefs alone. The Consitution gives you the right not to believe gives us the same right to believe.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • DevilsAdvocate

      "Atheist are pessimists. You all want the world to be dismal and grey."

      Instead of blatantly fabricating lies about things that you don't like, why don't you try getting some real, justifiable information.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • FSM

      Remember, kids: "Dog is doog"

      May 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  9. Keith

    This was just a curse from God for the United States trying to force Israel to divide their covenant land. You atheists just wait until you see God's wrath.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Marc

      I can't figure out if Keith is on the level with this one. If he truly believes that.....well, God forbid.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • FSM

      God's wrath will come in the form of a torna... oh, wait...

      May 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Freethinksman

      Still waiting...

      May 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Keith... dear friend...unless you can back that up with Scripture...or you have the mantel... then keep that thought to yourself.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Keith

      Genesis 12:3, Joel 3:2 for starters.

      May 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Keith

      And as Obama pressures Netanyahu on May 20 to create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital consider this: Zechariah 12:3 "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

      May 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Keith

      Britain told Netanyahu he needed to do the same-in case you hadn't noticed, Britain's on fire. Ja-pan was going to give millions of $$ to the Palestinians. Ja-pan officially called for Palestinian state WITH Jerusalem as its capital. Shortly thereafter....need I say more. There is a clear track record of our poor treatment of Israel and natural disasters here.

      May 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Keith

      Then again, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Netanyahu has to postpone due to a co-ordinated attack from the Palestinians on the 15th. They did sign an agreement in Eygpt...shocker! Syria is forcing the Daraa protesters back to the Golan. Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have refused these people(refugees) access. There's still an effort to have millions of Arabs march on Israel on May 15. I guess cnn and Prothero forgot to mention that one to you, though.

      May 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • FSM

      Keith, here, is what's known as a "Dominionist." These dominionists believe... no, WANT, there to be a "final conflagration" for the so-called "end-times." They quote ancient scripture, shaking in their boots, about "signs" that the "prophecy" is slowly gaining some sort of legitimacy, so that their poor souls can be "lifted up" once the new incarnation of the "Christ-Figure" shows off his fabulous new sandals. Then everyone will give up cars, computers, and, presumably, spaceships (because, after all, none of these items appear in the "Bible"), and will float around to meet Mister God. Then God will decide that all of these people are silly, decide to go get a hot dog somewhere, and then fart loudly as he skinny dips with druids, Shiva, Allah, unicorns, and some other bunch of colorful religious folk that are formed from stories handed down through the ages. Then, as Psalms 23:1, says, "there will be great colors from above, and the Great Pumpkin will descend down on the pumpkin patch for All Hallow's Eve," and (I'm paraphrasing here), "all parents will check for razor blades and other harmful detritus in their children's candy," and it was good.

      May 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Keith

      FSM is what is known as a scoffer. For him to believe what I've written about what the Bible says about blessing/cursing Israel would require him to admit there is a God. This is unthinkable for him. But I'm sure he's the open-minded educated one.

      May 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  10. FSM

    The tornado, it seems, was unshaken by folks' faith.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • airwx

      Nor was the tornado impressed by the marinara, carbonara or holy alfredo sauce!

      May 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  11. Reality

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.----------

    May 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • airwx

      Reality... Richard Dawkins called ....he is recalling your memes... their defective....

      May 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • airwx

      like my typing "they are"

      May 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Ben

      They're, not their or there.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  12. paul

    atheist want proof that there is a God. Jesus said a wicked and perverse generation seeks for a sign. we are that generation.
    we will all get our proof when we are dead.atheist and Christians alike.I just know that there are going to be a whole lot of atheist who are going to be surprised when they stand before God Almighty at judgment day and get the proof they've always
    been asking for!

    May 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

      Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Smite Me

      paul,

      And you might be pretty surprised if it's Allah or Zeus!

      p.s. the plural of 'atheist' is 'atheists' (why do so many get this wrong?... also, it's: scientists, priests, biologists, posts, etc.)

      May 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Ben

      What kind of God builds a world and universe that shows no sign whatsoever of his presence, creates humans and gives them brains capable of rational thought and logic, and then tortures them for all eternity for noticing a disturbing lack of evidence of His existence?

