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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. johngeisler

    this is not of god this is of mans doing dont blame god for these acts .look to man for this ?

    July 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  2. dionysusBeer

    "Wait... then that begs to question – *why* are atheists posting in a religion blog, anyway?"

    Because I wanted to read the article. Not everything is a conspiracy against Christians.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • I'm a Christian

      on the back row 🙂 🙂

      July 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Marion

      I hear ya Johngeisler. These people are angry and scared and want to blame it on someone or somebody. Im sure God can handle it as he has huge shoulders. It just that i know God had nothing to do with it. As he is the Father – what father in his right mind would kill his children – and our father is in his right mind. Peoples actions are there OWN. You pull the trigger it was your BAD decision to do so not God's. God is up there weeping for his children – dont ever forget that – he feels the pain of all his children. Most people dont want God in there lives – only when a disaster happens do we blame him. When MAN could have prevented it as it was MAN who did it.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Marion

      I hear ya Johngeisler. These people are angry and scared and want to blame it on someone or somebody. Im sure God can handle it as he has huge shoulders. It just that i know God had nothing to do with it. As he is the Father – what father in his right mind would kill his children – and our father is in his right mind. Peoples actions are there OWN. You pull the trigger it was your BAD decision to do so not God's. God is up there weeping for his children – dont ever forget that – he feels the pain of all his children. MAN could have prevented it as it was MAN who did it.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Marion,

      "It just that i know God had nothing to do with it. As he is the Father – what father in his right mind would kill his children –"

      That's just the problem. As you said, "God had nothing to do with it".

      What father in his right mind would sit around and let someone kill his kids when he could have prevented it?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Marion – have you never read Exodus? God murdered infants in an unsuccessful extortion plot. The god of abraham slaughtered plenty of people and commanded his chosen people to slaughter many more.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      I have to ask again, is God not omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent? Then why was the gunman able to kill 12 people? If God jammed the rifle what stopped him from jamming it before anyone died? How does an all-powerful deity drop the ball so badly?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Marion

    Well mr observer – how many would you have prefered to have died. It could have been so much worse. Many many more could have been killed. And nothing is Laughable as you put it. And God did not ALLOW these people to be hurt – good lord man – that is a stupid statement. the man holding the gun and using it is the one that allowed these people to be killed – quit passing the buck – and blaming God – maybe this shooter should be blamed and no one else. Not society, not god, not his university come – put the blame where it belongs.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Marion,

      Rejoice! God ONLY watched 58 people get shot down! Rejoice! God ONLY let 12 people die before he stopped things from being bad. That's what we are hearing.

      Didn't God know what was going on? Was he busy instead peeking into the windows of gays to see if they were doing something sinful?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  4. lol@Funny

    Funny: 1
    Atheists: 0

    That comment made me laugh when I stopped to imagine how furious you are making these atheists posting in a religion blog. Wait... then that begs to question – *why* are atheists posting in a religion blog, anyway?

    July 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Marion

    Dear plaster city – how true that statement is. If God wasnt there no one would have made it out alive. Im sure as Plaster city person pointed out – im sure those alive do believe he was there. Remember – no such thing as an athiest in a fox hole.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Marion,

      So thank God that he ONLY allowed 58 people to be shot and ONLY allowed 12 to die so far?

      If it wasn't so tragic, your comment would deserve a laugh.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • matt in nw

      just tough luck to the dead and wounded right? God got caught off guard right, but hey he save the rest!.... God shoulda had that morning cup of joe i guess.....

      Marion .. a Deluded man with lots of firepower went on a rampage .. no god..no jesus ..just a sick fantasy be being played out..and continues to be played out.....as for Atheists and foxholes.. lol .....you d (appearently) be amazed.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Marion – there are plenty of atheists in foxholes. Such a dumb comment. Not all of us resort to beliefs in some magical being when we're scared. Please don't insult our atheist service members putting their life on the line for you and your first amendment rights.

      And why is your god so impotent? Was he distracted, maybe trying to figure out how to help Tebow win a few more football games? If he saved a lot of people, how come he didn't have the power to save everyone.

      Really, people should think a little more before they type.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      So what about the 12 that died? Did God not give a crap about them and their families? Or was he too lazy to jam the gun before anyone died?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • I'm a Christian

      God is everywhere.... including in the close quarters of Hitler's high command... 🙂 🙂

      carnal reasonings are what is so wrong with Christians... can't we ever just say we don't know....The bible is not a know it all book...it just gives you enough information on God....enought to get saved... enough answer to understand that the world is out of order with God...enought to find out our place with him....

