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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. princemwh

    For everyone on this blog that is a non believer, why must you come to this page and bash people for their faith? I don't care what you believe, but please show some respect since this is a belief blog. I see too many hateful hurtful people on here and its crazy.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  2. systemyou

    Earth changes and adverse weather has happened and will always happened...nothing spiritual about it. There are way too many humans and development in the way...and I guess the people who die in these events are not praying hard enough.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • princemwh

      I would love the pleasure of meeting your sorry soul in person someday. Ooops you have no soul since you don't believe. I guess I would love the pleasure of meeting your sorry life in person someday. Ooops you don't have a life because you post hurtful comments on blogs covering a disaster. I guess I would love the pleasure of meeting your sorry self in person someday. That sounds better because we know that's probably all you care about YOURSELF! Now go back to your bridge TROLL.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yo prince! Why do you want to meet this poster in person?

      May 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  3. Jacey

    Everyone at NJHS is praying for lage and we hope we see him back at school next year.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  4. David

    Why do we have to hear about faith after every freaking disaster... So tiring.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Abishai

      Excellent point. Let's start talking about natural selection instead.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • MsJB

      OMG, you heartless fool, your ignorance is mind-blowing. I'm sorry for your empty, souless, pathetic life, and I pray that someday you are able to connect with other human beings in some way, no matter how small. Faith is the only thing that people can hang on to in hard times that won't be taken from them, even by the thoughtless words from people like you.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • CM

      Because you are reading this on the Belief Blog! Hello!

      May 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  5. Fidei Coticula Crux

    For every opinion or belief someone may hold, there will be another party who just as strongly oppose that idea. Both sides usually claim to sit with the best arguments, the real facts, and the correct world view; and, ironically both sides regard the other as being indoctrinated, blind to the obvious, and outright stupid. Most people only expose themselves to information that matches their own beliefs or worldview. It is typically uncomfortable to do otherwise. This is what is called Confirmation Bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) and it is just part of human nature.

    So the question is: how do we get beyond this bias, to a point where, we can respect each other’s rights to have a different opinion, belief, or worldview?

    May 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Shawn

      i agree with you Fidei Coticula Crux. there is no god.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Thank you Shawn for providing an excellect example of disrespect and proving my point.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Or should I say Thank you Shawn for providing an excellect example of respect and proving your point.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Now that we got that out of the way... where do we go from here.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • CM

      When we realize that every single person's perception of reality is different and respect that to see where they are coming from and to have open discussions without bias and trying to prove the other person wrong. People will not listen if they are on the defense. I personally believe in a universal "oneness" or perception of God as a universal spirit that binds us all. I know most people don't agree as they have their own perceptions. That's okay. All I ask is to show others respect for their beliefs and help them realize why some of their beliefs are harmful to others. Not showing compassion is hurtful. Whether you believe God is a jerk or doesn't exist, don't criticize this family for praying during their tragedy. It's just common human decency.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  6. Believer

    I am praying for your family, for Lage. I am praying for him to heal and for your family continue in their strength.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Shawn

      smart. Im sure this will help. why not just pray for everyone in the US? Then no one will die right? i mean if praying works why not do this? Grow up child. Stop believing in fairytales. Moron.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Servant63

      Shawn... God answers prayers – yes, no, wait, etc – all according to His will... we don't know His will but seek it through many means including studying His word (Bible) and prayer...just because we pray for our will to be done – healing, safety, etc – doesn't mean it is God's will... Even when He doesn't answer the way we may have hoped for – we trust Him as His will is better than our wants... we have limited vision/knowledge – where God has infinite knowledge and see's the whole picture...to be honest with you Shawn – I don't believe in Atheist ... just because you have hardened your heart – I believe deep down you know that there is a God but you are too prideful to admit it... same thing that brought down lucifer – that ol' selfish pride... My prayer is thought God will use this disaster to bring you (and many others) to saving faith in Him....

