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Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism
A church sign from Sunday in a town on Long Island, New York.
October 30th, 2012
04:54 PM ET

Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism

By Conor Finnegan, CNN

(CNN) - As millions of Americans begin to clean up from Superstorm Sandy, many will  turn to insurance companies to cover damages caused by an “act of God.” It’s legalese for natural disasters.

Some of the online conversation around Sandy have treated it as such an act, with the term “prayer” trending on Facebook on Monday, as the nation awaited the storm’s landfall.

We noticed four themes emerging that touch on God and religion on Facebook, Twitter and in CNN.com’s comments sections:

1. God bless: It was a message expressed by well-wishers around the world. Those spared by Sandy took to social media to show their support and sympathy as the images proliferated of New York’s flooded streets and New Jersey’s eroded beaches. Despite different faiths and nationalities, the upshot was the same: Our prayers are with you.

From Facebook:

Waleed Obaid My Prayers to all family and friends in NY and the rest of East cost OH Allah please help People to stay safe and no harm...

Darlene Guillen Bohorquez if this storm knocks you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray, and I will be praying with you. Keep safe and remember to help those in need in the aftermath.

Andrea Holmes My prayers go out to all the people who are affected by this storm. And praying does help. God is in control of everything whether you like it or not.

From Twitter:

Bishop Hanson ‏@bishophanson
Merciful God, for the millions who this night are experiencing the fury of Hurricane Sandy we pray for safety and comfort. Amen.

2. Thank God: For those caught in Sandy’s path, the conversation was different. More than 7.5 million in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast were without power on Tuesday. Those who could post online expressed gratitude, with “thankful” the 8th most shared term on Facebook by Tuesday morning. And from Twitter:

Demetrius Minor ‏@dminor85
Thanks to everyone who prayed for us during Hurricane Sandy. We were not affected. I thank God for that. Please pray for those who were.

Sam Gentile ‏@SamGentile
Thank God we escaped unscathed from Sandy except for power last night. This is unlike a lot of South Jersey that had lot of damage

3. God’s wrath: A small minority saw Sandy as God’s judgment.

This Tweet is from a leader of Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas congregation known for its anti-gay pickets at military funerals:

Shirley Phelps-Roper ‏@DearShirley
We bow in humble thanks 2 God 4 Sandy! Thank God for a plain message delivered to a puddle of states that proudly flip Him off! #FagMarriage

We found these on Facebook:

Nikola Ilievski 24.03.1999. – 10.06.1999. God remembers everything, your NATO bombed us, now enjoy. Greetings from SERBIA!

Hassan Chandio -Disrespecting others religion. and destroying others country killing thousand and millions of people in afghanistan, libya and syria . this is what you get

4. God does not exist: Some used Sandy to question religion or at least the idea of blaming the storm on God, employing science, humor and venom. A back and forth between believers and nonbelievers sparked a tense conversation in the comments section on CNN.com.

From Facebook:

Johnny Trujillo Praying won't do any good. Send some aid or go volunteer if you really want to help. Talking to your imaginary friend won't do anything.

From Twitter:

Anonymous ‏@YourAnonNews
No, #Sandy is not evidence of God's wrath. It's evidence of our refusal to even discuss climate change & global warning.

What do you think? What role should faith or God play in the conversation about Sandy? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Comments • God

soundoff (2,260 Responses)
  1. SomeGuyInNC

    Have you ever noticed that God gets all the credit for newborn babies and beautiful sunsets, but he gets a free pass on hurricanes and bone cancer?

    That's why I don't believe. I can't believe an all-loving merciful creator would ever inflict this crap on those he'd love the most.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • tony

      Yup. Abortions are wicked, but miscarriages and still-births are merely sad. Even though they too must be part of "god" plan", or at least let happen by him.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      You misunderstand the purpose of life. God says in the beginning of the bible that pain and afliction will be part of this life, and if he wants to take a child back he will take him back, but pain and afliction is not all bad for God said it would be good. Celebrate life, live life like its precious. Ask yourself can man control death? And ask yourself does man really know what Gods will is all the time? Trying to understand God in this way is like looking through a stained glass window at night and trying to read a book. Is it not more prudent to first seek out if there is a God in your life? When you have faith in his existance by his spirit and you see his workings in your life, and it will be unmistakable, then you realize that he is real, he does exist, and what matters isnt what happened by an event but how we choose to bring God into it. It isnt how we die, or what we say that matters but how we live. Every man and woman dies, but does every man and woman truly live? You want to summerize everything you read on CNN in this election and any other website with truth then ask yourself does this article stand the test of the Lords commandments to not judge, to not boast, to not twist his commandments, and genuinly try to learn what a man is offering. If anyone deviates from this he is not living in Gods spirit or truth.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  2. blogo

    Both god and dog are man's best friends! (dog is god in reverse).

