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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. Brian

    You guys ought to be ashamed for putting such an article up. God was there when this happened. He is there in good times and in bad times. In birth and in death he is with us all the way. Its sad when you blame God who loves us so much(see John 3:16)when things like this occur. He is sad over the events that occurred and mourns with the victims and with their families. God is even more sad at this stupid article being posted I feel sorry for you who do not have faith, who do not have God who brings peace to the lives of the faithful I pray you find your way.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Since when are you able to speak for your version of god??? What about the god's of the people who don't believe in your god?? What about those who didn't believe? You're gullible and lazy. Your god doesn't exist in this world nor does your god matter in the grand scheme of this.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • sam stone

      brian: people can have peace without your (version of) god.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • JWT

      And it continues on to John 3:18 where it shows god as a vengeful bully unworth of even existance let alone worship.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  2. Sean B.

    I used to get made fun of a lot in high school because I was kind of in to computers (even though I played football). The people who made fun of me were from the outside looking in. I had a plan; I knew there was a path from where I was to where I wanted to be. For those people, the satisfaction and social rewards of making fun of someone like me ended after High School. My reward for having faith in my path has continued to this day. Last year, at the age of 29, my wife and I started a business and my current computer nerdy job pays just shy of $250k a year. I've worked in the Pentagon and as a consultant for the Intelligence Community and the FBI. When I visit my home town, I see those High School Social Elites now working jobs that have little potential for advancement. Jobs like Hotel Desk Clerks, Managers of fast food service establishments, some still live at home with their parents.

    I believe in an all powerful God. I believe that there is a path to salvation. I have faith in that path and those that ridicule are on the outside looking in. They cannot know what I know. And the satisfactions and rewards for their ridicule and unbelief will end at after this life. And those that embraced the path will see a treasure.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Do live a meager life. For someone who makes good money I didnt see you say how much of that money you use to do gods work

      July 25, 2012 at 6:26 am |
  3. One one

    If god didn't stop the Nazis from murdering 6 million Jews, despite their prayers for help, why would he stop Holmes ?

    Lesson learned: don't bother praying for help if you are being victimized because god won't interfere with your tormentor's "free will".

    July 25, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • LT

      God allowed his only begotten Son Jesus to die in our place to make it possible for whosoever chooses to believe on Christ to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven after their life here on earth is over. So I will not stop praying for you or for me. 🙂

      July 25, 2012 at 6:10 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      @lt what about the people who died before Jesus csme to earth

      July 25, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • LT

      Bama-They shall be judged by the Book of Works because the knowledge of good and evil is in every single human being.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Amber123

      That sounds correct to me.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Then what did Jesus die for if you dont get in heaven(translates to sky in English)automatically

      July 25, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • One one

      @LT. According to the story, Jesus was innocent but his dad had him killed to pay for the "sins" of the "guilty".
      Is it moral for the innocent to pay for the "guilty".
      What kind of lesson in morality is that ?

      July 25, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • LT

      One on one – The story of Christ and what he did for all of us is the greatest story of sacrificial Love. Jesus said no greater love does a man have than to lay down his life for his friends.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • One one

      LT, did Jesus also say this ?

      "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
      Gen 6:7

      July 25, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • One one

      LT, Why did Jesus have to die? He could have just waved his magic wand and lift the curse. After all, he put the curse on mankind in the first place.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • LT

      One one, yes, God spoke these words in Genesis before the Great Flood, his judgement for the wickedness of man on earth. But my question to you right now is, why do you feel the need to Judge your Creator by referring to this story in the Old Testament. Yes, God spoke these words, yes, the flood happened. But Christ came to save us from the NEXT Judgement. Why don't you just receive Christ and stop fighting against your Creator and except his great love now.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • One one

      @LT, why ? Because the entire story is simply a myth that makes absolutely no sense.

      My concern is that believers are trying to push this stuff into the minds of children.

