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Where was God in Aurora massacre?
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial near the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, scene of last week’s mass shooting
July 24th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Where was God in Aurora massacre?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Where was God in Aurora?

It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or - if you believe in it - evil?

We put the question to Twitter on Tuesday and got some starkly different responses.

“In short, God was in complete control, exercising His will,” wrote @PastorRileyF, who leads a church in Bethune, Colorado.

That riled @TheTrivia Jockey, who tweeted, “If that was God's will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.”

Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman

@trentpayne also took issue with the Colorado pastor: "I'm going to respectfully disagree with you Pastor. God gives free will to man, but it wasn't his will that they die."

The back-and-forth provoked other believers to chime in on the theological issue of God’s sovereignty vs. human free will, with many Christians seeking to explain how a sovereign God could preside over seemingly senseless bloodshed.

“It is not God's will or want that people died in Aurora,” wrote @GospelBluesman 20m. "God allowed man's inhumanity to man, rather than intervene.”

The conversation and debate continued in the comments section of this post, with some insinuating that the massacre might be a kind of divine punishment, or at lease divine neglect:

Lenny
We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?

Jesse R
Liberals have made it impossible for God to be anywhere during the upbringing of a child. Can't have any religious connotations in schools, libraries, government offices, etc., etc. Young men (and women) are growing up with no real sense of right and wrong. ... We no longer have the right of religion, but rather the right from religion. Parents no longer have the ability to discipline their children. We are always looking for the excuses ... violent video games and movies, bad teachers and schools ... when we should be looking in the mirror. We as a society are the reasons these massacres happen. We have allowed our children to become social misfits that lead to the kind of carnage we have seen on several occasions since religion and God disappeared from what the Founding Fathers once said was a necessity of a successful democracy ... faith.

Lots of readers used religious takes on the shooting to challenge the whole idea of God:

Who invited me?
How do you know the people that were killed didn't go to hell?, and how exactly does any of this show there is a reason? Reason is obviously something that you have replaced with belief, and you threw out logic with it.

Kyle
"God doesn't exist, so he wasn't anywhere. Get over it. A man was evil, and he was evil because he was crazy.

Plenty of others said the shooting was the devil's work:

Harleyxx
Evil things like this happen because Satan is the god of this world ... for the time being. God will undo all the damage caused by Satan's rebellion and man's disobedience when the time is right. In the meantime we all experience trials and tribulation due to living in an ungodly world. That is why Jesus taught his followers the Lord's Prayer ... 'to pray for God's kingdom to come.'

What’s your take? Where was God in the Aurora massacre? Or do you feel that such tragedies are evidence for a godless universe?

Let us know in comments, and we’ll highlight the best ones.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: God • Violence

soundoff (10,690 Responses)
  1. Adam

    “If that was God's will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.”

    Amen.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Which God??

      +1, Adam

      July 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Carl Sagerquist

      Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

      — Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

      July 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Dexter

      God's will is for all of us to gain an accurate understanding of his word the Bible. As a sprirtual power and creator of all things
      his love for his creation is way beyond and above our understanding, but he has through devine wisdom provided us a channel, his word the Bible that we can draw upon to understand what he requires, how we can succeed with peace and comfort of mind and anticipate the promises of a restored world in peace, perfect heath, everlasting life. Wisdom, knowledge, truth, faith and love for the creator will provide that hope if your heart is sincere. Thank You

      July 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • karl

      Where was God? Dietrich Bonhoffer, a courageous pastor and theologian in Germany during Hitler's reign, said it best when asked the same question by a fellow political prisoner when they saw someone severely beaten by the guards. "Where is your God now?" this agnostic asked him. Bonhoffer answered, "He's right there taking the beating." Precisely the central point of the Christian faith. And this is the only lasting source of consolation for those who have lost loved ones.... Jesus, the incarnation of God himself, means we are not alone in our suffering. God is with us. Ultimately, he also delivers us from our suffering if we hold on to him, though we may have to suffer many things in this life. True life is bigger than all this violence and pain. True life is "God with us."

      July 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • jaime

      where was god? in people's imagination. we're still a dumb species for the most part. we believe in fiction just to feel better about our imaginary future. get over people, there is no god, there is no afterlife. we are the same as the flies and mosquitos that we so readily squish

      July 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Erika

      ADAM.... It wasn't Gods will. He gave man his OWN will to act out his choices.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Erika

      Whomever at CNN proposed to ask this question on here at a time of mourning, so abruptly, should get an F in journalism , how inappopriate.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • god's savior

      erika, god is omnipotent, he knows how everything will play out before it happens. he knows that when your great great great great step neice is 8 she will fall off her bike. How is there free will when god designed you to do exactly what you WILL do regardless.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • John

      God wasn't the shooter. A man was.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  2. sam

    He was at Chick-Fil-A.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Madtown

      "Like"!! Hilarious...

