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May 25th, 2011
12:05 PM ET

From tornado to hospital, prayer sustains Missouri family

By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN

Joplin, Missouri (CNN) - It’s quiet here. The only sound in the hospital room is the steady hum of a ventilator pushing air into Lage Grigsby’s lungs. It’s a stark contrast to the haunting noise of Sunday's Joplin tornado, which put him here.

Lage’s father, James Grigsby, sits by his 14-year-old son’s bedside anxiously keeping vigil, praying and hoping his boy will pull through OK. Lage is in a medically induced coma.

He has an open skull fracture and a broken vertebra in his neck. His doctors suspect he may have a brain injury and be partially paralyzed but they don’t yet know for sure. There’s a chance he won’t be able to kick a soccer ball again - or even be able to remember a time when he did.

Lage his family live one town over from Joplin, in Neosho, Missouri. On Sunday, Lage was with his grandparents and cousin, Mason, at the Home Depot in Joplin. His grandfather parked his red dual-wheeled pickup truck at the front entrance and quickly ran in to deal with a refund on some wires he picked up earlier.

“My daughter told me they spotted one on the ground,” said Sharon Lillard, Lage’s grandmother, recalling how word of the tornado quickly spread via cell phone. She was still in the truck with Lage and Mason.

“We was getting ready to get out and go into the store but the wind was blowing so hard we couldn’t even get out of the vehicle,” she said.

They watched as orange shopping carts took flight.

“I turned around and pushed my grandkids down to the floorboard,” she said. “I kept telling them, ‘We need to pray. God’s going to take care of us.’ ”

The windows in the truck shattered, sending glass flying into Lillard’s back. She bit her tongue; she didn’t want to scare her grandchildren.

“Then all of a sudden we felt the truck go in the air.”

“All I kept saying was ‘God protect us,’” Lillard said. “Because that’s all we had was God to protect us. We didn’t know what was going to happen.”

The one-ton truck was picked up like a ball and thrown into the Home Dept’s outdoor garden section, a football field and a half away from where they had parked. It landed by the lawnmowers.

“All I could do is pray someone would find us quick because I couldn’t do any screaming or anything because my head was pushed into the seat.”

Besides the glass in her back, Lillard had a broken arm. Mason was injured, too. A piece of rebar had gone through her shoulder and out her back.

Lage had been thrown from the truck and landed outside, nearby.

The Home Depot was completely destroyed, an unrecognizable mass of tangled rebar and concrete. A number of bodies have since been pulled from the store's wreckage.

Rescuers quickly found Lage, his grandmother and his cousin. They cut Mason out of the truck and rushed Lage to nearby Freeman Health System, the Joplin hospital spared by the half-mile wide tornado (the city’s other hospital, St. John's Regional Medical Center, was badly damaged.)

“When he presented he had a dilated pupil, which is a serious neuralgic problem, indicating that the person is about to neurologically die," said Lage’s nuerosurgeon, Dr. Arthur Daus.

The news provoked Lage’s dad to pray hard: “Don’t take my son, Lord,” James Grigsby prayed, “please don’t take my son.”

Dr. Daus preformed six hours of surgery to save Lage’s life, removing parts of dead brain tissue and the skull to allow the brain to swell.

There’s a chance Lage will regain his cognitive function, Daus said, but it will require a near miracle.

Hospital staff quietly come in and out of Lage’s room at the intensive care unit, where the boy lies still except for the occasional twitch of his leg or squeeze of his dad’s hand. A bandage covers his head.

They had to shave his long brown hair, styled like Justin Bieber - though his dad said Lage would hate it if you described it that way.

"It really disheartens me, because I'm used to seeing him happy and so vibrant,” Grigsby said. “He's a very energetic boy,” Grigsby said, holding his son’s hand.

"This isn't the boy who walks up behind me and goes 'Dad, can I get on the computer? Dad, can I play the X-box? Dad, can I go and ride my bike?"

Through the pain and anxiety, Grigsby said his faith remains firm. The family regularly attends the Church of Christ in Neosho.

“We’re a very Christian-bound family,” Grigsby said. Lage, who has four siblings, is active in the Royal Rangers, a Christian version of the Boy Scouts.

“The hard part about this is I know God’s hand has been in this and works through this,” Grigsby said. “He is here and is at least with us at this point.”

Grigsby says he praying for his neighbors, too.

"I know there's probably people out there who are going to be disheartened by this—I got to keep my son and they may not have,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Missouri

soundoff (631 Responses)
  1. Data1000

    ‘We need to pray. God’s going to take care of us.’

    The self-centeredness in that statement is appalling to me. She must not have thought much about those who had died of head trauma in the storm.

    May 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Frogist

      It does seem self-centered to think that God would hear you alone when so many others are dying. I suppose that's part of the appeal. It makes you feel special. But to be honest, in that situation, what is the most comforting thing to say? You can't do anything. You can't rely on someone else for help. You only have yourself in a car being thrown around by a tornado. I don't fault this woman for going to her happy place and trying to calm her grandkids.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  2. marsmotel

    Why do people pray to a god that just destoyed everything in it's path? Maybe God is busy, stop asking him to answer all your prayers. It is such a hoax!

    May 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  3. Rev. Rick

    @ Hitch said, "Rather, I am protesting those who use god as a crutch."

    No crutches here. I threw those out when I threw out my atheism.

    May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • vel

      So, Rev. what made you cease to be an atheist? An answered prayer? Evidence? If so, why does God pick and choose which prayers he answers, or are you one more special snowflake? And where is this evidence that me, a former Presbyterian, can find since prayers to God for helping finding my faith again failed so mightlily?

      And atheism is a *lack* of belief. Hard to use the lack of something as a "crutch" at all. I would hazard that you were very likely not an atheist. But lies like that are between your god and yourself.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • vel

      and let me guess, you'll be insisting that atheists only don't believe in god sincen they don't want to be moral people. This is a common lie told by theists about atheists. Well, Rev. you'd never be able to tell the difference between my actions and those of any Christian, even yourself, except for church attendence (and I do that occasionally, and no I don't burst into flames!). I'm just as moral, if not more so than you, in that I don't blindly accept being told by a book that something is right or wrong by might makes right.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rev. Rick

      You said: "No crutches here. I threw those out when I threw out my atheism."

      Wow! Explain that one to me. Your statement is confusing for several reasons.

