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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. erick

    wow i thought cnn had a better audience, its no coincidence the US is at the bottom of the list when it comes to education and first when it comes to religion.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Woody

      Big difference is religion is a maybe and then there is reality in education !

      July 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Patrician

      Franky sir, you're a fool if you think that Atheist countries such as North Korea are great hubs of human enlightement when compared to the nominally religous US.

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

      north koreans have a religion and god though, its called kim jong. you cant compare nk to any other country, im talking about wealthy powerful countries.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Patrician

      @ t3chn0ph0b3

      "The probability that we would be here like this typing to each other just out of blind chance in this crazy, violent universe is, indeed small. That probability is, however, non-zero. As the expression of that probability, I can see how even a thoughtful human being might be tempted to assign divine lineage, either out of pride, intellectual laziness, or just plain social inertia.

      The lottery winner thanks God. In reality, the lottery winner is just lucky. Lucky like we are for being here."

      Intelligently said. But the fact that the chance of our being here out of pure chance is non-zero doesn't mean that it therefore MUST be true. (That's why I said that God 'probably' exists.)
      Bottom line:
      is it possible that we are here out of pure chance? Yes.
      Is it likely? No.
      And likewise, one could just as easily accuse the atheist, who automatically attributes all things to blind natural forces, of "pride, intellectual laziness," ect. An open mind about all facets of philosophy is surely the best course.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Patrician

      @erick: While I cannot blame atheists for wanting to disown backwards and violent people such as the inhabitants of North Korea, they are, in fact, self-described Atheists, whatever their economic standing. Being "rich and powerful" is not a requirment for being a "true" atheist.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  2. Caleb

    Where is God now, when christians are oppressing others rights, because of opinions? Where was God during the bubonic plague? How about during slavery? How about during the oppression of women in the US? Where was God when Ghengis Khan killed so many people it cooled the earth? He's right where he has always been... in the minds of the delusional and unintelligent masses.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Leo

      Where are Christians oppressing others? Really!!

      July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  3. Woody

    No god ever stopped a war so why would you think a god would stop this ? In many parts of the world people dont belive in the christian god anyway . We purchase everything today from mostly athiest from China . America supports athiest countries with your purchases and tax dollars . Where did gunpowder come from ? "China" !

    July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Most of China is Buddhist, which is, according to Christians, atheism. It's not.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Woody

      You don't get it, do you?
      You said, "No god ever stopped a war so why would you think a god would stop this ?"
      It isn't the job of the christian god to stop wars, but to keep them to just the right number of casualties (see the post from shell below for an example). In it's marvelous, and mysterious, ways it kept the number of casualties on World War II at a measly 60 million, give or take.

      It shows how enormously good that god is. Get it?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  4. shell

    God was most certainly in that theater. God protected those that made it out unscathed, God comforted those who were injured, and God escorted Home those who didn't survive.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      What did god have against those who died?
      Nothing because he's iimaginary.
      Why didn't he protect them?
      Oh right, because he's imaginary... got it.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • jamy

      Amen. Shell...... The hate towards Christians is something else.. But it's always been that way... What did Jesus do? Absolutely nothing.. He was not mindless.. He didn't die for anything he did.. He died for what they are doing now.. He died for the same people who are ruthlessly mocking and spitting and cruciifing him all over again......I don't know how He did it... it makes me SICK!

      July 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • isolate

      Could you explain exactly how you know this? I mean, would you share the e-mail God sent you, or the text message?

      "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~ Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1

      Which is why I prefer science to religion, since the first deals with reality in all its complexities, and the latter depends on wishful thinking and intangible proofs. What happened in Aurora would have happened whether or not your particular god was involved, since there's no proof whatsoever of any divine interference, or even existence.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  5. Mr. Hawkins

    Religion and GOD?!?! Religious people say the biggest lie ever told, was "The Devil doesn't exist"... WRONG!! The biggest lie ever told was that GOD exist!! A survey found that most people on this planet don't even know how many planets are in our solar system?! In this day and time, i find that truly scary!! It is impossible to have a logical debate about the existence of GOD, because no one has ever proved he EXIST!! How can one debate the existence of GOD when no one has proven it/he/she exist?!?! Most people, some more than others, need to feel apart of something... That's why Facebook, MySpace etc will always make money and exist. Most humans can't understand or imagine this is all science and things happen, mostly, for no reason at all!! Being the dominate species on this rock called Earth, we demand to know why!! LOL!! Well, sometimes sh$t just happens.... We may never know why that man killed all of those people, so we will label him crazy!! Crazy is the label we give to things we don't understand and it makes us feel safe at night... You can pray and worship all you want, but remember this.... No one has ever come back form the grave and said, "There is a heaven and it is off the hook, or there is a hell and it is out of control down there!!!" It is what it is people wake up and live, because when you DIE that's it!!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Ian