      May 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • princemwh

      shawn, you are a fool for being so hateful. Is it so wrong to offer support to a family. This is that person's way of offering support which I can surely say is better than your offer of hatred and sarcasm.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      @Servant63
      No, he doesn't. Google the studies. The proof is out there.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • OMG

      @Finger Puppet

      I don't need Google I have had prayers answered. I have been in a situation with no way out and countless times and help came from unimaginable sources.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • shamgar50

      OMG, Any lie will do, won’t it? No prayer has ever been answered. Sometimes, things just work out.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Servant63

      Google the answers – REALLY? I don't put that much faith in things I read on the internet... As far as answering prays – things just working out... I'll share a brief story with you... the doctors sent home a little 18month old boy who was legally (scientifically) brain dead and they said he wouldn't last the weekend – they sent him home to die... we had planned on taking youth out on Friday night to hang out downtown and stopped by the boys home to pick up his sister (not knowing this situation)... the father ask if I would come in and pray for the little boy – so we prayed for Him to be healed – if that was God's will – but asked for mercy so that he wouldn't suffer if God was calling him home... they said he slept peacefully that night and the next morning opened his eyes... that was 4 years ago... this year he started kindergarten... Science/practicing physicians told us one thing – the true Physician gave a another result... I work in research/science – I have sympathy for those who place their faith (eternal hope) in science/human knowledge...

      May 27, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Servant63: You'll forgive me if I doubt your retelling of a doctor's prognosis given to you, not by the doctor, but presumably by distraught parents' who very well may have focused on the most dire possibility of a myriad that the physician may have offered. Congrats on feeling useful though. Everyone needs that.

      May 27, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Servant63

      SeanNJ: I understand you doubt (as it would be hard for me to believe this miracle if I weren't there)... the parents are foster parents who take in severe children (such as the one near death)... I have come to understand that this miracle was not only for this child, but for many in our community who knew about this little boys health... the child is still not your typical child – cannot speak and see's very little... but he communicates in other ways and has touched more lives than many healthy people... again – I understand your doubt – but your doubt doesn't change the truth of Andrew – and peoples doubt about God doesn't change the Truth about God...

      May 27, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  7. shamgar50

    Oh well, that’s all the love I can take for today. TTFN

    May 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  8. Brian

    "Yep. Some read an article in the belief blog and then spew hatred."...............................

    The Bible says it's phony to pray in public. If you want to see hateful people just go to church.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Servant63

      phony to pray in public? my understanding is that is hypocritical to pray to impress others with lengthy prayer trying to impress others... We are to pray to God as He leads us to pray – no matter where we are at... See hateful people in church? I would say if you want to see people who are liars, murderers, adulters, gossips, etc – you find them both inside and outside the church... true christians are those who claim to be perfect – but are those who realize that they are not, repent from the sins that they have committed and give their pitiful lives to Christ... the only righteousness in them is from Christ... Christians aren't sinless – but with God's grace and His strength – they strive to sin-less and become more Christlike (like Christ)...

      May 27, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Servant63

      sorry for the critical typo – should be "true Christians aren't those who claim to be perfect...."

      May 27, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  9. Reality

    Another view from a famous, contemporary theologian: (assuming there is a god)

    o From Schillebeeckx in his book, Church: The Human Story of God,
    Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

    "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
    activity there is possibility of free choices.

    Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

    May 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  10. Kenneth

    1. Why would their "loving" god put a piece of rebar through one person and cause brain damage to a child?

    2. Why are they thanking this god for doing this to them? They're like beaten slaves, thanking their master.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Shawn

      exactly. very good point. but wait it is "gods" will

      May 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Servant63

      I surprised that anything bad ever happens... I mean, we live in this perfect world where we are suppose to live forever... I mean it is all about me and I shouldn't have any problems – me, me, me...
      This may come as a surprise – but it isn't about us – we don't live in a perfect world... we live in a fallen/imperfect world. Like it or not – we all endure pain (at various degrees) in this life... Look at the life of Christ – he left a perfect place to come to an imperfect world – he lived a perfect life – and look how it ended for Him... It's a temporary live... God doesn't cause these things to happen – but He allows it... through this people will be drawn closer to Him and their faith will be strengthened... It's all about Him...

      May 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Servant,
      Interesting you imply that it all being about us is wrong. me, me, me...
      And then turn around and say that it is all about Him.
      So it is okay for God to go, me, me, me.... But not okay for us?

      May 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Servant63

      it's naturally, easy, to focus on me, me, me... try loving God and loving others... it goes against our sinful flesh of putting others first... by your question you understand what I am saying...

      Yes – God has every right... He is perfect, loving, and just... everything was made by Him and for Him...

