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'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists
Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church.
August 1st, 2012
12:03 PM ET

'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate.

We see this phenomenon in motion every day on the CNN Belief Blog, where atheists/agnostics/humanists are among the most zealous commenters.

Recent string of posts around the question of “Where was God in Aurora?” (such as this and this) drew especially large waves of comments that show atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church.

Atheists and other secularists have offline organizations that stage in-person meetings - the Secular Student Alliance has seen its number of campus chapters quadruple in the last five years, to 368 - but the Internet has probably played a bigger role in the rise of the so-called New Atheism. The movement’s adherents evangelize their godlessness, just as many religious folks evangelize their God, often taking to the Belief Blog to do so.

“A lot of millennials who are coming of age have found that the Internet is a fantastic place to talk about their doubt,” says Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “Before the Internet, there was no place for young people to do that. The only place to go was really church, and that wasn’t always a welcoming place.

“But they can go online and discuss these ideas without being judged by friends and families,” Galef says.

For closeted atheists, the Internet’s anonymity is a big draw. A coalition of national atheist groups recently launched a program to transition doubting clergy to lives of open atheism by first having ministers come out anonymously in a closed online community.

Plenty of other atheists, though, are using the Internet to connect with real, named people through Facebook and other online social networks.

“It’s the ability to access a larger community, particularly for people growing up in religiously conservative areas,” Galef says. “There is nobody they can point to to discuss their atheism or their doubts about the Bible or their morality, and the Internet provides that.”

On Sunday, a guest piece from a Colorado pastor argued that it’s possible to reconcile the idea of a sovereign God with the existence of evil and tragedy. The post has drawn 4,239 comments as of Wednesday morning, largely from atheists.

One of those comments - a letter from God penned by an atheist commenter named Colin - caught fire online. Here’s how his letter opens:

"Dear Christians:

"God here. I thought I would take the time to personally explain my absence in the Aurora shootings. While I was at it, I thought I would also explain my absence during every murder, massacre and crime that has ever taken place in world history, and in every war, in every famine, drought and flood.

"You see, I do not exist. I never have. Did it really make sense to you that I would create an entire universe with billions of billions of planets and wait about 13,700,000,000 years just so I could focus on a few Jews from Palestine about 2,000 years ago while ignoring the rest of the 200,000,000 people on the planet at the time? Did I make those few Jews or did those few Jews make me?"

The letter has been posted on reddit, where it attracted another 1,000-plus comments. (Warning: The reddit comments includes foul language.)

The vast majority of comments come from sympathetic atheists and other secularists (the discussion is reddit's atheism thread), a striking example of such folks doing church without God online. Many of those comments are deeply personal, confessional and poignant.

Here are five of the best ones. Some respond to Colin’s letter from God, others to the Colorado pastor who wrote for the Belief Blog last weekend.

1. CarbonEmitter

"I grew up religious and decided to be agnostic (as an) undergraduate. Even though I am now in my late 20s, I still feel slightly guilty because my parents try to ram religion down my throat. My mom converted to my dad's religion (from Christianity to Islam) right before having a double lung transplant in 1995. They are now super-religious and attribute her miraculous recovery to her conversion.

"Reading posts like these remind me of how ridiculous religion is and help relieve my guilt. Thank you /r/athiesm."

2. tazadar

"I like what Carl Sagan said about reassuring fables.

" 'The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.' "

3. RyGuy2012

"You know, it really irks me to no end to read the article from the pastor, as he claims to not have an answer for why God didn't prevent the Aurora shooting, but then claims to know for sure that God is there when people come to lend their support and sympathies for the shooting victims.

"I just can't wrap my mind around this logic. Like, the pastor must find some other explanation why people are good and do good things. It can't be that people can just be good on their own. Because, apparently (our) natural normal state is to be completely uncaring and disregarding? It's just such a very sad and low opinion to have of your fellow man.

4. funfetti_cookies

"Of course, he says that. You have to scare the people before giving them a reason to listen - "I held her hand as she died." What a great way to start your article. Also don't forget to mention Columbine so people remember that tragedy as well, but then go on to explain why God still exists and this is all part of his plan. Religion is nothing more but a scare tactic to control the masses.

5. ConstipatedNinja

"I don't share this much, but I was raped twice by my pastor when I was 6. And by I don't share this much, I mean that even my own parents don't know (as a side note, he's long since dead, so there's no sense in bringing it up). I had to sit in the same room (with) him for three hours every Sunday while he told everyone - including me - how a decent human being should act. I had to for four entire years before my family moved to a different state.

