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:

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.

"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:

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. nogod

    You already rejected God. You wanted a God-less society, then you got what you want. Welcome to your world.

    BTW, in atheism, what happened in Aurora is neither a good thing nor a bad thing.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Yes, and in Christianity, burning witches is a good thing?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      What happened was a horrible thing and Atheists recognize that. We also recognize that this monster obviously had a very deranged mind and his brain chemicals were just totally off balance. We're simply not going to pass the buck to an imaginary creature. 12 innocent lives were lost here and 58 more suffered horrible inflictions at the hands of someone who should never have been allowed access to the types of weaponry he had access to. I don't normally advocate the death penalty but in this case where there is no doubt, 70 bullets are required-one for each of his victims...otherwise he is just going to sit back on tax payer dollar and get a 3 squares a day for however long his pathetic life lingers.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • BRC

      There's no such thing as "in atheism". You can be an atheist, and not believe in gods, but that has nothing to do with this tragedy. the even was a sensless mass killing by an unstable human being, religion has no effect on seeing that is a bad thing.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • mao

      in atheism burning witches is not a bad thing. The Aurora incident is not a bad thing either. Atheism is easy & fun.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Billy

      @Truthprevails- I agree with the exception of the death penalty. It costs us WAY more to have an inmate on death row than just to sentence them to life without parole. Far more punishing as well, to sit in a cell for 40 or 50 years

      July 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      You are an idiot, sorry to say.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • RogueA

      In Christianity, Aurora was the ultimate good thing for the 6 year old who was shot to death. She got to leave this terrible world and go to heaven, right? Man, I'm jealous! It's unfair that the 6 year old got to die before she reached a responsible age to control where she spends eternity. I, on the other hand, have reached adulthood and now risk spending eternity in hell. What a lucky little girl.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Former Christian

      The branch of philosophy known as ethics existed before Christianity ever did. Don't try saying religion is necessary for morality.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Carl

      I am an atheist and what happened in Aurora is a terrible thing. I love Christians think that you can't have morals without gods. How many people have been stoned to death by atheists? Zero

      July 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • goodstone

      I'm an atheist. Stoning people is not a sin in atheism. The govt of China & Russia are examples of good atheists.

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

      What??? Athiests believe in good and bad. Don't be idiotic. We just base our beliefs on moral rights and wrongs (the golden rule if you will – which before you say it comes from the bible – no it predates the Bible to Ancient Greece).

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

      I agree. The govt of China, Russia, and North Korea are atheist and are very moral people.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  2. merkaba

    In the world God intended for us to inhabit, "the natural world" there would be no cinema and this story would not be told to billions of people around the globe. If we continue to dwell on negative fearful situations it will amplify further similar situations in the future waking life. Check out what happened to the elctro-magnetic sphere around the globe 15 min after the first plane hit the world trade center on 9/11. Wake up people. A atom does not exist until somewhere is there to measure it.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  3. Jose

    Where was God in Aurora massacre?

    God is hated, avoided, derided, and denied. God's creature no longer love God. God can not be where He is not loved.
    God wants to be in everyone's heart, and whomever has God has peace, not violence.

    The right question should be: Why wasn't God in their hearts?

    God is not in hearts who love to worship their flesh. God is not there to protect creatures who hate Him.

    Do not insult God, Nothing is to be demanded from Him. He already gives us everything. As His creatures, it is not His duty to protect creatures who do not want God, or in wanting God, would rather worship their flesh.

    First commandment: Love God your Father with all your will. Do not insult Him.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      James Holmes is a good, church going christian. Where was God in the Aurora massacre ... God was in James Holmes' heart.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Insult him?

      Your maggott god let one of his crazy followers shoot a little girl?

      I say we riot, and burn his church and his heaven to the ground.

      Then we nail him up again, with a fourth nail in his forehead so that zombie parasite stays dead.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Jose: Provide one tiny piece of peer reviewed evidence for your claim and do not use the buybull or any other site relating to the buybull in attempting to do so.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jose

      William Demuth

      God has order to love your neighbor as you love yourself. One is not God's follower when one does not do that.