      May 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Artist

      Ben

      What kind of God builds a world and universe that shows no sign whatsoever of his presence, creates humans and gives them brains capable of rational thought and logic, and then tortures them for all eternity for noticing a disturbing lack of evidence of His existence?
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      One that is REALLY bored.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  13. Nick Rymond

    TO ALL YOU HEATHENS: Life is a test. Just like any test some things are hard and some things are easy. God has commanded us to follow his path. Those that follow it are just as likely to face hardship as those that dont. Its a test. The test has a reward that we as humans cannot even comprehend. Consider this. Donald Trump has it easy. He will never starve, he can have anything he wants and the chances of him facing hardship besides maybe some sorrow if someone dies in his family is little. BUT God has commanded all of us to follow his path. If Doanld doesnt follow his path guess what DOOMSDAY IN HELL. Now lets take the poor family living in Alabama that has lost everything, maybe family members. Has nothing to speak of including health insurance. What about them. Well they pray, they follow Gods will, they live a clean moral life. After they die God will surely reward them for eternity. God will bless them with more than Trump could ever imagine. This is what life is about. If God were to interfere with Tornadoes then this life would not be a test would it.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • To you dumb-ass believers

      You are obviously failing the test miserably.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Roger

      "You are obviously failing the test miserably."

      Actually with your comment is shows you have failed miserably in the emotional maturity department.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Marc

      Nick, where do you get this stuff? Tell us the exact chapters that this comes from. Nick, The bible is a terrible book to base a faith.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  14. Ted

    Call it faith or call it trust.you either have or you don't. The choice is yours. trusting Jesus is very comforting to me.All others can find comfort where they will.

    May 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ted M

      -Ted- Yes, go ahead and comfort yourself with lies.
      Keep it in your pants and we won't have to chop off any dangly bits, okay?

      May 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  15. jesuslovesyou

    The message of Jesus Christ is a message of incomprehensible merciful all consuming love!!!!!!! If you want to know more about God and how He can love you so much in spite of everything you may have done in your life read theBible yourself..don't look at christians as the example...we are in need of a saviour just like any other person...Jesus is the example..healing is in Him..His word is truth...you will find the answer if you open your heart to Him..

    May 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ben

      Reading the Bible critically is the best way to become an atheist.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Roger

      "Reading the Bible critically is the best way to become an atheist."

      That's why some of the best minds in the world are spiritual people. LOL!

      May 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Roger
      There is a BIG difference between being spiritual/having a personal relationship with god and accepting christian dogma, LOL!

      May 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  16. Marc

    This is the hardest to understand about some Christians. They don't blame God for destruction and death but rather they go to a damaged church and praise Him. For what?

    May 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Artist

      They sure glorify him for good things but dare not hold the god accountable for the bad.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Artist

      Christians say god is in their life and talks to them. When some says god told them to kill then they say that person must be crazy. Or they blame the devil.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Chris

      Because unfortunately, sometimes tragedy wakes us up to the blessings we do have in life.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Being on this earth isn't about materialistic things, it's about the learning experiences we have in life.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • airwx

      Do you believe that natural disasters are just that, natural, scientifically understood events? I do and so do the majority of Christians. The difference that causes their behavior then is not the event, not that God is punishing or tormenting anyone or deliberately choosing who dies and who lives. The difference is the spiritual strength that Christians derive from their faith to carry on after an event. Choose to live as you will, as will I.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Ted M

      -airwx- The majority of Christians I have encountered in my life tend to think that these events are caused by your god for some reason. That they have scientifically provable causes is often ignored when speaking of what their god is up to. They simply incorporate science into their beliefs and do not treat it in a rational way. Irrational beliefs are the problem.
      If your god doesn't make any sense, then how can you prove he exists?
      Why, with more nonsense, of course! It is so easy for you, isn't it?

