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My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race
A NASA image of Hurricane Sandy.
October 29th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I am riding out Sandy on Cape Cod and wondering whether this, too, is God’s will.

As this storm has carved its path through the Caribbean and up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, it has taken 67 lives and (so far) spared the rest of us. Was it the will of the Almighty that so many should perish?

Is God angry with Cuba, where 11 died last week? More angry with Haiti, where 51 perished? Relatively unperturbed with Jamaica, where the death toll was only two? If a tree falls on my house today, will that be an Act of God, too?

There has been a lot of talk lately about what is and what isn’t willed by Providence, thanks to Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican and U.S. Senate candidate who said last week, “I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

Whether “it” in this sentence refers to rape or to conception, it assumes that God is both busy and capricious. Why does God offer the gift of life to some rape victims and not to others? Why does God allow some elections to be close and not others?

One answer, of course, is that God does nothing of the sort. Perhaps there is no God. Or perhaps God is more like the watchmaker divinity of Deism fame who winds up the universe, sets it in motion and then leaves it to its own devices.

In the thought worlds of Indian religions, things operate not by the will of God but in keeping with the laws of karma. So to put it in crudest terms, those who are injured in Sandy somehow have it coming to them, as do victims of rape who find themselves pregnant.

The western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have argued that God has a hand not only in setting our story in motion but also in seeing it through to the end. So Jews, Christians, and Muslims have had to reckon with the classical problem of “theodicy”: In a world in which God is all powerful and all good, why do bad things happen to good people?

As I wrestle with these questions, I cannot help thinking about how differently my New England forebears interpreted these natural disasters. While we speak of the eye of the hurricane, New England's colonists were ever mindful of the eye of a God who was forever watching over them, and sending storms their way as punishment for their collective sins.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

When the Great Colonial Hurricane raced up the east coast and lashed New England in August 1635, its 130 mph winds and 21-foot storm surge were almost universally viewed in supernatural rather than natural terms — as a judgment of God on the unfaithful.

We still have Puritans among us today, of course.

Televangelist Pat Robertson is notorious for turning natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina into supernatural communications — God’s curse on Haiti or New Orleans for bad religion or widespread abortions. And with this “Stormpocalpyse” arriving on the eve of the election, I suspect some will suggest that the rain and the wind are God’s judgment on the leadership of President Obama.

Still, American society as a whole no longer interprets natural disasters as signs of a coming apocalypse or evidence of past misdeeds. When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, we tune in to the Weather Channel, not the Christian Broadcasting Network. And we interpret these events not through the rumblings of biblical prophets but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates.

As a result of this sort of secular turn, we are much better at predicting the course of hurricanes. The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 arrived as a surprise and took many lives with it, including, according to the report of the Massachusetts governor, John Winthrop, those of eight Native Americans taken by the storm surge while “flying from their wigwams.” Sandy is a surprise to no one, thanks to science.

Still, we Americans cannot give up on talk of God’s will. At least according to Newt Gingrich, Mourdock’s foray into rape and theology reflects the position of “virtually every Catholic” in the United States. And if we are to believe the full-page ads taken out  by Billy Graham, God wills the victory of Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.

As for me, I am less sure about what God wills for our storms (political or otherwise). In my view, any God worth worshiping isn’t going to be so predictable, or so capricious.

I don’t think Graham, Mourdock, or Gingrich is speaking on behalf of God. They are speaking on behalf of themselves, on the basis of their own fears and experiences. And they are reading the Bible through their politics, not the other way around.

When it comes to storms like Sandy, I just don't believe in a God who drowns black babies in Haiti yet refuses to drown out the voices of cranky white men who claim so irreverently to speak in His name.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Science • United States

soundoff (2,188 Responses)
  1. Bob Bubbles

    There's only one sensible conclusion: god is made up. No one asks "Where was Superman when this happened?" "Where was the Easter Bunny when this happened?" "Couldn't Peter Pan have flown some people out?" Grow up and stop passing this drivel down from generation to generation.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Danny

      I agree 100%!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I do not know.. I woke up this morning, and all the politicians both Dem and Reps have been declaring that they came out of the statehouses, ran towards Sandy and wrestled it down with their own bare hands and political convictions.

      But if you do not have Faith that there is not a God that is cool, I can respect your Faith in there not being a God 100%. 🙂

      October 30, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • snowboarder

      mark – i guess your point is that not believing in the absurd requires faith? not so much.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      On both sides each believe that those on the other side must be using massive amounts of energy to hold on to their Beliefs. At the same time thinking that their beliefs are easy and the most valid. I am with you, my Faith in God is easy and I am sure to ones such as TomTom, her belief that there is not a God or Gods is also easy.