      July 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  6. SaveTheUSA

    In the revolutionary days, an armed militia could plausibly take on the federal army. IMHO thats the real meaning of the 2nd amendment, to prevent govt from ever becoming a tyranny by having ever present threat of citizen insurrection.

    Can you imagine such a thing today? maybe we need to get back to such a setup where its not only the state that has the threat of brute force.... just saying.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • SaveTheUSA

      "The tree of liberty has to be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots" – one of the founding fathers, I forget whom

      July 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Observer

      The Second Amendment came about when the point of reference was a musket that took 30 seconds to reload.

      Our forefathers would be horrified to think that people in public can carry around weapons of mass-killing that enable them to kill 40 people in seconds before reloading.

      Get serious.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      No amount of "patriots" can take down an army of Abrams tanks. And the government has yet to curtail liberties to the point that we need to overthrow the government anyway so why not just elect reasonable candidates (like Jon Huntsman for example) and kick out the bad ones instead of trying overthrow the US government?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • SaveTheUSA

      Dionysius:

      "yet"

      arguable.
      1/ patriot act
      2/ the new defense authorization

      July 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      Those are not worth using violence over. Only replacing the mor ons that voted for those pieces of legislation.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  7. dionysusBeer

    So let me get this straight. God intervened to jam the rifle and save the injured but he couldn't have jammed the rifle BEFORE this psycho started shooting? Or did the 12 dead people not matter to God? And what's that about liberals making it impossible for God to be anywhere? I thought he was omnipresent. You know, for a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient deity he sure is pretty incompetent. A well-trained, mortal, human cop in the audience could have handled the situation about as well or better than your omnipotent God did.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  8. brad3060

    I am not suprised the world especially the US is in such sad shape after reading these posts.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Hambone Jones

      Yup, all that superst.ition is bringing down the world.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  9. AthiestLogic

    It is always a little entertaining to watch the battle between believers and non-believers, I have to admit. On the one side, there is belief and faith in that which cannot be seen. On the other side, there is disbelief *because* of that which cannot be seen.

    Look, kids – it all boils down to this. Non-believers view the big bang theory as a way to explain how the universe and all that we see around us was created (of course, the theory is used to explain how there is not a Creator). To them, it makes perfect sense. Atheists cling to this and other scientific proof/theories to explain away with human logic how things came to be and to call God names or compare Him with "fairies in the sky."

    Personally, I think it takes more faith to believe that illogical nonsense than it does to believe in a Creator. According to the above paragraph's description of the start of the universe, that would be akin to a tornado ripping through a junkyard and producing a fully-functional 747 jet airplane in its wake.

    Here's some logic for you to apply: every creation has a Creator. There simply is no other way.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "Personally, I think it takes more faith to believe that illogical nonsense than it does to believe in a Creator."

      You didn't do very well in science class, did you? And I know of no one that think that the big bang theory solves any issues of the origins of our universe. We do not currently possess the mathematics to explain the singularity that was the big bang. And, certainly, all science is open to questioning and revision.

      And all creation has a creator? No. Just because you want something to be, doesn't make it so. Who created my lawn? Grass seeds and dirt. I don't know about you, but I don't consider grass seeds and dirt to satisfy the definition of a 'creator'

      July 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Silence?

      Wow, AtheistLogic.. I think you actually did it. You actually found an argument that silences the non-believers/atheists. Every creation has a Creator. Brilliant.

      It leaves the atheist/unbeliever with nothing left to say except to possibly mutter in vain, "nuh-uh."

      July 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Observer

      The "statistic" about the airplane has zero verification. It is just one person's wild guess and it would be foolish to assume it is accurate since we can't even accurately state how many billions of stars there are.

      No one should pretend that being a non-believer makes someone a believer in the Big Bang theory. Not true.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Silence?

      *facepalm* – your admission of our limited human understanding pretty much wraps up this discussion, now doesn't it!