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Fordham Jock

      OK. But you failed to give us the reasons, (ie you need to lay out the reasoning process, (which is why, in your world he gave you a brain)), for which you made that decision.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • SpecialSnowflake

      Press into God with continued prayers, and continue to seek & ask!! He is faithful!

      May 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • princemwh

      Rev. Rick- How do you keep your cool as a Christian on here. I am so rattled with hatred towards these people right now but I know that isn't right.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Poor Prince. He hates us for asking for answers and defending ourselves.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Heather

    Praying for you and your family...I have sent this link to our secretary at Central CoC here in Topeka...we will all be praying for you and your family. I also sent it to Oklahoma Christian university link...so many more could pray. Thank you for upholding the power of our God.

    May 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Heather
      You said: "Praying for you and your family...I have sent this link to our secretary at Central CoC here in Topeka...we will all be praying for you and your family. I also sent it to Oklahoma Christian university link...so many more could pray. Thank you for upholding the power of our God."

      There is no god. Study, after study, has shown prayer does not work.

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Prayer is the number one way to pretend you're doing something when you're really not.

      Don't send prayers, send cash. Cash donations have been proven to actually give people clothes, feed them and generally help them out of a bad situation. Perhaps praying to the God who inflicted this upon them (according to the Bible and it's description of God) might not be the best idea.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • princemwh

      Thanks Heather. We have to look past all the hate out there. Prayer is very important. Satan has taken many forms this evening.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  5. sunkenroad62

    I find it truely sad that when we read about a group of people that experienced a very violent and very horrific event all most of us can manage is deciding how silly these people are for utilizing prayer to help them deal with these tragic events. Does it really make a difference to you how these people are coping with this? Are some of us that vain that we can decide what is right and what is wrong in how people try to overcome these hardships they are facing. Who are some of you to decide that prayer is nonsense and that those praying shold donate money? My thoughts are with these people. My prayers go out to those suffering. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves for taking such a shallow view of not only those suffering but of those offering thoughts and prayers. Who are you to decide what is right and what is wrong simply because you chose not to believe in prayer and God? Some people do believe. Leave them alone.

    May 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Frogist

      I do think it is a bit cold-hearted to criticise the storm victims for finding comfort where they can. But I think it is fair to critique the actions of those who would pray but not do something tangible as well. Prayer is useless in providing food, shelter and other aid for those in need. But an organisation like the Red Cross, or local volunteer agencies can provide these things which are much more necessary.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • News Flash

      Or the salvation Army.....oh wait never mind they are considered Christians, can't have anything to do with that.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  6. shamgar50

    The ignorance and gullibility of the “faithful” never ceases to amaze, and amuse me. If you tested people’s love for you, the way god tests it followers love for it, you’d be on death row!

    May 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • chase

      May God answer your prayers and continue to bless you and your family through all of waht you have experienced and make it a burden that you and yours can bear!!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • chase

      shamgar these people are hurting in unbelieveable ways and manners. If you can't see that and bite your tongue then do everyone a favor and bite your head off!!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • JAMTX

      Your ignorance amazes me.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • shamgar50

      JAMTX, Your stupidity amazes me!

      May 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jil

      Are you an Atheist or Just angry at God? Seriously, you sound like a child who is mad cause Santa didn't get you the yellow truck you wanted. The human race chose to separate from God by denying him, unbelief and sin, we had a chance and we decided to go our own way, and He honored our choice.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Frogist

      @chase: Yes, people are hurting and we must remember that first. But there is nothing wrong with debating the philosophical merits of certain actions in terms of the bigger picture.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Pixie

      Jil,
      "we had a chance and we decided to go our own way, and He honored our choice."

      I guess that's why Zeus no longer grants our wishes either.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jil

      I see, you are angry at God. Should of known.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      Jil,

      Are you angry at Zeus?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  7. Angela

    maybe you should take this debate to a different page or blog or something. The family believes, that is what is important to them right now, not your rhetoric in their time of need.

    I live 40 miles from Joplin, my sis, neices and their families live there. My great granddad is buried there, my dad is buried there, my grandmother grew up there. Please, for once, leave this debate alone for now. Just give us your best wishes, condolances, vibes, thoughts, whatever, and leave it at that.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • vel

      Sorry Angela, I am sorry for anyone's loss but the ignorance of assigning meaning to a poor boy's injury to a magical sky being is even sadder. Claiming that your god wants this boy to suffer means your god is a sadist. Why does an omnipotent being *need* to harm humans to teach them or to teach others? It makes the rules, so it doesn't "need" to do anything. I would a thousand times rather die than have anyone harmed for my supposed "benefit". This bespeaks an arrogance and selfishness that is amazing in Christians.

      How do you think others feel when some Christian insists that since they are soooo special, God saved them and not everyone? The arrogance and greed that this displays is sick, the whole "I'm better than you" that all religion carries with it.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Angela

      So Vel, despite the fact their child may well die, you must spout this debate? How do you know this family? Why do you choose to lump them and all those that believe in God into one pot when you know nothing about them. Why should you choose this forum, against a family you do not know and who is going thru their own hell, to spout your beliefs against those that have different beliefs. Aren't you no better than those you are against? As far as those that feel they are better than you, yes, I have met them also, and I treat them just as I would treat a racist, thief, etc, But Don't be presumptious and lump all in one pot, that would mean I would lump you with a racist, because you have obvious feelings against Christians, which in MY view, is a part of someone's race/heritage/blood. I shall never deny my Lord, for you or anyone else, just don't lump us all in one barrel, Oh, yes, I do believe Hitler did that didn't he? All I was saying was give this family peace and you and others turned it into a debate on Religion. I feel sorry for you.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Angela: I'm sorry for the destruction in Joplin and any trauma you may be experiencing from it. To be honest, I think you are taking the debate personally, which is understandable but not rational. As well as any good wishes someone might want to convey, this is a forum for debate. Criticising the actions and philosophies inherent with those actions is fair game and is not necessarily personally directed at the families. I do wish people would be a bit more sensitive and think about the families while they critique though. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I certainly wish them well and hope they can find some comfort in their time of need.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  8. vel

    It's very sad to see people claim that prayer does anything. If prayer did, why did God not protect those who sought his aid? We see the usual excuses, that God has some mysterious plan for causing harm to humans, or that God only helps certain people with "miracles". I can safely guess that everyone who died in Joplin or Tuscaloosa etc, were very likely praying very hard to be saved by their god. Unfortunately, that god didn't hear them at all. Of course, those who were saved will insist that God heard *them*. Why them and not the others? Is there a special way to pray or just could it be that there is no god or any intent behind the storms? That there are events in life that have no meaning other than we live on a very tumultous planet where people live and die from many things. Prayer is a lovely way to convince yourself you are doing something when you are doing nothing. Get up off your knees and get into those storm cellars when a storm comes and help your neighbors dig out when they leave. God does nothing.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Heather

