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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. Cinman

    We allow it, not God. We have the blessings of free choice which includes choosing wrong. It is up to us to lessen the chance of death by guns or anything else. We currently chose not to and are answerable to God for this choice.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Cinman

      Hi -Cinman...

      " We currently chose not to and are answerable to God for this choice. "

      So, God 'allows' us free choice... but then sends us to burn for all eternity, unless... you just believe...?

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • John Grey

      Where was the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How could he standby while such horror was perpetrated? My friends and family have asked me, being that I am a minister in the Church of the Flying SPaghetti Monster myself. I told them, as I'll tell you, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, blessed be his name, can not be known fully by us because our minds are limited by our mortal brains. But trust that he knows what he is doing. Now, don't you feel better?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • J.W

      No one really knows what will happen when we die. The Bible says to drink and be merry. We should all just enjoy life while we are here.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @J.W

      You said, "No one really knows what will happen when we die. The Bible says to drink and be merry. We should all just enjoy life while we are here."
      Hear, hear. It's five 'o clock somewhere, right?

      July 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  2. BJ

    Pastor Steve Berger – A Loving God in a Suffering World
    http://steveberger.gracechapel.net/2012/07/a-loving-god-in-a-suffering-world/
    Q: Why did God give man choice?
    A: This is God’s greatest gift to mankind. We get to choose right, wrong, good and bad, love and hate. Here’s the point: We are not perfectly programmed, mechanical robots that flawlessly perform. God gave us choice and because He gave us choice, we get to feel joy, satisfaction, the thrill of doing what’s right and we also get to experience genuine love. BUT, we can also choose sin and evil. When we do, we create and experience a painful path of suffering. It’s so important to understand this— God chose to give us choice because genuine love is worth the risk of evil and suffering.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Vince gilligan

      Where was the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How could he standby while such horror was perpetrated? My friends and family have asked me, being that I am a minister in the Church of the Flying SPaghetti Monster myself. I told them, as I'll tell you, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, blessed be his name, can not be known fully by us because our minds are limited by our mortal brains. But trust that he knows what he is doing. Now, don't you feel better?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • snowboarder

      that is just plain BS. why couldn't an omnipotent god create in us the ability to feel all those things without sin? the answer is obvious. there is no omnipotent god.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  3. Kelly

    see there's this itsy-bitsy thing called, "free will" and as always, he's right there watching (appalled) while the freak exercised his.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  4. 1980'sBatmanLover

    "He was at home washing his tights"

    July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  5. Paul

    i guess the most appropriate question is what state are we in as mankind? God is not the subject of talk when everthing is going good.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      6,000 years ago, a fallen archangel took the guise of a talking reptile to seduce a female clone derived from the rib of a man made of clay into eating an apple. Thanks to her, the entire race is "fallen" and we all must die.
      And we don't even get to live to be 900 + years old like they did 3-4 thousand years back!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  6. Fox me? Fox you!

    What a stupid question. There never was, never has been, never will be a "god" or "gods." It is a myth designed to control and scare ignorant people into acting a particular way. Seems to be working still.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Fabiola

      I thought that two once. No longer do I believe that though. Thank God, I heard Jesus' voice. also nobody can disprove the existence of God which is why I started searching for God. even my advanced molecular bio professors agree that God is at least possible. The rest whether you believe in him or not is up to you.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Fabiola: You seriously need to seek mental health help...hearing voices is a sign of schizophrenia...stop giving the decent christians a bad name and get yourself some help quickly. People of your mind set are no more safer to society than the guy who committed this horrific crime!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Fabiola

      Hi -Fabiola...

      I thought that two once. No longer do I believe that though.

      " Thank God, I heard Jesus' voice. "

      Did you 'actually' *hear* a voice ? If so... why did you attribute it to Jesus ?

      " nobody can disprove the existence of God. even my advanced molecular bio professors agree that God is at least possible. "

      Certainly "possible," however it certainly may not be the kind of God you read about in your bible, nor have the heaven and 'hell' aspects for just *not believing* as you think.