      May 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Abishai

      Shawn (et. al.): at least confine your embittered, foolish rantings to one or two posts. Children's fantasy? How bout this: There's no eternal consequence for how you live your life so you can do whatever you want to whomever you will. Actually, come to think of it, the universe is just one big cosmic joke where we act like there are meaningful things like "love" and "justice" but we're actually just a bunch of animals directed by some mysterious natural force that, in itself, has no real purpose, meaning or goal. Why don't You grow up and make room for something else in your cosmic outlook besides your own ego.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  11. whatabunchofmorons

    What a bunch of inconsiderate IDIOTS all of you are. It amazes me chrstian or not that you could post such hateful comments about this story etc. Many people have just experienced something you probably will never be faced with. I pray you never have to endure this. Step into some one elses shoes and keep your mouths shut, If people want to pray let them pray we are all going to belive what we want to anyway. Do you think you trashing God is going to persuade someone to become an athiest or an anti-christian. Are you on somekind of mission to change peoples beliefs? Grow up and quit acting like a bunch of morons, have a little compassion for your fellow man.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Shawn

      what about all the people that prayed and were still murdered by this god created tornado? grow up.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • whatabunchofmorons

      If you have such an issue with God why did you even read this story? Grow up!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Wow

      It's all a matter of choice. If people choose to pray and CNN chooses to write about I then I choose to mock them and point out how ridiculous I think it is.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Shawn

      i just wanted to see how doomed humanity is. believing in something that has never been seen and there is absolutley no proof of. grow up.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Marc Benarrous

      you keep praying we will keep evolving- The point is no amount of prayer actually does anything- might as well ask santa for stuff while they're at it.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • whatabunchofmorons

      which makes you a moron. I guess someone was never loved enough....

      May 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Shawn

      you arent making any sense kid. grow up. Do your parents even know you are on their computer?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • whatabunchofmorons

      blaaahaaahhaaa that's so funny SHAWN you used it on two posts!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Shawn

      I know. There are a lot of children on this website. hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahaha

      May 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Ed, Ed, Ed. It is considered by some to be a particularly pointed and therefore effective ASSERTION of something that many people consider an important truth. Assertion is not proof. People who are in the habit of quoting biblical text as "proof" of the correctness of their position may be a little dim on the subject, but those of us who know that nothing was ever written by an omniscient being get it just fine.

      May 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Jil

      whatabunchofmorons –

      Oh please let them continue, they are converting more Christians, people will see their hatred, and associated it with non-Christians and notice how they back peddle when asked them to disprove it or offer a logical science alternative.

      May 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Hope your right, John... but what if you're NOT... What if you're wrong? Then what?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  12. CM

    Why do atheists come to the belief blog and post their hatefulness on an aritcle about someone's tragedy? I used to be an atheist but then I grew up and evolved! It is our positive thoughts and acts of kindness towards each other that make us better people. Collectively, we are part of "God" however you believe. I know atheists do not understand, because I used to not understand. Many times, Christians don't understand either. What you do to someone else, you do to yourself and everyone else. We are all connected whether you like it or not! And this family deserves our sympathy, not our ridicule.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Shawn

      So you grew up to believe in a childrens story? Unlikely. Sounds like someone was afraid of dying and clung to whatever made them feel better about this life ending. Grow up. Loser

      May 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • CM

      I feel sorry for you Shawn. You seem very immature by calling someone a loser. It seems that you are the one who needs to grow up. I'm not afraid of dying as I believe in reincarnation. I am what you call a gnostic. Look it up.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Shawn

      wow. even more stupid. So how does population grow with reincarnation? exactly. youre wrong. grow up again. accept that this is it and life your life to the fullest. dont hope for something more because it isnt going to happen. loser.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • CM

      Shawn, I have better things to do with my time than sit here and argue with a stupid teenager! You obviously have no insight into anything and no life experience. I'm guessing that you are a teenager because you are trying to sound like you know everything, but don't know jack! And if loser is the best insult that you can come up with, then I assume that you're not very bright.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Shawn

      ok child. Just because i am smarter than you, is no reason to get upset. You should really ask your parents before you get on their computer. Grow up kid. Life is gonna be hard for you if you just constantly believe in false concepts.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • CM

      Shawn, you are just delusional! I AM smarter than you. I'm an engineer. What are you?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Shawn

      ok child. Sure you are. what does your job prove anyway? Nothing. Exactly. hahahahahahhahhaha

      May 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • CM

      Shawn's a joke. I get it!