"When it first happened, I had no idea what was done. I was too young to understand. ... It's indescribable. You're told all this time about this ever-loving being that made you and has planned out your entire life. You're told that he'll protect you when you need it. You're told that if you're good, then he'll be good to you. So obviously, I wasn't good. I wasn't good enough. I was created and the creator of all things looked down upon me and decided that I was a bad egg. Do you know how rough that is for a 7-year-old? I still have problems with self-esteem. …"

That comment, which has been truncated above, provoked an outpouring of sympathy and support on reddit, including this comment:

rumpelstiltskin1

"This stuff is why I love Reddit. Yeah we are a room full of strangers but when it comes down to it we're a community. I love reading the stories of others and reading the heartfelt replies. I love that anyone can express themselves honestly and it will be well-received here (usually). And although this one is a little cheeky, I love that I can learn valuable life lessons of self-acceptance and being able to move on from a guy named ConstipatedNinja. Thank you for sharing your story, and I admire the willingness to share such a personal story; it's truly inspirational."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Colorado • Violence

soundoff (4,699 Responses)
  1. BlatantAtheist

    "Recent string of posts around the question of “Where was God in Aurora?” (such as this and this) drew especially large waves of comments that show atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church."

    Riiiight, because were Atheists, you see.. So we don't go to churches... So confronting you in churches wouldn't make much sense.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Yah, that part made made laugh.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  2. Chicagothug

    The sad truth is that Atheists have replaced the worship of God with worship of themselves. In doing so , they relegate man – the noblest of God's creation – to animal status!

    Science is wonderful, though it's not exact. The Universe is incredible; Nature is beautiful and they were all created by God – for man. Man thanks God by stealing the credit for himself!
    Anything we do; everything we discover; All that we think we understand – are only possible because we have the brain that God gave us.But then again , it DOES take intelligence to analyze; reason and apply logic with an open mind. Atheists are like trams – following the tracks to the end of the line. No turns, no exploration, no adventure.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Observer

      "it DOES take intelligence to analyze; reason and apply logic with an open mind."

      Yes. That's why the Bible NEVER encourages that. It's all "follow exactly what I say or go to hell".

      August 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      "Science is wonderful, though it's not exact. The Universe is incredible; Nature is beautiful and they were all created by God – for man. Man thanks God by stealing the credit for himself!"

      eh? We take credit for creating the universe? Oh, that's NOT what you meant... Funny, I thought you were trying to say we were taking credit for something you believe a "god" did... which would pretty much be creating the universe.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Your a religious person and you call yourself chicagothug. Ok and you wonder why people think your nuts!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • ArthurP

      @Observer:

      Actually it is more along the lines of "Do as I say, not as I do".

      August 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Observer

      ArthurP,

      Yes, but we can save killing, incest, and hypocrisy for later.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      And on the 8th day God created the Internet. And he filled it with p0rn that man may enjoy its fruits.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      And exactly how do we worship ourselves?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  3. Roaster

    I have known people that have been clinically dead and brought back to life. They have the most incredible stories of peace from the other side. There is no question about it, just talk to someone who has experienced life in a clinically dead body.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Hey no problem, I run across people like that every day!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Roaster

      The Sick. The Dying. The Dead. Spend more time around them and you will learn a few things that The Well, The Recovered, and The Living can't tell you.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Roaster

      Hi -Roaster...

      " I have known people that have been clinically dead and brought back to life. They have the most incredible stories of peace from the other side. There is no question about it, just talk to someone who has experienced life in a clinically dead body."

      Yep... I have had an NDE... however, the 'mistake' that some often make is 'a-s-s uming' *without question* that = continuation of existence...'indefinitely'.

      Maybe... maybe not.

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Any of them come back and give a report on Hell?

      Surely plenty of "non-believers" have been hit with the paddles, and brought back ....

      August 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      i don't see the big deal in near death experiences. I have one everyday trying to cross a street in New York.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  4. † In God We Trust †

    The more times I quote Jesus, the more real he becomes. He's kinda like the Tinkerbell of Gods. Clap your hands if you believe people!

    August 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Observer

      There's no excuse for using someone else's name and especially when they do bad by themselves. Grow up.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • ArthurP

      And just like Tinkerbell he is not real. He is only a character in a book. Just like Tinkerbell.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • DT5000

      Just a light joke Obs. Smile every once in a while.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  5. † In God We Trust †

    I like the sound of my own voice.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • CAL

      That's nice, because you are the only one listening.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  6. Ben

    God was in Aurora because God sent the shooter to Aurora. Phony 'Christians' say that God didn't do that. Anyone who has actually read the Bible knows that He did.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • DS

      Wrong.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      It's amazing G-od has time to do anything after all he's watching 7 billion people.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  7. Timetraveler

    It's funny how all gods behave like the people who created them.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  8. BFW

    Don't believe in God? Ok, but you better be right.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @BFW

      Look up and 'learn'... Pascals Wager argument, and 'why' it is not a real valid argument.

