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May 8th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

In the heart of tornado-ravaged Bama Nation, a new battle cry: ‘Let go! Let God!’

By Wayne Drash, CNN

Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) – The Rev. Kelvin Croom walks down the hall toward the sanctuary his father built 30 years ago with the help of legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“Just glad to be alive,” a deacon says.

“I know what you mean,” Croom responds.

With its painted cement block walls and low ceilings, the hall has the feel of a locker room corridor. In rooms off the hall, church members rummage through debris, trying to salvage anything they can. Windows shattered when the tornado hit. The roof of the fellowship hall upstairs blew off and crashed into nearby homes.

On Easter Sunday, three days before the tornado struck, Croom preached of salvation, of the need to rebuild one’s life, of finding hope even in times of desperation. The rejoicing and the stomps of feet had the pews bouncing.

The place oozed with love. So many people packed the church they literally filled the building to its rafters, with people standing all the way upstairs in the fellowship hall.

Back in the church for the first time since that service, Croom steps through the doorway into that sacred spot, the sanctuary of College Hill Baptist Church. His voice draws to a hush. The crimson carpet, the pews with their crimson cushions, the stained glass windows – everything is untouched.

“In here, you’d have no idea anything happened,” he marvels.

On April 27, a mile-wide tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, one of nearly 200 twisters to strike the South as part of a record storm. Hundreds died, including dozens in this college town – many of whom lived in the area known as Alberta City where College Hill Baptist sits.

The church lies at the center of the damage, as well as at the crossroads of faith, football and Alabama history. In a community where gospel and gridiron are interwoven like a hand-stitched Southern quilt, it all comes together at College Hill Baptist.

The Rev. Kelvin Croom tells his congregation, "We will rebuild!"

The building speaks of history, of a unique bond between two men – one white, one black – at a time when there were few such relationships. While Bryant is revered like no other, it’s Croom’s father, the late Rev. Sylvester Croom Sr., who stands as a pillar of the African-American community in this part of the state.

As a young man, the elder Croom couldn’t attend his hometown college. He couldn’t even step foot into the University of Alabama stadium. He’d stand outside the gate to watch games.

Eventually, though, he became spiritual adviser to Bryant and two other Crimson Tide coaches. He would come to grace the sidelines for years, decked out in his iconic white suit and crimson cowboy hat and boots.

When the elder Croom was starting the church in the 1970s, Bryant gave him a PA system. He gave the pastor money, too, sometimes thousands in cash, sometimes hundreds. “Whatever Dad needed,” Kelvin Croom says.

“He and my dad had a very unique relationship.”

Kelvin and his brother, Sylvester Jr., were among the first African-American football players at Alabama.

And when Gov. George Wallace apologized to Tuscaloosa’s African-American community for his staunch support of segregation and for barring blacks from entering the university, he came to the Croom family. “Will you forgive me?” Wallace asked.

Today, Kelvin Croom surveys the damage outside the church. The parking lot is littered with lumber strewn from homes, roofing tiles and other debris. With the second story gone, he’s not sure the building can be salvaged, even if the sanctuary is OK.

Behind him, a smashed church sign leans to the side, almost like a crooked cross. Two plaques remain intact: one honoring Bryant; the other honoring the elder Croom.

A portrait of the elder Croom survived the tornado.

“We were taught by my dad and we were taught by Coach Bryant, when situations come into your life, obstacles come, then you have to be strong,” Croom says.

“We have to let go what we’re tasting. This is a bitter pill, but God does have his way of resurrecting us. Yeah, we’re hurt … but we can rebuild and come back.”

Last year, his church made green T-shirts with a slogan in the form of a cross: “Let go! Let God!”

“We’ve been wearing the shirts. Now, we gotta live it,” he says. “Now that we have to deal with this calamity, you put aside racial barriers, religious and political. We’re one people. We’re Alabamians.”

He gives a soft holler: “Roll Tide,” the beloved chant of Alabama fans.

“It’s become more than a sports theme,” he says. “It’s a bond between people who have a common interest in humanity, who believe in a democracy, who believe in a higher power. It’s a nation. We call it Bama Nation.”

