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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. kcbronco

    From Alert Einstein "'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

    July 25, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • snowboarder

      i seem to remember that being a hoax.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Colin

      OK, now some REAL Einstein quotes.

      "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

      "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

      "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere.... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

      "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body

      July 25, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Well I am pretty certain Einstein was not religious in the sense that you think he was. He used the terminology as a reference, more in an allegorical manner than in the blind faith way that most of the religious see it. He was more or less describing the lack of god as a lack of moral objectivity in society, since morals are subjectively derived from societal development and innate evolutionary characteristics.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • ArthurP

      The only problem with the above is that it never happened. He never said it. It is a fabricated statement created after his death so he could not counter it directly and used by religious people to counter his true feelings on the matter.

      It is in fact a bold faced lie and we all know how God feels about people lying.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Youe are just as bad as all of the people who make false claims about dying atheists, begging for the forgiveness of your imaginary friend.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  2. ArthurP

    God is an atheist as he does not believe in a higher power.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • fritz

      Actually, God is not an atheist. He is a 'god' hater. Note the commandment, "Thou shall have no other gods before Me for thou art a jealous god." You see, the Hebrew god is a vain and insecure glory hog. All these other gods he despises because they all want to topple Him from his hilltop throne. Nothing upsets God more that humans declaring Baal, or Dagon or Moloch to be the one true god. I'm joking of course. Actually, none of these gods exist, especially the great Y.H.W.H.. They are all mental fictions of male humans for the purpose of female subjugation. That's why all these gods are vain parodies of arrogant male humans with all human foibles intact. As far as the problem of evil? There is no 'evil' in Nature. 'Evil' only applies to things humans don't like. Especially pain and misery. Take away humans and you take away 'evil'. Nature just decided that 'evil' in the human condition is better than nothingness. Why did Nature figure it that way? My only guess would be that the act of survival, bucking the chaos, always attempting to subvert entropy, creates the struggle that is the living condition. The struggle to be something rather than nothing. So don't let any pious religious idiot spill his drivel about why God allows good and evil to coexist. They don't know. They just want you to believe that they know.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  3. The Asian Atheist

    I have noticed a trend with Americans; the more christian we seem to get, the worse we get at math and science. Just a talking point.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      1 1=6000000000 people

      July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Colin

      There is a definite inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence. The dsmarter a person is, the less likely they are to believe in gods, ghosts, spirits and other supernatural jibberish. The less intellectually gifted a person is, the less ability they have to see the obvious flaws in religious beliefs.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • pntkl

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      The snake was a ventriloquist parrot that fooled eve

      July 25, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • fritz

      That's because science is mythical to these people. These kinds of christians with their creationism, intelligent design nonsense and 6000 year old Earth drivel locks their psychologically conditioned minds into a closed feedback loop from which they can't escape. The conditioning runs so deep in their minds they aren't even aware of it. This is due to years of religious indoctrination purpetrated on them when they were children by their peers and superiors. That's why these belief systems persist through time and are very hard to stamp out. Because they had this religious dogma pounded into their heads when they were young, they can't see reality for what it is. All they have is this little closed and deterministic jesus universe they live in. That's why they know very little about science and math. It isn't real for them. By the way, this goes for all the other religious belief systems as well. Christians aren't the only science dummies on the planet. And beware of a religious person who knows science. They're probably not as religious as they claim to be. They just use religion as a tool to get along with the religious folks or manipulate them and others for their purposes. It may take centuries, but these belief systems will go the way of Zeus eventually. Only then will we be ready to face the stars.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  4. Colin

    This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts
    out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead." vein

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Ah ok I see that you found this stuff now, and you did not just type it. Tight work anyways.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • snowboarder

      comical

      July 25, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • vgnsnr

      This pretty much sums up the entire delusion.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • phoodphite

      Does anyone have the cliff notes on Colin's posts. I'm really pressed for time today.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Closet Atheist

      Hilarious!!

      Oh... you're going to get your guts kicked out for this post, for sure!! Cuz Hank says so...hahahhahaha.....