      July 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • terry

      Rick Santorum insists that he is always at his home, but the nut Bachman disagrees and says he is always at her home.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Metron

      I swear everytime I go to chick-fil-a it seems more like fat-chick-fil-a.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • NothingWithoutHim

      I love Jesus and Chick-Fil-A!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • What

      No, he is in back of the theater enjoy his show with popcorn and laugh

      July 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  3. Chad

    It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or – if you believe in it – evil?

    Read the bible, it explains it. We arent in the Garden anymore, the world is the way it is because of the trespass of one man:

    To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3

    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.. by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man...Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous... Romans 5

    July 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • rAmen

      No, you need to read The Lord of the Rings.

      "Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends."

      Spoken like a true god that Gandalf is

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      read a book about abnormal psychology...it ACTUALLY explainis it.
      And you Chad for that matter.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yay for useless apologetic bullshit.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Great........... So it's the mistake that keeps on giving. What an absolutely horrible design flaw; one sin ruins the entire exsistence of man?!? This makes sense for a GOD to follow this policy?!? I am shocked and apalled. More apalled then shocked.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      One dumbass eats an apple, and boom, the rest of us are screwed. This god is an even crazier jerk than Loki from the Avengers.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Madtown

      Chad
      Read the bible, it explains it. We arent in the Garden anymore
      ------–
      I wonder if Adam and Eve were h0m0 erectus, or h0m0 neanderthal? It's believed modern human evolved from those species.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • rAmen

      Sam:
      because guilt by association is the corner stone of modern legal systems

      July 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AverageJoe, what part of Jesus' truth telling us that satan deceives the entire world do you not understand? You are proof that fools follow satan lies and are clueless in doing such.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Oh look, little boy Chad...not capable of thinking for himself again and insists on using his 2000 year old book of fiction to try to prove his imaginary friend said anything.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Which God??

      Chad, so if a bullet, drunk driver, rapist, kills your daughter/son (if you have one), it will be because it's gawds will? You are sick, and you gawd is worse.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And now HeavenSent, through her own useless way, chimes in with her 2 cents worth more along the lines of .0000000000000000000000000001 cent. Maybe less.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @Madtown: as a theistic evolutionist, I believe Adam/Eve were HE
      @AverageJoe76, @Sam, @rAmen: yes, one act of disobedience.. it has impacted everyone since that point.
      @Which God??: God's permissive will (in that he allowed it to happen), but certainly not His desire.

      Atheists can complain about the current situation or they can claim that the bible isn't real.
      However
      The thing they can not honestly do is make the claim that the bible doesn't explain why pain and suffering exists.
      They also can not honestly make the claim that pain and suffering in the world are incompatible with the God of Abraham existing.

      I dont like the situation either, but it's reality,and I (you also) am far better off taking advantage of the offer of reconciliation that God has extended to all of us than in just denying reality.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • rAmen

      we don't need to. We have a working model of the world that does not need foreskin hating sky daddies to explain things. by Occam's Razor, your puny god (in the voice of the Hulk) is unnecessary, like a human appendix

      July 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Hey Chad: What part of the fact that you have no basis for your claims, are you not understanding? What part of the fact that your imaginary friend is just that-imaginary, is so hard to understand? Or are you just to lazy and gullible to care about reality? You have no valid point and continue to make yourself look like the poster child for the next asylum to be built...your religious psychosis is dangerous.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Chad
      You get your "reality" from an ancient book. Good luck with that. The bible offers AN explaination for a lot of things but most often is very cryptic and open to be interpretted any one of thousands of ways. You see in it what you want to see.
      Those who have to try to live within it, and have to find ways of reconciling their own behavior, and the way the bible says they are "supposed " to live, will interpret the bible in a lot of ways to make peace with themselves.
      Then there are those who do not have to try to live within its constrains and can see it for what it is, far more clearly than you.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Even if that god were real, how many of us would really worship that unjust and evil asshat?

      July 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      Chad
      @Madtown: as a theistic evolutionist, I believe Adam/Eve were HE
      -----
      Interesting. Is this the first example of a same-s*x union in history, then?