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Fabiola

      Yes... God might be at least possible... but not probable. That's why atheists say they don't believe in agod or gods....not that we "know" there cannot be a god or gods. The time to start believing in something is when there are valid reasons for doing so...not before. I see no reason to believe a god exists so therefore I suspend belief until such time as convincing evidence to the contrary presents itself.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  7. Bobby G

    God was there and His heart was breaking. Any minister worth his weight would go to the scriptures for answers. Matthew 23:37 says that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind. God created us to love him. For us to truly love God we must have the capacity to truly hate him. What we saw last Friday morning was what happens when a person chooses hate. It is hard for believers to think they could hate God, but with out that possiblity our love would mean nothing. If love is a priority of God then it trumps free-will. Even if that free-will leads to murder.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • snowboarder

      it astounds me that people somehow equate mental illness with religious hate.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Bobby G

      Hi -Bobby...

      " For us to truly love God we must have the capacity to truly hate him. "

      Interesting application here of using 'contrast' to try and justify your opinion.

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • JWT

      Well snow look at it this way – if they are going to skip out on reality they might was well go all the way in fantasy land.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • John Williams

      Where was the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How could he standby while such horror was perpetrated? My friends and family have asked me, being that I am a minister in the Church of the Flying SPaghetti Monster myself. I told them, as I'll tell you, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, blessed be his name, can not be known fully by us because our minds are limited by our mortal brains. But trust that he knows what he is doing. Now, don't you feel better?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  8. EL

    If God is so good and looks down upon evil then why did he not create all people to wholeheartedly believe in him and allow people to be evil. Why did he let people have free will? Why this test where people have to have "faith" in a god where the rewards are not known until death? Why do people pray and then if their prayers are not answered that say it's God's will? Why bother pray and just let God follow his plan if that is how it is? And how is one religion more right than another just because the believer thinks so? Most people are born into their faith from their parents, culture, or where they live yet most believe they are right and all others are going to hell. Why the infatuation with having to know the unknown??

    July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good questions. Good answers are available presuming you are not being rhetorical. I recommend starting with C.S. Lewis "The Problem of Pain". "My imitation of Christ" by Thomas A'Kempis is exemplary. on a modern note "Blue Like Jazz" the author escapes me is a very contemporary look at Christianity under conflict.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  9. t-bone

    God was in the theater protecting the hundreds that were able to get out alive.
    The ones who "miraculously" survived even with gunshot wounds.
    Those who prayed to him as they lay at the feet of the gunman pretending to be dead just so he wouldnt shoot.
    He was there.
    But you only choose to see the few that Satans minion hit, you dont recognize the ones he protected.
    And those that Satans minion took that night, how do you know god didnt take them up to be with him, Satan didnt win.
    If God hadnt been there, the death toll would have been greater.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • ArthurP

      You see this is where I am better than God. If I was there and had the power to stop the shooter no one would be dead or wounded. They would not have to ask or even beg me to help them. I would just do it.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Genold

      You would have been a hit back in the times of the Crusades.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • amm3770

      12 people died out of how many? How many rounds did the guy have? Did anyone die at his apartment? Everyone chooses to look at the bad and not at the good. Yes all the 12 lives and the ones it effects matters I am not saying that. However listen to the stories of the ones that survived. The gun jammed!! No one wants to believe that God or the Devil exsist yet when things happen from turning that blind eye who do we blame?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Roy

      To even think that the killed were evil is absolute stupidity. Accidents, good luck, disease are random facts.
      Would be good if God appeared to explain himself and the true religion. If you follow one you don't follow all others so you are very likely to go to hell. Allah is great, so is Jesus, Budda, all indian, african and mayan gods also !

      July 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • John Ansell

      @aam3770 Maybe just consider that the gun jamming was just random chance. Guess what? Guns sometimes jam. A defect in the ammo or the gun itself. Poor maintenance, mechanism needed oiling. What do you REALLY think is more likely? Oh yeah . . . must have bee divine intervention!