      Many of the comments here suggest we need to put prayer back in schools. They are using this tragedy to push their religious agendas . If you want to believe, fine. Just don't try to push that stuff into the public space.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • sam stone

      LT: The god you describe is a petty vindictive punk.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  4. Colin

    Christianity is the belief that an all knowing, infinitely old super-being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, has a personal interest in my $ex life.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is ridiculous.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • LT

      The Bible says that the fool has said in his heart that there is no God. An atheist sued to have a holiday declared for his unbelief one day. The Judge ruled you already have one. It comes around once a year on April 1st.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • Colin

      LT – the Biblee also says a man lived in a whale's belly for three days, that people lived to be hundreds of years old, that a man rose from the dead and that the entire Universe is about 6,000 years old and started with one man, one woman and a talking snake.

      Given all this, you can perhaps understand why I am not in the least bit concerned with what it thinks of we atheists.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Colin,it was a parrot that threw its voice

      July 25, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • LT

      To believe that matter can create matter in an of itself all by itself and that something can come from absolutely nothing without an Eternal source is the height of ridiculous.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      @lt,big bang theory was the idea of a Catholic priest(he was an astonomer).the pope said see that proves Genesis is true,the priest said no, it's just a scientific theory

      July 25, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • sam stone

      No, LT: The fool is the one who feels that they speak for god. Now, get back on your knees like a good little slave

      July 25, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • sam stone

      LT: how do you make the leap of logic from a creator to a "god"?

      July 25, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  5. Cfox

    Funny little story; I received a call from a friend one night he/she thought that they were dying. They were having horrible chest pains, radiating pain shooting up the arm, etc etc. I remember this person begging, while on the phone with me "Please god don't let me die" and other such prayers and pleas. Turned out they were fine, but the key point to this story; ..... this friend of mine is a proclaimed Athiest.

    If you don't want to believe; fine. If you want to belive; fine. Just don't push your beliefs on me either way, and if I choose to believe part or all of the ideology, that is my business. I am not hurting you, I am still a productive member of society and do not run my life according to my religion. I run my life according to what I know, or think, as a human being, is right and wrong.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:53 am |
  6. ut33

    Luke:13:1-5

    July 25, 2012 at 5:46 am |
  7. One one

    God lets bad people kill at will.
    The devoted say it’s because of “free will”.
    Then why do they pray, and pray, and pray?
    For god to help them, day after day?
    They pray to god to improve their fate
    Their own free will they ask god to negate
    “Free will” for us all…, from the god of peace!

    Who sends us to hell for a wrong belief.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  8. William Seager

    Peace2All

    So... he 'allows' or not ? He 'intervenes' if... you supplicate, then 'He' will ?

    Which is it ?

    It is ALL "peace to all' He does not micro-manage the universe? We know the rules but do not abide by them. I believe in the power of prayer. If I'm flying and crash and I'm killed, is God to blame, even if I pray to be saved. There are many instances of devine intervention. I cannot explain them, but I know, personally, God has carried me alot, especially when I most needed him and I do believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

    MR "Peace To All is sure having alot of fun with this and us, isn't he. My belief is you will be spending eternity in a very uncomfortable place without doors...exactly where the smug athiest, Mr. Hitchings is right now; atoning for his "hitchslaps."

    July 25, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Chris

      You know how i know you're an idiot? 1. gratuitous claim that "There are many instances of devine (sic) intervention." 2. gratuitous claim that " He does not micro-manage the universe."

      Really all that needs to be said.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Colin

      What I love about the Christian superst.ition of hell is that it is just so silly. Think about it. You don't have to kill, you don't have to rob, heck, you don't even have to litter. All one need do is have an honest, rational and reasonable disbelief in the Christian god, and he will inflict a grotesque eternal torture on you a billion times worse than the death penalty. And he loves you.