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      I can handle that.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • What IF

      BFW,

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      There have been over 10,000 different gods since the dawn of humanity. You better be right about that particular one you're worshiping. Better be ... ahem... damned right.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • GSK

      Don't believe in Zeus , Ra, Odin, etc..ok, but YOU BETTER BE RIGHT...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      If I'm wrong I'll come back and tell you.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      Hell yeah I better be right, or I am going to owe a lot of people a lot of money on this bet.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  9. Jim P.

    A relatively decent and balanced article in a forum that generally caters to the followers of the Invisible Sky Friends club. I do appreciate this even if I snark a bit.

    When a child is hurt or scared, a loving parent is right there, doing everything he or she can do to reassure and protect the child. There is no "Well, it was your free will that caused you to decide to pour boiling water on yourself", they just give unquestionable love and care that no one doubts is there or has to be explained by sophistry and elaborate philosophical arguments that few accept even after hundreds of years of debate.

    If a fallible, sinful, totally depraved(Calvinisim) human can do this, then where indeed is this all loving all powerful being you say cares about even the least of us. This being whose love is supposedly as much greater than our own human love as a mother's love for her newborn child exceeds the love a stranger has for an insect on the far side of thew world.

    I see no God in this event or in many other events of a terrible nature. I see no god in 9/11 lest I see the god of Islam since ten million prayed it not happen and 12 prayed that it might happen and it did happen and I will nor follow such a blood-soaked deity even if it was real.

    A million priests of a thousand religions will each assure you he or she has the truth and the straight dope on the real god and what he or she wants. But then they always demand you make the checks out to them personally or even better: Cash and in unmarked bills. Non-denominational simply means they don't care if it's tens or twenties.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  10. GSK

    I see crazy religious psychos everywhere...

    August 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  11. grouchoman

    I am a former Catholic, turned agnostic, turned born again Christian. I came to Christ because of supernatural occurrences in my own life and am still a Christian after 30 years because of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and many other reasons too numerous to list here. It seems that many times it is because God does not fit into the mold of who we think He should be, that we believe He does not exist. There are probably many better explanations than what the pastor gave for the tragic deaths but the bottom line is that God allowed it to happen just like every other tragic death since the beginning with the most tragic death being that of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh so He understands first hand the pain. He wants us to run to Him personally for help but instead we run away or just deny His existence. That is the saddest thing of all.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Major Tom

      Care to share some of that "evidence" on zombie Jesus?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Lucy

      But you must have had some reason for being agnostic for a time. Thinking that someone else has come to a different conclusion than you have is the saddest thing of all does not really make sense. Just be happy for you, maybe, and let others work on their life.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Until we can all see his long form birth certificate there is no real proof that he ever existed.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      +1 for Aurthur

      August 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Jim P.

      If I see a house burning, I will pull the fire alarm and try to save people whether or not they believe in me or love me or had just told me to go to hell. I think in that almost any human being is a better person than any god you care to posit.

      Humans have and will continue to die to save other humans, even strangers, knowing there's no one around to wave a magic wand and make them come back to life afterwards. That is far greater love than a hoax death by a god who knew he'd come back to life since he set the entire scheme up long before the events, if they even occurred.

      Your own conviction that is was real is of no more value than any other person's conviction that Allah or Krishna or Ahura Mazda is real.

      "The invisible and the non-existent are very hard to tell apart."

      August 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Good one ArthurP 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • pepsee

      G-man, if god doesn't help in bad situations (clearly she/he didn't help in all the atrocities) then why does one need god? Why waste time in believing in her/him? Well, if it makes you feel better then it is a different story but that doesn't mean there is a real god.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • pepsee

      G-man, if god doesn't help in bad situations (clearly she/he didn't help in all the atrocities) then why does one need god? Why waste time in believing in her/him? Well, if it makes you feel better to have an invisible crutch then it is a different story but that doesn't mean there is a real god.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  12. † In God We Trust †

    "I grew up religious and decided to be agnostic (as an) undergraduate. Even though I am now in my late 20s, I still feel slightly guilty because my parents try to ram religion down my throat. My mom converted to my dad's religion (from Christianity to Islam) right before having a double lung transplant in 1995. They are now super-religious and attribute her miraculous recovery to her conversion.