      July 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  10. Gwsully3

    Why does God allow suffering? If God is allpowerful,
    loving, wise, and just, why is the world so full
    of hatred and injustice? If you would like a satisfying answer please read all of this.
    The Bible clearly states: “The whole world is lying in
    the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) When you
    think about it, does that not make sense? This world reflects
    the personality of the invisible spirit creature who
    is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation
    12:9) Satan is hateful, deceptive, and cruel. So the world,
    under his influence, is full of hatred, deceit, and cruelty.
    That is one reason why there is so much suffering.
    A second reason why there is so much suffering is
    that, mankind has been imperfect
    and sinful ever since the rebellion in the garden
    of Eden. Sinful humans tend to struggle for dominance,
    and this results inwars, oppression, and suffering. (Ecclesiastes
    4:1; 8:9) A third reason for suffering is “time and unforeseen occurrence.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) In a world
    without Jehovah as a protective Ruler, people may suffer
    because they happen to be in the wrong place at the
    wrong time.It is comforting for us to know that God does not
    cause suffering. He is not responsible for the wars, the
    crimes, the oppression, or even the natural disasters that
    cause people to suffer. Still, we need to know, Why does
    Jehovah allow all this suffering? If he is the Almighty, he
    has the power to stop it. Why, then, does he hold back?
    The loving God that we have come to know must have
    a good reason.—1 John 4:8.
    To find out why God allows suffering, we need to
    think back to the time when suffering began. When
    Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying Jehovah, an
    important question was raised. Satan did not call into
    question Jehovah’s power. Even Satan knows that there
    is no limit to Jehovah’s power. Rather, Satan questioned
    Jehovah’s right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds
    good from his subjects, Satan charged that Jehovah
    is a bad ruler. (Genesis 3:2-5) Satan implied thatmankind
    would be better off without God’s rulership. This was an
    attack on Jehovah’s sovereignty, his right to rule.
    Adam and Eve rebelled against Jehovah. In effect,
    they said: ‘We do not need Jehovah as our Ruler.We can
    decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.’
    Howcould Jehovah settle that issue? Howcould he teach all intelligent creatures that the rebels were wrong and
    that his way truly is best? Someone might say that God
    should simply have destroyed the rebels andmade a fresh
    start. But Jehovah had stated his purpose to fill the earth
    with the offspring of Adam and Eve, and hewanted them
    to live in an earthly paradise. (Genesis 1:28) Jehovah always
    fulfills his purposes. (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Besides that,
    getting rid of the rebels in Edenwould not have answered
    the question that had been raised regarding Jehovah’s
    right to rule. Let us consider an illustration. Imagine that a teacher
    is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem.
    A clever but rebellious student claims that the teacher’s
    way of solving the problem is wrong. Implying that the
    teacher is not capable, this rebel insists that he knows
    a much better way to solve the problem. Some students
    think that he is right, and they also become rebellious. What should the teacher do? If he throws the rebels out
    of the class, what will be the effect on the other students?
    Will they not believe that their fellow student and
    those who joined himare right? All the other students in
    the class might lose respect for the teacher, thinking that
    he is afraid of being proved wrong. But suppose that the
    teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would
    solve the problem. Jehovah has done something similar to what the
    teacher does. Remember that the rebels in Edenwere not
    the only ones involved. Millions of angels werewatching.
    (Job 38:7; Daniel 7:10) How Jehovah handled the rebellion
    would greatly affect all those angels and eventually
    all intelligent creation. So, what has Jehovah done? He
    has allowed Satan to show how he would rule mankind.
    God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under
    Satan’s guidance. The teacher in our illustration knows that the rebel
    and the students on his side are wrong. But he also knows
    that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their
    point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail,
    all honest students will see that the teacher is the only
    one qualified to lead the class. They will understand why
    the teacher thereafter removes any rebels from the class.
    Similarly, Jehovah knows that all honesthearted humans
    and angels will benefit from seeing that Satan and his fellow
    rebels have failed and that humans cannot govern
    themselves. Like Jeremiah of old, they will learn this vital
    truth: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man
    his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who
    is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
    Why, though, has Jehovah allowed suffering to go
    on for so long? And why does he not prevent bad things
    from happening? Well, consider two things that the
    teacher in our illustration would not do. First, he would
    not stop the rebel student from presenting his case. Second,
    the teacher would not help the rebel to make his
    case. Similarly, consider two things that Jehovah has determined
    not to do. First, he has not stopped Satan and
    those who side with him from trying to prove that they
    are right. Allowing time to pass has thus been necessary.
    In the thousands of years of human history, mankind
    has been able to try every form of self-rule, or human
    government. Mankind has made some advances in
    science and other fields, but injustice, poverty, crime,
    and war have grown ever worse. Human rule has now
    been shown to be a failure. Second, Jehovah has not helped Satan to rule this
    world. If God were to prevent horrible crimes, for instance,
    would he not, in effect, be supporting the case of
    the rebels? Would God not be making people think that
    perhaps humans can govern themselves without disastrous
    results? If Jehovahwere to act in that way, he would
    become party to a lie. However, “it is impossible for God
    to lie.”—Hebrews 6:18.
    What, though, about all the harm that has been
    done during the long rebellion against God? We do well
    to remember that Jehovah is almighty. Therefore, he can
    and will undo the effects of mankind’s suffering. As we have already learned, the ruining of our planet will be
    undone by the turning of the earth into Paradise. The
    effects of sin will be removed through faith in Jesus’ ransom
    sacrifice, and the effects of death will be reversed
    by means of the resurrection. God will thus use Jesus “to
    break up the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3:8) Jehovah
    will bring all of this about at just the right time.We can
    be glad that he has not acted sooner, for his patience has
    given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve
    him. (2 Peter 3:9, 10) Meanwhile, God has been actively
    seeking sincere worshipers and helping them to endure
    any suffering that may come upon them in this troubled
    world.—John 4:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13. if you would like to learn more about why God allows suffering and his plan to end it please email me at gwsully3@gmail.com