      Evil people claim to know religion, that does not make them automatically good.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Jose: Slightly gullible there, aren't you? God does not exist outside of your buybull...time to join the 21st century and leave your imaginary friend behind little one!!

      July 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Addy

      Well said Jose. God is where He always is. The question should be: Where are you rebellious child. God like a Good Father is waiting for you to come to Him, under His rules. And His rules are not burdensome. Your 'rules', however, are what create discord, anger, hatred. Stop asking where God is and start looking at your own life.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  4. Lynn

    God is where God always is…inside each and every one of us…waiting, patiently, throughout the course of every human life, to become self-actualized. God is love. And the perceived absence of love, self love or otherwise, can bring about dark twisted confused and painful emotions that lead to terror and heartbreak. We’re all the same on the inside regardless of what religion we may or may not practice…children who desire love, acceptance, completeness, and security living in a painful and often frightening world devoid of consistent kindness that lead us to feel alone, scared, ashamed, or angry. We try to fill the void of that perceived lack of love with some form of control, some form of power, to hold onto SOMETHING that will make us feel valid. God was there that night…inside every member of the theater, even inside James Holmes. James just didn’t know it. He was very very lost for what appears to be a very long time, and he took out the frustrations of his deeply buried feelings in a violent and terribly sad manner.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  5. HeavenSent Blog

    Hello and welcome to the HeavenSent blog. This is YOUR opportunity to voice your HeavenSent opinions!

    Please frame your posts to best preach to Atheists about the dangers of a Godless life-style.

    Here are some suggested key words to get you started:

    Itchy Ears
    God doesn't have favorites
    You're a putz, cough fool
    Liar against His truth
    Abide in Jesus' truth
    Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity
    Tommie Tom
    Minions of satan
    Prayer changes things
    Man-made lies of the talmud
    Jesus’ letter, the Bible
    God’s truth
    Jesus’ truth
    The truth
    Jesus Christ's truth are resurrected to eternity
    I am flying with Evil
    Boo hoo
    I know from Moe Curly of the 3 stooges that nothing works
    Those that believe in Him go with Him to eternity
    Lies lies lies
    Fat drippings
    Personal worms
    Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us
    You fools doing evil
    You atheists
    Smug atheists
    Prideful atheists
    Throw away that users manual
    Prayer really works
    No eyes to see or hear His truth
    Blotted out for eternity
    Burn burn burn for all eternity
    Writing your filth
    True Christians
    The liar satan
    Snakes in your Belly
    Athiests at CNN
    They are blocking my posts again
    Dead bones
    Logic?? I don't require a single shred to define my beliefs
    You must like worms
    Pay no attention to the small minded fools that got their brain fried
    Read back through the previous articles for over a year dummy
    I know you atheists to be fools
    Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom
    You believing something doesn't make it true
    I'm not holding my breath
    You own those labels
    Humble yourself and ask Jesus for forgiveness
    Reprobate minds
    Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds
    After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears
    Satan's lies causes confusion
    Atheists write this garbage
    Satan is death
    You are fooling yourself if you don't tell gays they suffer for eternity
    Tortured for eternity
    Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth
    Your father Satan
    End of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians
    Another rock. Nothing new under the sun
    You insist on your lies having wings to fly
    You are still a pigeon
    The entire MO behind the atheist is to throw out as many lies and see what sticks
    Debating is the atheists game
    Satan impregnated Eve with Cain
    I know you atheists to be fools
    Christians are on these articles to ensure Jesus Christ's truth is posted
    Start your walk with Jesus
    Blinded by satan's lies
    Test from God. Do you have what it takes to pass?
    Serpent is just one of the multiple names of Lucifer aka satan
    The big bang and evolution are lies against Jesus’ truth to cause doubt, creating confusion
    Satan's lies are built on quick sand foundation
    What part of Jesus' truth is clarity and satan's lies are confusion do you not comprehend?
    There are no flaws in His word
    Jesus' truth stands for eternity
    Get over your obsession with me
    Lions and tigers and bears, oh my
    Rocks, everywhere on this site, rocks
    Seeds of Jesus falling on rock.
    Stepping over His seeds that get blown by the wind to find their way to fertile grounds
    Typical of swines trampling
    It's obsessive compulsion to grab at any straw to give a reason not to learn or understand
    Go back to posting under my handle and answering yourself
    Get a life and try to grow
    Singular swine using multiple handles.
    You still continue to refuse to learn your heritage
    I've posted the answer numerous times
    I'm glad the line from the movie Secretariat sticks in your mind
    Statistics prove that the more devout someone is, the higher IQ they have
    Read the Bible. It is 100 percent accurate in every facet
    It makes me smile to know that people will be tortured in hell for eternity