Across the state, people are mourning. The loss of life and property is indescribable. Thousands of houses across Tuscaloosa alone are damaged or destroyed. Scores of people remain missing.

Faith and football won’t replace the utter destruction that has shaken so many lives here. Yet it’s what people cling to. Conversations with those whose homes were destroyed often end with “Roll Tide.”

Last year the church made "Let go! Let God!" T-shirts. "We’ve been wearing the shirts. Now, we gotta live it," Croom says.

In the fall, they say, the sanctuary on Saturdays is Bryant-Denny Stadium, where more than 100,000 fans gather in the heart of campus to cheer for the Crimson Tide. On Sundays, the place of worship is any of the hundreds of churches throughout this thick Bible Belt region where Saturday’s chants are replaced by prayers and gospels.

It’s why a chemistry professor from Germany says, “The holy man in Alabama is not the pope. It’s Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.” Outside Croom’s torn up church, a military policeman put aside his allegiance to cross-state rival Auburn University to protect the property from looters.

“I’m an Auburn fan,” says Sgt. Casey Chambers, “but above that I’m a true Alabamian.”

A handgun at his hip, Chambers says through a big grin, “I’m protecting y’all.”

'How we come together'

Terry Jones is the legendary noseguard who played for the Crimson Tide in the mid-1970s and went on to play for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

Now a strength coach at Alabama, Jones was in the team’s practice facility when the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa. An announcement came over the PA system for everyone to take cover.

He rounded the corner into his office. On his wall, Bear Bryant looked down. Jones stared back at the man who shaped his life, one of five mentors who molded him.

“Where you thinking of going to school?” Bryant had asked him on a recruiting trip.

“South Carolina,” Jones told him.

Bad choice, Bryant said. “All you’ll do is play football, and you’ll lose all your games. What’s your second choice?”

When Jones responded with the University of Tennessee, Bryant leaned over. “You can go there,” the coach said, “but we’re going to kick your ass every year.”

Alabama strength coach and former NFL star Terry Jones weathered the storm at the Crimson Tide’s practice facility.

Jones became an All-American playing for Bryant. Yet, he says, he also owes much of his success to another man: the elder Rev. Croom.

Jones, who started playing for Alabama in 1974, remembered a story he heard from his older teammates. In 1973, the Crimson Tide was about to play Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. The black players for both schools planned to sit out the game to send a civil rights statement across the nation.

Bryant phoned his spiritual adviser: Get to New Orleans and mediate the situation. The Rev. Sylvester Croom gathered the athletes.

“This is an opportunity for you to showcase your talents and get to the next level, the NFL. Don’t jeopardize that,” the elder Croom said. “You’re the pride of the black community. Don’t let us down!”

Everyone suited up. The game went on. (Alabama fans don’t like to talk about the outcome; the Crimson Tide lost 24-23 on a field goal in the last five minutes, but the team still won the national title that year.)

All that went through Jones’ mind as he hunkered down in his office, the storm overhead. The 6-4, 320-pound giant owed his life to both those men. If the elder Croom hadn’t given that speech to the black players who preceded him, his career could have been over before it started. If Bryant hadn’t switched him to noseguard his senior year, he might never have starred with the Packers.

Bryant made his players attend church. He ingrained it in them: Football and faith help shape a boy into a man. Jones now serves as a deacon at College Hill Baptist Church.

Legendary Alabama football coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant mentored Jones and helped the elder Croom start his church.

In his office that day, he reflected on a quote from Bryant: “If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.”

Life has been good to him, thought Jones, a small-town boy from Sandersville, Georgia, who broke racial barriers and crushed many a lineman along the way.

Jones braced for the worst. The wind whipped outside. The tornado missed his building.

“Every Saturday, I’ve seen how we come together – the football and the religion,” he says. “This storm, I think, brought everything together right here.”

Sermons in the barber chair

Clee Greene no longer walks with that pep in his step from when he first arrived in Tuscaloosa in 1960. He got off the back of the bus from Louisiana with a “dollar and quarter” in his pocket and has never looked back.

He’s now got a bridge named after him in Alberta City.

While Bryant brought black players to Tuscaloosa to play football, it was Greene who helped shape them into men. The barber on the other side of the railroad tracks would sit the young kids in his chair and preach to them about life and love, God and unity.