      The very fact that you are asking all of these questions says you do not understand God or the power of prayer. Please, for your sake...seek answers that help you really understand. You are just throwing out real honest questions. If they are that strong in their faith ...perhaps you should seek out some answers from what they worship. Then, when trial comes to you...you can handle it as eloquently as they are.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Giant1

      Heather, you are very defensive in your responses, as if the core of you belief system itself is in jeopardy. Remember that athiests generally are questioning the idea of god and prayer, not the people that exercise them... for many of those people have eventually realized that and have decided to question these things themselves.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • MJ

      @Heather

      I believe vel was asking rhetorical questions...hopefully prompting you to think this faith thing through.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Heather, ROFLMAOAY!

      May 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The very fact that you are asking all of these questions says you do not understand God or the power of prayer.

      Despite stuides that show prayer doesn't actually affect patients under critical care or those recovering from surgery.

      > Please, for your sake...seek answers that help you really understand.

      Because the best way to understand something is to make an assumption and then build all your conclusions around that.

      > You are just throwing out real honest questions.

      What's a fake and dishonest question?

      > If they are that strong in their faith ...perhaps you should seek out some answers from what they worship. Then, when trial comes to you...you can handle it as eloquently as they are.

      So your suggestion to find out about reality is that I ask someone like an islamic terrorist, who is for all intents and purposes strong in their faith. What makes this a good idea Heather? Is it because they really, really, really believe it that makes it true?

      What's so absolutely hilarious is how silly and childlike this argument is. I mean really heather, come on. I hope you're not older then 16.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Jil

      If you believe there is no God, why do you question it? Do you need some validation there is one? And if you do believe God is only a 'sky being'. I really am concerned for your mental state that you feel to lash out at a figure you have already stated does not exists.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Know What

      Jil

      "If you believe there is no God, why do you question it?"

      This is a common retort from believers. It has been explained many, many times; but it seem that you missed it, or it hasn't gotten through to you.

      What is being referred to is your purported "God", or your alleged "God". It is clunky to write that out every time. Often people will put it in quotes, but many don't.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > If you believe there is no God, why do you question it? Do you need some validation there is one? And if you do believe God is only a 'sky being'. I really am concerned for your mental state that you feel to lash out at a figure you have already stated does not exists.

      Because those who believe in God decide how things should be based on primitive writings. They do things like make snap decisions on things like stem cell research based on their belief rather then learning and facts.

      And I don't lash out at God. I lash out at the concept of God that infects our society and holds us back. Because it really does.

      May 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  9. Andrew Olsen

    God lives. He loves you. There is a way for each person to receive a personal witness that this is true. If you will pray, with a sincere and honest heart, with a real desire to know, and with the intent to do good and serve others, He will answer your prayer through the Holy Spirit. The answer through the Holy Ghost will be in the form of peace in your mind and heart, and depending on level of readiness to receive, you will feel a burning within you. The burning feeling is hard to describe, but you'll know it when you feel it. The burning sensation may be subtle, or it may be extremely intense, but it is awesome to feel the Love of God in that way. I have experienced this intense feeling of Love from my God, and I know that He lives and loves all of us. He in reality answers my prayers and directs me with specific instruction on a frequent basis. I love Him. I have seen Him heal the sick in my family, both of the physical and emotional kind. Try the experiment. Seek Him through prayer in the manner stated above, and He will answer you. Remember, most often the answer is soft at first, so pay attention.

    If you find yourself mocking my testimony, ask yourself why. Why do you need to mock belief of God? Isn't the free thinking philosophy of the free world to accept everyone as they are? Gay, atheist, black, white, etc. Why is 'believer' excluded from your list? It shouldn't be.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • vel

      Well, Andrew, I prayed many times with a "sincere and honest heart" just like you said when I was losing my faith. Why no answer from God then? Why still no answer now? Oh I know, you'll assure yourself that I wasn't "sincere" or "honest" *enough*. Funny how that makes you a liar, bearing false witness against me. Your instructions fail, Andrew, why is that?

      As for why I take to task such claims from Christians, it's because your religion is harmful. How many wars have been fought over whose invisible friend is the best? And no, freethinkers are not beholding to accept everyone as they are. Nice strawman argument and another lie from you. Would you accept a pedophile as they are? A serial killer? Someone who says their religion is the only one and blows up anyone who disagrees with them? I have an open mind, Andrew, but that doesn't mean I accept any nonsense thrown my way. I need evidence and Christianity and all religions are sadly lacking. You all depend on lies, coincidence and parlor tricks to convince you of your god. There's a reason that you don't believe in those other religions, Andrew, just apply those criticisms to your own and you'll understand how an atheist thinks.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @vel: You said, "There's a reason that you don't believe in those other religions, Andrew, just apply those criticisms to your own and you'll understand how an atheist thinks."

      Actually, I've come to the conclusion that, as pithy as the saying may be, it simply isn't true. A Christian doesn't lack belief in Zeus or Ra or Allah for the same reasons that an atheist does. Our disbelief is universally applicable to any theistic belief. However, a Christian's rationale is simply, "What that person/group believes isn't in the bible."

      So, when they apply that same criteria to their faith...lo and behold!...it IS in the bible.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • marsmotel

      To SeanNJ: You said everything is in the bible. Have you read this book? It is a book of lies written by Jewish rabbi's to police free thinking and put fear in thier lives to prevent them from doing "unholy deeds". It does not make sense in this world anymore. It is irrelevant. Stop lying to people and yourself that this book is the way go. You are hiding and fearful of who you really are.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @marsmotel: I would recommend you take a class in reading comprehension, and then reread my post.