    October 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • MalcomR

      That's... amazing.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • GAW

      I think you posted this about 3 times so far. You are screaming for attention.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  3. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    This Guy goes a long way to say Mormons arent Christians, but they believe in One God, the God of the old and new testiment, The same God in whome Jesus Christ said father forgive them for they know not what they do. Forgive this man for he is a wayward steward, and a shepard that leads people into diverse paths.
    Now Ask yourself if the DNC believes in God when they got boos when they put his name back in their platform. Ask yourself if God kills babies because they are unwanted. Ask yourself if God authorizes marriage between a man and a woman. Ask yourself what the bible says about it.
    This man says Jesus sacrifice on the cross is not enough to pay for sins, it was enough, but this man doesnt understand what the cross was, Jesus suffered in the garden of Gethsemene for our sins, and the cross was giving his life as the first to conquer death. Jesus suffered two fold and sacrificed all that one could sacrifice. This man commenting doesnt understand that to come follow Jesus, like he said was a physical action that all men must do if they wish to accept Christ in their life. This man talks about lawlesness and concedes that there is a law. God has laws and it is by faith and coming to Christ that you are saved. A man must be born of water and the spirit or he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. What about people that died in foriegn lands never hearing about Christ, ask yourself this, does that man go to hell? According to this guy and many other religiions that person does.
    Why did God ask the rich man to go and sell all that he had and come follow him. He didnt say have faith in me and thats it, Jesus understood the mans heart was set upon wealth. All these people judging a man for his wealth forget that the bible says remove the beam in your eye, and judge not lest ye be judged. Rich men can be rightous. Abraham and many other prophets were good men. Remember the parable of the virgins? Jesus told the virgins to have oil in their lamps, he didnt say just believe in me and your there, he said lay up in store oil for no man knows when the bridegroom comes. he also said pray our father in heaven hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come, thy WILL be done on earth as it is in heaven. When you do something by your faith in God you are performing works, and faith without works is dead as the bible says. Anyone else besides me think that the bible is a guidebook of choice and knowledge how to live better? Mormons believe that for all of us we have only one God, and that is Elohim. God of the jews, and God of the Hebrews, he is our God and when he returns every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. Does a Mormon believe in the lord Absolutely he is the savior and redeemer of the world. God said unto the world as Jesus was babtised this is my beloved son in whom i am well pleased. This was God the father talking to his son Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit descended down upon Jesus Christ as a dove. Three distinct personages. Yes Joseph Smith said he seen Jesus Christ and God the father and that their brightness and Glory defy all description. They believe in Christ, they preach of Christ, they babtise in the name of Christ, They close prayers in the name of Christ, and when we go to heaven it is only through the cleansing blood of Christ to make us clean, unless this is done all men fall short. Praise be to God for his son Jesus Christ and hallowed be his name. AMEN

    October 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • tony

      If there is only one god, then he is "Allah" too.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • fintastic

      Another cut-n-paste nut job......... yawn

      October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Concerned in Cleveland

    Atheist come off as depressing, hopeless, venomous people. I'm not sure why they even bother to keep going on. But I suspect most of the online ones are twelve year olds with a chip on their shoulder, Nowhere in life and going nowhere for the rest of their sad little lives.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You guess wrong. Too bad you're such an azz that you don't recognize that your belief system isn't universal or necessary for a happy life.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Cindy Garcia

      You sound more hateful then the people you are trying to ostracize. Atheists are no more venomous then useless believers. IN fact they are more peaceful and accepting then a person of religion can hope to be in their life filled with fear and hate such as your post demonstartes.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • MalcomR

      I'd love to post the link to the vast list of atheists who you lump into this category.

      Einstein
      Sagan
      Russell
      Feynman
      etc...

      (scientist and philosophers by the thousands)

      October 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • tony

      Or successful multi-millionaire businessmen who figured it out much earlier that you, who still apparently haven't got it yet.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Deluded much?

      Atheists dont have souls, they cant sense the creator. they are not wrong, they simply lack the light that shines in those gifted with spirit. it is not for us to condemn. Religion is a tool to keep the soulless in line.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      Really? It is your belief that this life is just a side show for the next one....now that is sad.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tell yourself whatever soothes your soul, Deluded.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • laodegan

      Cornered in Cleveland, you are very wrong about atheists. They are complete d*cks at every age, not just the 12 year olds. Since they don't have any religion or deific mandates to worry about, they are free to practice the one thing they know and understand: to be complete and utter d*cks to all who disagree with them.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • GAW

      Not all atheists are alike.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor laodegan. Got yer butt kicked again, did you?