Clee Greene was barber and counselor to nearly every black University of Alabama football player for decades.

Nearly every black football player from the 1970s through the 1990s, from Terry Jones to NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, sought haircuts and counseling from him. At 73, he remains a father figure to Jones. “If you got nothing to do, you just go to Clee’s,” Jones says outside the shop. “He’s an institution.”

A pious man with veins that bleed Crimson Tide and Bible scripture, Greene says the tornado looked like the devil when it came through. “It began to make a tail,” he says in an accent as thick as sorghum. “It went up in the air, like it had arms and shoulders.”

Electricity poles snapped with gigantic flashes. The tornado screamed, and his house shook. “A train is coming in,” his granddaughter said as they huddled in a hallway.

“That’s not a train,” he told her.

Remarkably, his house is one of the few in Alberta City that wasn’t harmed. He runs his barbershop out of his house. He gives away more haircuts than he sells.

Sitting in his barber chair amid Crimson Tide memorabilia, he says God is trying to send a message with the tornado: “He wants us to get back to loving each other.”

It’s kind of like football, he says: “You got to dig down deep inside yourself and pull yourself up.”

What sustains him now amid such destruction?

Faith for one, he says.

The other? Well, Greene decides to demonstrate. He leaps from his barber chair and searches through his belongings. He pulls out a stuffed elephant, the Alabama mascot known as Big Al.

Terry Jones, left, and Clee Greene belt out the chant of Crimson Tide fans.

He presses a button. The elephant grinds its hips to the tune of the Alabama fight song. Greene places his nose to his shoulder and throws his arm into the air, like it’s an elephant trunk.

With Terry Jones at his side, Greene begins to belt out that iconic chant. The legendary noseguard joins in: ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE ROLL!

'We will rebuild'

Standing at the altar on the Sunday after the storm, Croom dabs the sweat from his brow with a white coach’s towel. Dozens in his flock lost their homes when the tornado gutted Tuscaloosa. Many lost friends and loved ones.

Tears and hugs, singing and rejoicing punctuate the service. The University Church of Christ volunteered space for members of College Hill Baptist to worship.

“Just tell somebody I need you to survive,” he preaches. “Tell the person next to you: I pray for you; you pray for me.”

The congregants pause. They share hugs and pleasantries. “Our community has been devastated, but God still lives,” Croom says.

The pastor calls everyone to the altar. More than 200 people huddle together. Some place hands on shoulders; others hold hands.

“Some of us looked death in the face. Some of us thought it was over in the storm. But God gave us new life,” Croom says. “The flock will not be scattered because of this storm. College Hill still stands. We’re here today!”

“Some will say the church is over there,” Croom booms, pointing toward the tattered building across town.

He then points at members of the congregation: “No, the church is where you go! And you go! And you go! … That’s where the church is!”

Kelvin Croom walks down the hall of his church; many members of his congregation lost friends and loved ones.

He preaches for more than an hour. A woman sings "Amazing Grace":

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Croom implores the congregation to volunteer, to help thy neighbor. The church was planning a complete renovation before the storm. Maybe, Croom says, the tornado is a warning to be careful what you ask for. Now, they have no choice but to rebuild.

“Lord, I will serve you forever,” Croom hollers. “We will rebuild! We will rebuild! God bless you! God bless you!”

And in true Alabama fashion, he ends with the two words that have brought people here together for decades: “Roll Tide!”

CNN’s Sarah Hoye contributed to this piece.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alabama • Baptist • Belief • Church • God • Houses of worship • Pastors • Prayer

soundoff (600 Responses)
  1. The FRIRMAMENT Declares HIS HANDIWORK

    Speak not of TRUTH WISDOW to fools,for they will despise you.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Bucky Ball

    To all my blogger friends, I just discovered that if you get the h-ll out of the MS Internet Explorer, and use Firefox, which you can download for free, it will automatically do a spell check for you on these boards, which as we ALL know, is sorely needed, as well as work many many many times faster ! Holy cow !