      July 25, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  5. JA

    I believe we are in the beginning of the great apostasy in which the Bible has foretold. It wont be long before the man of lawlessness is revealed and the blessed hope is fulfilled.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Keith

      People have been saying that for centuries now.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • snowboarder

      that is just plain lunacy.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The End Times are Nigh?
      Why don't you make yourself a sign proclaiming thus and stand on the street corner announcing it to the world.
      I hear that screaming passages from the book of Revelation at random passerby can really help convert the heathens.
      Mayeb the bit about the 7 headed dragon that spews torrents of water and eats pregnant women.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Eric

      Yes the prophecies will be fulfiled but to even speculate when is fullishness and a distraction. We are to continue in the faith untill the last day. Every generation has claimed the end is at hand. Each time it doesnt happens it cripples the credability of christianity to non believers.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Eric
      The problem is that the End Times were supposed to have happened 2,000 years ago.
      "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
      – Matthew 24:34
      The biblical definition of a generation can be found in Psalm 90.
      "The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
      26 Psalms 90:10
      This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew.
      "Therefore all the generations from Abraham down to David are 14 generations; and from David down to the Babylonian captivity are 14 generations; and from the Babylonian captivity down to messiah, are 14 generations."
      – Matthew 1:17
      Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of Generation in order to tell a specific chronological story.
      Even we we put aside that argument, there is further scripture indicating that the Second Coming was expected shortly after Christ's zombification.
      “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
      —1 John 2:18

      July 25, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • JA

      @Eric~ I did not say when. I simply stated we are in the beginning. Even the Bible says soon. So by that logic you are saying the Bible is foolishness and a distraction.

      @Doc~ As a smart man that you are, I though you would see through the metaphors in Revelation to see who the red dragon represents. As for your comment on Mathew 24, you left out a few verses. "This generation" refers to the generation that sees all the signs stated in the verses before verse 34.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  6. Double R

    I know it's hard for those who don't believe to understand why a sovereign God would allow such a massacre to occur. For all the good that is in this world, heros who fight for our country, police officers who protect our streets, fire fighters who risk their lives to save others, there is also evil, those who go on shooting sprees for apparently no reason at all, those who fly planes into buildings, those who are hell bent on erradicating an entire race of people. Yes, evil does exists, and God allows it to happen. No, he doesn't make it happen, but Satan is not sovereign, he is not a king, he is not equal to God. God is always in control. Satan can do nothing unless God allows it (read the book of Job). But as Satan used that man as a tool for destruction, the Lord will prove his power through the stories we hear from this tragedy. How this sensely act has once again united a nation as we all mourn together, the young Air Foce and Navy members who were killed protecting others (and they weren't the only ones who died risking their lives), the baby who was born a few days after this tragedy, the woman who's brain abnormality actually helped divert the bullet around her brain and missed every vital function, the way this tragedy has brought people to God as they search to be consolation and answers. Yes, God's signature is all over this story, but unfortunately, so is Satan's. But his word says that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. There is a reason for this, and he will reveal it in time. God bless.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  7. digidee

    "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but...will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

    an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god who would allow this massacre, not to mention countless others on a much larger scale throughout man's history on earth, is not worthy of worship. and to all those who encourage that everyone "read their bibles", i'm betting you haven't read it in it's entirety. that book is such a jumble of misogyny, contradictions and blood lust that there is truly no way, short of completely suspending disbelief, to make sense of it, much less prop it up as a moral guide.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  8. Mike

    For those who question the reality of God.
    How do you reconcile cause and affect?
    If we have laws like gravity, laws that we apply to build cars and homes and planes, then why IGNORE moral laws and declare them relative?
    I cannot help but see a complexity of the universe that cannot be explained by chance. The existence of law demands we acknowledge a law creator, who gave us the ability to disobey, and our willingness to oppose the creator the root of evil.
    We live in a world where each goes his own way, where we lack knowledge understanding [born that way], surrounded with the testimony of eternal power and divine nature of God, yet disobedient to his commands, and we love it.
    In this world we struggle with futility, and our only hope is a God who is good and desires that none perish and all would choose Life. God is the master of the creation, of time; we have many limits and still hold on to foolish pride as the masters of our world [made that way]. We would rather live with chance than with the purpose and plan that God is working all of time to a destination more glorious than we can conceive.
    Evil will not last forever, it has been condemned and we only wait for the final judgement.
    It is the mercy and grace of God that gives evil people an opportunity for Life, if we would only choose it.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Which church do you belong to, if I am allowed to ask?

      July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • JWT

      God is not, and never has been, a requirement for being a moral person.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • BU2B

      Using your circular logic, your god requires a creator as well. I also like how you try to make a deistic argument for the existence of a creator, then use it as reassurance of your specific religion.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Mike

      Denominations aside; Reformed. God is sovereign and there is nothing outside His will.
      Love is another evidence mostly ignored. Love defined as doing good to those who will not return it. We can love, proof that love it exists. But love is not reasonable because its gain is not found in the temporalness of our lives, but in the reality of Life to come. So consequently, to the masses love is foolishness. But reasonable if you work for something beyond our day. The evidence of things hoped for, the proof of things unseen. And the greatest act of love[eternal], the sending of the Son; foolishness to the world, but salvation to those who would receive Him.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  9. WeDon'tMatter

    Creation was God's eighth grade science project, our universe, like your old science project, is setting in a shoebox on a shelf in the closet. By the way, for those who are interested, God got a B+ that year.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  10. Steve

    1. God gave us all our free will. To mess with this stuff would be taking it back.
    2. Bad things happen to good people.
    3. We are all appointed to die a human death.
    4. Matters more how we are each living our lives, then how others live their life.
    5. This guy said he was the Joker not God.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  11. NorEaster TC 6

    This tragedy in Aurora is a sober reminder that evil still exist in this world; the bible points out how evil entered into the world, God's plan on eradicating it forever.