      It is a silly, childish superst.ition that should never have made it out of the Dark Ages.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • sam stone

      Ooooh.....hell.....pretty scary....for those who believe in such a place

      July 25, 2012 at 7:04 am |
  9. Chris

    It's not that complicated. Free will is not relevant to this discussion IF we posit, as most do, God is both all-knowing AND all-powerful. As such, despite notions of free will, Christians must agree that God knew what James would do when He created him – yet – decided to create him nonetheless. Its an age-old question: why create those that God knows will do evil, or put a different way, why would God create a person knowing that their exercise of free will during life would send them to an eternity in Hell? Why would a merciful God create a life doomed for an eternity of suffering? The answer is simple. Christians have it wrong. God simply cannot logically be all-powerful, all-knowing, AND merciful. If all-powerful and all-knowing, then he is a dick. If all-powerful and merciful, then he would not knowingly create those he knew would suffer for eternity – so he must not be all knowing. And if he is all-knowing and merciful, but does not have the power to enact his will – then why call him God? Can anyone deign to divine a rational answer to this? I have yet to hear an intelligent response on this issue.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      He smokes kush and the smoke is hard to see through sometimes

      July 25, 2012 at 6:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Bama: He smokes Kush, but he prefers White Widow

      July 25, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  10. solidox

    God is useless, either way. He's like one big invisible deadbeat dad.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • sam stone

      Just another one who knocks up a little girl and leaves the rest of the world to deal with the blatherings of the illegitimate child

      July 25, 2012 at 7:07 am |
  11. Your Brain

    It all goes back to Adam and Eve after sin had been released into the world by Eve falling into satan trap. Sin was passed on to their Sons, Cain and Abel. When Cain saw Abel was making an effort in pleasing God, he was full of hate and killed his brother. Did God know this was going to happen? Yes. Did he want it to happen? No. Then how can a loving God allow that to happen? He gave us free will to choose good or evil, that's why. The problem is the evil in mankind's heart. Also, AJD13, The reason why God sends some people to hell is because they chose satan not God. And its not "IF" you do good things or "IF" you do bad things that determines where you end up, Its who you choose, God or satan. Simple as that.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Why did God allow Satan to intercede in the garden of Eden in the first place. Wasn't Eve's choice (free will) swayed unfairly by a super being (one she would necessarily believe was giving her good advice)?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Evangelist Erserline Watson

      In Reply to Your Brain! Sir, you are right on target. God has given us free will to chose. He says he who is willing let him come. We all have to serve somebody, Praise God, I have chose him as my Lord and Savior! My heart aches not only for all the family members that have lost love ones but for Mr. Holmes family also. Evil is forever present in the earth as is good. We must make the right choice. There is a day of atonement coming and we all will be held accountable!!! I pray that some of our candidates for these offices will put a stop to anyone being able to obtain assault weapons and ammunition. Let's continue to pray and keep all of our fellow Brothers and Sisters in prayer as e begin to heal. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter during these times!!!!

      July 25, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • JWT

      Well I choose neither god not satan. Nor heaven nor hell, although you are welcome to choose what you want to believe,

      It is in fact very simple.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • sam stone

      erserline: free people do not need a savior

      July 25, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  12. Christo

    In Syria....oh no wait...

    July 25, 2012 at 4:43 am |
  13. JD

    "Has God Spoken" by Hank Hanegraff This will answer all of your questions as there is 100% proof that the Bible is Divine and Accurate!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • AJD13

      So this author has a "red line" to god in heaven in order to get all this information that god supposedly has not imparted to the rest of us....only this author....interesting. Usually when someone says that they have knowledge that is THE truth that no one else has, that's a huge red flag.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      JD: That is not proof of anything. The buybull is not divine and no matter what lunatic spin you put on it, you will never prove it is. There is historical proof that the buybull was written by man and in turn inspired by man. There is no historical proof to back a god dictating it.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • eugene glass