    July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • t-bone

      You have to know that no one is going to read an 500 word essay that you cut and paste into a comment section.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Genold

      What a bunch of cr.ap.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • palintwit

      Moron...

      July 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • none

      I read it, and it is good. You have to know that anyone that is looking for a simple, quick fix for an answer will never find it.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Bruce

      Complete dribble, I actually read your essay in what should be a comment section, and am completely amazed anyone could actually believe this crap!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Erik

      Now this is REAL TALK. I love it when a person provides facts and not opinion. Things are exactly what they seem in this ugly world, the "Wicked One" does prove to be in an all out war against us puny humans, its his only chance to touch the eyeball of the most powerful being in the universe. The one called Satan has done a very thorough job in "blinding the minds of the unbelievers." The devil is gasping his last breath and lashing out on us through the minds of those under his control because he knows his time is up. One day soon, many will come to see that the lives they are living is one big lie, The Original One. We have had our time, we have proved the Creator and his inspired word to once again be completely accurate. Mankind is Incapable of ruling himself successfully. This mess of a planet is at its peak in proving that point. Open your eyes people and answer your door, you never know when the answers come knocking.
      Ill give you a hint on who has the only true and satisfying answers that can be proven by a deep study of the book that claims to have the Creator as its author...... its not the Mormons.......

      July 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  11. Tatiana

    "You can't go that long without knowing," she said. "I hope this evil act ... doesn't shake people's faith in God." This was from a yahoo article and this was my response to it. Pretty much the same thing. God wasn't there because he doesn't exist. It is simple as that.
    If he is so all powerful and all knowing why couldn't he stop it? Why can't he stop death everywhere from unjust killers? Of course this act will change people's faith in an imaginary being. It just #$%$ me of when people say, "Thank god that bullet missed my child." Well yeah that bullet must have missed your child but it got another one. And why highlight this story? why not highlight death around the world that occurs everyday? So much wrong with people nowadays.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  12. Jordan

    Christian theologians over the years have made a crucial distinction when it comes to the will of God. First, there is His will of decree. Since God – by definition – is completely sovereign, whatever he wills or decrees shall surely come to pass. Second, there is God's will of desire. This is the expressed will that He gives to us through Scripture (e.g., Thou shalt not kill). With that distinction made, we can properly say that this shooting in Aurora was God's will (of decree) and that it was not His will (of desire). God is sovereign over this situation and at the same time is grieved by it. The question then becomes: why would this happen? This is hard to understand in our limited perspective. However, we know that God can work immeasurable good from unparalleled evil. The killing of Jesus (the innocent God-man) was the greatest crime ever committed and it was done according to God's plan (Acts 2:23). And now, we can see that it was the greatest good that the world has ever seen. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God has made a way for sinful humanity to be reconciled to Him. So repent and believe in Jesus! Trust in the work that Jesus did (living a perfect life and bearing the punishment for sin), don't try to merit favor with God, and treasure Him as Savior and Lord!

