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Faith comes to the forefront on Sunday in Joplin
May 29th, 2011
08:03 AM ET

Faith comes to the forefront on Sunday in Joplin

(CNN) - Sunday has long been a day for reflection in Joplin, Missouri, with residents flocking to churches and other places of worship for guidance, understanding and a sense of community.

Now, several of those churches are gone, as are scores who might otherwise be going to them, thanks to a horrific tornado that ripped through the southwest Missouri city one week ago. That makes this Sunday especially significant, not to mention the subsequent days, as religious leaders try to offer meaning after such a senseless disaster.

"You could see ... the challenge they are going to face, as they preach funerals in the weeks to come," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said after meeting faith-based leaders this week. "It's enormous."

Nixon, along with President Barack Obama, will be among those attending a special memorial service at Missouri Southern State University for the 142 killed (as of Saturday evening) and thousands more affected by the tornado.

Then at 5:41 p.m. - exactly one week after an EF-5 tornado, with winds over 200 mph, first touched down - the city will go silent.

That moment will be a stark contrast to the fury the Rev. Justin Monaghan experienced as the twister barreled toward St. Mary's Catholic Church. The 70-year-old pastor got in a bathtub at the church, put his face down and prayed.

When the winds ceased, Monaghan found himself trapped in the rubble - where he remained until some of his parishioners rescued him, unscathed.

While he's still coming to grips with what happened, Monaghan said he believes that good will come out of this tragedy and in fact already has.

"God allows things to happen that we don't know why," the pastor said earlier this week. "But when we look back, we always hear the good things that happen as a result."

That positive energy was on display Saturday on the church grounds. There, parishioners and volunteers picked through the debris looking for items to salvage, Monaghan said. One found the pastor's Bible, and another was able to save his golf clubs.

"The enthusiasm was unbelievable, even as people were shedding tears," Monaghan said. "It's just wonderful to see."

On Sunday, Monaghan said he will celebrate Mass at St. Peter's, another Catholic church in Joplin. And if and when his church is rebuilt - something that he expects will happen, with the parish council's support - the pastor said a 6-foot cross that somehow braved the storm will be a part of it, behind the altar.

"We wouldn't dream of not using that," he said.

The Bridge Ministries, a nondenominational Christian youth organization, has opened its doors to schools, relief agencies and churches in need of space. They include members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, which will hold their Sunday services at the ministries' center after their own facility was severely damaged in the storm.

Dan Mitchell, the organization's president, said he has been impressed that so many people, from near and far, offered help. Food, water and clothing have come in everything from car trunks to tractor-trailers, he said, and the center's parking lot has transformed into a distribution point for supplies.

Meanwhile, Mitchell said that locals directly affected have seen their faith strengthened in the past week.

"Faithful Christians who understand that God creates order from chaos have stood up and done what it takes," he said. "They have given up their lives. If they come up against roadblocks, they get around them and they get it done."

CNN's Jacqui Jeras and Mike Pearson contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church

soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    God never wronged the people.
    ------
    [3:117] The example of their accomplishments in this life is like a violent wind that hits the harvest of people who have wronged their souls, and wipes it out. GOD never wronged them; it is they who wronged themselves.
    ---–
    [9:70] Have they not learned anything from the previous generations; the people of Noah, `Aad, Thamood, the people of Abraham, the dwellers of Midyan, and the evildoers (of Sodom and Gomorrah)? Their messengers went to them with clear proofs. GOD never wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls.
    -----
    [10:44] GOD never wrongs the people; it is the people who wrong their own souls.
    ---–
    [16:33] Are they waiting for the angels to come to them, or until your Lord's judgment comes to pass? Those before them did the same thing. GOD is not the One who wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls.

    [16:34] They have incurred the consequences of their evil works, and the very things they ridiculed came back to haunt them.
    -----
    [16:118] For the Jews, we prohibited what we narrated to you previously. It was not us who wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls.
    -----
    [29:40] All those disbelievers were doomed as a consequence of their sins. Some of them we annihilated by violent winds, some were annihilated by the quake, some we caused the earth to swallow, and some we drowned. GOD is not the One who wronged them; it is they who wronged their own souls.
    -----
    [30:9] Have they not roamed the earth and noted the consequences for those who preceded them? They used to be more powerful, more prosperous, and more productive on earth. Their messengers went to them with clear signs. Consequently, GOD was not the One who wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls.