      October 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • MalcomR

      @laodegan as he spoke in a completely d**kheaded fashion.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • richard g

      You keep believing and I'll keep evolving

      thanks

      October 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • laodegan

      Wow thanks Tom Tom. That almost seemed sympathetic. But of course I know that's impossible. Being an atheist and all, you have no clue how to be anything less than a complete d*ck. And MalcolmR, thanks for that. I may very well be a d*ckhead, but that doesn't change the one irrefutable truth, the one undeniable fact for which we don't need a bible or a quran or a non-religious textbook of any sort to understand: All atheists, every single one of them, are nothing but complete d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • MalcomR

      If all atheists are d**ks (questionable) , and all d**ks are male (indisputable) then all atheists are male (falsehood). Seems like your logic fails here. Or does it?

      October 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • laodegan

      So MalcomR, that reminds me of a story.

      I was walking out of the grocery store just before the hurricane hit. You know, like many other folks I was grabbing a couple of "just in case" items as I drove home to crawl under my bridge. Well, lo and behold, this lady (and I use the word only because she was technically female), accosted me in the parking lot and demanded I give her some money so she could go "get some food".

      So I apologized and told her the truth: that I had no money on me. But then I realized that I didn't really need that rotisserie chicken I'd just bought. And I thought this poor unfortunate soul or non-soul (depending on your beliefs) could really benefit from that chicken. So I offered it to her.

      Well now, would you believe that she took that chicken and with all her might threw it at my truck?! She said "I asked for money not a chicken!". And then she spat a at me.

      I said, "Hey! I was just trying to help!" Why are you being such a d*ck?"

      She glared at me and answered, "I am an atheist. Being a d*ck is what I do."

      October 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • fintastic

      @laodegan................. again, what is this obsession with d*icks???

      I'm guessing you hate people that don't believe in god?............. spew on little boy!

      October 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  5. TommyBoy

    "The Bible Says". A statement too often used by the R-R to justify narrow-minded beliefs. Are you aware that the Bible was written by mere mortals? Are we sure it is God's word? Here's a thought: read all four gospels. The word 'Gospel' means truth. You will find many times that they are in disagreement. Another thought if the Earth is only 3k years old, AND Adam and Eve were the first persons to procreate. How did our population grow for 2, to the billions on the planet now? Even with pregnancy starting at 14, the math doesn't work.
    Sorry, Math must be a pagan concept.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • truth be told

      The math would work better for you if you plugged in accurate numbers.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • tony

      which ones, from where?

      October 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, Einstein, why don't you fill us all in on what the "correct numbers" are? Come on, genius. Put that Harvard degree to work, Turdy.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Bill

      Or it could be that the Bible is a metaphorical narrative and atheists, in their overwhelming stupidity, continue to treat it as if it is a math textbook with concrete formulas.

      Sorry most of the atheists I have seen are just as bad as any on the religious right. They have made a religion out of having no religion. Zealots by another name. .

      October 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      To make such a bold statement you need to be more specific. As an avid reader of the Bible I am very familiar with the four Gospels and find no discrepancy whatsoever. As far as your "3k" comment goes it's actually 6,000 years not 3k. Regarding the population, most of the increase has occurred in recent times. To the best of my knowledge we were at 6 million in 1999 and it has only taken us a few short years to reach the 7 million mark. Throughout most of man's history the population grew at a much slower pace.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      So Bill, the story of Jesus is just a metaphor? The writers of the bible did not think it was a metaphor.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • TommyBoy

      To 'Dissident Fairy'. The world population is currently in excess of 7 BILLION. U.S. Population alone is in excess of 3 million.
      Regarding the 4 Gospels? Check out the story of the birth of Christ.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  6. Plumbline

    Jesus gave us signs that would signal His return.........one of them was.......

    .........Luke 21:25 [ The Coming of the Son of Man ] ............ and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring....

    October 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      Well that is such a broad and general statement that it is completely meaningless ...

      October 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • fintastic

      "the waves roaring"............. yea, we haven't seen much of that in the past have we..........

      October 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  7. austin

    If My people who are called by My name will HUMBLE themselves and pray, and TURN away from their WICKED WAYS, I ( GOD) will HEAR from Heaven, and I will HEAL their LAND. The land that rejects GOD can not ad should not Question the existence of GOD and HIS whereabout when the trouble comes to it. To see GOD move in your FAVOR, you MUST ACKNOWLEDGE HIM ( G-O-D )

    October 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • MalcomR

      This is possibly damage to the prefrontal cortex.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Edward Simms

      No, you don't have to acknowledge him. Sandy a storm, and it's not magic anymore than lighting.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  8. Thepacific

    Thepacific
    C'mon, it's all nature. We are not the only living creatures which have to face with natural disaster. I m sure there are mililion of living things suffering with Sandy, stop praying, it does not mean a thing to nature. One day our sun die as we all will disappear. Your imaginary friend is made on earth, by earth, and with earth it will be gone too. Take care and help out one another is more realistic and sincere.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is a joy in humble prayer known to quite a few, this very night before the dawn that joy is there for you. God bless

      October 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Plumbline

      Christians help a whole bunch, through their churches and as individuals.........the point is, things on the earth are going to get worse........wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, persecution of christians will increase, immorality will get worse.........all signs pointing to Christs return and a call to repentance, before Gods Judgement comes, and the end of times as we know it..........We are closing in on the great tribulation period the Bible talks about in the book of Revelations........But whosoever shall repent, and call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved.........Do it today........and be ready no matter what comes upon the earth.......