    July 25, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Madtown

      This is the expressed will that He gives to us through Scripture
      ------
      Of course, you're making the hefty assumption that christian scripture is "his word", as in the literal word of God as if he wrote the words himself. Huge assumption, with the facts being that the hand of man is all over the bible, every single word. And further, if this word is the 1 truth, vast numbers of God's human creations will never set eyes on it, or learn any part of it. So, clearly it cannot be the 1 and only way.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Jordan

      Madtown, thanks for the reply. There is not time or room to discuss the doctrine of Scripture here. But 2 Peter 1:20-21 speaks to the issue that you are raising: "...no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." There is obviously a lot that goes into this discussion, but that is a basic Christian view on how God used human authors to pen the Bible. But the main thing that I want to address is the massive assumption that you made in your response – namely, that since some people do not have access to the Bible, that it can't be the only source of truth. I sympathize with that sentiment and can understand how you would think that, but it is merely your opinion and it is based on a concept of "god" that is not true. Romans 1:18-25 addresses your objection and makes it clear that God has revealed Himself clearly enough to everyone so that all are without excuse.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Roy

      In the name of Jesus, in the name of Alah . . . it's all the same, a good excuse to save 'infidel's ' soul and keep their land and wealth. History shows that religion is very dangerous for humankind but as Napoleon said it is good as it keeps the population calm (when not at war with the infidels). Meditation and introspectiveness are very good for anyone but religion . . . study the inquisition to start with.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Fabiola

    God protects those who do what God asks. When did God say go watch the Dark Knight? Watching that movie does not honor God because it's not in the bible or Torah or Koran. People that night, as they should every night, should be praying and not looking for cheap entertainment like Hollywood. I'm not going to get shot while having bible study because God asks me to do that. When you do what God wants then you get protection. H e is God, his job is not to babysit everyone especially because they turn to the movies instead of seeking him in prayer.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Tim from Toledo

      Sounds like you have a fun life!
      Based on your twisted logic, you shouldn't do anything outside the safety of the church walls, or you might die.......
      You almost make it sound as though you believe they deserved it because they had the nerve to go watch a movie.....
      That is pretty pathetic.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Sean

      Fabiola – how do you explain this? http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/Person-of-Interest-Arrested-in-Arlington-Pastors-murder-117463874.html – A pastor killed in his church.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Genold

      Bet it's really fun at your house. If God protects his chosen people then I am sure that God took care of his Jewish believers in WWII right?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Logic Incarnate

      How do you explain this, then? This shooting occurred right after they had spent several hours worshipping God in all his glory.... While irrelevant, it should be of interest to note that this occurred in the same city as the movie theater massacre.

      http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/04/22/2-shot-outside-aurora-church/

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Prove you're not going to get shot while studying your buybull!!!! This had absolutely nothing to do with the type of thing these innocent people were watching and your statement is out of line and beyond disrespectful to them. You're a disgusting, vile christard who sadly gives others a bad name.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Josh

      Yea, no one has ever been killed in a church while worshipping. *sarcasm* You are delusional.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • damo12345

      "My god protects those who do what he asks".

      Considering the various commandments in your manual, that would result in a lot more dead people. Murdered for working on Sunday, or for being a child that disagrees with his parents, or for swearing, or being a woman that's not a virgin on her wedding night, or just plain not believing in your god.

      If you honestly believe that your god protects those that do as the Bible says, you should go out and do the repugnant things it tells you to do. But you won't, because you know that there will be no divine intervention if you start killing people for not sharing your primitive tribal laws.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Fabiola
      Then why was 11 year old Richard Fehr crushed to death by a fallen tree at Pines Bible Camp in Grand Forks, BC a few days ago?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Logic Incarnate

      Sean.... are you my long lost twin? Our responses were eerily similar...

      I guess rationality works the same for all who employ it.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • J.W

      I go to church and I have never been shot.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Fabiola,

      And then there's this one:

      May 06, 2012|By Luke Broadwater and David Greisman, The Baltimore Sun

      The Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, 62, died Saturday night at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center of injuries sustained Thursday in a double shooting at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, police said Sunday.

      Kohn was co-rector of the Howard County church.