    [30:10] The consequences for those who committed evil had to be evil. That is because they rejected GOD's revelations, and ridiculed them.
    -----

    May 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Eric

      First you have to prove god exists, THEN you have to prove which god before you can claim he has done anything.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Eric

      Oh yeah, the Noah example is a completely false placement of blame. "GOD never wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls." Example. Say you get robbed, and the robber says "Give me all your money or I'll shoot you." if you don't give him your money and he does shoot you, who's fault is it? Who just pulled the trigger? You or the robber? Obviously the robber. Same thing with Noah's, supposed, flood. Human's didn't make the rain happen, God did. God could have been "merciful" like your book tells you every 5 seconds, but no, he was a vengeful, hateful god.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Artist

    So I wonder where god is going to strike next in the world? Who else has really p! s s ed him off?

    May 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  3. Totally Confused

    Why do people of non-faith care so much if somone else has faith? It makes them downright angry! If you choose to have no faith in anything except yourself, so be it. But WHY hurl insults at people who are comforted by their faith in something bigger than you? I have faith, and believe in Jesus Christ. There. That statement will tick people off. 🙂 They will tell me I'm an idiot for believing so. I will not be angry with them for that. I will simply pray for them. That will make them even angrier I suppose.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      Most atheists have no problem with people believing whatever they want. The problems start when believers try to inject their beliefs into public life. Force their view on others, and with that denying others their right to believe as they see fit. Things like inserting "under god" into the pledge of allegiance and on US currency, erecting religious monuments in court houses and other public spaces, replacing science in the classrooms with pseudo-science. As long as religion is used to discriminate against, or deny medical services to specific groups, you can expect atheists to speak up.

      If you keep your religion and faith to your home and church, I have no problem with that. If you use it to discriminate against, or stifle the beliefs of others, we've got issues.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Stevie7

      To add, I get sad when I see people focused on what comes next. This can be true for anyone focus on what will happen tomorrow, next year, next decade, etc. But I see so many people living for their next life and focusing so much attention on what comes after this world, that life just ends up passing them by.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Artist

      Well said Lin, if only more christians actually understood what you are saying.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Totally Confused.

      Don't worry about us getting mad if you pray for us. There are plenty of studies that have shown that praying has no effect on those that are prayed for. So I doubt we'll know the difference, but if it makes you feel better, more power to you. 🙂

      Peace.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Lin 🙂 ,

      The question at what point is it the Atheist forcing their beliefs into public society? I feel that your statement of keeping our faith at home is the same bigoted response as when some on our side told Gays and Lesbians to keep that part of their lives in the home and do not bring it out into society. At this point it is a lopp-sided correction.

      Those of faith are just as much a part of the fabric of society as any other group in society. Just as we have been told it was admitted wrong to try to exclude those who are gay from society the same can be said about us. So, when a Atheist has a heart attack because some kid in his childs class decided to give out a Christmas greetings or do a book report on a book of the Bible, Koran or Torah..Or when a Muslim girl is told that she can not wear a simple head covering...

      ...expect those of Faith to speak up as well.

      l'chaim

      May 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mark.

      When I said:"If you keep your religion and faith to your home and church", I may have inadvertently used a too wide a brush. I, in no way, intended that to imply that I expect you to not speak your mind. I do not wish to restrict, or even give the impression that I wish to restrict, anyone's freedom of speech.

      There is a difference between saying that you believe in god and changing the pledge to include a phrase that claims that everyone does. That explicitly shuns atheists.

      There is a difference in saying that you believe in creation and trying to force this unsupported belief upon everyone.

      And I think that gays and lesbians should keep "that" part of their lives to themselves as much as heterose.xuals do. In other words not at all. 🙂

      Btw. Atheists, by definition, don't have a belief to force upon anyone. Atheism is as much of a belief as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      Cheers.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Lin 🙂

      I always flash back to those futuristic images that they show of what society will look like. You see everyone wearing gray, everyone looking basically the same and drone'ish. I used to laugh at this image because I could not see how folks would willingly just drop symbols of who they are. I worry that we are edging closer and closer to this future and in an attempt to have peace, all symbols will be gone. We will become a society that I will be at the gallows for being a Christian and swinging next to me will be you for expressing the views Athiestism.