      May 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Shawn

      youre moms a joke. Why dont you pray to your god about it? hahahahahahahahaha loser.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • princemwh

      CM lets put two brains together on this one. Shawn IS a moron. I have a master's degree Shawn so CM and I together offer up more brain power than your feeble little self can imagine. It has never been more obvious that you are a Troll. now shew troll

      May 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  13. anonny

    What happened to the grandfather???

    (Also, I doubt a "nuerosurgeon" would use the describe the boys problems as having to do with nerve pain {neuralgia}. Although, neurologic and neuralgia may sound very similar if you're a reporter with no medical literacy.)

    May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Shawn

      I assume he died since they have not written about him in this story. It would not help to push their beliefs of "god" saving someone if they pray. But oh wait. You can pray to be saved but you sill still be paralyzed and have brain damage. Thanks god

      May 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • LP

      I personally know this family. The grandfather made it out alive with no injuries. You know none of us were ever promised a perfect life without death, injury, disasters, or anything. I do know that God protected lots of people and as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
      New International Version

      A Time for Everything

      1There is a time for everything,

      and a season for every activity under heaven:

      2a time to be born and a time to die,

      a time to plant and a time to uproot,

      3a time to kill and a time to heal,

      a time to tear down and a time to build,

      4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

      a time to mourn and a time to dance,

      5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

      a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

      6a time to search and a time to give up,

      a time to keep and a time to throw away,

      7a time to tear and a time to mend,

      a time to be silent and a time to speak,

      8a time to love and a time to hate,

      a time for war and a time for peace.

      God loves you!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Shawn

      I can quote from books as well. What does it prove. Nothing proves your"bible" is real or anything. Grow up.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  14. weallgotone

    Yep. Some read an article in the belief blog and then spew hatred. It's a form of entertainment.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  15. Geri

    May the Good Lord help this family and others who were affected by this terrible situation. People are going to need all the faith they can muster up to get thru this....

    May 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by Hom.o Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
    – Robert Heinlein

    May 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Ed

      Well there you have it the science fiction author wrote so it must be true. Robert Heinlein would never write something that isn't a fact.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • JohnR

      No, Ed. You see, when rational people quote someone, it's generally because we agree with or have some use for the quote, and then specify the author because that's the proper thing to do. We don't say "it's true because it's by this author or in this book". We leave that to the crazies.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Ed

      Doc didn't use the quoted he posted it like it was fact.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • JohnR

      Yes, Ed, I know. This falls under "agreeing with it". Yeesh.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ed
      I thought it somewhat redundant to preface the quote with:
      "Robert Heinlein's character Lazarus Long states in 'Time Enough For Love' that: (insert quote)"

      If Christians can quote passages from their favourite stories without a preamble to the effect of "The statements and opinions expressed are solely those of the Nicene Council and should not be contrued as fact", then why should I have to?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      “It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” – Edmund Burke

      May 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ed

      Beacuse the Doc the NIcene council did not make their living writing fiction. The wrote things you don't believe and maybe some of it was fiction. But Heinlein as made a career writing fiction. You can post quotes form your favorite writers all you want. But considering how you react to christians quoting the bible is disingenuous of you to suggest some one not respond. The simple fact is you quoted something written by a science fiction author as fact and as proof God is not real. You can't see that quoting something written by a science fiction writer in one of is storys as fact and proof of anything as an oxymoron, really?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Ed: You wouldn't know this obviously, but Heinlein predicted not only the invention of the answering machine, he also predicted that it would be used to screen telephone calls. This is no small feat, and I would argue is a better prognostication than anything that appears in the bible.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ed

      @seannj I didn't say Heinlein wasn't smart I'm am just pointing out that quoting something written by a science fiction author in one of his storys as proof of fact of anything is well silly. The quote is from one of is fiction storys so by definition the quote is ...get this... FICTION. Using a fictional quote to proof a fact. If I quoted the movie the "Ten Commandments" as proof of God or the movie "The Greatest Story Ever Told" I would hear no end of comments about how stupid I must be to use movies made for entertainment as proof of God. However one of the great and power atheist does it as proof God is not real and you all rally to the cause trying to convince me that using a known fictional quote as proof of the falsness of God is logical.