      July 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Chad: "as a theistic evolutionist, I believe Adam/Eve were HE"

      Do you believe that we are all decendents of Adam/Eve? If so, please clear something up for me...

      According to your book.....
      Adam and Eve were the first two people.
      Adam/Eve only had two children, both male. That makes four people, 3 males and 1 female.
      If Adam and Eve only have two male children, where did the next generation come from if there was only one female?

      Either your book is wrong, or there was some funky stuff going on between Eve and her boys. Please let me know which of these options is the truth.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Madtown "HE" is short for "Homo Erectus

      ======
      @Eric G "Do you believe that we are all decendents of Adam/Eve?
      @Chad "yes, Eve is the mother of all the living" Genesis 3

      ============
      @Eric G "Adam and Eve were the first two people"
      @Chad "it does? Where?"

      ============
      @Eric G "Adam/Eve only had two children, both male. That makes four people, 3 males and 1 female."
      @Chad "er.. no
      Cain, Able, Seth are named, bible also says that
      "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5

      The bible ALSO leave unanswered the question of were there other humans around.
      Who did Seth/Cain marry?
      Who was Cain afraid of after being banished from the Lords presence?

      ============
      @Eric G "If Adam and Eve only have two male children, where did the next generation come from if there was only one female?"
      @Chad "you should try reading the bible first before attempting to critique.. right? 😉

      ==============
      @Eric G "Either your book is wrong, or there was some funky stuff going on between Eve and her boys. Please let me know which of these options is the truth."
      @Chad "I'll go with option #3, you dont know what you are talking about.. see above..

      July 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Chad: You are so gullible. Adam did not live 800 year and no-one with a working brain would be dumb enough to believe that crap....well maybe you but a working brain is not something anyone can as.sociate with you having. If you are going to start making claims, you need to use more than your buybull to back them, otherwise it is a circular argument and fails every time.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jason

      "Read the bible".....Yeah, ok. I see you wrote a lot after that, but after that opening statement in regards to the magical fairy tale book, I decided to pass on the rest.....

      July 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Right, well, that's extremely common.

      The most vocal critics of the bible have actually never read it..

      July 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Care to cite your source for that assertion?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Chad

      sure..

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com

      July 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Now that's just plain stupid.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Cindy

      That is right. People just don't or won't accept that. They all blame God, don't know why they don't the people who did it?

      July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Matthew

      Chad, I applaud you for speaking the truth. Your reward will be great in heaven, as will all who don't abandon Jesus amid the guarantee of persecution. Bravo Sir.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      Do you truly believe that because some men wrote it down a long time ago, that that is true? Because of a single sin, god has continued to punish every single human on this earth. I always hear about how God is loving and forgiving and causes miracles all the time... yet he still holds an eternal grudge against a single man. Without any knowledge, no morality, how could they know not to take the apple? Why did God tempt them in the first place? It's like telling a toddler that cookies are bad for you, leaving in a room with a cookie, then beating him continuosly for taking it.

      People no longer believe Greek mythology. What is the difference now?

      July 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      Okay Chad, please respond, because I'm interested to see how you will answer this.

      Do you really believe that the earth was made 6,000 years ago? Unless you believe all of science is Satan's work, there is irrefutable proof to the contrary.

      If you believe the correct date of earths creation, then how can you believe other things in the bible when it is wrong on such a big fact?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @innocent bystander "Do you really believe that the earth was made 6,000 years ago? ... If you believe the [the earth is older], then how can you believe other things in the bible when it is wrong on such a big fact?"

      =>The bible says the earth is 6000 years old?
      where?
      Chapter/verse?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Bill B.

      I find it hard to believe that people can find any solace in the fact that because one or two people screwed up and ate an apple it justifies all the horrible evil present on this planet. How many parents ground all their children when one acting on his/her own will breaks a window? Are human parents more loving than God? Not to mention this invisible being in the sky who grants wishes, is supposedly all knowing sets up this experiment of creating beings with free will the whole time knowing it is going to fail? How does that make any sense? No human being sets out on any endeavor if he/she has full knowledge that said endeavor will fail, cause many to be misguided, and be used as "righteous" justification for doing inexplicably evil things (referencing religion in general). If we are God's children someone needs to call CPS because if allowing so many things as horrible as the aurora shooting to happen as some sort of a punishment or learning lesson, He needs some parenting classes and probably some strong meds.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • NothingWithoutHim

      For all you people who are saying that God is unjust for blaming all of Adam's decendants for his fall, you are missing the point. God did not want evil to enter his creation, the creation chose to partake of the fruit, thereby spiritualy changing all us decendants. Your own concious convicts you every time you do something evil, yet you do it anyway don't you? This infraction against God is not in the past, it is in every one of us, and the voice in your mind screaming at you every time you think of something evil proves it! You don't listen, you do evil anyway, then to make yourself feel beter, you say that evil doesnt exist and that God does not exist, then you shut that voice down and continue to ignore it until it goes away entirely leaving you completely evil. But that is all just a fairytale right?