      Ecch...

      l'chaim

      May 31, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mark.

      As long as we fight to uphold freedom of speech and freedom of religion, we should be OK.

      May 31, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  4. Maroin.Murdoch

    No such thing as an athiest in a fox hole.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Why? This is such a ridiculous saying. And it would lead to support an atheistic argument – that people use god as a crutch – as a way to deal and cope with things that are difficult in life, as a coping mechanism for fear.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Eric

      There are plenty of atheists in fox holes because they care about country. But it does help to have believers because they're willing to do something stupid since they have another life coming after the next.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Stevie, I wonder how such is a crutch when it liberates so many on the planet.

      Sounds more like constantly whining about those of Faith is a pretty good crutch. 🙂

      May 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Where was I whining, and how would that be a crutch?

      And the most liberating thing that I ever did was give up my faith. The implication that everyone finds faith in the face of mortal danger should, I would think, be insulting to those who have true faith.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  5. TheBenedictine83

    I am not aware of anything from scripture that states God will give one a life free from pain and suffering, or that the innocent and pure will not die from natural disasters. The difference between the believer and the non-believer, from my experience, is that God will comfort the believer who reaches out to Him and He in turn gives hope, strength and assurance, regardless of what happens. The non-believer only has, "things happen, get used to it, get over it, there is no god".

    For the believer, we have faith, hope, and comfort. And if there is no god, then does this make it any less comforting to the believer? We all cope as best as we can when bad things happen. If my children were to die, I would still trust God, for He gives me assurance and comfort. We all die and go to Him in the end, anyway, and the eternity of peace and joy with Him is enough comfort for the believer. The unbeliever only has despair. I will believe and trust in Him., as do these good people in Joplin.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  6. Artist

    It is obvious that their god is punishing them. Take the licks and keep the wishful thinking going. Perhaps your god will favor you next time rather than having your body ripped to shreds while being flung through the air. "god sometimes does things we do not understand" Apparently the small children p! s s ed him off so he had them torn apart. Learn from it christians and pray g o d d@ mn harder next time!

    May 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Evan

      Pain brings us closer to God. People who never experience pain never give God a thought. Most Atheists have experienced pain (or at least recognize it), but, I believe, this is a step up from not caring; to the Atheist, at least the existence of God is relevant.

      Besides, In Christianity, Jesus never promises Christians will have a "comfortable life". However, He tells us to always focus on God because, eventually, God will triumph over all evil.

      Pain also has interesting affects on faith. For the unfaithful, they simply become more unfaithful. For people who claim to be faithful but are not really so, they become unfaithful. For the faithful, however, their faith is strengthened, as this tornado has demonstrated.

      While pain is not comfortable to us, it is only temporary, and it ultimately makes us stronger, better human beings. In C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters", he points this out.

      May 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Gail.Murdoch

      Your not very nice – God does not punish "children" by ripping them to shreds from a tornado – you have problems my dear – and by the words you write are a non-believer. God doesnt punish people. This was a natural disaster which can happen anywhere now a days. As a "believer" no matter what happens you know he is there – you have something to hold on too!! regardless of the situation. It is called Faith.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Gail.Murdoch

      Your not very nice – God does not punish "children" by ripping them to shreds from a tornado – you have problems my dear – you sound happy that it happeend and therefore get to say: See, i told you there was no God, and by the words you write are a non-believer. God doesnt punish people. This was a natural disaster which can happen anywhere.. As a "believer" no matter what happens you know he is there – you have something to hold on too!! regardless of the situation. It is called Faith.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Eric

      If he can't do anything about it then he's not all powerful. If he's able but unwilling he's evil and doesn't deserve devotion.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "For the unfaithful, they simply become more unfaithful."
      ------–
      How does this even make sense? When I experience pain, I have even more of a lack of belief in god? How so? And are we just referring to the Abrahamic god here? Or when I experience pain, do I also, then, have a great lack of belief in, say, Vishnu or Zeus as well?