      July 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Hambone Jones

      The Big Bang theory does not prove that there wasn't a creator, just that one wasn't necessary. The universe could have been created naturally. I'd ask you to at least try to represent the science accurately, but I suspect that that would get in the way of you're trying to prove your point.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      "every creation has a creator"

      That's true. But you're assuming that the universe is a creation which is where your logic fails. I can say that "every bird has a beak" but if I call a bat a bird that doesn't make it so and it certainly doesn't make a bat sprout a beak.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      No, it doesn't. Otherwise, you'd have as much an argument for the existence of unicorns and mermaids as you would for any god. Just saying 'I dunno, god musta done it' is intellectually lazy. The problem with a god of the gaps argument is that god continuously gets smaller.

      Are you really trying to argue that because we don't know everything, there must be a god? I mean, come on. Try a little harder.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Funny

      I find it funny how all of these atheists (assuming they are atheists) crying out for all of this "proof" that there is a God can't seem to explain their own rationale without leaving their logic chalk full of holes..

      "We do not currently possess the mathematics to explain the singularity that was the big bang..."

      "...we can't even accurately state how many billions of stars there are."

      And wait.. this one is the best:

      "The universe could have been created naturally..."

      Oh, it *could have* – meaning nobody really knows. And by naturally do you mean by a process outside of our own understanding since I really can't seem to gather how "naturally" fits in with the beginning of all creation, since the assumption of atheists is that *something* came out of *nothing* - yeah, that makes sense.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Funny, "we don't know" is a far superior answer than "some god did it." Before your criticizing "something from nothing" you should read "A Universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss and then write a scholoarly peer-reviewed article that successfully and conclusively rebuts his arguments, and shows why "some god did it" is more likely to be true. Please get back to us when you have completed what should be a trivial task for someone of your intellect.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • lol@Funny

      Funny: 1
      Atheists: 0

      That comment made me laugh when I stopped to imagine how furious you are making these atheists posting in a religion blog. Wait... then that begs to question – *why* are atheists posting in a religion blog, anyway?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      "since the assumption of atheists is that *something* came out of *nothing*"

      Strawman. I suppose if you can't argue against our actual position then making a caricature of it is the only way to make yourself feel better. Just don't expect anyone to take you seriously. As for the origins of the universe, you're right, nobody knows and you can believe what you want to believe. As for me I'm not going to claim that a God caused it until I see evidence.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Funny

      "we can't even accurately state how many billions of stars there are."

      Statement of FACT. It had NOTHING to do with supporting the big bang theory. Don't make assumptions that all atheists support the big bang theory. It's sad that you find facts to be funny.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Funny, of course no one knows. You find this surprising? So, because no one knows means its entirely logical to believe that there is a creator? By that line of reasoning, its entirely logical to believe that an invisible purple spotted unicorn the size of Mars created the universe.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Thus far, there is absolutely no evidence of a creator. Why would I believe in one? And which one would I pick? The only semi-rational decision would to be a deist.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "*why* are atheists posting in a religion blog, anyway?"

      It's where the Christians are.

      (They ban us from posting on their private sites.)

      July 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Once again, 'I dunno, god musta done it' is intellectually lazy. Our ancients used the same illogical reasoning to explain the tides, floods, and other natural occurrences. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      p.s. and we want to keep an eye on them since they want to run the country, pass laws, inst'itute public policies, dictate educational curicula, hinder science, etc., according to their myths, legends, superst'itions and fantasies.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  10. Andrew

    In The Bible, Jesus is asked about a recent disaster involving a tower (the tower at Siloam) that fell killing several people. He was asked why God allowed this to happen. Jesus did not answer the question. Rather, He simply said be sure that if it ever happens to you to be prepared for it spiritually. We are all fabrics in the weave and none of us have full few of the fabric of life. How can we know what good might come from this awful tragedy? You could argue much good already has come from this tragedy in awareness and compassion alone. Do not let your emotional and limited view of full impact to be an argument against the existence of God. Also, God didn't kill these people...a sick and disturbed man did. Let's put blame where blame lies.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Hambone Jones

      So, Jesus couldn't justify it either, eh?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Observer

      While God did nothing:

      58 wounded

      12 killed including children

      July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      I'm gonna set you on fire. Its my job.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @luci,light my blunt that's all you're good for

      July 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Reason Trumps God

    Kyle got it right. How anyone with a brain can believe in a god is beyond me. It just shows how religion brainwashes minds into believing the most ridiculous ideas. Like there is some benevolent ghost up there choosing who gets zapped next and then sits back and watches mass murder, etc., when he/she/it could have prevented it. Come on people, get real! Start using your brain. There is no god... never was, never will be. Don't you see that religion and god were created by man to control the masses? And still apparently do just that!