      I think it is amazing how a book written 2k years ago explains the most relevant aspects of living in the modern world, it still applies and Jesus still saves!

      Jesus is lord, always has been, always will be, it makes you mad doesn't it? and yea I love Jesus and Jehovah with all my mind and spirit. you are free to keep loving what rots and disinigrates it is your choice after all, enjoy the smell because you love it sooo much!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • jazmine

      Wow, I am not a christian but agree with what you wrote. Your words were put very elegantly and you are correct in my opinion.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Bill B.

      Just responding to "Nothingwithouthim" in regards to saying that without the "spirit of God" with us we do things we know are wrong. Human beings have evolved a conscience over thousands of years not because of some spirit dwelling within us but doing what is socially acceptable and good for humanity tends to prolong existence. If your point is that people who don't commit their lives to an invisible being whose only shred of proof for actually being real is a few thousand year old book, translated time and time again and no proof it wasn't man made, are more inclined to do wrong or just ignore doing the right thing is very weak. If someone's only excuse for doing the moral right thing is out of fear from being judged by something or someone that can't be proven isn't as good as someone who does the moral right thing because simply it's the right thing to do.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @CHad

      Nice selective response to innocent bystanders posts.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Now that is deep

      And totally a mindless response to a good question based on the misguided beliefs of religious people. Have a brain and use it!!!

      July 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Brian

      the bible is an account of events written hundreds of years after the "fact" and is open to wild interpretations by hundreds, if not thousands of people who could have easily altered everything in it. there's also the fact that there are numerous prophets from various religions sharing nearly identical stories to that of Jesus, but I digress.

      Saying "read the bible" to prove your point is like me saying "Spiderman is real because I have a book showing him saving people." Circular arguments are stupid, as is believing in a God that has had his capabilities of having miracles go from creating everything (where did he come from?) intervening in the saving of lots of Jews (parting of the red sea (giving moses this ability) , subsequently killing thousands of soldiers afterwards) to having a image of his son appearing on toast. For someone who apparently doesn't intervene in mankind's plight since the actions of one man angered him, causing rainstorms so bad to blot out all life, sending commandments to people, passing over a city and annihilating first born sons....he sounds like an incredibly vindictive God completely undeserving of any faith.

      For those quoting the Founding Fathers...please stop. Stop listening to Sarah Palin and her ilk spewing nonsense touting that the founding fathers wanted christianity in every aspect of your life. They actually stated that it should NOT be there. Here's a great quote from one of them. Go look it up.

      "As priestcraft was always the enemy of knowledge, because priestcraft supports itself by keeping people in delusion and ignorance, it was consistent with its policy to make the acquisition of knowledge a real sin. "

      July 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Chris

      @Chad,

      I am a Christian too and I love that you are standing up for Christ. The hilarious thing to me is many non-believers I have ever talked to that have told me that God doesn't exist are always calling us dumb for believing in Him. I think non-believers give themselves too much credit, like them telling us He doesn't exist is actually going to have any influence on our faith in Him. All I can ever tell non-believers is God loves you and although Adam sinned and condemned us all Jesus came and died for us and made it easy to receive salvation. God hates SIN not MAN he loves you but hates the sin you commit. Christianity to me isn't about religion it's about a relationship with Christ. I feel sorry for anyone that has never experienced the love of Christ. I will never doubt my faith because God has done too many great things in my life. For all the non-believers believe me God loves you and ALL he wants is a relationship with you, nothing else.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chris

      Yes apparently god loves us so much that he'll torture you forever if you do something as minor as not believing.
      Not to mention holding every single generation responsible for what the first generation supposedly did.
      Do you realize that your beliefs are contradictory?