      To paraphase Rossel Hobban's Riddley Walker:
      What was makes tracks for what will be. Words in the air print footsteps on the ground for us to put our feet into.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Beget

    Gods existence is irrelevant to the actions of humans~
    We are to blame.
    Stop glorifying violence. Stop making it entertainment.
    We want to watch it, but we do not want it to happen?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  7. austin

    Mans wants to make sense of certain events,and give meaning to his life so he creates religion. Religion-especially Christianity- is a logically paradoxical/fallacious, philosophically pitiful attempt at explaining metaphysical phenomena..Rather than make up stories like children to explain events outside of our spiritual/intellectual capacity to understand, why can't we collectively take the mature adult stance and just say "WE DONT KNOW". It disheartining for a 21 year old like myself,to see my "elders" engage eeach other on such a remedial level.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes when I was 21 I couldn't believe how stupid my elders were. When I was 27 I couldn't believe how much they had learned in 6 years.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Jason

      That’s a high horse your on there austin. I'm afraid you characterization of our faith is rather simplistic. You attach a straw man of your own creation. Actually, you probably borrowed it from someone else. Fallacious? Paradoxical? Made up stories? Really? Those are big claims, that have been refuted by smarter people then you and I. You may not agree with the arguments given by Plantinga, Putnam, William Lane Craig or Anthony Flew etc etc etc, but they are anything but fallacious or paradoxical. As for the made up stories, we exist in narrative. You, me, everyone. It doesn’t surprise me that our attempts to understand the divine are also expressed in narrative. BTW...I admit I don’t know, but I believe and have hope, and that is why I bow down of the foot of the cross every chance I get. Amen.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Carl

    Nobody would accept these ridiculous supernatural arguments from a child standing next to a broken vase. Why do we listen to this nonsense from adults speaking about serious events?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Mr. Hawkins

      WOW!!! I will use this one!! WOW!! Short, but extremely POWERFUL!!! OMFG!!!!!! WOW!!!

      July 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  9. Larry

    I would choose my own religion
    And worship my own spirit
    But if he ever preached to me
    I wouldn't want to hear it

    I'd drop him, a forgotten god,
    Languishing in shame
    And then if I hit stormy seas
    I'd have myself to blame

    July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  10. Patrician

    @ t3chn0ph0b3

    "Thanks. Just curious.

    Have you considered atheism? Having a useless God is pretty pointless."

    I did consider it, but ruled it out at an early stage. The idea that we evolved from microbes into the sole intelligent terrestrial species out of dumb luck seemed me, to put it bluntly, a damn sight too convienent.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Carl

      Therefore, magical nonsense.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Patrician

      And you opt for what amounts to Science Fiction.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      The probability that we would be here like this typing to each other just out of blind chance in this crazy, violent universe is, indeed small. That probability is, however, non-zero. As the expression of that probability, I can see how even a thoughtful human being might be tempted to assign divine lineage, either out of pride, intellectual laziness, or just plain social inertia.

      The lottery winner thanks God. In reality, the lottery winner is just lucky. Lucky like we are for being here.

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

      If you bothered to study the subject, you'll know how many billions of years were involved just to get to the point of RNA. It took another billion for prokaryotes to evolve, and another billion before the eukaryotes evolved. Microbes didn't magically appear from nowhere. They are very complex life forms made up of of other life forms, usually endosymbionts.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  11. TOMG

    GOD ONLY LOVE THE COMPASSION MIND AND COMAPSSION SOUL AND COMPASSION HEART MIND AND SOUL IN THE DAILY BASIC , AMEN .