      That's all. 🙂

      October 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  2. varp

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. – Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

    October 30, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  3. King of Jugheads

    It's like this see,..the universe is like a big starbucks coffee cup... the planets and stars are meerly sugar crystals floating around in the fluid. Stuff like hurricanes and earthquakes are caused by some giant guy stirring his cup while he reads the newspaper. All the death and destruction is happening in quantum time and are totally unintentional...so all these people wrapping their brains around why a God would permit dead black babies in Haiti are beating a dead horse. It's all simply a case of relativity.....is God concerned ?...is he concerned when ants anguish in horror as we crush them beneath our feet.......not even phased.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  4. Coop

    God's not acting the way Stephen wants him too.

    wah, wah , wah.

    Grow up !

    October 30, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Bob

      Actually, god isn't acting at all. God doesn't exist.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  5. TrollAlert

    "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
    "Salvatore" degenerates to:
    "Douglas" degenerates to:
    "cristopher hitchens" degenerates to:
    "truth be told" degenerates to:
    "Thinker23" degenerates to:
    "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
    "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
    "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
    "tina" degenerates to:
    "captain america" degenerates to:
    "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
    "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
    "just sayin" degenerates to:
    "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
    "Kindness" degenerates to:
    "Chad" degenerates to
    "Bob" degenerates to
    "nope" degenerates to:
    "2357" degenerates to:
    "WOW" degenerates to:
    "fred" degenerates to:
    "!" degenerates to:
    "pervert alert"

    This troll is not a christian.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  6. save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

    It's funny, but pathetic that "truth be told" (aka the record # of other names in the BB) still follows the ridiculous beliefs of Pat Robertson, even though he flunked out of Pat's Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer's bootcamp.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • truth be told

      What an unkind thing to say hal/ phony jesus / (.) / = o= / and everyone else you pretend to be

      October 30, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "cristopher hitchens" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to;
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      @truth: Well let's see – I don't run around as "pervert alert" saying "que ers the ones who gave aids to america"

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • pervert alert

      Neither do I, when forced to talk about qu eers I point out that qu eers gave AIDS to the world, not just America. Millions of innocents would be alive today if not for the disgusting behaviors of qu eers .

      October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • midwest rail

      It's always a good day when we get to be entertained by the inane and delusional ramblings of the pervert.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      pervert alert says: "Neither do I".

      Yes you do – although your post of that is usually in caps.

      And obviously you are misinformed.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  7. ME II

    "Sandy is a surprise to no one, thanks to science."

    RAmen!

    October 30, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • truth be told

      And thanks to God who gave us science.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      stop crediting your god for human achievement, troll.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bullsh!t alert. Turd alert.

      Figured out what a "pun" is yet, Turdy?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • TR6

      @truth be told: “And thanks to God who gave us science.”

      If god gave us science why did he start giving most of it about 200 years ago. Why didn’t he send it 2000 years ago with jesus or 5000 years ago with moses? It would have been great PR for the religion and would have saved countless suffering. And why does he instruct almost all of his churches to be so dead set against almost everything new that science discovers (e.g: earth going around the sun or evolution)

      October 30, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • HarryJ

      TR6
      If Jesus or Moses had brought science with them then neither would have preached that any gods still existed, right? It's the absence of scientific understanding that allows belief in the supernatural world of astrology, prophecy, gods, and mythological creatures.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • oodles of noodles

      HarryJ wrote: "It's the absence of scientific understanding that allows belief . . ."

      No, it was fear, charlatanism, and very primitive scientific understanding of anything that allowed most to cling to mythology.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ truth be told

      "And thanks to God who gave us science."

      hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha OMG is THAT FUNNY! Yer a hoot truth, that's awesome!!!

      How about this from a famous scientist " God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific illiteracy" ....roll that around yer empty brain pan for a while. And while yer at it, watch this...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIMifWU5ucU&w=640&h=360]

      October 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  8. pjb

    Thank you for this article. Its interesting how magical thinking , an infantile part of psychological development, still continues into our adult life and how we ascribe supernatural characteristics to Nature. Nature is amoral, animals kill other animal to survive and storms kills humans in it path. There is nothing divine or supernatural about it, only infantile beliefs make it so....

    October 30, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  9. Heaveninc

    This whole argument is infuriating. The Forces of Nature are the Forces of Nature. How mankind responds to the forces of nature is the essence of God and Free will. Do we feed the poor? Do we help the improvished? Do we take people in from the storm and feed them? Our free will to make those decisions is the determination whether the presence of God is amongst us.

    That is the covenant between man and god.." If you allow me to work through you , I will be there. I am that I am. If you chose to live this life without my presence in your life, then you may live in this world without my presence. The relationship with God is a divine collaboration for those who chose to live like that.. It has always been a choice to live a sacred life. " STop blaming disasters on GOD.. It is so stupid. MAnmade , illnesses, car accidents.. people have alot to do with alot of the disasters that befall us..