      May 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  7. Evan

    Reality, I notice you constantly say "There is no Easter", "Moses/Abraham never existed", etc. Do you have any evidence to support this view?

    Also, I noticed you called God a "SkyDaddy". The problem with this is God is not the bearded man sitting on a cloud in the sky, as we see in numerous paintings. God is completely distinct from, yet involved with the Universe.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • brad

      I wouldn't want to have an opinion of Reality based on his religious views alone. He/She may have fed a thousand people. But it seems to me that many atheists have to reduce God to a fairy tale, a skydaddy, a toothfairy, or Santa Claus before their minds can contemplate God.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Muneef

      So easy to show disbelief and not required to provide evidence while it is harder to show belief when required to prove it....

      May 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • gerald

      The atheist portrayal of god is a straw man god that they can bowl over to make them feel good about themselves and justify their lack of belief and their faith in themselves despite their smallness in the universe and lack of real control over there own lives.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Evan

      gerald,

      you've summed it up, my friend. God is both loving and just. Honestly, some Christians drop the "just" part, focus only on the parts of the Bible that they like, and worship only their image of God. Atheists, however, do the opposite. Atheists drop the "loving" part, focus only on the parts of the Bible that support their view, and refuse to worship their own image of God.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Eric

      Apparently people don't get the concept of who has the burden of proof in the matter. You claim that something, god in this case, exists but provide no evidence to prove as such. Since you can't prove a negative, me saying there's probably no god needs no proof because you can't prove something doesn't exist. My proof for that lack of god is exactly the same as there no being any unicorns. I have no proof that they exist, there for it's unlikely that they do. Hitchens has a good quote for this. "Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

      As much as I would like there to be a god and heaven etc... just doesn't make it so. I really really do want proof for this being true, just no one has come up with anything convincing.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Evan. You said:"Atheists drop the "loving" part, focus only on the parts of the Bible that support their view".

      If you truly believe that atheists merely drop a part of god(s) then you clearly don't understand. We don't drop the "loving" part, or the "just" part or the "evil" part. We drop the whole concept of supernatural beings. Without evidence your god, and in fact all gods, are just as likely to exist as the Easter bunny, Santa Claus or pink unicorns. Even the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is equally likely.

      And, of course, we only focus on the parts of the bible that support our views. Those parts provide enough evidence to dismiss the whole thing as written by man and not the word of any god. But even so, everybody picks and chooses the parts they consider useful. You, and with you all christians, just ignore the parts that don't fit in your particular view.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      –> "Those parts provide enough evidence to dismiss the whole thing as written by man and not the word of any god."

      You mean you dismiss as the word of man, ... you mean the chapters that say "testimeants of"... I do not know, most of us learned that in Sunday school long long ago.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mark.

      That is really a distinction without a difference.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  8. Adelina

    Christians have supernatural strength and supernatural compassion... Only Christians know the depth of human life and the size of the universe.

    May 31, 2011 at 6:18 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      What about Muslims, Buddhist? Jewish?

      May 31, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Muneef

      Are you saying she as extreme as extreme Muslims or Jews....Well seems each wants to live on account of others...for that reason only it is hard to live together each minding his own religion belief with out hostility or discrimination to others...no wonder many looking forward to the end of time when Jesus son of Maryem is resurrected in order they can live as told the sheep eats and sleeps with wolves with out fear or hatred....

      May 31, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • brad

      "Only Christians know the depth of human life. " Sometimes we can't get to the depths of human life except through suffering. Our culture rejects God because suffering exists. We do all we can to avoid suffering. But by the cross, the Christian has been shown the redemptive value of suffering. "Take up your cross and follow ME."

      May 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      My cross through which I will cross the straight path is my Holy Book "The Quran"...

      May 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Eric

      and both books are just a ridiculous. One written decades and centuries after the supposed events (anyone ever play the telephone game as a child) the other written by a narcissistic psychopath warlord in a cave and made the some of the stupidest stories in the bible even stupider.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      36:5] This revelation is from the Almighty, Most Merciful.

      [36:6] To warn people whose parents were never warned, and therefore, they are unaware.

      [36:7] It has been predetermined that most of them do not believe.

      [36:8] For we place around their necks shackles, up to their chins. Consequently, they become locked in their disbelief.