      Hey why not use "The Hithhikers Guide To The Galaxy" The babble fish arguement. Can I use quotes form the exorcist movies too or are they off limits.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Ed: Stick with the original Exorcist. The rest were pretty awful. If you want to throw a little "The Seventh Sign" in there, I won't object. Jurgen Prochnow as Jesus was epic casting.

      In fact, and I can't believe I never thought of this before *headslap*, someone desperately needs to do a mashup where they take all of his scenes from "Beverly Hills Cop 2" and cut them in to his scenes as Jesus.

      "Kill him, burn him, blow him away."

      Awesome.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Ed

      @SeanNj Finally some one got my point I appreciate and Beverly Hills cop I was much better, forgot about Seventh Sign good movie.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I don't know what the day jobs were of the people at the Nicene Council, but what they came up with is indeed pure fiction.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Ed

      @ John Richard Thats a matter of opinon. You choose not to believe that is your right. The difference is They were not fiction writers by trade Heinlein is the quote is actually from a novel he wrote the novel is a fiction novel making the quote by definiion a known fictional statement. It is being use as proof of fact. it would be the same thing as me claiming that light sabre are real because I saw Star Wars and can quote the movie. I thought after seanNJ's comments this was resolved but I guess not.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      Ed,

      Do you believe that Mohammad was a writer of truth or fiction? How about Joseph Smith?

      May 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Ed

      ok since ateist now take fictional storys as proof of their point of view I would like to give you proof of God. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Last Crusade, Exorcist, William Shakespear in almost every play. although these are all fictions ther are just as valid in proving God exists as Doc's quote used to prove he doesn't.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ed
      I am NOT, repeat NOT – offering up that quotation as proof of anything other than that Heinlein eloquently stated an idea with which I agree.
      As for your assertion that the Nicene council didn't make a living off of purveying fiction, that is your opinion.
      Many people, even religious ones, do NOT believe the Bible to be factual or historically accurate.
      Just becuase a book spawns a religion, that doesn't make it factual.
      Heinlein's novel "Stranger in a Strange Land" inspired a religion as well – there is a real Church of All Worlds actively practicing in the U.S.
      Does that mean that I can quote from SIASL, since it has been legitimized by an official religion?

      "...the ethics of s.ex is a th.orny problem. Each of us is forced to grope for a solution he can live with — in the face of a preposterous, unworkable, and evil code of so-called "morals." Most of us know the code is wrong; almost everybody breaks it. But we pay Danegeld by feeling guilty and giving lip service. Willy-nilly, the code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck.
      You fancy yourself a free soul — and break that evil code. But faced with a problem in se.xual ethics new to you, you tested it against that same Judeo-Christian code ... so automatically your stomach did flip-flops ... and you think that proves you're right and they're wrong."

      May 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Ed

      @Doc,
      I've read stranger in a Strange Land good book its unfortunate that people have choosen to start following a religion suggested by the book. Whether you intened it or not your quote was written in the same fashion as the religious groups often quote the Bible as proof of God. So I took your quote as it appeared. While you may have intended it differently read the response from some of you fellow atheist. Had I actually tried to use a know fictional qutoe to prove the existence of God you and your cohorts would have mercylessly attack me. I base this on past performance by the way.

      Only SeanNJ seemed to be able to understand my point and judgeing by the continued responses from your cohorts that reamins true.

      As for the members of the Nicene Council perveying fiction again that is a matter of opinon as for Robert Heinlein it is not. He does indeed purvey fiction and he does it very well. Whil I prefer Asimov I do enjoy Heinlein as well. As for you new quote Other then just wriiten it it doesn't seem to fit the conversation much

      May 26, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Ed: I have to admit, unfortunately, that I really don't understand your point.

      The point everyone else is making, and I agree with them, is that just because something is written in a piece of fiction does not preclude the possibility it also contains a fair amount of truth and wisdom. No one is suggesting that there really are cloned dinosaurs running around on an island somewhere just because Michael Crichton wrote a book about it. However, if one of the characters in "Jurassic Park" says, "I don't think this was such a good idea," that could still very well be true and have practical applications outside the fictional universe in which it was purported to take place.

      To put it in the context of the bible. "Love your neighbor as yourself," is excellent advice regardless of the fictional/nonfictional status of the book. Got it?

