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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. Reality

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

    And to this we offer our favorite prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    October 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Jay

      Awesome

      October 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  2. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents.

    For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;

    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circ.u.mstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion.

    If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.

    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is it then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in this proposition.

    Think about Adolph Hit.ler. He was evil incarnate, and Hit.ler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hit.ler is part of God's Plan." Think about this:

    He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hit.ler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan - no amount of prayer will help - because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.

    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have - God has pre-planned their births.

    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hit.ler is blameless. Hit.ler was not "evil," because Hit.ler had no free will at all. Hit.ler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust - he planned their deaths in exact detail. Hit.ler had to kill those people. Hit.ler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.

    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get r.a.p.ed tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your r.a.p.e, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.

    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hit.ler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hit.ler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."

    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      They all want to go to heaven but don't want to die.

      October 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • lowellthomson

      Unfortunately, the brain is neuroplastic; it adapts to and accepts thought patterns that have previously contributed to a sense of chemically derived security on behalf of the individual. In other words, belief is like addiction, with a physical component that produces, among other things cognitive dissonance as a response to challenges.

      So it's very hard for any of the people you're trying to convince to understand you or even try.

      October 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • btldriver

      Lowellthomson, assuming your commenting about the religious and their "chemically-derived sense of security," just remember it works the same for atheists, too.

      October 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Dave Murray

      @btldriver you need a thing to have "chemically-derived sense of security", that doesn't work for atheists since they are acknowledging that there is no god. That would be like saying that people that dislike ice cream are actually addicted to ice cream with no flavor.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  3. Hypatia

    Seriously, you have time to worry about this crap?

    October 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  4. You would think that one day the obvious contradictions and absurdities of their position would finally register on them

    Uh oh, bad things! The omniscient omnipotent master of everything is in no way responsible! The guy in total control is not in control when it is inconvenient! Prayers only work when it good happens. All-powerful God has no power to change evil. All-knowing God is like Sgt. Schutlz in a crisis – he knows nothing . . . NOTHING!

    It makes sense to me.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hinduism, stupidity of a hindu, crook copy cat.

      October 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  5. Wing Nut

    Your last paragraph says it very well. I am an atheist and as far as I'm concerned there is no God. I live my life for me and my family. I do things to help people because it is the right thing to do, not because I hope to have some kind of afterlife. As I see it, religion has become a tool to control people, much like Santa Claus is for children. Note the similarities, "Be good or Santa won't bring you gifts" compared to "Be good and live your life according to the rules we give you, or you won't get into heaven". It's ridiculous to me that people can't see this. There is no God, Jesus is not the son of God (as he doesn't exist). People need to learn to trust themselves and their own insticts, and stop blaming things on something that isn't there. Find the answers in yourself, find the strength in yourself to do the right thing. If the belief in some higher being helps you do that, great, but keep your religion to yourself and don't try to save people who aren't looking to be saved.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Rob

      Exactly. I do things because I know it's the right thing to do. Human kindness and compassion are virtues and strengths, and you don't have to be a religious person to live a healthy, happy, productive life as a respectable citizen. Organized religion is the largest corporation in the entire world, and should be taxed as such.

      October 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • John

      It's hard for me to agree with you that you believe there isn't a God and that you live for yourself. If you believe that there isn't a God then how did morality come about? How do you know the difference between good and evil? How does your body know exactly what to do when you become sick? It's not out of pure chance that your body knows how to fight illnesses. Idk I just wanted to let you know my thoughts about your statement. God is in control whether we believe it or not. Yea there is a hurricane on the east coast right now, but that's part of the fall. The bible talks about how we were suppose to live in unity with God but then we chose to mess it up and do our own thing. People don't just die and natural disasters don't just happen because God is "punishing" us. They happen as a result of evil that is in this world. God isn't an unloving God, He is super loving. Things like this happen as a result of the fall that started when man was created.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  6. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    If you consult the dictionary, here is the first definition of God that you will find:

    "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

    Most believers would agree with this definition because they share a remarkably clear and consistent view of God. Yes, there are thousands of minor (and some major) quibbles about religion. Believers express those quibbles in dozens of denominations - Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and all faiths. But at the heart of it all, the belief in God aligns on a set of core ideas that everyone accepts.