      God was where He needed to be. He was and is with His children. He protected and brought hoe those that had completed their work on earth and left the others to do their work or make the choice to be saved. We can not blame the 1 true God for this and all other tragedities that strike the world, it is satan doing it and ewe must give the Glory to God for the miracles that more were not harmed in this event.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:40 am |
  14. AZ

    God gave the power to a human being to tread on right or wrong path, and He will make him accountable for what he did..So to say that why God didn't intervene is a baseless argument.. God reminds us to watch our footsteps and He indeed keep a watch on our footsteps. He will surely intervene might be this world or the hereafter. That's his choice.. Who we are to force His majesty.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • AJD13

      It's telling that in so many of the posts of people defending belief in god/religion their grammar is horrible and what they are saying is so hard to decipher due to that fact.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

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

      – Epicurus [341–270 B.C.]

      "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. "

      For the first part of the quote he is saying:
      "Would God prevent evil if he could, but not able to? Then he is not an all powerful being, or God."

      The next part of the quote is more of what Christians believe God is without even realizing it:
      "Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent."

      When translated down:
      "Is he able to stop evil, but doesn’t want to? Then he is evil."

      This is a great one for Christians who say he can stop it, and he would if he could:
      "Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?"

      Which sounds like this:
      "Is he able to stop evil and would if he could? Then where the hell does evil come from?"

      Final piece, :
      "Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

      Translates to:
      "Can he not stop evil and doesn’t care? Then why call him God?"

      July 25, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  15. robert lacour

    Whats the point in creating an earth? How would somebody gain faith if he KNEW there was a god? Small price to pay for an eternity in heaven don't you think?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      What???? That made absolutely no sense! We know how the earth was created, there is scientific evidence to back this. We know that heaven does not exist due to a lack of evidence for it. Faith is belief without evidence and only proves that a believer does not gives a damn that what they believe is true or not.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:09 am |
    • sam stone

      you would want an eternity in heaven?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • AJD13

      Why would a loving god even consider creating a hell? Why would an omnipotent god need to create people to worship him and for him to "test"? Why would he want to create people with the possibility that he would have to send some of them to this horrible place to be tortured for eternity? If I were able to create beings I would never want them to suffer or to have to punish them.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Peace2All

      @robert lacour

      You Said: " What's the point in creating an earth? How would somebody gain faith if he KNEW there was a god? Small price to pay for an eternity in heaven don't you think?"

      Your whole post starts out with a s s umptions and is based on unproven/unverified speculation with hail a mary Pascal's Wager thrown in at the end of your post.

      Good grief ! 😯

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Heaven, Hell, God and the afterlife are all man made ideas.
      Primitive man saw he awesome spectacle of the night sky and without clear knowledge of what they were looking at they dubbed it the "heavens". This predates all known religions.
      Same for Hell. Early man who peered into a volcano would assume the sub world was a burning hell.
      God or gods of every stripe have been imagined to explain all the mysteries...lightning, rainbows, eclipses etc...
      The notion of an afterlife, while different from religion to religion, in Christianitys case was obviously crafted to subdue the downtrodden segment of the population to prevent them from uprising in rebellion by fooling them into believing that things would be so much better for them in the next life and that their oppressors would face ultimate judgment for their indiscretions.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • AJD13

      Exactly....it's no accident that the bible lauds those that are "meek" and "poor" and that there are so many references to "sheep" (and being a sheep is a good thing in the bible!) and the whole hierarchy of heaven is feudal even using the term "lord."

      July 25, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  16. The Problem of Evil

    Where was god in the Aurora massacre?

    The same place he always is. Not existing.

    Assumptions:
    1. God exists and is wholly good, omnipotent and omniscient.
    2. Evil exists

    Therefore:
    3. There are no limits to what an omnipotent, omniscient being can do.
    4. A good being always eliminates evil as far as it can.
    5. (If 1 and 4 are true) God eliminates all of the evil He can eliminate - because he is omnibenevolent.
    6. (If 1 and 3 are true) God can eliminate all of the evil there is - because omnipotent.
    7. (If 5 and 6 are true) God eliminates all evil.
    8. (If 7 is true) There is no evil.
    9. (But from 2 and 8) There is evil and there is no evil.