    July 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Instead of blaming God for tragedy we should look at how God was at work in the tragedy. In a packed out theater, few died, could have been many, many, more. The gun jammed, could have worked perfectly, even been reloaded, and taken many more lives. In an apartment full of explosives, no one lost their life. The gunman could have gotten away, but he is in custody, giving the victim's families some sense of justice. Most people never even think of God during their daily lives, over 10000 comments and counting are entered on this blog showing God is being considered by thousands. When Adam took of the forbidden fruit he brought a curse on the human race, a SELF-inflicted curse. We are all sons of Adam and are born under the curse of Adam's sin. Sin brings about tragedy, all chosen by man. God intervenes according to his perfect will. His ways are so much higher than our ways that as selfish sinful creature we can never begin to understand why things happen the way they do but He leaves us with His promise that He works ALL things for the good of those who love and serve Him, even things we self-inflict or others inflict upon us. The choice to serve Him is a free gift to all mankind. Don't blame God because man makes bad choices and our bad choices flow over to others.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • dionysusBeer

      Wait, wayfaring, why did anyone die? I thought God was omnipotent and omniscient. Is he not? Or is he just lazy? If a gunman tried to shoot up a theater and nobody died that'd be a hell of a better "miracle" then 12 dying under his watch. If he was truly omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and not lazy why didn't the gun jam immediately?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Wayfaring Stranger

    http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23315/language/en-US/Default.aspx

    For my atheist buddies to ponder.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      The fact that places mentioned in the Bible have been verified archeologically has no bearing on the veracity of the supernatural stories put forth in that book.

      Mount Olympus (and many other places mentioned in their legends and myths) really exists in Greece. Does that mean that 12 gods really live there? Dickens' "The Christmas Carol" fairly accurately portrays the places and conditions of 19th century England. Does that mean that the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come were real? All sorts of fiction and fantasy stories are set in real places.

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or supernatural events in that book.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      It was the story, not just the place. More proof for you.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Proof of what? That an ancient town was destroyed... perhaps by a Hebrew man named Joshua?

      I repeat: There is not a whit of verified evidence for the supernatural beings or events told about in the Bible.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  13. Mark from Middle River

    TomTom, Voice of Reason, Bob, Reality, Tallulah, HeavenSent.

    Where did all of these posters/bloggers come from ....and who said that they could play in our Sandbox......

    July 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Hambone Jones

      Who are you, the neighborhood bully who wants to keep the sandbox all to himself?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Atoz

      Well, no one goes to there websites so they try to find an audience here. Cnn needs to mod there pages better.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • *

      Atoz–

      Yes, keep out all the morons who don't know the difference between "there" and "their".

      July 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  14. boocat

    I'm reminded of a few lines from a film called "The Devil's Advocate" when I read this......"God is a sadist....he's an absentee landlord."

    July 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I loved that speech.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  15. BillyGoat

    Man has free will. The moment the madman donned his gas mask and readied his clips, bullets, armor, and the like – he was exercising free will. God is not to intervene with man's free will. However, God can take a tragedy such as this and produce miracles out of the sadness. How many generations will hear of the unborn child who survived three gunshots to the mother's abdomen? Praising God for this miracle will be ongoing for many years to come, long after this tragedy becomes yet another forgotten regurgitation of mainstream media. Media outlets only care that you read their websites or tune in to their newscasts because that equals profit. Once the story goes cold, the media will move on to the next flashing top story. Outside of the limelight will be witnessed stories of a miracle of childbirth against all odds, praising our Lord for His grace.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If god can 'produce miracles', then god is interventionist. If god is interventionist,then he limits our free will? Which is it? And if your god is interventionist, then why didn't he intervene with this obviously sick person?