      And then read it again. And again, if necessary, until you understand what I've written.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  10. Brad

    First . . . very sick and tired of the cranks pouring out their vile on people and their beliefs . . . for or against . . . I'm a follower of Christ and all I can do is pray for those who post what they do. However, I think you are all part of a larger plan that benefits only CNN and/or the advertisers here. The more controversy that can be stirred up and the more people who can rant and rave . . . guess what . . the more ads get displayed. I'm going to stop using products that advertise on sights like this. I was sicked by all the Prilosec commercials during every tornado video. Seriously? The same ad each time. I hope CNN pre-screens this response because news sites are no longer driven by editorial content and conscience, it's more advertiser dollars.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • vel

      So, Brad, what are you praying for when you pray for those who disagree with you? Is God your lackey to do what you want with your petty human desires? And what has that prayer gotten you? Petty revenge fantasies based on Revelation? Considering the number of Christians who have claimed they were praying for me to "accept Jesus", I can happily say that their prayers fail. Does this mean that your God likes me as I am? That God ignores your and your kind? Or that God doesn't exist at all? Prayer is guaranteed to fail and I'm not impressed by claims of doing it.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Brad

      Who cares?

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > First . . . very sick and tired of the cranks pouring out their vile on people and their beliefs . . . for or against . . . I'm a follower of Christ and all I can do is pray for those who post what they do.

      I don't hate you. I'm saying that your beliefs are moronic is all. The concept of a God needing to have a blood ritual to absolve everyone for a concept of sin that he implemented is silly. How anyone could believe that "just because it says so" I'll never know. I don't have to respect your belief. I have to tolerate it. 🙂

      > However, I think you are all part of a larger plan that benefits only CNN and/or the advertisers here. The more controversy that can be stirred up and the more people who can rant and rave . . . guess what . . the more ads get displayed.

      Yes, companies are designed to make money. So does everyone else.

      > I'm going to stop using products that advertise on sights like this. I was sicked by all the Prilosec commercials during every tornado video. Seriously? The same ad each time.

      And? If you don't like the ads, you don't have to watch the video. You can turn it off or move to something else. Also, you do realize that it takes servers and disk space to host such a forum right? How do you suppose they're going to pay for it?

      > I hope CNN pre-screens this response because news sites are no longer driven by editorial content and conscience, it's more advertiser dollars.

      Yes, the damn corporations using their services to make money. Much like everyone else. Damn them.

      PS: You're a moron.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      So does everyone else.

      Should say:

      So does everyone else with their workday.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  11. shamgar50

    If people believe god intervenes, then why aren’t you questioning why god allowed you to be harmed to begin with? Blind faith is sooooooo moronic.
    Yeah, my arms and legs were ripped off, but god must have been watching over me, because I’m alive. If you or I watched over our children that poorly, the authorities would take them away.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Nc

    Seriously?

    Why does every post spiral into Christianity/Non-Christianity; Republican/Democrat crud???

    Why can't you just hope for the best for these people and shut up with your bickering nonsense? Donate time/money/ or just get on another series of threads and out of here if you just want to fight!

    The last things that normal people want to see are your useless comments.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ NC said, "The last things that normal people want to see are your useless comments."

      Then why are you here reading and commenting on our useless comments? Read the article, then move on.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Frogist

      @NC: And who is "normal" exactly?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  13. Rev. Rick

    @ Hitch said, "Atheists don’t infer the supernatural, so they wouldn’t blame or attribute god(s) for anything, they would attribute it to nature since we know it exists, & that, as you so eloquently put it, sometimes bad s**t happens. "

    You have jumped to so many conclusions in your post that there's no way to address them all, but the biggest one is that I believe God is "supernatural", whatever that means. Like Christians, atheists can only imagine and therefore protest against, one form of God – typically the Judaeo-Christian form. I do NOT believe in the Christian form of God, so your attempted forms of rebuttals to that form of God mean nothing.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Nic

      Atheists can only imagine one form of god? Thats not true at all.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Nic

      Its also very clear what supernatural means....

      May 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Sean

      @Rev. Rick
      “God” and or gods cannot be measured by the scientific method. And by definition are supernatural whether you believe it is or not.

      I challenge you to prove, I as an atheist can only imagine one form of “god”.

      To further your education on the subject, atheists do not protest against “god” as they do not believe it exists. They protest against the teaching of fairy tells as reality. And the imposing of these beliefs on the lives of nonbelievers.
      This is not limited to Christianity.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Sean – Well, since you brought it up, I never said that I could prove nor disprove anything about God nor Its existence. I simply said I don't believe in the Christian God. You however did say that (1) "God can not be measured using the scientific method" and (2) that "Gods by definition are supernatural." It seems to me that the burden of proof is on you.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Hitch

      Rev,,

      (1) "God can not be measured using the scientific method" and (2) that "Gods by definition are supernatural." It seems to me that the burden of proof is on you.'

      The burden of proof is on those who claim X exists but lack supportive, consistent, empirical evidence for X in the first place. Asking for believers to have their beliefs be scrutinized under methodological naturalism (MN) requires nothing other than really sound evidence & logic. B/c god(s) lack physical evidence; they thus cannot measured via MN. & b/c of all the neato super duper anthropomorphic powers believers attribute to them, they are thus deemed ‘supernatural’.
      You wouldn’t call the supposed events of resurrecting the dead as something natural since it naturally never happens, thus the term supernatural.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > You have jumped to so many conclusions in your post that there's no way to address them all, but the biggest one is that I believe God is "supernatural", whatever that means.

      It means that God is outside the realm of the natural world. Given that God can in fact break the laws of physics, this seems a rather apt description of him/her/it because all things in the natural world confrom to these laws.

      > Like Christians, atheists can only imagine and therefore protest against, one form of God – typically the Judaeo-Christian form.

      This is flat out wrong. We don't protest against a God. We merely inform people that they have no damn good reason to believe there is a God. We protest against people trying to affect the lives of others based on these irrational beliefs. A perfect example is the crusade against condoms in Africa. Or the halt of stem cell research.

      > I do NOT believe in the Christian form of God, so your attempted forms of rebuttals to that form of God mean nothing.

      Only because you have not grasped them. To believe in things without evidence to support them is a flawed method of thinking. The reason is because it allows you to have contradictory positions with the same level of evidence (equal merit). For example, I could believe you're a murderer without any evidence. I could also just as well believe you're not a murderer wihout any evidence.

      So what evidence for God do you have?

      May 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Jil

      The Bobinator
      [This is flat out wrong. We don't protest against a God. We merely inform people that they have no damn good reason to believe there is a God. We protest against people trying to affect the lives of others based on these irrational beliefs. A perfect example is the crusade against condoms in Africa. Or the halt of stem cell research.]

      1. Why is there no good reason? Because you say it is so? If that was enough that you offer no science backing this claim, wouldn’t someone still be a mindless sheep and moronic just to take your word for it without proper evidence?