    July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jack

      Ha.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Julie

    Jesus said not to fear the man that can destroy your body but then can do no more harm, but rather to fear him (Satan) that can destroy both your soul and body in hell. The Bible doesn't say that you will be sent to hell for eternity, it says that your soul will perish in hell. Jesus came that we might have life–eternal life.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      words written by men to fit their agenda then edited by more men to gain power, wealth and pagan converters. Learn the history of your religion please.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Sounds pretty valuable. Worth killing for?

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • JWT

      your jesus has no say over me before during or after life.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Leo

      I am sorry, but the "Him" is not Satan, but rather the Almighty God who created your soul.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "I am sorry, but the "Him" is not Satan, but rather the Almighty God who created your soul."

      Yeah according to a bunch of fallible humans who wrote the bible.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Shane

      To the reply to Julie labelled, "religion; a way to control the weak minded"...

      Sounds like something to fit YOUR agenda.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Julie

      Read it again, Leo. I used to think that, too. Then I came to realize what Jesus was talking about. God doesn't destroy souls. God brings life. Satan brings death to our souls. Satan is on a soul-destroying mission. Jesus came to set us free.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • The King Is Coming

      We don't fear the devil. He isn't almighty. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Almighty!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  13. guest

    would getting god back in our schools save kids in sudan dying from malnourishment? does God act country by country according to what people there do , or does he work individually depending on each person's acts, regardless of nationality?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I submit that if we, as a nation, turned more to God there would be less interest in Hollywood, Sports, Seex, Drugs and Rock & Roll and all the other diversions we gorge ourselves on. The,y es, possibly more people would be able to focus on improving the lives of the less fortunate as our Lord bid.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • AD

      God can do anything He wants to, and I've seen and have heard of Him doing some amazing things. He can use anyone He wants to, including children, to complete His agenda. Our children are the future.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Nick

    God isn't real

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • paperwaster

      YES. THANK YOU.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      prove it

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

      @Bill

      Depends on the god that you're talking about.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      If Nick were to claim "The Tooth Fairy doesn't exist", would you require proof?

      While it will likely never be established, with absolute certainty, that there are no gods, the complete and utter lack of any evidence for any, makes the statement by Nick far more reasonable than one exclaiming that there are any.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  15. Jet

    God? What God? Where was he?

    There is a better chance of a monkey flying outta my ass!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  16. matt p

    "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  17. AM

    I posted twice and still do not see it. Is there any moderator of these posts?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      You might have used a no-no word.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Closet Atheist

      Check your words.... cla.ss must be typed that way. Const.itution also. See where i'm going...??

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • LinCA

      @AM

      You said, "I posted twice and still do not see it. Is there any moderator of these posts?"

      CNN uses WordPress blogs for their opinion pieces, and they use automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. If your post doesn't show up, it most likely had a forbidden word in it.

      On the Belief Blog, repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
            arse             as in Arsenal
            bastard
            bitch
            cock           as in cockatiel
            coon           as in cocoon
            cum             as in circumstance
            cunt
            douche
            effing
            fag
            ftw
            fuck
            homo         as in homosexual
            hooters
            horny
            hump
            jackass
            jap
            jism
            kinky
            kooch
            nipple
            orgy
            pis
            porn
            poo           as in spooked
            prick
            queer
            rape         as in grape
            sex           as in homosexual
            shit
            slut
            smut
            snatch
            spic         as in despicable
            tit               as in constitution or title
            twat
            vag           as in vague
            whore
            wonderful us
            wtf

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • AM

      Thanks for the replies as to why my other two posts can not be found.

      I am sure I did not use any "forbidden" words. However, who knows that the "automated" censorer deemed unacceptable.

      Just in case any are interested, one of my posts was a missive from my book, "The book of US".

      It can be found at http://www.amsway.org/HTML/bad-things-do-not-happen-to-good-people.html

      Thoughts that might help if one is truly interested in embracing the treasure within the midst of tragedy.

      AM

      July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • AM

      Just for the hk of it, here is one of my previous posts. I am curious to see what happens.

      Good is in the center of every experience that appears to be negative. If we understand the value of anything that happens, then we know the good that it offers. Just because we do not like it does not make it bad. The word or concept “bad” is a value judgment based on our limited point of view or our selfish desire of what we prefer to be experiencing. Most people do not see the good because they label something as bad, and then, of course, that becomes their reality. Most of what we call bad is because we are labeling it bad – because we do not like it and either do not see, or want to see the value it offers us spiritually. It is our inability to see things from the perspective of the Universal Self, the Universal Spirit or God that contributes to our labeling anything as bad.