      July 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • James

      Where is this Adam fellow that ruined life for everyone else?? I aim to give him a swift kick in his hang-down.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • SAi

      The abrahamic traditional creation mythology is by far, I'm sorry, the stupidest mythology of them all, especially when you take it literally. God tells Adam not to eat the fruit, but he went ahead to eat it anyway just because Eve ask him to? Eve was supposedly tempted to eat the fruit by this serpent who somehow managed to slip past god into eden. As for how Eve was actually tempted to eat the fruit was not explicitly explained. Between choosing paradise and risking the wrath of god, I think the choice is pretty clear cut, unless there are actually juicier details that were implicitly left out. Either this whole edifice was set up to fail (which would be malevolent) or the First Couple are complete dunces or that the serpent present an offer that cannot be refused or that the guy who told the story was really, really bad or the audiences back then were also complete dunces.
      Even more nonsensical is that the sin of the fathers were continuously pass down to the sons which suggest that god tends to hold a grudge yet paradoxically humans are born with free will. Combined with a convenient scapegoat Jesus, you can see how all of this begin to sound really fishy, like bad fish fishy.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Red

      Is no-one else worried that a significant portion of the American populous believes that an evil spirit-angel is responsible for the atrocities that occur at the hands of men? How is it that we believe in the same hokum that the uneducated believed in a thousand years ago?

      It's like we, as a people, are deliberately denying ourselves the faculty of reason.

      It's no wonder the US graduates less than a quarter of scientifically literate post-grad students as China. Who wants to study how to make the world better when you can take the responsibility for its cure out of your own hands?
      It's downright CHILDISH.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  4. Joel

    God did not intervene for the same reason that Zeus did not intervene. There is no such thing as God in any of the countless incarnations that humans have created. But, as with all things religous, there will be those who use this tragedy to say, "See! I told you so! This is because -insert dogmatic nonsense here_!" The simple reality is that the world is a complex place. There will always be people doing good, bad, evil and indifferent.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • John

      Good concise post.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      THANK YOU....

      I'm atheist, but I have no problem with believing something created the universe and is or isn't still watching over it today. I see religion as a comfort mechanism, a reason to keep going when everything seems horrible. It's like a blankie for a little kid. It's fine that they have it, it's when they use it as an excuse.

      Your blankie didn't tell you to punch that kid. Your blankie didn't keep you from breaking your arm when you fell off that gate.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • onecell

      Zeus clowned around a lot with the mortals.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • A Hug

      You need a hug, huh? Anyone wants to give him a hug? ANYONE?!?!! HELLO!?!?!?!?!

      Since no one wants to give you a hug, cause you don't exist either.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Red

      @innocent bystander

      The view you describe is called 'Deism'. It's agnosticism with a twist.

      Not being condescending. You didn't use the term so I thought maybe you'd enjoy knowing the formal name.
      Lots and LOTS of America's founding fathers as well as the USA's early statesmen were Deists. Thomas Jefferson even removed all instances of the supernatural or miracles from the Bible. You can even buy a copy!

      Pretty cool if you ask me.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Commenter

      Red,

      "Thomas Jefferson even removed all instances of the supernatural or miracles from the Bible."

      He only did it for the New Testament.... but it's a start!

      July 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  5. LinCA

    It was holding the emergency exit door open.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • GOD

      I was trying to watch the show in the next theater.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  6. J.W

    Sometimes things just happen. Not everything happens because God caused it to happen. I always wonder is God capable of doing everything. Perhaps God is the most powerful being, but there may be limits on how much he can do. Maybe when there were fewer people on earth God could be personally involved but there are too many people now.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • rAmen

      The Avengers proved that the Hulk > god (Thor)

      July 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      We should set up the Church of Hulk.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      sam
      I think it would get smashed.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Sam, I would attend that church! LOL...though to be fair, I do love Thor.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      We would paint it green, though! And reinforce the walls a bit. Having to rebuild it a few times is just a sign that Hulk loves us and wants us to be happy.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      sam
      better idea....go to an existing church, each week a different one and smash to your hearts content until it is nothing but rubble. You would be doing the world a favor and promoting the hulk.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • J.W

      LOL I have never even seen that movie. I dont know how my post turns into a discussion on that.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Which God??