      2. And in your logic just because the belief in God makes them responsible for the whole history of evil. Then by your logic I hate all men, because of all the evilness that has been done by them.

      [Only because you have not grasped them. To believe in things without evidence to support them is a flawed method of thinking. The reason is because it allows you to have contradictory positions with the same level of evidence (equal merit). For example, I could believe you're a murderer without any evidence. I could also just as well believe you're not a murderer wihout any evidence.]

      1. I have yet to see solid scientific evidence that proves a lot of things. I haven’t seen evidence that the world was created in a big bang, or that we evolved, or how humans exist, or why there are even laws instead of chaos, because logically without an external force to guide something it is random and chaotic.

      So what evidence for there not being a God do you have?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Why is there no good reason? Because you say it is so? If that was enough that you offer no science backing this claim, wouldn’t someone still be a mindless sheep and moronic just to take your word for it without proper evidence?

      No, because you don't understand what I'm saying. In the absence of any evidence, the default logical position is to not believe the claim. Not maybe, not if, not sorta. This is logic, not evidence. Because on the other hand if you do accept ideas without evidence, you can hold contradictory positions. The statement is self evident.

      2. And in your logic just because the belief in God makes them responsible for the whole history of evil. Then by your logic I hate all men, because of all the evilness that has been done by them.

      Except that you can't seem to make a viable comparison. Are men responsible for the creation with everything with foreknowledge of what would occur? Of course not. Perhaps you should think before posting.

      > I have yet to see solid scientific evidence that proves a lot of things. I haven’t seen evidence that the world was created in a big bang, or that we evolved, or how humans exist, or why there are even laws instead of chaos, because logically without an external force to guide something it is random and chaotic.

      If you have yet to see it then your lack of belief in it is justified. However, to claim that such evidence does not exist isn't.

      > So what evidence for there not being a God do you have?

      I have never claimed there wasn't a God. I've only said that belief in a God without evidence is silly and illogical. Which it is.

      May 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Hitch

      Jill,

      ‘Why is there no good reason?’

      One would think the very article this comment is linked to would be one of many of the millennia, but I digress. If you cannot see that the concept of an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent deity conflicts with the events before your very eyes, then there is little point in further dialog.

      ‘Because you say it is so?’

      I would say b/c philosophers over the millennia, dating back to some of the first materialists like Epicurus say so.

      ‘ you offer no science backing this claim’

      What part of ‘god(s) supposedly being supernatural cannot be tested by methodological naturalism (science)’ is beyond you?
      ‘wouldn’t someone still be a mindless sheep and moronic just to take your word for it without proper evidence?’
      Yes, that’s why most wouldn’t mere end their research by reading a single comment, much less a single book & claim to know everything.

      ‘And in your logic just because the belief in God makes them responsible for the whole history of evil. Then by your logic I hate all men, because of all the evilness that has been done by them.’

      No, not all men have committed horrors, human civilization is full of instances of human compassions, caring, love, friendship, etc. which contradict your statement of all men being evil.

      ‘I haven’t seen evidence that the world was created in a big bang’

      The BB theory describes the expansion of matter over time, merely that YOU haven’t read enough or found evidence that science has stated for nearly a century doesn’t make it not exist or not true.

      ‘or that we evolved’

      Clearly you could read some up on it then. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

      May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  14. support the doctors

    That's a scary story and I wish the best for the boy and his family. But the prayer angle that CNN is using in the headline is unnecessary pandering to Christian readers. The boy needs competent doctors, medicine, and science on his side, not prayers.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Sean

      They should have prayed harder.
      /sarcasm off

      May 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • CRAIG

      You don't think God uses doctors? He is God, he can and does use anything at his disposal. It is way above our understanding.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @CRAIG: I had hoped that god would've done that wrinkly nose thing instead....oh...wait...that was Bewitched.

      No, god doesn't use doctors. That's idiotic, doling out tasks to middle management like that.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • support the doctors

      I don't believe in God. So I can't really believe that God uses doctors. But even in the Bible, God did not use doctors to cure people. Instead, he used his God magic. For example, the prophet Elisha did not need a doctor to raise the Shunammite’s son. Instead, he prayed. That was all. If God were indeed God and actually cared about humans, then no doctors would be necessary. So no, I don't believe that God uses doctors.

      All that I am saying is to give credit where credit is due. And instead of throwing your money away in the collection plate every week, donate money to medical research and stop opposing stem cell research.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @support the doctors: I'll go one further. If I were a doctor and performed hours of surgery to save the life of a young boy only to have a parent tell me, "I'm so glad god saw fit to use you!" I believe I would be pretty angry.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > You don't think God uses doctors? He is God, he can and does use anything at his disposal. It is way above our understanding.

      Comment... too... stupid.... to respond.... brain... cramping in... upon itself....

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      May 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  15. Forever Full of Faith

    To those of you who don't believe, I will pray for you also. God never promised us life on this earth would be good. He never said bad things wouldn't happen to good people (or that good things wouldn't happen to bad people). God gave us free will that we might choose to worship Him. Those who believe and serve Him will have peace after life on this earth. That is where our loving God takes away the pain and sorrow, and that is where His love will be fulfilled.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      What about those who do believe, just believe differently. Do you pray for them too?

      May 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Nic

      Why did god send all of those tornadoes to kill all of those innocent people?

      May 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Forever Full of Faith

      You said: " God never promised us life on this earth would be good. He never said bad things wouldn't happen to good people (or that good things wouldn't happen to bad people). "

      If god were all good, all loving, how could he allow so much suffering?

      You said: "God gave us free will that we might choose to worship Him. "

      Why do you think you have free will?

      Curious in Arizona

      May 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • annabella51

      God does not determine what tragedy's will happen. The evil one does. God can, turn the result of evil into good, if he is allowed to. If God had not given us choices, why would you not believe in him?

      Listen to some teaching tapes...free ones...Andrew Wommack Ministries is a good place. This is a persoon who actually has studied the Word of God and can give you an explanation of things in the Word that your peanut brain cannot grasp.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • shamgar50

      annabella51, Look genius, most non-belivers/atheists were raised with religion. We know all the dogma and tracts, and crap. We had open minds and were curious. We found religions/god(s) to be severely lacking. They explain nothing, and cripple people’s minds.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @annabella51

      You said: "God does not determine what tragedy's will happen. The evil one does."