      We learn through trial and error. Some of the trials and some of the errors can be very painful. Which one of us has not had many learning experiences that were painful only because we did not apply the lessons what they were offered to us in less painful ways? God tried to teach us in more gentle ways. However, for whatever reason, we continued to do what we knew we should not have continued to do. We put off applying the lesson and doing what we knew we should do until the pain of not applying the lesson was so great that we decided not to continue doing what we knew we should have stopped doing long ago. Whew, that was a long sentence. However, re-read it until you get it. It is the reason for most of what we call painful lessons.

      The spirits in the young children and the spirits in the bodies of their parents are eternal spirits. Spirits do not have an age. Spirits just have different levels of awareness, understanding, acceptance and ability to apply universal laws and principles. Spirits just have different levels of potential for manifesting the Glory of God based on what they can handle. What they can handle as spiritual beings expressing the Glory of Infinite God is determined by what lessons they have learned and apply in their daily living.

      In order to truly know what we did to someone, we must eventually have it done unto us. Until you have tasted both sides of the situation, you really do not know the situation.

      Remember, the spirit that you are never dies. Only the physical vehicle that you are presently using is what dies. No one can ever kill you. They can only kill your body. No one can ever kill the spirit that you are experiencing as your mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, friend or lover. They only kill the body. Even if the death of your loved one, is a painful and tortuous one for their body, the spirit that was living through the body of the loved one had a lesson to learn through the way he or she died and also had a lesson to learn through the actual death. There can be no other answer if God is an Omnipresent and compassionate God.

      All those who were close to the loved one who was injured or killed also had spiritual lessons offered to them through the experience. There are no chance encounters. There are no chance births. There are no chance deaths. There are no chance relationships. Not if you believe in an Omnipresent, compassionate God.

      Omnipresent means this God is living through all creation, therefore this Omnipresent God feels all the pain and the suffering that any creatures experience. Since we live, move and have our very being within Omnipresent God, what we feel – God feels.

      A compassionate God does not punish. A compassionate God educates. We may not like the education. However, which one of us is really doing all that we really know we should be doing for the Glory of God? Sometimes a compassionate God has to kick us in the head to get our attention. Sometimes a compassionate God has to grab us by our shoulders, shake us and yell in a loud voice, “What Do I Have to Do to Get Your Attention?” Sometimes a compassionate God has to take away our eyes for us to truly see. That would not be a bad as we think since we will have other eyes someday and somewhere in a future body. Until then, do what you know you should be doing, and do it NOW. It just might prolong your present earthly life or the life of a loved one.

      What you do unto the least of all, you do unto God. Be very, very careful why you do what you do. You will be educated – if you were not doing it for the reasons you would understand if it was being done unto you. Perhaps you will be born into a family that has no food and you will look at the humans who have plenty and wonder why they are not sharing some with you. Perhaps you will be born in a society that kills and tortures their citizens and you will look at the rest of the world and wonder why they are not helping you.

      If we believe in an Omnipresent God, then all has a purpose, even if we not like or understand the purpose. Live your life thanking God for all you have and pray for God to show you how all that you experience has a divine purpose – whether it is to educate you to the error of your ways or offer you an opportunity to glorify God in a way only you can Glorify God

      Truly appreciate that you are aware of being aware. Truly appreciate that you have had a chance to experience anything, anywhere and you will begin to see the working of God in all that you have and all that you do.

      Any loved one you have lost. Any loved one that has died and left you with only memories. Remember, the spirit that was truly them did not die and they are not dead. The spirit that was playing the role of your loved one is eternally learning and still living for the Glory of God. They do not want you to be sad or to be unhappy that they are no longer with you.

      Appreciate the time you had with them and appreciate that you can still remember experiencing them. This will make your life lighter and easier to continue. This will allow them to continue on their journey wherever it will take them with lightness and happiness.

      Bad things do not happen to good people. People just resist seeing the Glory of God working out in each and every thing that happens. In their resistance, they find their pain. In their acceptance, they find their blessing.

      Which will you choose to look for? Will you call it bad and find more of bad? Or will you pray for the lesson that will lead you to the treasure of seeing the Glory of God working in your life, both through you and your loved ones? Will you call it a curse or will you call it a blessing? Whichever you choose to call it, you will most surely find it.