    May 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      Finally ! How long have we been trying to tell you that. Doink. (Slapping you on the back of your head). 🙂

      May 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  3. JR

    It's amazing to me that, in the 21st century, people still believe there is a magical person watching them from the sky, recording their every thoughts and judging everyone on earth. lol!

    May 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  4. In Reason I Trust

    Now would be the perfect time to realize there is no all loving God and that weather just happens.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • john

      atheists suck. I don't understand why they get so mad that we believe. Go relax and shut up nobody cares but i do pity you idiots.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  5. slyrogue

    Bob Rock: "Nonsense. The only thing the atheists believe in is reason and logic. You believe in nonsense, and we need to point that out. There's nothing malicious about it."

    And yet you come to a religious/faith based article, read it, and post a comment. Why is that? Why is it that you (and others on here) specifically come to the religious/faith section of media outlets if you don't have belief in such things? And I say "specifically", because you had to click the link to come here; it was your choice. So tell me, please, why if there is "nothing malicious about it", do you specifically come to these type of articles to post (often scathing) comments?

    Your coming here to bash religion (of any type) and to espouse logic and reason makes you every bit the same as zealous believers that approach you unsolicited to preach their word. *shrug* I'm just using logic and reason to point out the flaws in YOUR logic, and you and others like to do to the believers. That makes me as much of a troll as YOU are. The difference as I see it, is at least I admit it.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  6. GAW

    Whether you like it or not religion and spirituality is going to be around for a while. So let's learn that.. 1. No ideology is perfect. (religious and non-religious) 2. An ideology is only as good as the people who interpret and apply it in life. 3. Any given ideology has been used for good or for evil. 4. Collectively blaming all religions for every evil on the world is poor thinking. 5. Religion or any ideology (yes even atheism) is not above criticism. 6. The religious and non-religious learn to dialogue with those they disagree with instead of constructing straw-men arguments of each other. 7. It would nice once and a while if most people would actually comment on the article instead of finding every opportunity available to spit out their same old worn out arguments and cliches which have to direct bearing on the story. Its getting boooooring. 8. Nothing can stop those who like to 'troll' the internet so learn when NOT to feed the Trolls.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  7. First Time Caller

    I'm tired of Tuscaloosa. They act like they were the only town hit by the tornadoes. Many other towns in north Alabama suffered worse devastation, but this is the only place the media talks about. It's sickening.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Mark

    Wow. What an uplifting story.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  9. John

    Hmmm...
    Why does CNN allow comments on some
    articles and not others??
    Why open comments up on a piece about religion, an already sensitive issue instead of real politcal articles? Or articles about corperations where there is no oportunity to leave a comment.

    "big company does something really bad" but has no comment section? But an article about religion has a comment section ???

    Solution : all articles have a comment section

    May 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  10. Chris

    Let go, let God. Well gee, what a nice little slogan. Let's all spend our time trying to decipher and apply cute little canned Christian slogans like this one. What could go wrong?

    May 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  11. andybud

    You can "Let go" and "Let God," all you want, but it's the people on the ground – the ones coming from all over the region, if not the country to help – that are making a difference.

    The day after the tornado, I saw on Twitter where someone said "God is in Tuscaloosa."

    I replied "He's a day late."

    There is no God. The universe is indifferent to our suffering. All we have is each other.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Scott G

      Exactly – the work of one pair of hands is far more powerful than a billion people praying.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  12. Kristi

    Every day I consciously make an illogical choice: I believe in God. I am an educated person and lead my life in a rational fashion, but my faith is a truth that my mind can't deny. It is visceral and it is heartfelt, and I've lived long enough to be grateful for the ability to choose God despite what the world tells me is rational. After a long, long "dark night of the soul" in which I more or less "graduated" from the rote belief ingrained in me from childhood (for which I am also grateful), I came through the deep water of doubt to the other side. It does not matter what other people say. I pray for those who disbelieve and mock, whether they like it or not. Even if it doesn't help them, it helps me be a better person, and just maybe it'll help bring them the peace that this one lack of logical thinking brings me. Love each other, people, whether you do so from a selfish, selfless, Godless, religious or ANY angle. Love each other and be glad you've been given the opportunity to do so.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Colin

      Me too Kristi

      Every day I consciously make an illogical choice: I believe in Leprechauns. I am an educated person and lead my life in a rational fashion, but my faith is a truth that my mind can't deny. It is visceral and it is heartfelt, and I've lived long enough to be grateful for the ability to choose Leprechauns despite what the world tells me is rational.