      Oh, my deluded believer! There is no devil. No demons of any sort. Nothing under your bed. If there were, I would tell you.

      Satan was invented by men, because they felt "funny" worshipping a god that had just devastated a village of good people via a flood. They didn't want their god to be the one who did evil. So, Beelzebub was born.

      Consider: You believe god is all knowing. Yes?

      You believe god is all powerful. Yes?

      You believe everything written in the bible is true. Yes?

      You believe Satan is at least as intelligent as your average human. Yes?

      You believe Satan can read? Yes?

      Do you think Satan ever read the part, in the King James, where he loses the battle against god?

      Who, more than a fallen angel, would believe/know god was omniscient? Not to mention omnipotent. That would have been a stumbling block to any coup attempt. Right?

      So, rebellion would have been dumb of Satan and his band of angels. God would have said, "You will lose and you will lose your health insurance." End of rebellion, I think.

      These stories are fiction. Do you see that? What ent ity would rebel against an all powerful, all knowing god? You couldn't even sneak up on Him. Sheesh! Use your brain, just a little.

      What's funny, is that believers bestow upon their god, the attributes of being omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
      Never mind that it is impossible for a god to be all those things at the same time.

      But, fundies never stop to think how these attributes affect their fairy tales. They never consider the ramifications resulting from these superlative qualities that they give to their god.

      Some have told me, that Satan knows he will be defeated. His goal is to take as many humans to hell with him as possible.

      But, Christians also say, their god is all knowing. If god can see the future, if the future can be known, He would know exactly how many souls will be lost and how many saved. He would know this, from the beginning.

      If god can know the future, Satan would be locked into his part. Like Judas and Peter, he would have no choice.
      If the predictions of the bible concerning Satan and the end times are true, then all the events and actions leading up to the fulfillment of these predictions, are predetermined.

      Fundies do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Forever Full of Faith

    To the family, I pray for you also. May God bring you peace and comfort through all the tribulations you are facing.

    May 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  17. myweightinwords

    I can not even begin to imagine the terror of being in that situation. My thoughts are with all those suffering.

    May 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      If you feel for those people, maybe a donation would help more. That way you're actually doing something instead of feeling like you're doing something. 🙂

      May 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Bobinator,

      I already have given what I can, but alas, I haven't got much. So many people in need these days.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  18. The Bobinator

    Praying is a psychological way of gaining some control over a situation in which you are not in control. Some people can't handle not being in control or being in a situation where the outcome is uncertain.

    May 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • JohnR

      Precisely. They need to feel in control and when they are in fact not, they resort to a sort of imaginary control.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      Totally agree. But a crisis is not exactly the right time to expect people to look at complex issues such as this. This ("prayer"), neuro lingustic "self talk", (programming), is comforting and self affirming and group forming and group affirming and as such is valuable. "Our thoughts and prayers are with you/them" is a bland, meaningless statement, but frequently used to indicate empathy and sympathy for those in situations, which as you say, are environmentally out of their control.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Finger Puppet

      Well said... And... I had asked you in another article, (which I don't recall) at this point, about your knowledge and/or training, if any in... NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)...?

      Still curious...

      Peace...

      May 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      Hi Peace2,
      Have been keeping my eye out for you. I have an advanced degree in NLP, but now am finishing medical school. Was going to do a PhD, but have always been more interested in pediatric cardiovascular pre and post natal surgical anomalies. Start my residency in LA this summer, July 1.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • JohnR

      Oh, I don't begrudge the people at all. The problem is that articles like this are written and people take it as a confirmation not just for the psychological efficacy of prayer, but as a validation of the god prayed to and all the doctrinal crud that comes with it. When there are articles written about the efficacy of meditation or even a good stiff drink, then I'll go lighter on the prayer stuff.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Finger Puppet

      Hey -Finger Puppet...

      Thanks for coming back to respond.

      Very impressive on your part. I trained with the co-developers, and am a nationally certified -trainer- in NLP. I used to do NLP training's and seminars locally and nationally... corporate training's and public seminars. Also was doing NLP certification training's at the practi-tioner and master practi-tioner levels.

      I actually live in LA too. I'm curious, where will you be starting your residency(congratulations btw !!!)....?

      Peace...

      May 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  19. Rev. Rick

    @ God is Short.... said, "It makes perfect sense if you understand that there is no God, that things just happen according to natural laws."

    That's a nonsensical statement. God and natural laws are not mutually exclusive. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Sometimes bad s**t happens and God had nothing to do with it. It's funny how both Christians and atheists try to point to God, or point to the lack of a God, when bad things happen to innocent people.

    May 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > That's a nonsensical statement. God and natural laws are not mutually exclusive. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Sometimes bad s**t happens and God had nothing to do with it. It's funny how both Christians and atheists try to point to God, or point to the lack of a God, when bad things happen to innocent people.

      Actually, either your God is omniscient or it isn't. If it is Omniscient and created the universe, God is directly responsible for everything. Including good and evil.

      If your God isn't omniscient, why worship God. He could be wrong just like anyone else. Because he's not all knowing.

      May 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      god and natural laws are cetaintly, and necessarily mutually exclusive if one assumes there is no god.

      your statement also implies that sometimes god is involved in bad things. How would anyone know the difference. And if god is love, why would he do bad things?

      May 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Hitch

      Rev. Rick

      ‘God and natural laws are not mutually exclusive.’

      I disagree. God(s) are, despite any empirical evidence, presumed to be supernatural & thus not natural. In the not too distant past natural phenomena which was unexplainable involved invoking god(s) in order to massage away the insecurity of ignorance & provide some temporal relief. No longer do we need to attribute chaotic events with god(s) as we readily have natural processes & natural explanations which explain the data. Adding a ‘god did it’ to the equation only further complicates it as it begs the question of why? Why would such an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent deity allow such needless suffering, particularly to those who have faith in said diety?

      ‘Sometimes bad s**t happens and God had nothing to do with it.’

      How convenient. Good stuff happens, so you attribute it to your god, bad stuff happens, & you assert it’s not gods fault, while ignoring the aforementioned assumed properties of god (omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, etc.) Obviously this is a logical contradiction, or said god doesn’t have those properties; or doesn’t exist.

      ‘It's funny how both Christians and atheists try to point to God, or point to the lack of a God, when bad things happen to innocent people.’