    October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • OOO

      How mankind responds to the forces of nature is the essence of mankind, not of god.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Huebert

      People have nothing to do with where hurricanes or earthquakes strike. Additionally, if God is omniscient and omnipotent then free will does not exist.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • sally

      Well of course people get involved. And many here will debate whether or not a divine presence is involved.

      But one thing's for sure. Bigots like Graham, Mourdock, or Gingrich never help any situation without injecting their bigotry and causing further divide amongst people.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Kathleen

      Utter nonsense. There's no reason to insert a god into any natural occurance - we don't need to thank any god for a sunset nor do we need to blame any god for a storm (or grovel before any god to magically change the course of nature). Please take your voodoo somewhere else.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • HarryJ

      Heaveninc
      The Bible says otherwise, God control all weather.

      Psalm 148:8
      Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

      October 30, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • TR6

      “That is the covenant between man and god.." If you allow me to work through you , I will be there”

      What has man ever done with the assistance of god that he couldn’t have done by him self?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  10. Khyrid

    This very perplexing question can be understood by simply realizing that god does not exist. Storms have rational causes understood by science. Who suffers most from a storm is who is least prepared for a storm and geography not who failed to worship some insane sky monster (biblical god). Please people, grow up and think rationally.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Heaveninc

      God is love, a life force energy, divine intelligence, it has many names.. God does exist.. People have a choice to acknowledge it or not. They have even have a scientific formula defining it as the "God Constant" That unknown factor that makes your heart beat, your body, breathe, your eyes blink, that is closer to hands and feet and breathed life into you..

      That is God.. The same magnetic attraction that gives sperm its drive to the egg... God exists, there is no denying it. When people do they live a life in rigid pain, doing all they can to deny the love within them.... You can see them every day... Denying love exists.. and proving themselves right..

      October 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Mark

      Heaveninc is a great example of a psychopath who will make up excuses in their head for believing their imaginary friend is real. This is what cults do to you.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Heaveninc,
      "When people do they live a life in rigid pain.' I deny god every day, and I live a wonderful, mostly pain-free, life. So either someone brainwashed you into beleiving that, or you are lying. And since your god supposedly lights liars on fire for eternity, I seriously doubt you would ever tell a lie.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      Heaven ink – I am so sorry that you are delusional. It happens to many weak-minded sheep like yourself ! My life is quite full of love , peace and understanding without ANY need for a fictional "god"! "God" is a mental "crutch" that weak people lean on whenever life seems a little difficult to deal with! Relying upon imaginary magical beings in order to "deal" with your own life is a sign of weakness and a lack of personal integrity! I do not blame my problems upon imaginary beings! I have learned to accept responsibility for all of my actions and unintended complications and have NO NEED for "imaginary help"...

      October 30, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • HarryJ

      Heaveninc
      That "unknown factor" is shrinking every day with new scientific discoveries. Sorry, but people are wising up to just how empty your "God of the Gaps" actually is.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  11. tanyase

    Everything happens because God permits it to happen....everything happens for a reason....
    Whether it is to realize that life is much more precious than we think it is or to get to know ourselves and each other better.or just to meet new people (it is known that disasters, recovery efforts bring together new people, new relationships) and hear those thought-provoking, life-changing words that we needed. Whether it is just to feel life, to feel compassion (= to realize that we can help, that we can change something, no matter how little is), to feel helplessness (= to realize that we are not alone) etc..
    God tries to teach us something, to make us better!
    We can only learn from pain. So we need that from time to time.

    God bless you all!

    October 30, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Mark

      You're just making excuses for why your nonexistent god stood by and did nothing, because it doesn't exist.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Things happen because of the nature of the atmosphere, not because god decides it's time to stir things up and make us meet new people.

      How do you think those people whose 7-year-old son was killed by a falling tree branch in PA would feel about somebody who thinks it happened because god wanted to teach them something?

      Honestly, I really have to wonder about people that believe such complete balderdash.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Huebert

      "We can only learn from pain."

      That is absolutely untrue. We learn through observation and experience, and a properly utilized reward is a far more effective reinforcement than punishment. This has been demonstrated time and time again through experimentation.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • pjb

      Can we learn from our successes, failures, victories and pain, and not just pain alone...?.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • derp

      Right now in my home I have no heat, no running water, no electricity and the sewers are overflowing.

      Half of my state is flooded.

      There are over 7,000,000 people without electricity on the east coast.

      Dozens are dead, thousands have lost everything.