      You can't have your cake and eat it too.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Sue

      Thank you, Billy! What a great post! Also, I think that it's no accident that the shooter's firepower was diminished once his automatic weapon seized up. Atheists may not believe in God, but thankfully by His grace, God believes in Atheists. Perhaps one day they will be saved through our Lord Jesus Christ.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Sue, if your god jammed the shooter's gun, why didn't he stop him before he ever got to that point? Stop and please think for a minute.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Jeff

      Miracle? So god allowing all these people to die and be injured just to have a baby be born that would have been born healthy anyway is a miracle? Thats the biggest stretch of that word I have ever seen. Maybe you will say that the gunmans gun getting jammed was another of god miracles? This way of thinking is limited and just plain silly.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • *hands raised*

      *facepalm* – most atheists tend to be highly intellectual, which I believe is their common downfall. Applying logic to what is our own limited human understanding is simply futile. I believe the point that BillyGoat was making was that out of this tragedy, there were miracles. Sue added on to that line of thought. Somebody else mentioned that it was 12 killed, 50 injured – and those numbers could have been easily reversed. God will not intervene with man's free will. However, God can and will produce miracles of His own, even in light of a tragic event. You had asked why He did not intervene? How do you know that He didn't intervene? The killer had to be at least a little confused as to why his automatic weapon all of a sudden seized up. He quickly switched gears and settled for his handgun and other weapons with significantly less firepower. Evil exists in this world, otherwise it would be known as Heaven.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If god intervenes, then we do not truly have free will. Please pick one.

      Although saying that my downfall is applying logic is very telling. That you think it's possible to both simultaneously intervene and not intervene is, of course, absurd.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • SUNNY

      Beautifully said Billy too bad alot of people won't comprehend that.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Jeff

      Lets see.

      Health baby is born. Miracle.
      Gun jammed. Miracle.
      Guy in coma and not dead, Miracle.

      these are Miracles? WOW. 1 baby, 12 dead and many injured. Thats a Miracle.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      And really, the creator of the entire universe can only make a gun jam to just limit a tragedy – he couldn't do anything else. And how coincidental, don't you think, that god potentially chose to jam the one gun/clip combination that was shown to frequently jam anyway.

      Very impotent, that god of yours.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • fred

      BillyGoat
      If there is a God then God can interfere with man any way anytime. Our free will does not override Gods sovereign nature. If you are speaking of the God of Abraham then the Bible itself gives many examples of God interfering with mans free will. In fact the God of Abraham is holy and good so Gods very presence limits evil.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Zeus

      I would certainly have sent a lightning bolt down to fell the shooter the parking lot when he went out to get his gear. Or I would have smote him the minute that he tried to turn himself into that red-haired imitation of Thor... the hair dye would have most assuredly melted him.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Zeus

      p.s. but since nobody believes in me, I am pouting, and I will not act.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Zeus

      Anyone else notice that the posts are taking an inordinately long time to appear after clicking "send" - too many pages?... or did that numbers spam jam something?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      As it is most likely that there are no gods, and that there is no evidence of godly intervention in at least several thousand years, it is highly unlikely that any miracles have occurred, at least none that should be attributed to some god. These are "merely" incredible stories of very positive outcomes in a very bad negative situation. Of course, if anyone has any facts to the contrary, let's hear 'em!

      July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Hambone Jones

      BillyGoat
      How many generations will tell the stories of how somebody died on the table during a routine day surgery, or died because of some freak accident? For every positive extraordinary outcome like you mentioned there are just as many negative ones, which is exactly what you'd expect without any supernatural forces being involved. Just as we sometimes have incredibly good days or luck, we have horrible days too with all the rest being somewhere in the "typical" range. You're just placing special emphasis on the good outcomes while ignoring all the bad.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • fred

      *facepalm*
      You are correct if there is a God incompetence is not an option. Some think this broken world is evidence of no God simply on what appears to be a broken design flaw. The general plan is separation of good and evil which was specified from the beginning of creation. What was all good became evil when free will went to the darkside. Yet, the Bible shows the plan already provided for this slide into darkness. Take special note of the 7 days in Genesis where 6 days were the creating process (all very good) then God rested on the 7th day. This is where we are at this time in the 7th day awaiting the eternal separation of good and evil. Not complicated as God keeps it very simple for us to understand. When we arrive at the plan of creation the good and evil eternities are completely described. God will wipe away every tear so what appears as a terrible event today in Colorado will not be part of eternal goodness that will be wiped away.
      God is not incompetent but waiting patiently for the plan to complete.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "In fact the God of Abraham is holy and good so Gods very presence limits evil."

      The god of abraham is also jealous, angry, vengeful, and the creator of evil. It says all of that right there in the bible. He also murdered infants as an extortion scheme. Not sure how he's limiting evil – in the OT he's often the perpetrator of it.

      And if god trumps free will, then that will isn't free. If god intervenes, then he takes away our will, which means the will isn't free. Why is this hard to understand??