      Atheists don’t infer the supernatural, so they wouldn’t blame or attribute god(s) for anything, they would attribute it to nature since we know it exists, & that, as you so eloquently put it, sometimes bad s**t happens. The religious on the other hand will attempt to give credit to said diety but when it comes to any culpability, whether in the mythical garden of eden, or in actual events, somehow they don’t attribute any of it to the one they say is the uncaused cause & has the will to control nature.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Bobinator
      Don't mean to nit pick and am not going at you, as I basically agree with you, but sometimes things which can be seen as bad, in the short run, are really in the long run, not. To me it's not a matter of omniscience. (It could "know" about bad things and still permit them, which might not invalidate a concept of divinity). It IS, for me a question of "All powerful", ("almighty") not omniscience. It could have set up a system where occasionally It could intervene in the "natural" order, if that's what It wanted. But is that what we really would find to be a good thing. If a child falls out of a tree, onto her head, causing a subdural hematoma, and somehow a magical event ensues, intervening in that sequence of events, would that be a good thing ? The occasionally random intervention in the natural order, I submit would actually be a very bad thing, as we would never be able to predict the outcomes of certain actions and events. I'd rather know what to expect.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Hitch

      Rev. Rick,

      Anyone can address my points, provided they have the time & form an analytical reasoning of where I am wrong. If you’re not up for it, so be it. ‘Supernatural’ refers to not being natural, not restrained, controlled, or dictated by natural laws (gravity, electromagnetism, weather, etc. etc.). God, in virtually all cultures (save for those which adhere to a Deistic god view) is presumed to be not dictated by said natural laws, can act outside of them & supposedly somehow intercede & overrule them. How the pious don’t really say other than asserting it, but when people assert ‘god saved them from X disaster’, they’re typically saying that god guided the disaster to avoid them or not kill them but to just mame/injure them. If you’re Deist, well that is fine, but you’d also know from my angle I wasn’t speaking of a deistic god since praying to one makes no sense.

      Again, I am not protesting against any god(s), neither Christian, Greek, or any other, as I mentioned, non-believers simply do not attribute nature being maintained or sustained by god(s). Since I don’t believe in any gods, it’s quite hard to protest or blame them/it for being culpable. Rather, I am protesting those who use god as a crutch.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @The Bobinator

      Yes. Well said.

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  20. God is Short on Cash Again

    Funny how God does that to Christians and children. It really makes no sense if you believe that an all-powerful loving God looks after the world and is personally involved in the lives of his followers.

    It makes perfect sense if you understand that there is no God, that things just happen according to natural laws.

    May 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      In times of stress, people cling to what they believe. It's the belief that matters, not what they believe. It gives them strength to get through something.

      May 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • MJ

      Exactly...why would one pray to the very god that nearly killed a family member for this persons recovery. Are they implying they want their god to take it back...because he caused the pain and suffering to begin with.

      Another fine point of criticism in this stupid story...the dually truck would weigh 3 tons, not one ton.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tim

      If you trust in a sovereign God (as I do) and believe that this present life leads to a better, eternal life with Him, then you can understand that God allows trouble, pain, sadness, and horrible things to happen in this life to build spiritual character – faith, trust, hope, perseverance. These events also remind us that everything about this world is flawed and doomed to destruction and the only thing of value to hold on to is faith in Jesus. That makes sense to me.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Tim, Tell ya what Tim, next time you see a child about to run in front of a car, or do something stupid that might result in their physical harm or death, just let them do it, and be happy and secure in the knowledge you’re helping to build character.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tim

      You said: "If you trust in a sovereign God (as I do) and believe that this present life leads to a better, eternal life with Him, then you can understand that God allows trouble, pain, sadness, and horrible things to happen in this life to build spiritual character – faith, trust, hope, perseverance."

      If god is the creator of all things, then he is responsible for the bad as well as the good. He made the beautiful flowers and the worm that is boring into a child's eye.

      If God exists and is all good, we must have evidence that all of the evil we see are for a higher purpose.
      All the pain and suffering should have the purpose of teaching. But even fundies admit there is no evidence. That is why they must resort to talking about the mysterious ways in which God works or God's Great Plan.

      There's no evidence at all, that 300 to 500 million people dying from Smallpox in the 20th century, is for a greater good.

      Walk through a children's cancer ward some time. Come back and tell me what lessons are being learned there.

      What lesson does the parent of a baby born without a brain take away from the experience?

      What lesson is taught to a mother, who is watching her baby starve?

      Even if evil and suffering is a teaching tool, an all good God would only allow as much evil or suffering as is absolutely necessary, in order to achieve a greater purpose. Any suffering above that necessary to learn, would have no purpose.

      But when we look at the world around us, we find many instances of apparently pointless suffering from which no greater purpose seems to result.

      William Rowe gave a good example, when he told of a faun's agony, who was burned in a forest fire. No human was around, so no lesson was learned. It was just suffering, for suffering's sake.

      Consider that Evolution is responsible for disease and nasty parasites. The tornadoes and earthquakes and other disasters all have natural origins.
      When you drop god from the equation, you eliminate much of human strife.

      Otherwise, god is an abusive parent, hurting his wife and children because he loves them. LOL

      Cheers!

      These events also remind us that everything about this world is flawed and doomed to destruction and the only thing of value to hold on to is faith in Jesus. That makes sense to me.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tim

      David – Those are legit questions. I believe God created the world perfectly, He introduced humanity into it, we brought sin into the world and tarnished the perfection, and the evil we now experience is the result of the collective sin of the human race. God shows great and undeserved patience with man, waiting for us to turn to Him for salvation. As I said earlier, these events serve a grand purpose to remind us that this world and our lives end in death and that the only thing that matters is a saving relationship with Him. I believe that we have all affronted a holy God with our sin and, but for His grace and mercy, are deserving of the consequences of that sin. God doesn't promise Christians an easy life, but He does promise a most excellent eternal life after this one.

      May 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @MJ
      Exactly...why would one pray to the very god that nearly killed a family member for this persons recovery. Are they implying they want their god to take it back...because he caused the pain and suffering to begin with.

      You bring up a good question, for the believers: Can god, change the past? Would Jesus fly really fast clockwise around the earth, so as to turn back time?

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tim
      You said: "I believe God created the world perfectly, He introduced humanity into it, we brought sin into the world and tarnished the perfection, and the evil we now experience is the result of the collective sin of the human race."

      So, did the parasites and the pathogens just spontaneously generate, as Adam and Eve chewed the fruit? It is hard to believe an all good, all loving god would spend his time creating organisms that would harm humans and animals. So where did these things come from?