      The second woman, church employee Brenda Brewington, 59, died Thursday. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-05-06/news/bs-md-ho-kohn-dead-20120506_1_kohn-church-employee-homeless-man

      Just a quick Google of "church shooting... shooter... murder" brings up a ton of cases.

      You are out of it...

      July 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  14. Tim from Toledo

    Where was God?
    He was busy making sure Tim Tebow is preparing himself to play for the Jets...

    July 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  15. Realize

    Why did God forbid the first humans to from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? FOR INSTANCES LIKE THE COLORADO SHOOTINGS!! Free will is actually a gift and I think that any human that says otherwise is fooling himself. Because our ancestors ate from that tree(metaphor), we see acts of violence and aggression towards each other. Jealousy, anger, lying, cheating and disease stems from this knowledge. In the beginning of the human race we were cursed for the actions of two and now we can be redeemed by attaining that tree of life that was ALSO forbidden because of the actions. SO WHERE IS GOD YOU ASK? God has been here all along. It's SATAN who continue to decieve, kill and destroy, like he has from the beginning.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  16. Brian Paul

    So like the left wing media to ask the question. Makes me ill

    July 25, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • damo12345

      Funny, I was thinking to myself that CNN must have moved to the Right to be pandering to religious-types by trying to make this a religious issue.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Thecentrist11

      It's not the left-wing, it's man-kind. Man-kind asks questions, we are inquisitive by our nature. We can't just settle on this is the way things are. This is the right question to be asking (for some).

      July 25, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's called search engine optimization. They run a story designed to generate the maximum number of hits which runs their numbers up. The more controversial, the better. Nothing is more controversial than faith.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  17. Kevin from Michigan

    You know this is the same question I ask my self every time, if God has a reason for everything that happens what reason does he have for this incident, or for any other incident where innocent lives are taken? I have been raised Catholic my whole life and pray once a night, I don't go to church all the time but still believe in god. I know we will never know the reason why, but it really gets me upset when something like this happen. I mean sometimes you don't even know what to think no more, their are times when I ask my self ,okay is their really a god because if their was he would not let individual do such a horrible thing to other.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • catholic engineer

      When things like this happen, we ask "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" It seems to this catholic that if God were to really show His love for us, His love would be an act of compassion – walking through our bleak landscape with us. In Jesus, that's what God did. God took on our condition even to the point of feeling abandoned by God. We want God to show His love by "making it all better". Instead, God showed his love by LIVING our condition. THat's my take, anyway.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      CE is right. "Making it all better" also removes the responsibility we have to make good choices. The bad choices of others often inflict pain on us and there is no way to stop that. There is, however comfort and consolation in knowing that He is with us.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  18. wordclock

    Why do people assume that if bad things happen there is no God? The God of the Bible let massacres happen all the time and in fact ordered some of them to be done in his name. The God of the Bible murdered infants and entire civilizations, not to mention flooded the planet and killed everyone. Why are religious people so surprised when God "wills" shootings?

    July 25, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  19. Beavis

    God is wearing #12 for the NE Patriots.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Kevin from Michigan

      ha lol thanks for the laugh you def need a laugh here and their

      July 25, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  20. Stephen

    God is not a dictator. Often we ask why does God not stop all evil things. In that case there would be no choice. All decisions would be made for us. God wants us to grow within this world, grow closer to him and this can only happen if he allows man to find his own way. As we all know the problem with choice is that there are right and wrong choices and the wrong choices often have bad consequences. Ask any parent, even though we wish to protect our children, can we or would we even want to make all their decisions for them. At best we try to teach them right from wrong, provide a framework for them to find their way and on which to base their future decisions. The Bible, the Church, and hopefully our parents and friends provide that framework for us to have a closer relationship with God. However God does not make us have a relationship with him or always choose to do the right thing. He has given us a road map and asks to choose to do the right thing. As long as man is given choice there will always be suffering and evil, this however does not rule out a loving God. It actually confirms that God loves us so much that he is allowing us to choose instead of forcing his love on us.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • sassafrass

      Thank ou for this post. I needed it!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • ArthurP

      But unlike a parent if you make a bad choice in his eyes you go to Hell.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Arthur, making a bad choice doesn't condemn you. Making a bad choice and insisting it is a good choice does.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:57 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.