      July 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      fred – read your bible. Your god created evil, not free will going to some 'dark side'

      July 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Setting aside any bias for the moment if there is God and Gods plan is unfolding through our existence can you conceive of a better plan that allows the soul to fully display exactly where it belongs eternally?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If god has a plan that's 'playing out' then we don't have free will.

      Epic. Logic. Fail.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      yet another silly "what if" from moron fred...

      I usually refuse to engage in a conversation that begins wiht "assume gods exists..." but...

      fred, assuming god does exist, please provide evidence that man (and women) have souls. Unless you proof that (and that god exists while you are at it), you questions is just a stupid game, much like hacking over the rules to a gigantic fantasy role playing game.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • fred

      *facepalm*
      “The god of abraham is also jealous”
      =>when you pull out words from 3,400 years ago and use todays understanding of that word you miss the boat. Those verses related to a jealous God have a good meaning to the Hebrews of old to whom it was given. Their understanding was that Gods love was so strong for them that when they left “His” arms and were drawn to the arms of Baal (gods that were carnal) it was a very personal affront to the holiness of God not to mention the destruction of the soul of the chosen ones.

      “angry, vengeful”
      =>these emotions are mans best attempt to relay what happens when evil faces pure holiness and goodness. Good luck with explaining it without our words like wrath of God or blood filled fields. I am open to any ideas but the these are still the best I know of.

      “creator of evil.”
      =>to the contrary the initial bad guy was that fallen angel. Note, God created an angel more beautiful than any sight any being had ever known. That angel took it upon self to move into the darkside just as Adam and Eve on the human side chose desire over goodness in a perfect garden.
      Where did you get the idea God created it, I would be very interested in that.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      and fred, if your imaginary god has a plan and is omnipotent, omniscient and any other adjective you choose to use to describe his perfectness, why does he have to wait for anything? If he wants something to happen, why can't he just wiggle his nose?

      Here comes some bullshit that will amount to "he could but he has given us free will so he's not."

      July 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      fred, your god was jealous of non-existent gods. A supreme being would not have anything to be jealous about, and certainly wouldn't get jealous over mythical creatures. Stop with the lame 'your taking it out of context' arguments unless you're able to actually put it into context and back it up.

      And please try to actually read your bible. List one place in the bible where it says that the devil created evil. And please explain the following:

      Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

      Really, it would be easier to debate with you people if you actually knew what your own book said.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • fred

      *facepalm*
      “If god has a plan that's 'playing out' then we don't have free will.”
      =>ok, you and Billygoat are left on a tiny sand bar. Each of you is given a gun and there is a small one man float with high tide moving in. Do either of you have free will?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Not if your imaginary god intervenes and causes one or both of the guns to jam (like he allegedly did in Aurora).

      July 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Of course. However, if Billy pulls the trigger and shoots me, he necessarily limits my free will, doesn't he. Thus, if either of us exert our will, we potentially limit the free will of the other. Thus, at the beginning of your scenario, each of us as complete free will, but not likely at the end.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns
      “If he wants something to happen, why can't he just wiggle his nose?
      =>god has already wiggled his nose (actually spoke all into existence) at the beginning of creation. Take a close look at the story of Adam and Eve and notice that there are two trees in the Garden of Eden (one is the tree of life and the other the tree of knowledge of good and evil). The story board was laid out 4,000 years (or 90,000 years depending on the nature of the first “Adam”) ago and has unfolded as true through this very day. Now, tell me if God is eternal exactly what fraction of time is 4,000 years over eternity? What fraction of time is 4,000 years over a 13.8 billion year old universe? Sounds like the twinkle of an eye or wiggle of the nose to me.
      Another point is that time is relative only based on a fixed position in our dimension. Quantum physics has proven that causation (whatever it was) must have existed outside the 4 dimensions of our known universe (i.e our space and time constraints can not apply).

      July 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • fred

      *facepalm*
      Correct! You will not have any free will upon death ......case closed. Jesus sent you a float if you want it grab it and be saved. If Billy puts down his gun and gives up his life for his enemy or his friend (you?) he will be saved. Jesus said I wish not would perish but all come to the glory of God.
      Free will is yours

      July 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      fred – that analogy had zero to do with the argument that if god intervenes in a situation he limits free will. I might as well say that because the raft floats on water, that Zeus was better than Poseidon, thus god limits free will. Utterly pointless.