      [36:9] And we place a barrier in front of them, and a barrier behind them, and thus, we veil them; they cannot see.

      [36:10] It is the same whether you warn them or not, they cannot believe.*

      [36:11] You will be heeded only by those who uphold this message, and reverence the Most Gracious – even when alone in their privacy. Give them good news of forgiveness and a generous recompense.

      [36:12] We will certainly revive the dead, and we have recorded everything they have done in this life, as well as the consequences that continue after their death. Everything we have counted in a profound record.
      -----

      May 31, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Eric

      And why do you believe anything in that book is true? I can write a book that says it's the word of god and that it's true but the book saying it's true doesn't actually make it true.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  9. Graham ASH-PORTER

    I like the new 'drive through' Church. Wonder if it will catch on, like McDonald's?

    May 31, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The Crystal Cathedral started as a drive in Church decades ago and God has blessed them and they have grown into the structure they have today. 🙂

      May 31, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • BG

      @MMR

      Careful, Mark. The "Hour of Power" is in Chap.11, owing more than $36M on their mortgage and $50M to their creditors. The Schullers, however, did very well, as did members of the board.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  10. LordhaveMercy

    I stopped believing in fairy tales at the age of 8, why are so many peoples still 8 year olds? Seriosly!

    May 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      Have you ever tried fasting and praying to find the true Living God... He will be loving and reveal Himself to you if you ask for Him. 🙂 He is patient... 🙂

      May 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Zeb

      LOL
      Have you tried slathering yourself in butter and chives? LOL

      May 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      wow, quite the Accuser of the brethen aren't we? Fasting works!

      May 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Zeb

      @SomedumBum – J'ACCUSE! (points)
      There. Is that what you wanted? I could do it in English too if you don't understand the language of Love... 😛

      May 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Adelina

      @Lo-M-, An 8-year-old believer in Jesus is wiser than all atheists combined in the whole world.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Flonkbob

      Fasting and praying work? Well I guess if you're trying to lose weight or spend some 'quiet time' alone they do. They do not, however, have any effect on the real world. Getting off your knees and doing something is much more useful. There is no god, there's nothing to see here. Please move on with your life.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Eric

      Try LSD, that should help too.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  11. Reality

    "Faithful Christians who understand that God creates order from chaos have stood up and done what it takes," he said. "They have given up their lives. If they come up against roadblocks, they get around them and they get it done."

    Too bad your Skydaddy (God) finds his way around your roadblocks and destroys them. Oh wait maybe thats because he's not real or perhaps he hates your lying, hateful, intollerant and divisive ways.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Reality

      I agree but said comments were not from the original Reality.

      o Unfortunately, the blog moderators still have not figured out how to restrict commentators' names to one no matter what the email address is. This is strange because such restrictions are in place on most blogs.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Reality

      o From Schillebeeckx, Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover) (assuming there is a god which is very "iffy")

      "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 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Man's best Friend....?

    May 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  13. frank

    fllewwllffllwwlllyllnggfllf! arf arf!

    May 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Zeb

      @frank – How are ye? Ye sound a bit farfetched there.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Just for your records;
    [55:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    [55:1] The Most Gracious.

    [55:2] Teacher of the Quran.

    [55:3] Creator of the human beings.

    [55:4] He taught them how to distinguish.

    [55:5] The sun and the moon are perfectly calculated.

    [55:6] The stars and the trees prostrate.

    [55:7] He constructed the sky and established the law.

    [55:8] You shall not transgress the law.

    [55:9] You shall establish justice; do not violate the law.

    [55:10] He created the earth for all creatures.

    [55:11] In it there are fruits, and date palms with their h-anging fruit.

    [55:12] Also grains and the sp-ice-s.

    [55:13] (O humans and jinns,) which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?

    [55:14] He created the human from aged clay, like the potter's clay.

    [55:15] And created the jinns from bla-zing fire.