    What if you were to simply think about what it would mean if there were a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe? Is it possible for such a being to exist?

    Epicures thought about it in 300 BCE, and he came up with this:

    "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?"

    In other words, if you sit and think about who God is supposed to be, you realize that such a being is impossible. Ridiculous, in fact.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      We have the physical ability to end hunger in many places. Yet we chose not to do it. Why should a diety show us a level of benevolence we don't show to ourselves?

      October 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      He made us that way. He knew we would be that way before we existed. It is His plan.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic-– Not religions, religions are hinduism, corruption of truth absolute, relegated by hindu criminal Kings and their hindu Prophets, to justify their hinduism, racism with hindu corrupted formula of trinity 50/50 divide to be man god's of humanity.

      October 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Poltergiest

      Of course that was his plan. Freewill was given to us. Anything less and we'd just be righteous mindless prayer drones. Would that honestly be better?

      October 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @Poltergiest

      Your argument is not logical.

      October 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • parthena zimplas

      Who is your God, MONEY and Insurance?

      October 30, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • rustyshot

      In due time God will permantley remove sin but until then we all have to go through the cares of this sinful world. This includes calamities such as eathquakes, hurricanes, tornados, fires and all other elements that this world throws at us. As John said before we are in this mess cause Adam and Eve choose to disobey God. Which in turn allowed sin to become a part of humanity to the very cell, dna of our being. And until Christ returns we have to live by faith and live with the mess that is all around us.

      October 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  7. darkrats

    Until you used the phrase "cranky white men" I thought your opinion was as good as the next. Now I don't know if the weather is a result of God's will or not, but the last paragraph, employing a phrase often used by the left to make fun of conservatives or those who hold certain religious principles, clearing shows that your piece was not so much about God, but about yet another opportunity to laugh at anyone who dares to call themselves a Christian. Now do you feel better?

    October 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  8. No Religion

    The Anamorphic Judeo-Christian god of the bible does not and can not exist.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Are you talking about hindu Mithra, fabricated savior Jesus, as God, you are right. book of Mithra ism, bible, does not say that.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bryce

      Using big words in no way makes you smart or right. He has always existed. He does exist now. And He will always exist. What a sad world it must be to have no hope in tomorrow.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Troll Alert

      Add Bryce to the list. – Troll Alert

      October 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Yep

      "Using big words in no way makes you smart or right. He has always existed. He does exist now. And He will always exist. What a sad world it must be to have no hope in tomorrow."

      And saying something exists without proof does not mean it actually exists....it only means you are crazy until you provide proof of your extraordinary claim, which you cannot.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • BurgerLover

      @Yep – No offense, but the fact that you're not convinced there's a God doesn't automatically make you right and someone else crazy. They would be crazy if they believed in something that was proven to be wrong. Can you prove that there's no God? I'm not asking if you can prove certain parts of a person's belief is wrong, I'm asking if you can prove that there is no Deity or Higher Power.

      I literally worked with a guy two days ago who thought he was using green paint, when in fact he was using red. Not only did I see it being red with my own eyes, but I also looked at the container which clearly stated it was red... turns out the guy is color blind. What's my point? It didn't matter if he was convinced by the evidence I presented, he was using red paint regardless of what he believed. I'm not saying I'm right simply because do I believe there's convincing evidence of a God. What I AM saying is that you shouldn't hold a belief based on the argument of, "if you can't PROVE what you believe, than anything I believe is right."