    And much, much more! Remember….Muslims, Jews and Atheists need not apply!


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

      Trolling, trolling, trolling we will go....

      July 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      Wow. Someone needs to step away from the internet now and then.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As I already stated blog, I could post Jesus' scriptures next to every word of mine that you atheists asked. But, that would be doing the work for you whose seeds of His truth fell on rock.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Billy

      That's right. Only the tolerant Christians.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  6. Ron

    Thers is no god..its just a fable....suckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You're too easy Ron.

      2 Timothy 4:3-4

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
      4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


      July 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Vicki

      Maybe...but if we're wrong, we haven't lost anything. If you're wrong, well.......

      July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  7. Reality

    Where was god? The answer is in updated prayers. See below for one example:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      Isn't a bit odd that Josephus, Philo-Judæus, Seneca, Pliny the Elder, Arrian, Petronius, Dion Pruseus, Paterculus, Suetonius, Juvenal, Martial, Persius, Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Justus of Tiberius, Apollonius, Quintilian, Lucanus, Epictetus, Hermogones, Silius Italicus, Statius, Ptolemy, Appian, Phlegon, Phædrus, Valerius Maximus, Lucian, Pausanias, Florus Lucius, Quintius Curtius, Aulus Gellius, Dio Chrysostom, Columella, Valerius Flaccus, Damis, Favorinus, Lysias, Pomponius Mela, Appion of Alexandria, and Theon of Smyrna were all First and Second Century historians, and not ONE of them wrote a single WORD of this wondrous Jesus of Nazareth?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Russ

      @ dyslexic dog:
      here's a page full of non-biblical references to Jesus (including some of those you list as not mentioning him):

      July 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      What are you talking about Dog? Over half of those you mentioned write about Jesus and his followers?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • junior

      You forgot the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.....

      July 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • BRC

      Did you actually read the site you listed? It gives accounts of Christians being persecuted (a known occurance), and has other historians describing/explaining the Christians beleif. it doesn't say they beliefe/saw/recorded proof of his divinity or resurection.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Sorry, Russ and Mennonite, these secular historians reported about what the Christian sect claimed about their hero. Not one of them was contemporary with the alleged life of Jesus.

      Several of them also wrote about Hercules... does that mean that he was real and that his magical, supernatural feats really happened?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You're too easy too Reality.

      2 Timothy 4:3-4

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
      4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


      July 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Russ

      @ BRC & Frayed knot:
      yes, I read the page. and your objection misses the point:

      1) dyslexic dog said those folks said "not one word about this wondrous Jesus." that simply is not true.

      2) you added the qualification of "his life & resurrection" – which notably would REQUIRE a firsthand witness, which none of those names (to the best of my knowledge) could have been.

      a) these sources were interacting with witnesses & followers. that's the historical evidence being discussed here – notably, from a scholarly perspective by comparison to other ancient texts, incredibly close to the source. but yes, they are second-hand sources. though firsthand sources do exist...

      b) only firsthand accounts could be an ultimate source here. and what are the Gospels? See Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" for a scholarly discussion on that topic.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  8. Keith

    The question is a joke. Gee, let's remove God from every facet of our lives and then blame Him when evil triumphs. I would ask, "What are doing even going to a dark, sinister, God-less movie in the first place?" Light has nothing in common with darkness. Don't blame God when crap like this happens. Blame man. Blame humanism.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • BRC

      Blame a philosphy that believes that human life is the most important element to be considered for a senseless mass murder. That's brilliant, good call.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Wow Keith, do you ever stop spewing your hatred of mankind? Please if you feel so strongly that your god exists, join it already...send us a post card from your hell to prove that exists also.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  9. Mr. Rogers

    Where was God? The same place he's always been. In the world of make believe.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • JT

      Actually, that night he was spotted having a beer with Cinderella while Little Red Riding Hood was tending bar.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Make Me Believe

      Yours is make believe. Love for you!