    [55:16] (O humans and jinns,) which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?

    http://www.submission.org/suras/sura55.html

    May 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Just for the record:

      1. There probably was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no bases.

      2. There was probably was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      3. There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      4. There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      5. There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      6. Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      7. Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Flonkbob

      Spouting meaningless drivel from a book in which I have no belief doesn't do much to convince me of anything. The koran (quran? however you spell it now...) is a meaningless fairy tale developed by a perverse MAN for his own ends...just like the bible and torah and any other 'holy' books. Allah is make believe. Until any of the theists who are so happy to quote their books of children's tales can come up with some proof (not stories of your internal ignorance) you have nothing to say that will be of any use.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • gerald

      unReality – thanks, well that settles it then. You are the keeper of all truth. Follow unReality.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Muneef

      Meaningless for you but meaningful for believers whether the read it from the Quran or the bible....

      May 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Eric

      You can't use Starwars to prove the existence of the Force.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ......................

      "The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "litany of disillusion" about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      May 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  15. Cygne Blanc

    Mon nom a rien a voir avec le filme. En effet, mon pet.it ami a me le a donné co.mme "nickname". De temps en temp, Il co.mmente ici sur le nom de "Colin".

    Je voudrais voir plus de athées ici avec votre pacience. D'oú tu pense vient Adelina? Elle est Americainne? Je la envisions co.mme une vielle noir du sul du EU, mais elle critique le pais co.mme etranger.

    May 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Colin,
      I used to think you were awesome. Now I know you are a god. 🙂
      No she's not, which is why she is so frickin annoying.
      Espérons que vous avez un week-end agréable. 👿

      May 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Holy cr-p, "moded" in French. Now there's a new twist.
      Oh excusez-moi, j'ai oublié, je vais vous ra-ttra-per plus tard. Bonsoir.
      (Je pense toujours que vous êtes un dieu).

      May 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  16. John Richardson

    @Peace The only immediate point to my posts at THIS point is to draw attention to the issue that there may be problems actually created or exacerbated by coping with disaster through coming up with "meanings" for it that go well beyond merely getting the fact of the matter wrong. That's all. BG and even you to some extent seem alarmed that I'm advocating going to Joplin right now and getting in the face of such meaning seekers. Not a chance. If a coping strategy that has been considered totally benign turns out on closer inspection to have significant negative effects of its own, then yes, there will be a call to action somewhere down the line. But before you ACT, you gotta have a lot more understanding than is contained in a few posts that are, after all, more querying than asserting (though of course I ask these questions because I have concerns about what the true answers may very well turn out to be).

    I mean, seriously, even when you have a clear cut case of grievously damaging chemical dependency, the action called for is not to fly off the handle in the crackpot idea that you can badger someone into going immediately cold turkey, as badgering doesn't work and immediate cold turkey in the absence of proper care is generally not a good idea anyway. Why would anyone, ESPECIALLY someone familiar with recovery, advocate something analogous in this sort of case?

    In the meantime, however, we ought to ask ourselves to what extent we might be enabling or encouraging dysfunctional behaviors and beliefs. Going to the scene of calamities, seeking out the faithful and peppering them with god questions would be a case in point. There are only two basic ways the conversation could go in the immediate aftermath. On the one hand, the person could say "I stopped believing in god altogether because of this", "I've decided that god is real, bit is a total jerk", which of course would be hard for the faithful to say at all, let alone on the record in public, right then and there. Or they could feel prodded to come up with one of these "God's plan" just so stories. Why prod them? Why not just let them think for awhile?

    I know a lot of people who aren't religious in the conventional sense, who nonetheless say things like "everything happens for a reason" or "if [something desired] doesn't happen, it just mean that it wasn't meant to be". I have ALWAYS cringed at those statements. But I think I'm gonna be cringing a little more.

    May 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      ...and as long as you don't have the insensitivity to "cringe" in the face of the believer, guess what?

      No one cares. Really. Go and commensurate with other non-believers over your comparison of believe to addiction. Just have the civility not to impose your concerns on them in their time of crisis. Chances are pretty good that they'll work it through without your 'compassion.'

      "If a coping strategy that has been considered totally benign turns out on closer inspection to have significant negative effects of its own, then yes, there will be a call to action somewhere down the line."

      Why don't you give us an example grounded in reality about what you think consti tutes a "significant negative effect" and what form your suggested "call to action" might take?

      May 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @John R.

      Hey -John...

      Just so you know, as to why I am taking almost each sentence... point by point, is that I am finding that your comments, opinions, questions, assertions, etc... are so full of good points, that I need to take them one at a time or pa-rse them out to make sense of them.