      Epic Fail.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns
      “Not if your imaginary god intervenes and causes one or both of the guns to jam”
      Based on personal experience I did not see God’s “hand” in my life when I was agnostic. Upon my sudden conversion following an experience with God I could see how God intervened all along the way. I understand there was no observable tangible change in anything past. My mind simply saw the same events but in a different light and from a different perspective. My point of reference or perspective had been altered to include the reality of that which previously was not exposed. That reality did not open until by free will I accepted Christ.
      I have not forgotten my agnostic perspective and there were not two realities in process at the same time just one. For me reality now consists of the physical and “spiritual” that are one with God.

      God may or may not have caused guns to jam I cannot possibly know that. What I do know is that God is interested in the att-itude of the mind (heart) which changes everything.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      *facepalm*
      You have the free will to pull the trigger or lay down your life for Billy. If God jams your gun God interfered with the result (unknown to you) not your free will choice. On a biblical note you are held accountable for what you decided not the outcome God allows as a result of your action.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Isn't it always interesting to see how far the goal posts move from side to side.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      fred, re: "What I do know is that God is interested in the att-itude of the mind (heart) which changes everything." I contend you *know* no such thing! You are exercising faith – pretending to know something you do not. Now if you can show (prove!) that you know this, let's hear it.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      @hawaiiguest, if I understand you, that is why I do not usually engage in "what if god exists..." type arguments – they just lead to sillier and sillier analogies, speculation and blah, blah, blah from believers. This (not debating believers) is not a position I can take much credit for – I believe Richard Dawkins said that it is pointless to debate believers because they never listen and learn. So back to "first principle" – believers should prove the existence of their god(s) or shut the fuck up!

      July 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      "What I do know is that God is interested in the att-itude of the mind (heart) which changes everything." I contend you *know* no such thing"

      => KNOW verb (used with object)
      1. to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty: I know the situation fully.
      2. to have established or fixed in the mind or memory: to know a poem by heart; Do you know the way to the park from here?
      3. to be cognizant or aware of: I know it.
      4. be acquainted with (a thing, place, person, etc.), as by sight, experience, or report: to know the mayor.
      5. to understand from experience or attainment (usually followed by how before an infinitive): to know how to make gingerbread.

      Based on the above standard definition I KNOW.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      OK fred, if you *know* what your god is interested in, I *know* with the same certainty that there are no gods. Please explain how both of us could be right (or wrong).

      July 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  16. Raymond

    Jesus died over 2000 years ago on a cross at the hands of the Romans. Today when someone dies we refer to the them as the "late" John Smith. But NO ONE evers refers to Jesus as the "late" Jesus. He is living today inside all who will accept him as their savior. Our day will come, until then we have to live on this planet with those that have diminished minds and have no respect for life. We have tried to remove GOD from every aspect of our lives as other posts indicated. He is not ignoring US, we are ignoring him. 12 people were killed and 50 injured, those numbers could easily have been reversed.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • TacTam

      Great comment --

      July 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Jeff

      So what you are saying is thank Jesus 12 people died? Is that really what you are saying?

      July 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Raymond

      Jeff.. if you see this..... it could have been worse

      July 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jeff

      Thats the thing, it can always be worse. To use that as an argument that Jesus was the reason it was not worse makes no sense. If you really want to say something, say it really could have been much better, maybe you should expect more from Jesus.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  17. Petr

    The eternal mystery: If an all-good, all-wise, all-loving, all-just, and all-powerful God is running the show, why does he seem to be doing such a miserable job of it? God gave us free will. God is not hiding behind the scenes pulling levers. He gave us a share in his power to choose freely. That means some people choose to do harm. Free will allows evil into the world. God promised many things, but he never promised we would not suffer. God did promise that he would suffer beside us and is closer to our soul when we are suffering. I believe this, but also believe a person has to let go of his pride for this closeness to occur. God is love.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If you believe in the christian god, then your god is also jealous, angry, vengeful, and the creator of evil.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • SUNNY

      Another beautiful post. Man is the cause of his own sufferning not GOD.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  18. plaster city

    I'm sure some people will actually claim to know where god was.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  19. Mike D

    Where was "god" during the shooting?

    Where all sky-wizards, magical beings, dragons, and fairies can be found. In your imagination.

    The only place it ever has been.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • choppertrash

      Totally agree...

      July 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  20. SaveTheUSA

    Really, who invited you?

    Knock it off!

    July 26, 2012 at 12:22 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.