    "Reading posts like these remind me of how ridiculous religion is and help relieve my guilt. Thank you /r/athiesm."

    Your mom converted to a pe.dophiles cult religion. She will burn in hell fire.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      Are you interested in discussing the problems with your own religion?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Observer

      @In,

      So are you so incredibly IGNORANT to claim he is a pedophile? Answer before you go hide again.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • My GOD will Kick Your god's A S S Any Day

      Funny. That's exactly how 1.5 billion Muslims feel about you and your fellow Christians. Their god gave them a book too, you know.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • ArthurP

      "our mom converted to a pe.dophiles cult religion. She will burn in hell fire."

      Only a religious person would make such a pronouncement. Very telling.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Lucy

      I thought you went to sleep. Are you posting in your sleep? That would explain a few things.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  13. In FSM We Trust

    Open your heart and let His Noodly Appendage touch you. It is your only way to salvation. You are a retched, sinful soul who is unworthy of salvation otherwise. Accept the Great FSM.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      At least nobody knows about it. We have our God in YOUR money 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Observer

      The men who created our country did not put "In God We Trust" on it.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Which is kind of ironic considering good Christians feel that money is the root of all evil. Then again maybe it isn't.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Mike

      Gotta love pastafarianism. Makes as much sense as Christianity.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Not only that but after you have eaten of the Body the Great FSM you are fully nourished for real.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @ArthurP

      LOL...unless you're a 'diabetic'... then probably...not so much 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Tonyn

    ""I never know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God."

    Bertrand Russell

    August 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Lily

      ...and there never will be.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Tony's,

      He didn't believe but he did not know so he was an agnostic atheist. The terms are not mutually exclusive.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Surfeit

      Agnostics are atheists. Atheism simply refers to the lack of belief in a god, not a belief that there is no god. The term agnostic is used a lot because it has less negative connotations–believers still think you might be open to their god even when you've logically ruled him/her out–but in many respects it's a much more defined stance than atheism. Agnosticism suggests that, not only do we not know if there's a god, we'll probably never know for sure. Atheism doesn't presuppose that.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Tonyn

      Wow...you guys know more about semantics than Bertrand Russell...did you not read his quote?...it destroys your argument totally...the problem with the average athiest is that they are not quite as brilliant as they think they are.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Surfeit

      Tonyn:

      Huh? All I can figure based on your statement is that you think atheism means one believes there is no god. That simply ain't true. The quote you've provided doesn't even address our "argument," let alone "destroy" it.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Agnostic or atheist. It doesn't matter. Bottom line: Nobody is coming to save your A**

      August 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Tonyn

      Please read Russell's quote again...slowly if you need to...He describes the difference between an Athiest and an Agnostic...they are mutually exclusive philosophical positions by definition.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Tonyn,

      Look up the origins of the words.

      Gnostic/agnostic goes to knowledge.

      Theism/atheism goes to belief

      Belief and knowledge are not the same nor are they opposite.

      It is really not as hard as you are making it.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Tonyn

      I am familiar with the etymology of the terms in question. Lord Russell quite clearly expalins in the quote why he can not call himself an Athiest...because he believes it impossible to disprove the existence of god. An Athiest, by definition, believes that there is no god. An Agnostic claims it is impossible to know one way or the other. They are mutually exclusive positions...it is really not that difficult...if this were not so, why does Russell make the distintction so clearly? Keep in mind that Russell is one of the greatest logicians in the history of modern Philosophy. You are not arguing with me. You are arguing with him. That takes some chutzpah...but then... so does calling oneself an Atheist...

      August 2, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      From Oxford Dictionaries:

      "Definition of atheist
      noun
      a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods:
      he is a committed atheist"

      August 2, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  15. DJL

    To Mr. Gilgoff,

    1. A place to meet and discuss something does not make it a "church" - de facto or otherwise.

    2. As an agnostic, I do not doubt the existence of any of the thousands gods than man has ever invented - I know it. There is no proof or any tangible evidence that any of them exist, therefore to the *best of human knowledge* they don't.

    3. Your hateful rant is very unchristian-like. However, the mythological being to which you choose to enslave yourself does not exist, so it won't be able to punish you.

    4. If your god did exist and it was benevolent, it would not seek your worship and praise, or use fear - only a tyrant does.

    Regards,

    DJL

    August 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tonyn

      See quote above.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • DJL

      You cannot prove that something does not exist - Science 101. Therefore, the burden of proof to the existence of something rests with the one making the claim of existence. So until it is PROVEN to exist it is not KNOWN to exist.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  16. † In God We Trust †

    I'm going to sleep now and not wasting my time here debating with idiots (atheists)

    August 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. Can't take the heat.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • DJL

      An idiot is someone who blindly accepts something. Someone who questions everything - including absolute authority - is a wise person.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Chicagothug

      In God we Trust – I don't blame you.