      You Said: "@Peace The only immediate point to my posts at THIS point is to draw attention to the issue that there may be problems actually created or exacerbated by coping with disaster through coming up with "meanings" for it that go well beyond merely getting the fact of the matter wrong. That's all."

      Yes, we are in agreement again. There 'may' be problems, etc... Yes, I believe I got your point (this point) in the other posts, however, if you think I didn't let me be clear that I did.

      You Said: "BG and (even you to some extent) seem alarmed that I'm advocating going to Joplin right now and getting in the face of such meaning seekers. Not a chance."

      No... on this one, (I don't believe you are advocating going into Joplin right now, etc...) I believe you may have misunderstood me, or didn't remember that I 'agreed' with your statement in my posting on May 30th at 1:34 a.m. (see below):

      You Said: "In any case, I agree that getting in the face of people in Joplin seeking "purpose" right here and now would probably be grossly counterproductive and arguably cruel."

      And I responded with: "Yes, we are definitely in agreement on this as well." end quote...

      So, no I am not alarmed for my reasons stated above. I can't speak for @BG on this. Maybe he will comment.

      You Said: "If a coping strategy that has been considered totally benign turns out on closer inspection to have significant negative effects of its own, then yes, there will be a call to action somewhere down the line."

      As a generality about pretty much anything... Yes, of course.

      You Said: "But before you ACT, you gotta have a lot more understanding"

      Yes... that 'is' what I was trying to say to you, and IMHO, if i am understanding him (@BG) accurately... partly what he was trying to communicate too. Maybe i'm wrong here about my take on his postings. He can correct me if I'm wrong.

      You Said: "more querying than asserting"

      Yes, you we're 'thinking out-loud' so-to-speak, while also making points for discussion, yes...?

      You Said: "(though of course I ask these questions because I have concerns about what the true answers may very well turn out to be)."

      Yes, I too have concerns about these things. Again, what's the 'criteria' we will use concerning 'beliefs,'...? Again, I gave my example (2nd coming of Jesus).

      You Said: "I mean, seriously, even when you have a clear cut case of grievously damaging chemical dependency, the action called for is not to fly off the handle in the crackpot idea that you can badger someone into going immediately cold turkey, as badgering doesn't work and immediate cold turkey in the absence of proper care is generally not a good idea anyway. Why would anyone, ESPECIALLY someone familiar with recovery, advocate something analogous in this sort of case?"

      Yes, you are correct, I would believe in almost all cases of some kind of 'chemical dependency.' Yes, 'why' would anyone advocate...'badgering and cold turkey' etc... ????

      You Said: "In the meantime, however, we ought to ask ourselves to what extent we might be enabling or encouraging dysfunctional behaviors and beliefs."

      As a general rule in day-to-day living yes, not just with religious beliefs, agreed...?

      You Said: "Going to the scene of calamities, seeking out the faithful and peppering them with god questions would be a case in point. There are only two basic ways the conversation could go in the immediate aftermath. On the one hand, the person could say "I stopped believing in god altogether because of this", "I've decided that god is real, bit is a total jerk", which of course would be hard for the faithful to say at all, let alone on the record in public, right then and there. Or they could feel prodded to come up with one of these "God's plan" just so stories. Why prod them? Why not just let them think for awhile?"

      Yes, I think you are re-stating my point(s) here of concern. And, I believe we are in agreement here...?

      You Said: "I know a lot of people who aren't religious in the conventional sense, who nonetheless say things like "everything happens for a reason" or "if [something desired] doesn't happen, it just mean that it wasn't meant to be". I have ALWAYS cringed at those statements. But I think I'm gonna be cringing a little more."

      I understand, I at times, 'cringe' too. And, if they are not hurting themselves or others in short term or... long term, then I suggest leave them be. Of course, depending on 'all' of the possible things we have already discussed.

      So, John... we 'are' in agreement, yes...?

      Peace brother...

      May 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @John R.

      @BG quoted 'you': "If a coping strategy that has been considered totally benign turns out on closer inspection to have significant negative effects of its own, then yes, there will be a call to action somewhere down the line."