      After a long, long "dark night of the soul" in which I more or less "graduated" from the rote belief ingrained in me from childhood (for which I am also grateful), I came through the deep water of doubt to the other side. It does not matter what other people say. I pray for those who disbelieve and mock, whether they like it or not. Even if it doesn't help them, it helps me be a better person, and just maybe it'll help bring them the peace that this one lack of logical thinking brings me. Love each other, people, whether you do so from a selfish, selfless, Leprechaun-less, religious or ANY angle. Love each other and be glad you've been given the opportunity to do so.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Scott G

      When you pray do you really believe you are transmitting your thoughts via mental telepathy to an invisible, omniscient creature that lives outside space and time in another dimension and getting this creature to alter his plans according to your desires and prayers? Really? And that sounds like an intelligent proposition to you? Seriously?

      May 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Gordon

      These replies are great examples of atheism = religion. Someone posted a personal story, and we already see people attacking or making fun of someone's belief that is not in line with their own.

      Believe me, atheism breeds bullying, mass murder, etc. Basically everything an unchecked human with natural sin can and will do. Humanity degrades over time without super-human agency.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Scott G

      Poor Gordon – the prisons are filled to the brim with believers like you.
      Atheists as a percentage of the population? 10%
      Atheists as a percentage of the prison population? 0.2%
      Believers commit more crimes, abuse more children and get divorced at a far higher rate.
      Fail.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  13. Tired of college football

    Is everything in this state about Alabama or Auburn football? We have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in America, our schools are ranked very near the bottom of the country and our economy is pretty much shot. There have been a lot of people volunteering to help with the tornado aftermath; I'm one of them. As expected, however, somehow the whole thing got tied back to the Bear. Spend some of your fervor on the problems that are happening here in Alabama every day!

    May 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  14. Matchless G11

    If there were no God, there would be no atheists G K Chesterton

    May 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  15. Kenny

    Some atheist do really believe in GOD and on one occasion a friend of mine that is an atheist proved it to me. I have an auto repair building in the back of my home and an atheist friend was there have me do some work on his car when a tornado struck. We herd the roar of the "Freight Train" and took cover in the Oil Change Well inside the shop. While the shop is constructed of concrete blocks and steel beams, the roof was removed by the tornado. It was over in about 20 seconds that seemed like 20 minutes and we steped up out of the Oil Change Well that had protected us and outside the building to see all the devastation around us and my Atheist friend proved to me there is a GOD. His first words upon leaving the building and seeing all the destruction were. "OH MY GOD". I looked at him, smilecd and said "Really?" It was then he realized that he had proven to himself that there is a GOD.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • CJ

      Really? A figure of speech to express amazement is your example of proof? And your atheist friend found that convincing? That is just pathetic. It is no more evidence that a god exists than the fact that the Greeks built an entire to temple (The Parthenon) proves that Athena exists. Think harder, dude.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Gordon

      Sounds more like he felt the awe, that there is something beyond comprehension, and that he himself had the capacity to acknowledge this. That's a good start.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Gordon wrote: "Sounds more like he felt the awe, that there is something beyond comprehension, "

      Now I'm wondering if he was becoming cognizant of the powers of Aeolus, Boreas, Njord, Pazuzu, Stribog, Vayu, Feng Bo, or the Venti, all of whom were worshipped or feared as Gods of Wind...

      May 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Faux Paws

      Your standards of "proof" are awfully low.
      The expression of astonishment by that phrase "proves" nothing except that he was surprised to see an outcome he had not expected.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  16. Beth Boyle

    I like it that the church is rising above but enough with the football already. Football is a pagan religion.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  17. larry simpson

    They are atheists because they don't have to do anything to help themselves or their fellow man. But when death comes calling the first words they utter is "God please save me"

    May 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • john

      or puking in the bowl spinning from a bad night of drinking. ive heard more than my share of athiests praying to God to 'make it stop'.. ha ha ha

      May 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • pat carr

      Theist arrogance. We're onto your brainwashing

      May 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jason D'Haviland Firestone

      Actually Mr. Simpson, ALL my philanthropist friends with whom I golf. and whom I see every week ARE atheists. They do DO a lot of good. You really need to check out what you're talking about before you make a fool of yourself in public.