      July 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  10. Theophrastus

    God gave us free will. We have the option to live peaceably and harmoniously or we can live in hate and despair. When we live in hate and despair then those around will most likely be hurt by us. My hope is that more people decide to live the former than the later. And hopefully before more of this type of violence happens.

    Everyone who says God has a plan or that God caused a natural disaster that kills many is a fool.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  11. Who Needs It

    Who needs God? Do you really need an invisible being to help you choose what's right and wrong? I choose to do what's right because it feels right. If God actually exists and he doesn't let me in when all is said and done, then I'd rather burn anyway. But he doesn't... Hence, this tragedy.

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

      You're so full of it! You'd rather burn? Really? For eternity? Those who jumped to their deaths from the WTC would seem to disagree with you.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Madtown

      You're so full of it! You'd rather burn? Really? For eternity?
      No one's burning, certainly not for eternity.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Keith

      Because it feels right? People feel it "right" to abort defensless babies. This murderer felt it "right" to go murder a bunch of people. Yes, by all means-let's all do what feels "right".

      July 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • poootinany

      agree with ken. God set the morality bar higher than human standards.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • ....

      I felt it was right to take drugs until 10am and rave all night until I woke up feeling like crap.... Is that right? I felt it was right to disrespect my parents whenever I felt like it? Is that right? This man who shot everyone felt it was right to kill all these innocent people. Was that right? God teaches what is right and wrong for a reason. Read the Word, Holy bible and there lies all the answers.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • narly

      Who needs Him? this comes down to fundamental question of where did all this stuff come from? The planet, animals, stars, humans, creatures in the depths of the sea, everything, it screeeeams "creation". God's handiwork is everywhere. Proof of God is so prevailent and obvious. If you believe in evolution you have more faith than I do as a follower of Jesus Christ. many religions believe we will be held accountable. So 10 seconds after you die, you will have to stand accountable before a holy, righteous God of the universe.
      In the New Testament, Romans 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
      Trust in the only one who can save you on your personal judgment day, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  12. derp

    "Where was God in Aurora?"

    He was at the Jets training camp helping Tim Tebow get ready for the upcoming NFL season.

    Dude has his priorities.

    Who are you to question him?

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

      bravo sir, bravo

      July 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Eric G

      maybe he was helping that Olympic marathon runner from last weeks blog?

      July 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jason...

      Best comment yet! Tim Teabow was hogging up God for himself.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  13. dkd

    There's a very simple explanation. God does not exist. Random acts of violence are simply random acts of violence. Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is almost always the correct one.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Chris

      So going with that logic, does that mean the good that takes place in the world proves God's existence?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • BRC

      No, usually those good things happened for a reason, like someone tried hard, or planned ahead. IF you mean just random boughts of good luck, no, that doesn't prove that there is a god, just like horrible even't don't.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • wayne

      "So going with that logic, does that mean the good that takes place in the world proves God's existence?"

      No good things that happen are simply good things that happen, With that logic.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  14. rAmen

    but harry potter is so much more interesting! and fewer people died

    July 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  15. the voice of reason


    July 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  16. mikey

    The workings of evil, is evidence that there is good. God is good and yes, even sovereign. I'm not at liberty to say He couldn't have stopped what happened in Aurora, because He could have. The fact of the matter is though, although a terrible tragedy, It has grown the nation closer together, even if for just a week. United prayers, and a heart that mourns. God is still very much alive and active in my own life personally, and as well as many of my brothers and sisters. My prayers alongside with my brother's prayers are consistently answered to the point, I have full confidence that He is answering. Every week seeing many miracles and blessings. Yes, God was there, even in the midst of the smoke, He is a God of justice, this act will not go unpunished, and there is hope for the family member's affected by the massacre. Instead of pointing the blame on the King of goodness, blame the evil one instead.