      What about Hell? How could an all loving god create a place of torture?

      Still curious

      May 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Tim

      David – I believe God is the creator of all things – sunshine, rain, puppies, and parasites. Most people tend to think of God as a loving being (which He is), but forget that at the same time He is also perfect and holy. He cannot, by His nature, tolerate the imperfection of sin. Through Jesus, he has made a way for mankind to be absolved of their sin, but for those who do not, His holy nature requires judgement. The Bible says He does not wish anyone to "perish" (i.e. die unforgiven), but that many will and there is punishment awaiting for sins committed. Some of that is experienced through the evil of this world. Hell exists because God can't tolerate sin and those who die in sin can't be in His presence. God is love because He doesn't want anyone to go there.

      I must say that I have deep compassion for those who were affected in Joplin. My brother and his family live there and, though they were spared, they have suffered as well. I pray that all who were affected, directly or indirectly, will be comforted and find peace – hopefully through a deeper understanding and relationship with their Creator.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tim

      You said: "He cannot, by His nature, tolerate the imperfection of sin."

      Hmmm...
      It is said: "By your fruit you will be known."
      Let's look at your god's "fruit".

      God directly or at His insistence, murdered men, women and children including babies. This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God killed every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah and his family, because man was wicked. Afterwards, He decides He won't kill everything again, because man's heart is evil from his youth. This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      If you had the power would you do this? Would you be so insecure? This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and never curse Him. God won the bet.
      Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet? This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God sent a bear to kill a group of children, because they had teased one of His prophets.
      Did the children deserve to die, because they teased a bald man? This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God allowed a man to sacrifice his daughter to Him, for giving the man a victory in battle. Human sacrifice! This isn't evil? Is this moral? Human sacrifice???

      God created a place He can send people to be burned for all eternity. Could a god who is not evil do this?
      If a puppy wet on the floor, would you hold it over a burner? Even for a second?
      I wouldn't. I submit, I am more moral than your god.

      I call Jesus, Himself as a witness!

      Jesus had this to say:
      Matthew 7:17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

      Luke 6:43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

      1. A god who is not evil, can't do evil things!
      This is established, by Jesus's testimony.

      2. The Christian god is guilty of horrid crimes against humans
      Evidenced by the atrocities recorded in the bible

      3. Therefore, god is evil. He bears bad fruit.

      Read the examples of god's behavior again. Tell me in what reality or under what circ_umstances, these actions would not be evil?

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tim

      You said: "Through Jesus, he has made a way for mankind to be absolved of their sin, but for those who do not, His holy nature requires judgement. The Bible says He does not wish anyone to "perish" (i.e. die unforgiven), but that many will and there is punishment awaiting for sins committed. Some of that is experienced through the evil of this world. Hell exists because God can't tolerate sin and those who die in sin can't be in His presence. God is love because He doesn't want anyone to go there."

      If god is all loving, all good and all just...how do you reconcile this to the fact, that there is a place called hell? How could an all good, all merciful, all just god, spend His time constructing such a place? Did he whistle while he worked?

      If god is all loving, all good, all merciful and all just...how do you reconcile this to the fact that god would burn humans for all eternity? What crime could justify such a punishment?
      Man lives a finite number of years. Only a finite number of "sins" could be committed in this finite time. How is it just to punish an infinite number of sins with eternal agony?

      If god is all knowing (omniscient), then He would know who will be saved and who will be damned, even before they are born. Yet, god lets them be born knowing their ultimate fate is eternal punishment. Seems wrong somehow, even for a mysterious god.

      You fundies often prattle on about accepting Christ or spending eternity in hell. But, this is not a choice. This is Vito Corleone making a choice that cannot be refused. Pfui!

      Cheers!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • God is Short on Cash Again

      Tim, if God is perfect, how did he create such an imperfect thing as man? Are you actually saying that the ultimate perfect being botched the job on humans, and is mad at them for his own mistakes? If he is what you say, he must have intended humans to be imperfect – but if he did, then he made us sin, so sin is his fault, not ours. How can he create people who sin and be surprised that they sin, much less be mad about it?

      So I say it again: the evil and pain of the world makes no sense if there is a loving perfect all-powerful God who looks after the world and is personally involved in the lives of his followers, but it makes perfect sense if you understand that there is no God, that things just happen according to natural laws.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jil

      How come is it the 'New Atheist' say the bible is fiction, question every verse, and only throw up biblical references, but has yet to show me one just one scientifically evidence that disproves it? If you want to prove a theory based in science you must use science to prove it. Your stalemating because you haven't the ground to stand on.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Outside the box

      @Jil

      Because they believe if you can not prove it to them you shouldn't believe, they totally miss the fact that you might already have the proof for you to believe. And not just the bible. Some prayers have been answered, some people find it ridiculous not to believe. Ever seen paranormal activity, trust me, you see enough weird crap you'll believe that science is just the beginning.

      May 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Leppo the Wombat

      Jill, as has been stated many times here, it is impossible to prove the non-existence of things which don't exist. You cannot disprove that there is a giant wombat named Leppo that follows you around and keeps your underwear from riding up on you. Same with unicorns and leprechauns. The burden of proof is on the original claim, which is that God exists, and all the rest of the supernatural stuff in the Bible. There is no proof anywhere in the universe for that.

      Your critical thinking skills are very bad. Yoiu use lots of fallacious reasoning in your posts.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Nice Try....

      Leppo,

      Sorry your wrong. and narcissistic to believe that anyone OWES you anything.

      I am allergic to Advil. How can I prove that fact to you without taking it and you watch the result. That might kill me, how do I know? because i had an experience with it before.

      People's belief in god is the same manner, they tested it and found it true, but if they tried to explain what happen you would debunk it anyway.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Leppo the Wombat

      Religion has been tested and found true? That's big news! Please provide some reference for that. I'd love to read your tests. I googled it and got nothing supporting your claim.

      For people who "tested it and found it true, but if they tried to explain what happen you would debunk it anyway," well, that proves the truth of the belief in ghosts (48%), witches (21%), haunted houses (37%), Bogfoot (19%) and astrology (21%). That's not testing – testing involves science.

      Your allergy to advil can be scientifically proven. That's totally different from any supernatural aspect of all religions, which absolutely cannot be proven. You are playing dishonest semantic games. The two are not even remotely related.

      So Christians, why do the vast majority of you debate with such fallacious or dishonest argumentation? If your point was valid, you would be able to argue more honestly.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.