      May 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • airwx

      Sorry Ted M. I did not see your reply until now. Your comment is inconsistent with my knowledge or experience. I work in a scientific field. I do not "incorporate" science, I believe science. There is nothing that has reasonable evidence that confounds my faith. You claim that I have to have a non-sensical explanation it would seem as a proof of God. This is where I challenge your ability to accept that which is not yet known. No, I am not speaking of the God of the Gaps. My understanding of God comes from a belief that there are physical forces we have yet to find a scientific method of measuring...ones that I have come to believe exist because I have translated certain portions of the Bible for myself. It would take me weeks to type in what I found. I will say this... it isn't taught from pulpits....

      May 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  17. TheRationale

    God commands a tornado on you and ruins your home, but doesn't kill you. Therefore you believe in and love him even more.

    Just...wow. People are so hopeless deluded, it's just kind of sad sometimes.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • ScottK

      So a man moves to Louisiana and decides to build a home. The contractor tell's him he should build the home on piers due to the possible flooding but the man knows this costs extra so decides to put his faith in God. The contractor tells him he should build his home from concrete since there are occasional hurricanes but the man knows its cheaper to build out of wood so he puts his faith in God to protect him. The contractor tells the man he should use a metal framed room with high wind resistant roofing material but the man knows it will cost more so decides to put on a low cost shingle roof. Then the winds came, and the levee's broke and the house fell on the man killing him. The man arrives at the gates of Heaven and God is there and the man says, "Hey, I prayed to you every day, I put my faith in you and still you let my house fall on me?" And God replied, "hey, I suggested you build on piers, I suggested you build from concrete, I suggested you build a better roof, your'e the cheap a$$ who didn't listen..."

      May 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  18. sadiesadie

    I feel so badly for these people who have lost everything they own and loved ones as well. I can't even imagine.what they are going through right now. I am glad that these Christians are holding onto their faith, it makes them stronger.
    Now onto the discussions that have been posted. I find it humerous that some of the atheists on this board are becoming exactly what they accuse Christians of being. You are all so focused on being right and proving to the Christians that they are wrong you can't even see your own hypocrasy staring you in the eye.
    It is also interesting to note that most of the militant atheists on this board do not resemble at all the atheists I know in real lifem
    Just a little bit of what I have observed lately. Have a great Friday.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • ScottK

      "You are all so focused on being right and proving to the Christians that they are wrong you can't even see your own hypocrasy staring you in the eye." I disagree, I am not trying to prove Christians wrong. I am simply trying to introduce the idea that they might not be right.

      I do however feel that anyone who claims that they must be right and the only way to survive is to accept Christ as your Lord and saviour and then says why can't others be more accepting of my faith is the hyprocrite.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  19. Joe B.

    I am not a religious fanatic, but I've suffered tragedy and this is what I was taught about God.

    God did not cause the tornado, but He did not prevent it either. God is present in how people respond to the tragedy. If God stopped all bad things from happening, that would be Heaven on Earth, and people wouldn't grow and become better people.

    It's like when your toddler is learning to walk. You take 5 steps away from him and tell him to come to you. He cries or becomes scared. He wonders why you abandoned him. But you keep encouraging him and eventually, by him wanting to be next to you, he learns to walk. If you kept carrying him around, he might never learn to walk. Being a parent is mainly about teaching your kids how to overcome obstacles by themselves with just a little help from you. If we are God's children, then He is definitely not a helicopter parent.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • TheRationale

      Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. God is no exception. Consider this: you cross a baby drowning in a puddle an inch deep. It would cost you nothing but a few seconds of your time to prevent the needless death of this child. I have no doubt you would, or that anyone would. Now consider your omnipotent God. It requires infinitely less effort to stop disasters such as tornadoes from killing numerous innocent people, yet he does not. Please attempt again to tell me why this does not make said God cruel for his indifference for human suffering. You will find you are far, far more moral than the God you say you worship.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Koseki

      "Don't worry officer, I only killed those people so my child could learn how to be a better person."

      Yeah, I'm sure he will understand too.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Vicki

      Well said!! Love that description. Imagine how much we love our kids. God loves us way more than that. What a great way to explain. He also gave us free will to make our own decisions, like to believe/follow/walk in Him or not.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Smite Me

      Vicki, – "He also gave us free will to make our own decisions, like to believe/follow/walk in Him or not."