      Thanks god, you inconsiderate, malicious, dooshebag.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      Most humans have always responded to natural disasters by working together to survive and restore their lives. Its a human response and has nothing to do with any of the thousands of gods humans have invented throughout history to explain natural phenomena like storms or earthquakes.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  12. Paul

    This article forgets the real party that really is to blame, Satan. He is the one that has brought all this death and darkess in the world and right before his holiday so many people love to celebrate.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mark

      Hey idiot, it has nothing to do with a satan or your god, it's just a natural disaster brought on because human beings are trashing this planet and everything on it.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      There is no such thing as "satan"! The onlly evil that exists in this world lives in the hearts of mankind! PEOPLE have the capacity to choose evil actions and evil intentions instead of loving and caring for each other! There is NO Big Bad Boogeyman that makes people "evil" and selfish! Selfishness is a natural instinct for ALL animals, including mankind. But, mankind has the capacity and intelligence to choose benevolence over malice, but often chooses selfish malice! "Good" or "Evil" is a CHOICE we all make each and every day! There is no one to "blame" for our actions, but ourselves!...

      October 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow....Satan's to blame, eh?

      October 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Stacy

      Paul, I am glad you brought the adversary into it. He is The Prince of the Powers of the Air (Eph. 2:2). Oddly enough, I just learned in my precepts bible study last week that the word "air" in this context is pulled from the ancient Greek word meaning the atmosphere surrounding earth. (Isn't that where storns form?) Interesting. As a believer in Christ, I mourn these catastrophes yet also see God's mercy in the aftermath when people love their neighbors and help with the healing.

      http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines.pl?word=Devil

      October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Nahum

      The LORD is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and wrath. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and furiously destroys his enemies! The LORD is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet. At his command the oceans and rivers dry up. In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed. Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence. The LORD is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And he knows everyone who trusts in him. But he sweeps away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He pursues his foes into the darkness of night.

      Sorry people but it's your God creating all this disasters, not Satan.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob

      Yeah, Christian god sure sounds like a vindictive jerk with major inadequacy problems.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  13. David Ouellette

    Hurricanes are caused by Mother Nature, not God. However, a Higher Power will respond when we call upon it. God is all about Divine Love and Goodness.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Bob

      David: Prove that any "Higher Power" has ever responded to a request. If you succeed, you will be the first person to ever do so.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Incorrect.
      God's primary characteristic is Jealousy, not love.
      And I assume that you don't believe in an actual anthropomorphic personification of natural phenomenon called "Mother Nature" but merely use the name as a metaphor, yes?
      So why does "Mother Naturre" exist only as metaphor but God really, truly exists as an anthropomorhpic, anthropocentric, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient enti/ty?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Mittology

      I'm pretty sure the superstitious were praying to stop Sandy. Was god on vacation?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  14. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    And then the religious wonder why one in five (one in three among younger people) refuse to have anything to do with a church.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  15. Alex

    There is no god you simpleton. Of course there in no god in the storm.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  16. palintwit

    Countless studies have shown that there is a higher incidence of incest and child molestation among southern, white evangelical families than in any other group that participated in the study. Experts agree that this type of deviant behavior is generally a result of living in close quarters, such as trailer parks. Anyone requiring further proof only has to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line where you will encounter toothless inbreds wherever you travel. In fact, historians have long theorized that the reason the south lost the Civil War is because of the high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the army, a direct result of generations of inbreeding.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      I'm not sure what the point of your post is, or if there IS any point at all! But this is a ridiculous pile of manure that reveals YOUR personal bigotry and hatred towards your fellow Americans! It must really suck to be YOU!...

      October 30, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  17. kalo

    Hurricanes are caused by gay people – Pat Robinson

    October 30, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "kalo" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  18. PAT

    Why doesn't god have the power to control his temper?

    October 30, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Miriam

      He does and he has been very patcient with all us and we are all lucky that he is

      October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • sam stone

      Miriam: Well, it is relatively easy to control his temper because he does not exist

      October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • HarryJ

      You call this "lucky", Miriam?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Ann

      Miriam sounds kinda masochistic, no?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  19. john

    how can anyone in this day and age believe that any god{s} would punish people for going against his hers or ITS will. a few hundred years ago maybe. but with what we've learnt through science and enviromental awareness? no way!!!

    October 30, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • J

      "what we've learnt"....nice...obviously, some of us have not "learnt" as much as others...

      October 30, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Joseph

      Because there is so much evidence you discard as natural phenomena. Metaphorically speaking, you blind your eyes, you cover your ears only to see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear.

      2 Timothy 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, joseph....a quote....you don't get any more convincing than that, nosiree

      October 30, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      J, "learnt" isn't incorrect.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  20. PAT

    Which of these staements is harder to believe?
    "God sends a weather event to punish the wicked."
    or "God exists."

    October 30, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • HarryJ

      The first one, but only because I'm already grounded in the reality that God most likely doesn't exist, and I'm not a primitive who doesn't understand how storms are formed.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Huebert

      I would say that the first statement is harder to believe, because it attributes two aspects to God, existence and weather control. Where as the second statement only attributes one aspect to him.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:28 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.