    God's salvation plan for mankind ; many people have a sense of comparing their goodness toward one another feeling they don't need salvation; however the bible makes it very clear! there is no one who is good but God alone.

    God gives his take on sin and how it affects mankind and his remedy for our fallen sinful nature.

    Society's views on repentance as a parody.

    The Bible warns us! time and time again that tragedies will increase as man hearts, minds, and action becomes more & more rebellious toward God.

    At this present time, right behavior is viewed as intolerable while different types of mischievous behavior is accepted as normal and good.

    God sent his only begotten son to die on a cross so mankind can receive another chance to commune with his holy creator.

    The bible points out that God will create a new heaven and a new earth were no unrighteousness (evil) will never exist in it again. The question is will you chose God's way of life or your own way?

    God makes it crystal clear, our way Leads to death after death the judgment.

    His way Leads to discipleship, growth in biblical righteousness & knowledge, being transformed into saints, becoming an ambassador for Christ, becoming a blessings toward others (blessed are the feet of them who carry the gospel) a new way of life and an awaiting eternal life in the future.

    God make this promise and sealed it with his own blood on the cross at Calvary with his resurrection from the tomb (grave) witnessed by hundreds of people He will come back again physically to claim this world as the Son of God to the glory of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!

    July 25, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Well if god plans on eradicating evil, what is he waiting for? A higher body count? Hitler didn't do it for him?

      July 25, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      I wish God would hurry uo and come back I'm ready for a peace filled world

      July 25, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • snowboarder

      i don't understand how people can believe that malarchy. it is completely ludicrous.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Mike

      To the commenters;
      God is a master of time, and He is faithful to keep his promise and word. The end will come at a time fitting his purposes. We are in time, die in time and will be raised in time. We live by faith in His word which is the Guarantee of things to come .

      July 25, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • snowboarder

      Mike – there is no reason to believe that whatsoever.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • JWT

      People are welcoenm to believe what they want to. But there is no need to believe unless one wants to. Things that are said in the bible matter to a person only if they want them to. The only downside to religion, besides such stupidity as faith healing, is when religious people feel that somehow their beiefs need to be believed by other people.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Madtown

      Is the bible the only way to forge a spiritual connection with God, with a higher power? I don't think so.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  12. Colin

    Dear Christians:

    God here.

    First, let me explain my complete inactivity in Aurora (and in Colombine, and during the Holocaust, and in WW I, and in WW II, and during every other man made or natural disaster in World history). You seeI do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    July 25, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      If you're not real how did you write this

      July 25, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      That was great, you must type really fast! And @BamaDaniel, it is called irony, give it a try.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Asian,I know I was being ironic

      July 25, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • rafael

      Nicely done.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  13. Bolivian Follower of Christ

    I hate that people blame God for the tragedies that happen. Such things are beyond the control of God. He gives us free will, and we – the humans – abuse that free will. Religion is not flawed. (WO)MAN is flawed. Despite everything, God is still watching over us and helping us heal. His will will be done.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      So God can't work miracles is that what you're saying

      July 25, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Eric

      Well their is a God cause I have felt his spirit and it is not q mind of matter he will judge that person that killed all them people and I know my God is real and I praise him everyday, he said all authority is given to him in all heaven and earth so better watch out people if you are not born again that is final! Bless you all and I just pray for ya all!

      July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Eric

      One of the reason dont like posting here I do agree with Eric's statement just now there are 2 of us....

      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • JWT

      eric #1 with yet another pos god. Believe in me or else. Sigh another god unworthy of existance let alone worship.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Madtown

      Bolivian Follower of Christ
      Religion is not flawed. (WO)MAN is flawed.
      --------
      You're half right. Yes, humans are flawed. Naturally, everything that we humans create contains elements of our flaws, it's inescapable. But, humans created religions, in an effort to explain things that have no easy and apparent explanation. As a result, religion is most definitely flawed.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  14. ronvan

    This question comes up alot when there are mass tragedies, even family tragedies. IF you beleive in GOD, a savior, for me, it comes down to FAITH! The bible was written by humans with its contents handed down throughout time. Did JESUS part the waters? Turn water to wine? Who is to say that these stories and the contents of the bible are not human embelishments from the person writing? FAITH is what drives you! Just because you BELEIVE does not make you good or evil as shown by the child molestation cases ongoing in the church and other cases of a so called "holy man or savior" that people blindly follow, even into commiting murder and killing themselves. YES, I am a beleiver, talk to my savior everyday, and have FAITH in him! I do not expect an answer as to WHY things happen!