      Wow, a weak, petty tyrant who is supposed to know all, see all, cure all, knows everything, yea even a sparrow that falls, etc, etc yadda, yadda, ad nauseum. Nah, there isn't any evidence of such being.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • J.W

      I was not advocating that God was exactly as described in the Bible. That was my point.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      Sorry JW, he hulk-jacked your post. LOL

      July 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • hmmmm

      "God is the most powerful being, but there may be limits on how much he can do"

      Seriously you actually wrote that and don't see a problem with it. Typical of Christian mentality.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • J.W

      So what is wrong with it then hmmm

      July 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • rAmen

      and Batman has no limits

      July 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Tenets of Hulkism
      1) The Lord smasheth puny humans
      2) Thou wouldst not like thy Lord when He is angry
      3) Thy Lord is strongest there is
      4) Blessed be Betty
      5) The madder Thy Lord getteth, the stronger He getteth.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • rAmen

      Priest: And Scotty beamed them to the Klingon ship, where they would be no Tribble at all.
      Congregation: [chanting] All power to the engines.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      Hey, sometimes posts turn into valuable discussion, sometimes they don't. Nothin you can do.

      As for me, I've found praying to a large pile of rubble is the best way to truly get in touch with the almighty Hulk.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  7. rAmen

    god is too busy not existing to care

    July 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  8. myweightinwords

    It intrigues me how a tragedy like this brings about a variety of responses in believers.

    There are those who will seriously doubt their faith, and some of those may start on a journey of discovery that leads them to either renounce their belief, or radically change their belief system.

    There are those who will cling to their faith and attribute their survival to their god (never realizing that what they're saying by not saying it is that the rest deserved what they got).

    There are those who will use it as an opportunity to point out the sin of everyone around them and declare that we as a nation must turn back to god.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Too right! As asshole Huckabee said:

      "Ultimately, we don't have a crime problem or a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we've ordered God out of our schools, communities, the military, and public conversations, we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/huckabee/transcript/huckabee-039we-have-sin-problem039#ixzz21Z6Bgu6Z"

      July 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Joel

      I've seen the latter. Pastor Rick Warren asserted that this tragedy occurred because we teach children science. It is disgusting.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Joel

      OG, more crime, murder, genocide, and evil has been done in the name of God than can even be conceived of. Not so long ago, good Christians were burning teenage girls at the stake, in the name of God. Who has ever been killed in the name of Atheism? Science is the search for a better understanding of our world. Religion is the idea that we have to believe very specific things or God will burn us forever. Which is more peaceful?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Which God??

      Nice reply,myweight. How do we 'turn back' to a gawd that doesn't make itself known or if it exists? See any proof of this being?

      July 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Joel, I apologize if I gave you the impression I think we need to return to god (who most likely does not exist). I will try to be clearer in the future, but I thought "asshole Huckabee" would clearly show where my beliefs lie.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      Actually there is one more category.

      Those that immediately blame it on the nearest minority. The current fad being gays.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  9. Rational Libertarian

    The Aurora massacre wasn't God's fault, he was in Africa giving AIDS to babies.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Scuromondo

    God is present in all those who risked their lives to save victims, those who go out of their way to relieve suffering, and those who provide comfort to the grieving. God isn't Superman, flying in to solve the problems of the righteous. It is up to all of us to be God.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Oh, but he isn't present with all the murderers and r.apists?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      You'll go crazy trying to be God. Trust me, I keep trying....

      July 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      god isn't anything but a man-made creature...used to control the weak and gullible

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Scuromondo

      @RatLib:
      When it comes to philosophy and belief I claim freedom to imagine whatever I want! And one way I imagine "God" is as a verb: love. So in your example about the hearts of criminals, my view would be that the absence of "God" (i.e. love) in their lives is almost always a contributing factor. Life is definitely better where love is present.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Are you a Mormon?

      July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  11. AverageJoe76

    Simple: God doesn't want to be found/ God cannot be found/ or there's no God to find. If you found 'em – Congrats! Because it's not something you can share, obviously.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  12. 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

    Probably just trying to enjoy the movie. Now he's going to be pised 'cause he missed the ending and all the publicity has spoiled it.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  13. Ollie

    Where was God? He was in the same place he's always not been.

    I feel bad for religious people who have to torture themselves with this question anytime something bad happens. The world makes so much more sense from a secular perspective.

    When you have a god, you have to dovetail what you believe with what actually happens, and it of course never fits what a god would do.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Which God??

    Oh, I just love that pastors reply; that "god was in complete control." What control? That every bullet was meant to kill someone? Such nonsense from a supposedly rational person. Oh, I forget myself, faith requires suspension of reality for an belief in an unknown, unknowable sky-fairy, that hasn't shown itself to anyone, at any time. This gawd is a fraud. A sick and demented whatever, that has done nothing to help its supposed spawn.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      He showed himself to Moses and his hair was on fire.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Who invited me?