    No. 9 is a logical contradiction. Therefore one of our two assumptions is false. Since evil exists (No.2), god must not (No. 1).

    July 25, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • AJD13

      Unless there is a "god" that is NOT all good, all knowing, all powerful, etc etc. Depends on the definition of "god." I suppose there could be a being with the ability to create but is NOT devoid of evil. That's one of the things that I did like about the Greek myths was that their gods were much more human like and fallible.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • The Problem of Evil

      @AJD13:

      Yes, agree, the capricious Olympians. Maybe that's the problem: it's not the christian god that's in charge. Zeus and friends are the ones causing all the problems.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • Chedric

      If the Bible say that God is Love (1John 4:8) in what way can he agree with these disasters?
      Is he punishing people by let this happens? NO! Jesus said about a disaster: Luke 13:4.
      The Bible speaks about Ecclesiastes 9:11 that time and unforseen occurence is the cause of these things.
      Something else: Would not a great aniversary from God would like to see human suffer and blame God for it?
      Read Hebrew 2:14. Isn't he a troublemaker?
      Why did God forbid him take Job's life? Job 2:6.
      Yes NOT GOD is behind this but his aniversay Satan the Devil: Revelation 12:12.
      He would be glad when people blame God for all this.
      But God has a better future for people Revelation 21:3,4 and John 5:28, 29
      Stick to what God's Word says and not what people is screaming in innocense.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Chedric,

      Regarding evidence for supernatural beings and events, the Bible is nothing.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • AJD13

      It would be like if someone dug up a copy of Harry Potter 5000 years from now and thought it really happened.....there was an episode of the original Star Trek where a society became "contaminated" when an astronaut left a copy of a book about 1920's gangsters on a planet and someone found it and they ended up basing their whole society on it and revered the book like the bible.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • buttsniffer

      Excellent logical analysis! I have another:

      Assumptions:
      1. God is love
      2. Love is blind

      Fact:
      3. Stevie Wonder is blind

      Therefore:
      4. Stevie Wonder is God
      OR
      5. There is no God

      July 25, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  17. latenite

    God loves man enough to give him free will, even though it leads to our own destruction. What's the alternative? God steps in and intervenes before any evil can happen? He becomes a cosmic maid cleaning up our messes after the fact? How would we grow as people if He did? The main point is that God cares more about our character than our comfort, and even amid tragedy, He is still sovereign and can spare whom He wills. Consider, though, given this country's recent attempts to rid God from all public life (10 commandments removed, crosses torn down), isn't it a bit hypocritical to expect God to intervene when tragedies like this occur?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • AJD13

      The real question is why would an all knowing, omnipotent god feel the need to create humans (and create them the way they are with the need to grow and develop, etc etc) and this kind of world in the first place? Why would he be compelled to do that? Why would an all loving, all about peace and harmony god be tempted in any way to create a world that is so opposite of his supposed "nature" and people who have inclinations that are so opposite of his "nature?" Was he just bored? Did he just want to see what would happen? And if that's the case, then he isn't "all knowing" or "omnipotent." If he allows suffering and harm at all then he can't logically be "all loving." No one that truly loves someone could ever stand back and allow harm and suffering to come to them if they have the power to stop it. And as far as "god's will or plan"....what would it hurt to allow people to live out a normal life span and have all the experiences they could in life in that time than to take them when they're 6 and have yet to experience all they could of life? What does "time" mean to god? What difference would it make to an eternal being to wait another 80 years to take that 6 year old and let them have a life here for awhile? There are more logic holes in religion's (any religion's) idea of who/what god is than in a sieve when those ideas are put up against observable reality.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:35 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The christian god has been removed from the public square due to the consti.tution...separation of church and state. It is also not the christian right to impose their specific god on other people or other peoples children. The USA was built on secularism and if christians want respect, they need to respect everyone else around them. Given that none of your gods can be proven to exist, the laws of the land focus on what is best for all involved regardless of belief or disbelief. The 10 commandments focus on the control freak att.itude of your god and some very basic priniciples. The first 4 of those demand one worships your god or suffer, the remaining are common sense regardless of what god you believe in or don't believe in. Bottom line is that christians need to take off their superiority hats and realize that their belief is not the only acceptable one. This tragedy had nothing to do with a god being there or not, it had to do with a human who totally had control on his own deranged mind (christians who believe are just as capable of committing horrific crimes-Andrea Yates is a prime example).