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

      Where faith exists, goodness flourishes. Even in tragedy.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      IF God ever directly changed a person's intended action, that would negate free will.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • mikey

      Not changing the actions but the heart, and even events to lead to the tradegy, such as car breaking down, pulled over for suspision (Forgive my spelling) and/or found out on purchase history...etc

      July 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bryan T

      Mikey, You are obviously deluded.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  17. God is a Physical Being

    Too many people don't read the ancient texts of the bible and instead make God into whatever they want to. Read the Old Testament and it's easy to see that Yahweh was a very physical being that descended from the heavens and ascended to the heavens, spoke with Moses face-to-face, and hovered over the Hebrews in the Exodus in a "pillar of cloud" by day and "pillar of fire" at night. Yahweh is a VERY REAL being and He told us he will return to earth and reign on earth in the future. But in the meantime, He is not, nor has he ever said, that He is in control of everyone's actions. Nor has he said that His will is always done (evil is obviously not His will). Anyone with common sense knows that evil exists in this world. But Christians (at least the ones that actually read the bible) cling to the hope that Yahweh's (God's) word is true, and there WILL be a day when evil on earth is no more. Read the bible folks. It's shorter than the Harry Potter book series.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Where's the evidence. Something physical always leaves evidence.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      He might have pooped somewhere. We could find it.

      God Bless

      July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Lycidas

      just sayin- "He might have pooped somewhere. We could find it."

      Takes a long look at "just sayin"..."well, you know you do act like a pile of..."

      July 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      "Read the bible folks. It's shorter than the Harry Potter book series" ... and both should be found in the FICTION section.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • derp

      "He might have pooped somewhere. We could find it"

      It will be solid gold, with sparkles, and smell like roses.

      God's poop is like that.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • God is a Physical Being

      My point was that a lot of pastors, like the one in this article, just make God into whatever they want instead of what scripture says He is. The words from THEIR mouths is what is often just FICTION. However, if you read Exodus, Leviticus, and (the most interesting) Ezekiel, you'll see that people were making their best efforts to describe events and technologies that they didn't understand. It always amazes me that people say there's no way we're the only life forms in the billions of stars of billions of galaxies, yet the same refuse even the idea that there is a supreme life form that started life on this planet. Talk about close-minded. Put your bitterness toward pastors aside for a day and crack open these three books of the bible and read for yourself. It doesn't take much time. I think you'll be surprised with what you find. And I guarantee you'll find things you've never heard in church. Have a beautiful day.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  18. lunchbreaker

    If there is a God, this happened because alleged God gave us free will, or could care less. To imply a divine reason to a persons actions removes free will from the equation, making the killer not responsible because he was not in control of his actions.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      lunchbreaker, the shooter is responsible for his actions, just as you are for your post. It's not the victims fault that this guy is a predator with a huge ego that wanted to wreak chaos in that theater. Give him the chair and do it quick.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I'm agreeing with you on that aspect HS. Any God would have to allow free will in order for His judgement to mean anything.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  19. BoldGeorge

    The question should rather be, "Where were the people when God was calling?"

    July 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah, that'll show 'em!

      July 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • rAmen

      i have voice mail, you know

      July 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  20. AverageJoe76

    Wouldn't God be upset if I was a phony? If I say, "I believe" but carry tremendous doubt and skepticism conerning the principles of the faith, isn't that worst? Would the faithful like the atheist/ agnostics to rejoin the fray and shut up? Shut our freeking pie-holes and conform? Would that be better? No questions. No uproars. Just simple complacency. Quiet, communist services......

    July 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AverageJoe, when you want to get off that wide path to destruction, you will seek the narrow gate that leads to Jesus' truth.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      HeavenSent, when you want to wake up from your delusion, you will go down the narrow hallway and out your front door and find a real, physical, provable world out there. 🙂

      July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dog, you folks own the delusion that we have to put up with.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:28 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.