      Question: have you ever actually looked for evidence that there IS a God (as opposed to looking for evidence that there's NOT a God)? If so, great. If not, you should.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  9. Bryce

    It's not that God WILLS bad things to happen. God allows them to happen. In every event in life there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes the lesson may be one of patience. Other times maybe a lesson of humility. Maybe a lesson of forgiveness. And sometimes it is just a simple lesson proving that in the end "control" over our own lives is just an illusion. Bad things happen to good people. Often times it is simply a means for us to turn to Him. It is his way to create a path to draw us near and show His true love. Look at it this way, if nothing bad ever happened and life was perfect and you got everything you ever wanted, why would you need God? Why would anyone believe in God if literally everything in life was perfect? The simple fact is that life is hard, people are not perfect, and bad things happen. And every time something bad happens, there is a lesson to be learned of self, or God. Trials produce even more though. They have purpose. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of MANY kinds, becuse you know that the testing of your faith produces perserverance. Let perserverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." See, it is tough times like these that produce perserverance. It is tough times like these that produce a heart longing for God and the path towards Him drawing you near. The question is not where is God in all of this. God is where he always is; right here along side each one of us, just waiting for us to TRULY turn to Him. The question is where are you? If you never believe. If you never truly dig and ask Him with the fully faith that he will answer, you are lost. He is there waiting.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • No Religion

      You are incorrect.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      God has you in his book. He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die. He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every r.a.p.e, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity. He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so?

      October 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Yep

      @24hour.....sounds alot like Santa Claus.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  10. TaraB

    I think your blog is misleading, what exactly are your beliefs? I am concerned that you are looking for a God that is WORTHY of worship. The creator can show mercy or judgement on whom ever He wishes, isnt that kind of the point. After all, He is the creator. It is ALL in HIS WILL. He has the big picture, and we either have faith in his purpose and believe in Christ Jesus as our savior for salvation or we have judgement.

    We must not forget that evil is on the earth, free to roam and mislead, and cause doubt in our faith. God does not cause evil, He cannot look upon it, that is why God gave us HIs son Jesus.

    God Bless

    October 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Half crow, half swan, hindu Mithra sim pagan savior ism, called Christianity.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Madtown

    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
    -----
    Final paragraph of the piece says it all very well.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Wrong choices, wrong results, no need to lay hinduism, illegality of man on truth absolute GOD, he blessed human with gift of Choice. take responsibility for your violation of truth absolute to invite mayhem sandy.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  12. Reality

    Good ole Stevie P as he continues to be refuse to state what HE believes in but has the audacity to criticize everybody else !!!!

    October 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Johnny

    Where is Pat Robertson comment ? That old dinosaur surely has something negative to say.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Actually Johnny, this might be kind of fun..."What would Pat say?" I'll start: "Since most of the New England states are going to vote for Obama, this is God's judgment (in advance)." O.k. Who's next?

      October 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  14. Mason

    The simple fact that you can sit at your computer and type a response to such an inane question is truly a reflection of the American people as a whole. You have too much time on your hands!!!!!! Stop blaming everything bad on a God that doesn't exist and look inwards. We created this. Not your God. The planet is fighting back!! There are too many people on this planet and the destruction we cause is catastrophic beyond what a little weather could possibly do in a million years. We are nothing more than a virus on the skin of this planet and we have destroyed everything we touched.

    There will be a change in our lifestyle and it will come sooner than later. But it has nothing to do with this "God" of yours. If you think this is a product of divine intervention, you are sadly mistaken. If there is such a "God", then why is there so much bloodshed in this world? We are supposedly created in his image, no? Does that mean he is a merciless being who will smite anyone who crosses his will? The idea of a supreme being is ludicrous. You can't actually sit there and believe that one magnificent creature created what you see before you everyday. We are a product of our own demise...... don't get me started.....

    October 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Cause is too much hinduism, injustice, denial of truth absolute to invite Mayhem, karma. It is mayhem made of man, no need to lay it on truth absolute GOD. hindu's, accusers.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Bryce