      And to kill you or torture you for eternity if you don't?

      Believe it or not, I did not kill my children (or even my pets) if they challenged me or disobeyed me.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • MadeupStory

      So if your children do not listen to what you said,you 'd kick them out of your house ! just like God did to Adam & Eve.Or drown them in the river,"God saw how great wickedness had become and decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth" ,the Great Flood.
      Oh yeah! God build the earth with a big mega hot ball of fire at the center that once in-a-while it just errupt and kill thousands of human being!!! LOL.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Nonimus

      First, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between what you are describing and the complete absence of God. How do you know which is the case?
      Second, your description has God treating mankind as children. Not only is that demeaning, but it should be totally unnecessary if He "created" us "in His image".

      May 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • brucemo

      Generally when I'm teaching a toddler to walk, I don't do it in the middle of the street.

      These "God lets us learn for ourselves" arguments are pretty offensive. Fine, I understand the idea of letting someone make their own mistakes. But if you regard the human race as the "someone" and the "mistakes" as the incredible cruelties inflicted on humans by nature and by other humans, the analogy breaks down. You can't view a little kid dying of leukemia as God teaching the human race some sort of lesson. That's a little kid dying of leukemia. If there is a lesson in that, it's way less important than the suffering of the kid.

      May 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  20. Artist

    Stephen

    Ahhhh Artist are you really that naive….everyone has a belief system including you, so you are the one in the darkness and closed mildness with your intolerance of those that don’t believe as you do. Who is the hypocrite? You are.
    -----–
    I tolerate christians quite well thank you. Its just that they smell funny.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • airwx

      Hi Artist... glad to "see" that you are in your normal humor.....and I tolerate atheists well also...even the ones that smell funny

      May 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Artist

      lol

      May 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Stephen

      "I tolerate christians quite well thank you."

      Your comments prove otherwise.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Artist

      Stephen

      "I tolerate christians quite well thank you."

      Your comments prove otherwise.
      ----------
      I say we have different perceptions when it comes to sense of humor or sarcasm.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Stephen

      "I say we have different perceptions when it comes to sense of humor or sarcasm."

      Many of the words you use to insult others do not fall under the definition of humor or sarcasm.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Artist

      Stephen

      "I say we have different perceptions when it comes to sense of humor or sarcasm."

      Many of the words you use to insult others do not fall under the definition of humor or sarcasm.
      ---
      I disagree

      May 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Stephen

      Yes you have to disagree because to do otherwise it would mean you would have to look at yourself in a different light, see yourself for the true intolerant person you are.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Raj Alexander

      Artist –BTW, you are missing those "Jesse Ventura" quotes ,u know just trying to help your cause...

      May 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Artist

      Stephen

      Yes you have to disagree because to do otherwise it would mean you would have to look at yourself in a different light, see yourself for the true intolerant person you are.
      ----------
      Of course, I can't let this happen now can I? So is it safe to say that you do not appreciate my sense of humor????

      May 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Stephen

      "Of course, I can't let this happen now can I? So is it safe to say that you do not appreciate my sense of humor????"

      Masking an insult with humor is still an insult.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Artist

      Stephen

      "Of course, I can't let this happen now can I? So is it safe to say that you do not appreciate my sense of humor????"

      Masking an insult with humor is still an insult.
      ---------
      I disagree

      May 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • @Artist

      good trolllin

      May 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Stephen

      Oh course you do, which is why your humor sucks.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Artist

      Stephen

      Oh course you do, which is why your humor sucks.
      ---------
      I am sorry but I disagree

      May 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Stephen

      That's great thanks for proving my point. LOL!

      May 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Artist

      That is interesting because you prove my point. That makes us even. Have a good weekend.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Roger

      Stephen, give it up. A person as small minded and intolerant as this Artist character is so far gone there is no help for them. It’s just a fact of life that there are pathetic people like this in the world.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • ScottK

      "Your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug,—push it a little—crowd it a little—weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the a ssault of Laughter nothing can stand." Mark Twain

      Artist is funny. He makes valid points with humor that you dislike, but that doesn't make him any less funny.

      May 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.