      July 25, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • HappyHeathen

      If it was our free will that brings about such tragedies, then what will happen to our free will once we get to heaven? Will it be removed, suspended? If not, what will prevent our free will from bringing about negative consequences once the saved arrive in heaven? These questions are going to require you to admit one of three things, the frist is the possibility that free will will be removed and we all become "Praise Jesus" automotons, without the freedom to choose anything for ourselves. Or the second, that god will somehow stop our free will from having any of the negative effects that it does here on Earth which will then beg the question of why he couldnt have given us free will w/o the negatives in the first place. Or finally the third, which is that heaven will be exactly like it is here on Earth with people causing harm to each other in horribly sadistic ways.

      Also, have you ever even considered what eternity is? It really doesnt matter if you go to heaven or hell because after a long enough time, the boredom would turn any place into hell. Imagine that you could take evry individual atom in the universe and bring it home and study it with some heaven techno microscope and spend 1000 years studying just that one atom before returning it to grab another. You could go work your way through every atom in the universe 5 billion times and you still wouldnt have even made the tiniest drop in the bucket of eternity. Seems like a horrible fate to me.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  18. YouHaveNoFaith

    God wasn't to blame for this. There is evil in this world and God did not promise to fix every wrong thing until He is ready. We must wait for his return for that to happen. This, and many other terrible things have yet to be fulfilled. Getting you to blame God for it is Satan's way of turning you from the truth. You have such little understanding...but that is how it must be before the prophesies can be fulfilled.

    You can not stop the terrible things that are to come. Only accept them, and know that until Jesus returns, things will only get worse....

    July 25, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • AJD13

      So this supposedly all loving god created us and dropped us into a chaotic evil world where we have to deal with the crap we deal with and just says "just wait.....I'll get around to fixing everything and making it great someday....until then you're just going to have to deal with it...oh..and by the way I'm going to let it get worse before that happens....." Yeah....that's someone I'm going to love and worship.....NO....a truly loving god would have had no inclination at all to create a world of suffering and chaos. He would have created a world of people who had loving natures and did not fight and did not suffer. Only a being with psychological problems or that is evil would create something that would cause the suffering of a living being (like a kid torturing an animal). People that do not have these problems and that are good, loving people DO NOT create things that would lead to the suffering of other living beings. You don't see perfectly normal, good children hanging cats from trees or something of that nature.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Your alias speaks of not caring. Faith is defined as belief without evidence. Most rational minded people care that what they believe is true.
      Your imaginary friend and its imaginary arch enemy had nothing to do with this. The world has waited well over 2000 years for your zombie friend to return but yet it hasn't happened and never will...no-one returns from the dead and there is not historical evidence to say that your friend actually was anything more than an ordinary man, if he even existed at all.
      Your belief leaves you lazy and makes you gullible.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • AJD13