      You answered your own question Mason. If there is a God why is there so much bloodshed? Then you said we have created our own demise. People are killing other people. God did not tell them to do so. God did not make them do so. People did that. God does not prevent bad things from happening. He uses those things as an avenue for people to truly turn to him and to grow. Let me ask you... if nothing bad ever happened in life, how would you grow? How would you learn if nothing was hard? And you cannot HONESTLY believe that some bang sometime in history was the phenomenon that created life. The brilliant FLAWLESS design of DNA. Down to the smallest, most minute particles known to man, that are the building blocks of everything we see, were created by a bang? Or some other event. In truth, it was designed. Perfectly designed by God. I'm not bashing you by any means. Please understand that. That is not my goal by any means. You have the freedom to believe what you want to believe. It's just that too many people discount God because of what they see in supposed "Christians" who do not follow God or any true Christianity. Others just simply dont understand it because no one has ever bothered to tell them so they find the idea itself stupid. Just don tdiscount the idea so quickly. I challenge you, ask God to show you himself. To show you something. And truly believe that he will do it, and wait. It may be days, it may be a month, even years, but I promise you, he will do it.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bryce

      "FLAWLESS design of DNA"?
      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Oh you really have no idea what the hell you're talking about do you?

      October 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  15. Martin

    God is in the same place he/she/it/them was during World War one, two, and every war, genocide, catastrophe and plague before and after that, but yes please go ahead and keep praying for your kid's football team to score a touchdown or pray for that promotion, or win the lottery ... lol God bless!!

    October 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Ya, way of hindu's criminals, make a wrong choice your self and lay it on GOD, hind, stupid hindu's, crooks.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  16. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    Wow – that was almost decipherable! Keep trying – start with a simple sentence like – "Hindus are bad." Note the punctuation.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Sorry – should have been a reply below.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Do you need any more to realize truth absolute, hindu, denire of truth absolute about hinduism, way of negativity.

      word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity.
      Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn about hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminals to impose hinduism, racism on humanity by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by force.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Let me get you started – (The) word Hindu is based on (the) Latin word hindered.

      Note the use of a period at the end of the sentence.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  17. Worship and Fear Him

    God brings these things to reveal himself to us.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      There is no god, fool.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • btldriver

      Michael, prove it. You can't prove God doesn't exist anymore than I can prove he does. The only difference is that I choose to see a higher authority in everything and look forward to something after this life as opposed to others who feel its all over when we die. To quote/paraphrase a line from Contact–if there's nothing else out there, it would be a big waste of space/time.

      October 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  18. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Again with this pic? Mr. Prothero, please get a new pic for these articles. You seriously look like a serial killer in that pic. No insult intended, it just creeps me out.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  19. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    Anyone care to take a shot a diagramming one of Hindu's "sentences"? It might be fun!

    October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not sure there are any sentences.

      October 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      I think that it would look like a Rorschach test.

      October 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Do it if you can, you are too hindu, unqualified to diagram truth, because truth absolute has no physical property, but always present to be foundation of every thing, Think, hindu's ignorant s think, if you have some thing called brain in your head.

      October 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Hindu-Bot Diagram

      cheese > turnip > cheese > sink > 50 cents > cheese

      October 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Don'tBother

      Hindu... is an example of pseudo intellect.

      Pseudo-intellectuals are people of average intelligence who are enchanted with highly intellectual topics and discussions such as philosophy, socioeconomics, destiny of humanity, etc.

      Unlike a genuine academic, a pseudo-intellectual’s main reason for being interested in these topics is because it makes him feel intellectually superior to his peers. He usually despises main stream culture, accuses those who disagree with him as being ignorant, and when his ideas are challenged, he often retaliates with “That’s a straw man argument!”

      October 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      open challenge to hindu's, ignorant s, pretending to be educated, refute my website with knowledge, so for none has, refute it on CNN, or accept it as truth absolute. No, answer as usual , better shut up and move to your home land, the hind, darkened cave, hindu ignorant owl's. Go to limitisthetruth.com

      October 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      A stream of consciousness is only valid when there is an actual consciousness behind it.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Your first language is obviously not English, and you are not proficient enough to get your point across. Please, revert back to using Farsi or whatever language is your native tongue. I swear that all of us that are interested in your point of view will take the time to use one of the many fine translation services available on the internet.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  20. Worship and Fear Him

    Please, everyone. Take this opportunity as Sandy approaches to reflect on how much God love us all.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Paul

      That's why it's allowing the storm to happen in the first place. Your god doesn't exist.

      October 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      That is funny. I love your sarcasm.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:10 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.