      May 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  18. capnmike

    The stupidity and gullibility of people never fails to amaze me. THERE ISN'T ANY GOD. Religion is a human invention. ALL of it. It is used to explain things we don't yet understand, to control the ignorant, to brainwash children, and above all to frighten people into supporting an entire class of parasites who live off the proceeds. Praying is a waste of time...there';s nobody listening. Things are either going to happen or they aren't, and no amount of begging some imaginary being and indulging in silly rituals is going to change that. It's time to throw religion on the trash pile where it belongs.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • john

      i hate to say this. but you sound brainwashed and controlled. you sound very religious

      May 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • pat carr

      agreed capnmike. look at john's stupid response. there isn't anything religious about your post

      May 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • thes33k3r

      good post. Thanks for taking the time.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Gordon

      Religion: a set of beliefs and practices agreed upon by a number of persons.

      I see no difference in religious zealotry with people believing there is no super-human agency that controls the universe, and that everything happens by chance.

      Remember Stalin, Pol Pot, and many other atheist leaders, who killed in the name of "non-religion"? They were the most atrocious compared to the worst leaders who claim to be religious. At least those truly religious believed that someone beyond them exists to account for their actions.

      So atheism is the most dangerous form of religion. Nobody to account for any action they make, even mass murdering if they believe that saves their version of humanity.

      Of course, why would atheists worry about humanity, if there is nothing to account for after you die? We all die. Leaving your legacy, your name, your offspring, it doesn't matter. You are gone.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Agree completely with your post except the part about "either things are going to happen or they aren't". Actually its known to theoretical physicists that many possible "events" are in an indeterminate quantum state, and, (although counter-intuitive), may not actually resolve to a further state unless their systems are acted upon by the act of observation, and remain as BOTH "happened", and not, unless the systems are "crashed". Weird, but considered as "proven". See the "Schrodinger's Cat" stuff and the Double Slit Experiment, which I would assume will be found in many places on the web. (Maybe some day they should talk about what is meant by "proof", ie "proof of god, "proof of evolution, "proof" of anything, but that's for another day.

      May 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  19. found the way

    I've never said God, or Jesus was a myth, that was twisted by the lying Atheist....who are so determine to have everyone one disregard the existence of God, and Jesus the savior of lost souls...one can only wonder what motivate them to such deceit...could it be they are the victims or their own deception???most likely...

    May 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • pat carr

      ".who are so determine to have everyone one disregard the existence of God, and Jesus the savior of lost souls"

      get used to it. We're tired of your cult and it's evil doctrines. We're not putting up with your shoving of this belief down everyone'e throats.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Dave

      Only people who don't take responsibility for their actions in life hate Jesus. Guess we know where pat stands.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Truth

      If you truly were God fearing and loved Jesus you'd spend more time examining your own words than those of others. Stop using God to sheild your sins and hate and then try accusing others of deceit.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • sabel

      I've always found it to be frustrating how Christians can be so passionate about there believes...but if anyone expresses a different point of view, it's blasphmie. "FOUND THE WAY" why is it that you dis someone who is tryin to express his believe about the non-exsistance of god, but that's exactly what christians do everyday all around the world, by that i mean trying to "spread the word". You commented on athiest being "so determined" to dis-prove god but in turn you seem to be just as determined to prove he is real. Two sides to every coin.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  20. Gloria B

    good article .. but cnn'ers have no concept of what makes up other folks.. nor do they care... the President think and says all that don't agree with him are his enemies... what.. he's prez of all of us... but guess in his school they forgot that part...

    May 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • DD

      GloriaB What does this article have to do with politics?

      May 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • More Pius than a Prius

      The tornado was an act of God. His will be done. Count your blessings Bama, your lucky you worship a Christian God, if he worked on a karma system this would be just the tip of the iceburg.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
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About this blog

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