    God was in the same place as batman, superman, Darth vader, frodo, and all of the other fictional characters man has created.
    What an ignorant question.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      I find it funny that Christians are nothing more than a big Star Trek fan club that has been meeting to discuss the in's and out's of imaginary places and aliens for nearly two thousand years. It just depends on which chapter you belong to that determines whether you prefer Klingon Mot'loch or Romulan Ale...

      July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  16. junior

    The real question is Where is God in our life?

    July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Which God??

      Well gawd is not apart of my life, but I have read some really disturbing things about him in a book callled the bible. Seems he's a bit on the sadistic side. It just loves to torment its believers with with contradictions.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Get help while there is still time

      And if the answer is yes, he is there, (anywhere), there may be help for you. Call 1-800-Del-uded, today.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Which god would that be little boy? I understand that you have a hard time distinguishing reality from fiction, so lets put it in basic terms that any child with imaginary friends can understand...much like Cinderella and Unicorns, your god is made up. You are simply gullible and lazy.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      junior is also made up and fake...caught him red-handed earlier....ignore the troll time.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • junior

      gullible and lazy, I will remember that when I get up early on Sunday for the Holy Mass.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • junior

      Of course you caught me, somehow I managed to slip your feeble grasp (Mr. Burns).

      July 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bobby

      Actually going to church on Sunday does make you gullible.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      junior,
      "gullible and lazy, I will remember that when I get up early on Sunday for the Holy Mass."

      @TruthPrevails was not talking about physical laziness. Sheesh.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Gullible because you believe whatever you are told by the pe.do.philes preaching at you. Lazy because you can't research the facts for yourself and you in turn accept what you are told as being true not once caring if there is anything to back it. You can enjoy wasting your Sunday and your money, some of us have more useful things to do with our time and money.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Get help while there is still time

      junior,
      about that mass thing...do you think te scrifice will "take" one of these times ?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • junior

      God loves you and because HE loves you, ultimately he will give you what you want.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      junior: Now we know you've never read your buybull. Your buybull makes your imaginary friend out to be a child ra.ping; child kil.ling; women abusing; ma.ss murdering SOB. Nothing loving about a creature who apparently controls you and all you do...once again gullible and lazy are accurate descriptions of you...you have proven that your opinion is not to be trusted...anyone who supports cult of ped.o.philes is not trustworthy-supporting them only shows your lunacy and need to be medicated.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • adopted USA

      What a simple mind!!!!!!

      July 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • GOD

      Usually I'll be found hanging out with the boogy man, easter bunny, ghosts, justice, santa claus, vampires, perpetual motion, cold fusion or I'll just chill out in your imagination sometimes.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  17. just sayin

    Everything happens according to God's plan.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • junior

      This was not God's plan.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sure it was junior. He allowed the shooter to stay blinded to His truth.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      HS: You're off your meds again, aren't you? Regardless of what you think the maniac was christian. This had nothing to do with his belief, it had to do with his damaged mind (a mind that he had power over, not your imaginary friend). Fortunately for the victims no 'god' will ever be allowed in that courtroom and this monster will be tried according to secular laws.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      TruthPrevailsNot, go share your meds with Tommie Tom. God did indeed blind the shooter, just like all you atheists are blinded to His truth.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, I already heard one of the politically correct statements today, life in prison. The shooter should get death. Amen.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Which God??

      So gawd wanted a little six year old slaughtered for its amusment, just sayin? Nic gawd ya got ther. its as sick as the dreanged person who pulled the trigger. Oh wait, god knows and does all, right? So he had a hand in the killing, eh?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @HeavenSent – you say, "Sure it was junior. He allowed the shooter to stay blinded to His truth."

      So God blocked James from 'The Truth', and sanctioned the killing? You ok with worshipping a God like that?? Why does God have a select group he reveals himself to? Why the discrimination? Isn't that 'unGodly'?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      just sayin
      Everything happens according to God's plan.
      -----
      Ah, so we don't have free will then. I guess that definitively answers a much discussed question.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AverageJoe76, what makes you any different? You reject God's truth and are blinded to what Jesus had scribed. Same with everyone that refuses to read/hear His truth. God gives you what you want.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      HS: Rejecting god is akin to rejecting unicorns. We do not see evidence for your imaginary friends existence and until we do we see no reason to accept that it is anything more than imaginary. If we do not believe in your imaginary friend, then we also don't believe in its arch enemy or the so-called places you believe exist. The difference between you and us is that we actually care that our beliefs are based on facts and evidence.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Adam