      May 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Ed

      I get it ateist can quote what ever they want as truth and because they quote it truth and fact. Religion is always wrong so anything they say is wrong. Got very open minded

      May 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Ed: Ok, so you don't understand. Fair enough. I'll stop trying to explain it.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Ed

      Oh I understand what your saying but I also know that if I tried to use a known work of fiction in any point I was trying to make on religion all of the respondants to this post would be merciless in their redicule of a religious person quoting a known work of fiction. You are often merciless to people that quote the Bible which is not universally agreed to be fiction. I holding you to the same standard you hold the religious too. You can not use a work of fiction as evidence of a point of view. It is by definition fiction not real. You can state that you agree with the sentiment, but not use it as evidence. I'm done with this one it just turned into another round of bash the religious guy.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Ed: You are missing one critical point in this whole thing...the quote is not intended to be evidence that god doesn't exist, because we're not trying to prove god doesn't exist. We atheists say it all the time..."You can't prove a negative."

      We are NOT trying to prove that you're wrong. We think you're wrong, but what we're really trying to prove is that you cannot be absolutely certain that you are correct.

      If you could get a single true believer to say, "I don't know for sure," we'd all get along a lot better.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So I'll try this again, paraphrasing Heinlein.
      If there is indeed a Supreme Creator, it would seem extraordinarily improbable that It would pay the slightest attention to the obsequious prattling of one of It's many creations – let alone DEMAND such sycophantic adoration. It is far more likely that people wishing to avoid real, sweaty, laborious work have wielded the average man's fear of God's wrath as a tool to con societies into creating a privileged caste devoted to appeasing deities.
      Prayer is nothing more than talking to yourself – all well and good if it makes you feel better, but not able to affect the physical realities

      May 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Neutral

    Who saved them when their truck was lifted up in the air and thrown down ? Doctor only tries they can't save any one !

    May 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  18. Makingmecrazy

    I have several things to say here: First, it should not matter if a person believes in God or not. This is about human decency and people who are suffering. They may look to these boards for encouragement and support while sitting in a hospital waiting and hoping for loved family members to recover. I can't believe that people come here and put this horrible B.S. and mean comments on here. How could you be so unemotional? Have you never lost a loved one? Do you have anyone who loves you? How do you sit in judgement of others? Are you perfect? If you claim to be, then I hope you are making millions selling your story on how to become the perfect human being – Please explain.

    Second – I wish CNN would remove these comment boards – all it doing is fueling hatred on every single article they write. This is rediculous. Free country or not and freedom of speech or not – I just can't believe we are all from the same race. I don't understand, no matter what you do or don't believe, that people can be so hateful.

    Third – I am by no means perfect or anywhere close to it. I am a Christian but not as close to religion as i would like to be. I worry all of the time about things I have done in my past and if those things will one day keep me from spending eternity where I would like to be. I read these comments and I realize that I am much better off than I thought. I am truly disgusted by the things people write here and as of today, I will no longer be visiting this website.

    Lastly – I want to send all of my thoughts, best wishes, hopes and everything positive that I can to the people who have suffered in recent tragedies. I am so sorry for the people who have lost life and property. Keep your heads up, keep helping your neighbors and know that you do have people all over the world who belive in you, know that you will recover, rebuild stronger and be ok.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • JohnR

      Blah blah blah. Christians aren't used to the criticism they've been heaping on others for centuries (when not outright killing people for failing to conform in behavior and belief) and want the discussion to end so that they can hold their one-sided sermons in peace. It's not happening.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • CM

      Well said, Makingmecrazy!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Makingmecrazy, Don’t worry about the past. It’s done, and can’t be changed. What are you going to do tomorrow? How will YOU make the world a better place? Your prayers mean nothing. It takes very little effort to pray. Really put yourself out. Give money. Give time.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • shamgar50

      JohnR, You are so right. Christians want total respect, but offer none in return. They feel free to criticize others beliefs and lifestyles, but they’re up in arms if you oppose them in any way.
      If anyone doesn’t like having their ideas and beliefs challenged and/or ridiculed, they should stay out of public forums.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • CM

      Are you assuming that we don't give our time and money. How do you contribute?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • shamgar50

      CM, I give time and money when I can. I just don’t brag about it, or expect recognition. You should always contribute anonymously if possible (and don’t try to get a tax deduction for it).

      May 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • CM

      shamgar50, again you are very arrogant in assuming that I don't give anonamously. Get off your pedestal man.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Coming to a CNN site...full of tragic news and controvercial topics(including the belief blog) is hardly appropriate for someone who is seeking solace. But the points you make reveal much.