      In the greatest tragedy you will find the greatest treasure – if you are open to to, desire it, look for it and listen for answers that you may not want to accept because of your resistance to what happened.

      The spirit we are never dies. Your loved one never died. Only the human vehicle that we perceived as our loved one ceased regenerating the cells of the body we called mother father, son daughter, John or Mary. Pray the spirit of our loved one learned what they were offered to learn through the experience so they do not have to experience something similar again. Pray for spiritual understanding in our own journey also – so we also do not have to experience something similar again.

      Remember, God does not punish – God educates. All exists and happens for the Glory of God – whether we like it or not. Look into your own lives and what are you not doing that you know you should be doing. What are you doing to others, including the birds, the bees, the animals, the planet itself – that you would not like done unto you? You can only learn through tasting the effects of what you have done to others. You want a cherry tree, you cannot plan lemon seeds. You have no right to expect from the universe, God, what you are not willing to do first. One way or another, all that you experience is to offer you spiritual understanding of the Omnipresence of The Universal Spirit we call God. This is so we can be better vehicles for the will of God to express through us and as us. We are here for the universe and the desires of God to manifest – we are not here for ourselves.

      Blessings will come and blessed experiences will come the more you plant what you want to reap – to ALL the manifestations of God that can feel what we do unto them.

      First truly appreciate how beyond incredible is your awareness of being aware and tears of thankfulness should start flowing down your cheeks.

      I woke up and found my pregnant wife dead of an overdose of drugs when I was twenty-one earth years. I was married for only two months. It took me two years to smile again. Then I read about a young man who was driving home with his wife after their wedding and she was killed in a car accident. Compared to the man who had forty years of married life – I was robbed. Compared to the young man who lost his wife on their wedding day – I was truly blessed with two months longer than him. Compared to him – I had a LONG time of the joy of marriage and knowing my wife. Reality is what reality is – it is neither good nor bad. What we choose to compare our reality to will determine whether we experience our reality as heaven or hell. Choose wisely – be thankful for your awareness of being aware – without it, you would have nothing – you would not even know you had nothing. Be thankful for the simple fact of your awareness of being aware and you will know the secret of the alchemist – the key to paradise – right here and right now.

      It is very simple – the seed thoughts you have will grow into the emotion-trees you experience. Keep planting the seed-thoughts of greed and unappreciation and you will keep experiencing the emotion-trees of pain and suffering. Stop watering the emotion-trees of greed and unappreciation and the negative emotion-trees will wither and die. Keep planting the seed-thoughts of thankfulness for having the experience of ANYTHING at all – and you will begin to see emotion-trees of happiness grow in your consciousness.

      There is an old saying. To have love and lost is better than having never loved at all. Praise God in all things and ask for the spiritual knowledge of the divine treasure within each and every happening in the universe.

      Not to make light of any spirit-humans painful experience.

      However –

      There is nothing little we cannot bear – if we truly appreciate our awareness of being aware.

      AM

      http://www.amsway.org

      July 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • AM

      Again, thanks for the suggestions as to why my earlier two posts were not posted.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  18. Closet Atheist

    Anybody else getting tired of hearing how this is because we've "taken faith out of schools, courthouses, etc."...??

    Secularism has NOTHING to do with this. Our culture has gone off the rails, no doubt. But blaming it on a lack of values stemming from secularism is just plain stupid.

    Folks, religion and it's followers do NOT have a lock on morals... good and bad people exist in all faiths (or lack of faith)....

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Agreed. Good and bad exist across the spectrum. True religion invites people to rise above their lower nature as individuals. Surely you can't find fault with that. Likewise, intelligent secular governance defines a just society. I always end up back at the individual though by which society is structured.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  19. Question_it

    Holmes id not exercise free will, he exercised his psychotic brain. If god created man in his image this could explain a lot.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • JWT

      Not everyone that commits a violent crime is psychotic. Not all psychotics are violent.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Question_it

      That's true, JWT. I would never suggest otherwise.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • erick

      exactly, god himself is a horrible role model, condoms slavery, killing, punishment, at least the early god in the early bibles until they toned it down in the latest versions. also for all the women out there, why dont you ever think to yourself, why is this god a he? well cause back in the day men were far superior and they werent gonna make a god a woman.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  20. EB

    Answer: In your imagination.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.