      Then... @BG responded with: "Why don't you give us an example grounded in reality about what you think consti tutes a "significant negative effect" and what form your suggested "call to action" might take?"

      Since we have all been involved in this complex discussion, I too am interested as to what your thoughts are on this...? I certainly understand, that you have been using the 'context' of addiction, so one obvious example might be doing an "intervention" as you suggested, if someone may be harming themselves or others. I can see that example I gave working within your analogy or context of addiction as being a tangible grounded example.

      So, I am curious as to what your thoughts are about -religious beliefs- and what you would do about them...?

      Peace brother...

      May 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace

      Let's take the obvious 'withholding of treatment due to religious conviction' off the table. Too obvious, too easy. I'd like to see an "individualized" example...

      May 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  17. Reality

    A sign that needs to be posted on every door of every mosque, church and synagogue.

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.-------------------------–

    May 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Zeb – Where is the change from the Bush administration to the Obama one. He not only kept a lot of G.W.'s people in their position, he admittedly contacted G.W. and Cheney for advisement before he ramped up the military in Afghanistan. So much so that he acknowledged G.W. in speech after speech after Osama was killed.

      And now we still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Guantanamo is still ...open ... and now we are engaged in Libya.

      Yeah there is a difference ....

      May 31, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Zeb

      @Mark – Good point. Okay, I say Obama is only ten times better, if only for the few things he does right. My bad again.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  18. Observer1290

    Is Obama a liar or just criminally insane?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSYslCRoX7k&w=640&h=360]

    May 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Teebi Dan Wellsmith

      He's a politician, so the answer is yes.

      May 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Observer1290 – Our current President is a thousand, no- a million times better than your putrid Bush who destroyed and violated everything including the Constltution he swore a sacred oath to defend – and everything he touched turned to shlt – using Republican strategies, tactics, and goals, I might add.
      Don't even think of dissing our current President. All it does is show you don't know what you're talking about.
      Your idiot party is going to lose again next year, so I guess you must be frustrated. Well, do it somewhere else.
      Do it over on the Faux Nooz website or something. They love that crap. They eat it up. Just like you.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  19. Anglican

    Love of God. Love of neighbor. Live in peace without fear.

    May 30, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • John Richardson

      Be just and fear not!

      May 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Cygne Blanc

    Doc, I admire your tenacity in trying to engage Adelina ina a rational discussion, but you might as wel ltry to teach French to a corgi. She simply repeats the same nauseating soundbits like a mindless recording.

    May 30, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Adelina

      Say whatever. I wonder why there are so few religion news lately. I'm stuck with you blanc heads. Yawn.

      May 30, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      I think you'd have better luck with the corgi. At least they're willing to learn.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ironically, I speak french fluently and once had a dog who responded to french commands. He was a daschund, not a corgi though. 🙂

      May 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Cygne Blanc

      C ést vrai? Je n'aurais jamais pensé!! Allors, tú saberias que mon nom ici est français aussi....

      May 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Corgis should speak Welsh!

      May 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Votre nom est peut-etre une reference a la sophisme du cygne noir?
      En effet, mes reponses sont plutot pour les croyantes moins fou qu'adelina. On parles des chiennes – c'est la mot juste pour lui decrire...

      May 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Zeb

      Ah the delights of a Canadian school curriculum! With Quebec always at hand, French is Canada's second language.
      Vive la Quebecois! Free them and let them have their own country! Make them pay for it and think of all that money! 😛

      May 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Zeb
      "Make them pay for it" – indeed!
      Problem is, the seperatists wanted to keep Canadian currency, passports, health care, trade partnerships etc.
      Thankfully, the Bloc Quebecois have been all but destroyed in this last election.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Zeb

      @Doc Vestibule – Then they were stupid to insist on what is obviously unrealistic and unworkable. You cannot part ways while refusing to part ways. They need a swift kick in the derriere for such foolishness.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Adelina

      The French lost to the English when they brutally eradicated Huguenots. They lost the best part of French population then already.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom Tom Piper's Son

      My d!ck has cringed like silkworm, good thing I have it cut and made a slice where it was hanged. At last I was laid last night by a drunk drifter. I've never been laid half of my life

      June 1, 2011 at 12:17 am |
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About this blog

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