      Observer – As Jesus said – When discussing the one true Faith, if people won't listen, leave them; shake the dust of their house off your feet; and visit them no more!
      Nobody's "giving in" – just obeying Jesus.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Mike

      Atheists are idiots? Really? How do you manage to prove your beliefs in a supernatural deity that controls everything and yet controls nothing. I pity you for your ignorance.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Surfeit

      Psst . . . You're not debating; you're trollololing.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  17. Who me?

    Stay classy my god-less friends.Easy with the name calling.We got em' on the run!Peace!

    August 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  18. † In God We Trust †

    Atheists could fool themselves as much as they want.... Life's short baby. Don't cry on your judgement day.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Does Judgement Day include telling lies and making up things?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      Pascal's Wager? You'll need to do better than that. Look it up, it's a terribly flawed argument.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      We aren't the ones that got "fooled"..

      August 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  19. Sherri

    Sure, this all knowing, all powerful, LOVING god was there that night. And he WATCHED what happened, could have stopped it but did not. You know with a father this loving, it's a wonder we aren't all dead.
    If a human father KNEW something was going to happen to his child, had the power to stop it and did not, watched it happen and did nothing, we'd have him up on charges in a NY minute. But because this is a sky fairy god, we say 'It was god's will'. Well what it is is a bunch of crap. If this is the kind of loving father we have, please, put me up for adoption. I don't WANT a father that HAS the power to stop horrible things, but CHOOSES not to.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Mike

      You people talk but you are totally unaware of what christianity teaches. In the christian world view their would be a judgment day when God would do justice but on the atheist world view what hope do you have that justice will be served.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Lily

      Excellent, Mike!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Mike

      Hi -Mike...

      " In the christian world view their would be a judgment day when God would do justice but on the atheist world view what hope do you have that justice will be served. "

      What is this 'justice' that you are speaking of ?

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Harry McNutsac

      @Mike – Have you ever heard of a run-on sentence? You're not very literate, are you? As for Lily – what do I say to Lily, who, along with Mike, can probably muster a few dozen higher functioning brain cells? Great minds think alike, and fools rarely (or never) differ. The BORG are here – they are you.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • DS

      That's the trick bag in having creating man with a free will. As horrible as these tragedies are to us living through them , in the light of millions of years, it's a blip on the screen.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Mike

      Sooo what you are saying is that we shouldn't punish criminals because at some hazy undetermined point in the future some hazy undetermined deity is going to punish them?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • pepsee

      Bravo! Sherri.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Mike,

      In your Christian world view mass murders just have to confess their sins and believe and they get paradise....where as I can live a moral life but find Christianity absurd and I get eternal punishment.

      Please explain how that is just?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Mike You know why people ridicule religion. Because of people like you. People like you make G-od out to be paranoid, vengeful, hateful, self centered etc. In other words JUST LIKE PEOPLE. We see it every time a religious person speaks. They see G-od as they themselves are.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • silmaril

      @Mike said "You people talk but you are totally unaware of what christianity teaches. In the christian world view their would be a judgment day when God would do justice but on the atheist world view what hope do you have that justice will be served."

      I'm curious, Mike. Which is better, to stop a murderer from killing someone, or to convict and punish him after the fact? So if god is capable of performing either action and chooses to do the one that allows for evil, doesn't that make him complicit in the evil?

      August 3, 2012 at 2:29 am |
  20. ArthurP

    Christians need God because they do not have the strength of character to lead a good and decent life without the possibility of encoring His wrath should they not.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Mike

      I think it takes more strength to accept that we are sinners and we need God

      August 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Arthur must agree with killing and stealing as well as cheating.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • ArthurP

      No that is a form of self abuse.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • ArthurP

      † In God We Trust †

      Never killed anyone, saved a persons life once though, been married for 40+ years never cheated and never stole anything.

      Although a quick search of Google shows any number of supposedly 'good' Christians who have done all three all down through the ages in fact I even know a couple personally.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @† In God We Trust †

      " Arthur must agree with killing and stealing as well as cheating. " 😯

      W – T – F ?!?!? Holy Non-Sequitur !

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Harry McNutsac

      Mike claims – "I think"

      I say Mike does not think at all, but lets his comic book do his thinking for him.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Arthur, do you believe that there is no God ?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      There could be a god....just not yours

      August 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
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About this blog

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