      I'm glad to see people standing up to religious bullies like HS. Always remember, these people get to vote. If that doesn't scare you into standing up for one another, your friends/family/community, nothing will.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  18. junior

    God was in the same place where he witnessed his only Son crucified like a criminal. Lord have mercy.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Non-existent? Is non-existent a place?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God looks down and sees that we all are forsaken Him. We do no good. All sinners refusing to learn His truth.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @HeavenSent

      No one cares what ignorant drivel you spout out.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      hawaiiguest, cough Tommie Tom, stop stalking me.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Scott

      It's CNN that is stalking you, HS.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @HeavenSent

      Ohhh so now I'm stalking you. LOL, and you tell me to get over myself.
      Says the person that thinks:
      1) There's evil atheist moderators with superhuman powers to censor posts in the instant between pressing the post button and the screen refreshing.
      2) Anyone that posts against you is the same person.
      3) That the earth is 6,000 – 10,000 years old.
      4) That if it's not in the bible, it is evil Satanic false things. (Why the person is even using a computer in that case, I have no idea).

      July 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Madtown

      I wonder why God only had 1 son? He created heaven and earth, you'd think he'd also produce as many offspring as he desired. You know, like enough to bring his word to all established cultures on earth at the time of Christ? Wonder why he only sent 1 son, to 1 small area of the world. Hmm.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Madtown, you'd just reject more of His son's as you do Jesus.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Madtown

      HeavenSent
      Madtown, you'd just reject more of His son's as you do Jesus.
      ----–
      Didn't meet Jesus, I wasn't alive 2000 years ago, nor were you. Plus, I'm talking about cultures outside of the middle east anyway, say the north American continent at the time of Christ. There were humans there, creations of God. Curious why God didn't send a son/daughter as a representative to those folks, to give them the good word, and proper religious way.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Madtown,

      Jesus's Truth is what it is. If the people of North America/South America did not accept Jesus before they died, they will burn for eternity regardless if they heard of him or not.

      Amen.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      HeavenSent
      Jesus's Truth is what it is. If the people of North America/South America did not accept Jesus before they died, they will burn for eternity
      -------–
      I don't usually respond to trolls, but just this once today: people who had never heard of Jesus couldn't possibly accept him, now could they? Nor, could they deny him. They've never heard of him.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • A-Rod

      HeavenSent – God looks down and sees that we all are forsaken Him. We do no good. All sinners refusing to learn His truth.

      Yeah, well it takes a pretty decent parent to take responsibility for the actions of their child. I do not see Him owning up to his responsibility as a parent.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Cindy

      And you obviously have no idea why He was crucified.He was crucified for us, to save us from our own sins. But we have to believe, repent, bebaptized and then follow His word to the best of our abilities. It was done for US, for ALL OF US.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • 8thFoldPath

      Poignant point. I find enjoyment in reading comment threads. People can freely debate within anonymity, and the result is usually a persuasive case for both sides. This though, this thread is disturbing, intolerant, and ignorant. Regardless of what you believe, the reality is that we exist socially. Our interactions with others affect us from the moment we are born; they shape who we are.

      Why, then, are the majority of commenting readers perpetuating negativity? What a waste of time. If you were sincerely trying to enlighten a believer, then sure you would take the time to put together a more eloquent case against it.

      I’m going to pray for all of you tonight—and not because I think God will change your spirit. That’s simple. That’s wishful thinking. I’m going to do it as an expression of discipline, to remind myself of the kind of person I want to be. To pause for a moment of silence and reflect on the harsh negativity that outnumbers us. It weighs my heart.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    Where was Scooby Doo?

    What a ridiculous question.

    It dishonors the dead, and makes us all seem the stupider.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Which God??

      Good reply William.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Pawn Artist

      Seem?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • The King Is Coming

      Your reply sucked.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  20. just sayin

    God was sitting next to someone enjoying his popcorn and watching. Some little girl probably saw Jesus and Jesus talkd her not to worry while people's heads and chests exploded all around her. God was pleased that night.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cindy

      You know what? People like you have no idea who or what God is. Until you do, why don't you just shut up. There is no point even trying to explain because your minds are so closed you won't eve try to understand.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      So you know what God is all about. Is this directly from his mouth..meaning you heard him? Or are you basing it on men's assumptions and opinions on the matter?

      July 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
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About this blog

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