    July 25, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Nice comment, do you smoke kush you see things a little clearer

      July 25, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Faith is not a virtue.
      Faith is the willing of cessation of rational inquiry so you can accept dogmatic, rote answers.
      Do you not find it odd that 4 of the Ten Commandments are direct orders to obey?
      Or that while people keep saying "God is Love", the first characteristic of God described in the Bible is jealousy?
      Seems a rather petty, human foible to be the primary motive of the Ruler and Shaper of The Universe, but it is right there on the front page of your holy book.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  15. Ravi

    To all religious christian – why don't you believe in allah?. To all religious muslims – why don't you believe in christ as god. To all religious hindus – why don't you believe in either allah or christ? the reasons you give are my reasons for not believing in your god or any god for that matter. Religious people talk about tolerance and all but just talk to them about any other god then their god and see where the tolerance flies away to. . . . . There is NO god. . . .

    July 25, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  16. Colin

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Children’s fairytales;

    (b) Medieval mythology;

    (c) New age pseudo science; or

    (d) Christianity

    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Christian

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:

    (a) historian;

    (b) geologist;

    (c) NASA astronomer; or

    (d) Christian

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A failed psychologist

    (b) A fraudulent geneticist

    (c) A sociologist who never went to college; or

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they must believe under threat of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is one god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) A mafia boss

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.

    What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:

    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;

    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;

    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or

    (d) All of the above.

    The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:

    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;

    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;

    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions to distribute condoms; or

    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Wow that was a lot... But good stuff

      July 25, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Ravi

      Awesome! thanks for the post. May I use this to enlighten my fellow workmates? Ravi012@msn.com

      July 25, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Colin

      Ravi, go get em' tiger.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  17. Keith

    I am not a believer, but I have no problem with those who do believe. However, it seems wholly inconsistent to say, of those who were injured, but survived, that it was "God's will, God's grace," yet not say the same of those who were killed. Or not say the same of the shooter's actions. If God was there, providing His will and grace, then, doesn't it follow that He was there for all of those present, providing His will and grace to all? Again, I have no problem with belief in God or religion, but it angers me, and seems awfully unfair to those who died, that God's grace is attributed those who lived, as if those who died somehow weren't worthy of His attention or intervention. As if those who lived are somehow better?

    I hope that makes sense. I'm not trying to be antagonistic. Just trying to point out what seems like a huge inconsistency to me. To me, if God was there, He was there for the whole thing. If He is all powerful, and chose for things to end up as they did, that's fine. But, let's not pretend He was there for only the survivors and not the dead or the shooter. If He was there, He was there.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  18. ArthurP

    The reason why God did not intervene is because he was punishing the people of the United States for corrupting is message with their Fundamentalist dogma.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  19. J

    Where was God during this tragedy is a very good question. Which in turn has fueled some very good and harsh conversation on this topic, with a very wide difference of oppinion because we all are so different. I believe in God deeply and faithfully with all of my heart and I understand that no matter how much I speak of or talk of God or try to explain God to people I myself can not make anyone a beileve all I can do is tell you what I know and let you decide from there if you allow his exsistance to be recognized in your life or not and if you do then I am a firm believer that he will show Himself to you and if not then you will probably either struggle with this question or at best may not really care at all because the question to you will not make any sense. If this same situation happened, but there were no causalties or injuries would we believe that God had a hand in the outcome or would we just call the people that were involved lucky? I think that we spend a lot of time looking for something tangible, for some type of evidence to disprove something not matter what it may be it doesn't always have to be God but if I don't see it then I can't believe in it. How many people that are rich believed that they would be while they were still dirt poor and spent more time trying to discredit the fact that they could be rich instead of finding reasons that they could be. So I challenge those of you who don't believe in God or have many ways to discredit the belief in God, can you find any ways to prove that he DOES exist. If at the end of the day you have tried to in some way explain that God does exist and you just can't seem to find away to do so then I understand your point and your stance on your belief but if you never give Him a chance how will you ever know?

    July 25, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • snowboarder

      innumerable people have been trying unsuccessfully to prove the existence of any number of gods for thousands of years. so far all have failed.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • JWT

      Why would you want to believe in some god ? There is certainly no need for it.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  20. snowboarder

    god was in the same place he has always been. the minds of the believers.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      I could be wrong, but figments of the imagination don't make for great bulletproof vests.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • reddragon

      Amen to that.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Ha, he said amen to a secular remark

      July 25, 2012 at 8:41 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.