      2. The hate you refer to is mostly instigated by the theists here. Atheists make no threat of eternal hellfire.We don't label believers as evil. We poke fun at what we recognize as supersti.tious nonsence in no way different than we would someone who claims to have seen bigfoot or the loch ness monster.

      3. Clearly you are awash in guilt. Fearful that you are somehow unworthy of redemption. How is that a benefit to your general outlook?

      4. Only a completely hearless person would fail to empathize with those who suffer tragedy. If many find solace in faith during difficult times then power to em'...I don't see how it helps. God allows the tragedies to occur..he could prevent them but wont or can't. It is his creation that wrecks havok with "natural disasters". I think facing issues head on, helping if possible and coping with grief without invoking supersti.tion is far superior. I feel terrible for the victims killed because I know they are gone....completely and forever. Real actual loss of life without a comic book-like happy ending.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Steve man, quickly, your wife is about to engage Adelina two blogs over. Get over there and save her. Adelina is crazy. Waste no time......

      May 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      @colin
      Lol...thanks man....divide and conquer...we are working on 2 fronts...vive la rationale....

      May 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Unfrozen Caveman

      MakingMeCrazy: Regarding your lastly statement – Does thinking those thoughts, wishes, expressing those hopes do anything really? I mean real and concrete? At least besides making you feel better?

      If one really wants to help, donate your time, put forth some effort, give blood, and break a sweat helping folks. Otherwise your thoughts and prayer candles are just wasting oxygen.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Makingmecrazy

      First of all Magmar or whatever – I didn't say anything about sending prayers on purpose so that people like you wouldn't come back at me. I also never criticized anyone for their views of religion or not. What I did say and criticize was how mean the comments here were and how disgusting people can be. You can read it the way you want – I said it shouldn't matter if you believe in God or not. I don't judge people at all. Most of my closest freinds choose not to believe in the same God that I do and that is fine but they would never say the cruel things that some people say on these post. It is about humans being good people – I don't CARE what you believe nor do I hold any judgement on you. I just wish people weren't so HATEFUL to one another especially in times like these.

      By the way – I am from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I didn't mention that earlier either. Trust me when I say – I have donated TIME, MONEY, ENERGY, CLOTHES and anything else I could to help people less fortunate than me in times of need and all in the last month. Now who is judging?

      May 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • News Flash

      They are 'New atheist' kinda like "New Coke" A version that is really unwanted by the public and proved nothing more then a bad imitation.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  19. CM

    People are so hateful. This story really got to me and made me cry. I have a 14 year old son who loves soccer and video games. I can't imagine what this family is going through. I live in Oklahoma and we get a lot of tornadoes here. And yes, I live here by choice because I have a great job here. Anyway, stop hating on others. Some of you people are so ignorant and arrogant. No one is invincible. We will all die someday, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't show compassion to each other. What is wrong with you people? Pray, meditate, or call to Zulu for these people. It is your thoughts and actions that count. I hope and pray that this young man pulls through, and I pray for the family to get through this.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Do something that really helps. Send money.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • CM

      I am!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Shawn

      youre right. Ill just pray and i assume that everyone in the hospitals will be healed and all the damaged buildings(that were destroyed by the tornado your god created) will be rebuilt? Grow up and stop believing in childrens stories.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Unfrozen Caveman

      Almost got it right... It's actions that count. And not ones that take place while prostate or on bended knee calling on a mythical higher power.

      Bend you back, lift a load, donate blood, support science and medical research. Those things will actually help. Good thoughts are only a band-aid for your own guilt.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • princemwh

      yes childrens stories that have been told and heard by grown MEN for centuries. Your un-Christian mockery is moronic at best you fool. Also this poster clearly said thoughts AND actions. If you don't beleive in a God then you can still do something with your actions. I mean do you people seriously think all we Christians do is pray about stuff and thats it? I bet I work harder than most of you arrogant people. My church has community service all the time. I wish you idiots would open your hateful eyes and see the good Christianity can do. I would love for one of you to confront me in person and tell me i'm a lazy believer in children's stories. It's easy to dish out stuff on a blog. Amen CM from one decent Okie to another.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  20. Makingmecrazy

    you are crazy to post mean things

    May 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.