      What I find funny is that there are so many people that in every other aspect of their life they're completely rational and intelligent people....yet they just can't let go of the idea of there being a "god." As I said in another post....it's like a kid that just can't let go of the idea of Santa Claus being real even though they have all kinds of proof around them that he's not....a big part of that is the indoctrination that children are put through from the time they are born when they're born into religious families. It becomes something like a "family tradition" and it feels hurtful to let it go, like if your family had a get together every Christmas Eve and then one year it wasn't held, even when faced with overwhelming evidence that it isn't true. People who are catholic that have children have catholic children...people who are born into Jewish families have Jewish children....Hindus have hindu children....you don't see catholics having jewish children (at least when both parents are catholic)....there's a reason for that. Yes, some people do convert to another faith or drop religion altogether when they get older....but for the most part, people get stuck in that "habit" of whatever religion their parents were and brought them up in and it becomes so ingrained in them because of the fact that it's just been "the way it is" since they can remember that they just can't let it go no matter how illogical and devoid of proof they know deep down inside that it is.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • Karen Beeman 1030

      When God created man, and I truly believe he did create man, he have man a free will. He also gave man 10 stron rules to live by – The Ten Commandments." Out teaching is simple. We obey the Ten Commandments, we especially obey the two great commandments, which is also simple We love God above all and Love our neighbor as ourself, we will get to heaven when we die. We choose not to obey the Ten Commandments as did the killer in Aurora Colorado we will spend eternity in hell.

      It is pretty simple to me. Live a simple lawbiding life, do good works for those less fortunate and remember to pray. that is what is wrong with our country. Prayer is lforgotten. Do those things and you will have a better life.

      Where wad God during the shootings? I am certain those killed were welcomed into his loving arms in heaven. God Bless all those killed and injured in Coorado, and God Bless the USA>

      July 25, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  19. Chris

    ALRIGHT,

    This is what I THINK. God is all-loving right? He created the Earth and all those on it, and loves His creatures. What makes us so special? Germs, viruses, fish, etc. are all deserving of Gods' attention and love. Sometimes, He has to side with cancer cells, or simple chemicals. Life is a battle isn't it? EveryTHING could use the help of the guy in the sky, and we have NO right to call ourselves His favorite. He killed us before in a flood, and doesn't mind allowing the free-will of humanity to self-destruct. He only promised not to do another flood, nothing else. If you are so conceited as to think and believe that humans DESERVE God's attention and care, go ahead. I'll let Him help those who help themselves – and will therefor do what I can to support my own destiny. Those who do nothing, get nothing. And sometimes, He will do nothing. Tough luck, humanity. Time to suck it up and get to work, not depend on being dad's special little guy to get into the big leagues of life.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • AJD13

      Or the simpler explanation that fits much better with observable evidence is that there isn't a god....at least not the god of any known religion developed by man.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • a person

      God is the virus, you, the ants, dust, matter, anti-matter....we say "God" only because we don't have a word that can describe it any better. Words are a poor form of communication. When you look at another person, you are really seeing yourself. Both of you are "God". You just don't remember. And that's okay.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @a person

      God is the virus, you, the ants, dust, matter, anti-matter....we say "God" only because we don't have a word that can describe it any better. Words are a poor form of communication.

      You Said to @Chris: " When you look at another person, you are really seeing yourself. Both of you are "God". You just don't remember. And that's o.k. " W- T- F ! 😯

      W-T-Heck ? Are you trying to use a 'quantum entanglement' type of argument...? 'The one...is seen as many, yet one in the 'infinite mirrors' model ???

      Wow... getting late. Time for bed.

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  20. AJD13

    People will tell their children that there are no monsters under the bed or in their closet and that there are no fairies or vampires or whatever....but then they will tell their children that there's this invisible man in the sky that controls everything, knows everything, that the world started with a garden with a tree with magic fruit and a talking snake and that some guy rose from the dead and that this invisible man in the sky watches everything they do 24/7 (even their thoughts!) and if they're not good they'll be thrown in this pit of fire for ever and ever and if they're good they'll go to some great city in the sky. Yeah....makes so much sense.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:14 am |
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About this blog

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