      October 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Edward Simms

      Plumline: That's all been said before for 1000's of years. It's no more true today than it was a 1000 years ago. Utter gibberish.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  9. johnNC

    America needs God. No nation can survive without God. I believe we are seeing what happens when we turn our backs on God. Christ can only help us if we seek his help. Sadly, meany in this nation have turned their back on prayer, on faith. Without faith in God, we are destined to failure. Without faith in God, there is no freedom.

    America will be ruled by GOD or TYRANTS – Rt. 17 sign near Washington, NC.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • MalcomR

      You have the certainty that only the arrogance of religion can provide.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Edward Simms

      That's funny. The only successes I know come from Science. The eradication of smallpox around the world. landing on the moon, fighting disease. Exactly what successes can your god claim? Everything that's claimed for a god, seems to exist in belief or fairy tales. I can't find any factual evidence of something a god actually did without having to take it on faith.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Sheryl

      Sweden seems to be doing just fine without god. Actually, the countries with the highest poverty and lowest education rates are also the most religious. You might want to do some fact-checking on that one!

      October 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  10. ticktockman0

    The editors of this blog ask, "What role should faith or God play in the conversation about Sandy?" I should say none. When it comes to climate issues, one would do better to listen to scientists than to preachers.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      amen, brother.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Concerned in Cleveland

      Isn't it intersting how climate change advocates "believe" in climate change. It's the new religion for those that would hate themselves if this realization dawned upon them.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • MalcomR

      @Cornholed in cleveland:

      "believe" in climate change? No... it's a scientific consensus based on decades of careful research. How did you come to YOUR conclusions? God tell ya?

      October 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  11. Raka

    enough CNN, you keep regurgitating the same old articles. Anything to keep people fighting. I'm tired of hearing about atheism, Christianity and Islam. If I wanted to know about them I'm not gonna go to the politically correct CNN.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  12. TheRationale

    The problem of evil gets rid of the concept of any God who has any sort of admirable interest in human life. All those people saying "Thank God" are all clearly missing some insight. They're thanking God only because they just so happened to live somewhere where their houses weren't demolished or they weren't killed. What does God think of those people who weren't so fortunate? Oh it's just God's will, he works in mysterious ways. That's no respectable form of morality.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  13. MalcomR

    The theist says "pray". That god will heed your prayers. But he also says that god is an un-changing universal. Is prayer not beseeching the lord to "change" something that you do not like? "Please, god..." they will say. But all things are part of gods plan and cannot be changed. Therefore pray, or don't. Your very decision is not a decision. But god gave us free-will. We can choose to "disobey" him. But that would mean his plan could be broken. God is the empty space in the cracked and crumbling edifice of reason.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Deluded much?

      You said a bunch of stuff. but it all amounts to one thing. you lack understanding. A little advice for the future? Dont show your ignorance for the world to see. own it.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're the one who just exhibited complete ignorance, Deluded, when you acknowledged you'd never even hear the quote about religion.

      Stop being such a little poser.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • MalcomR

      @Deluded: I DO own my ignorance. And acknowledge it as far as it goes. This is the difference between an honest atheist and any theist. I've had hundreds of conversations with the religious and the ONLY thing they can never admit is that they might be wrong. That's the arrogant nature of faith.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Edward Simms

      Interesting concept. You either have "free will" or your a slave to a plan that can't be changed. God's Plan and Free Will can't exist at the same time. It's either one or the other. From the evidence I have seen, Free Will wins.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  14. richard g

    Whats this about god? A quote I remembered from a while back "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful"

    Which are you?

    October 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Susie

      Cute saying...who is to judge its truthfulness?

      October 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Deluded much?

      Amazing you quoted something you heard, but cant remember where. and you live by it to such extreme that you think the rest of us do as well? Which one are we?? Why neither, its YOUR delusion friend. own it

      October 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Deluded, unless you've been living in a cave for the past 30 years, you'd have heard that quote many times.

      Look it up if you don't know it. It's common knowledge, at least among people who've read newspapers and books.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Deluded much?

      Tom..Tom. simply because a quote exists doesnt give credence. it only means ppl found it witty. if you post ignorant stuff. own it.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • richard g

      Isn't it a beauty?

      To own or control someones actions by which of moral means, not of means of materialism?

      Isn't this thing alone the single factor in why religion is such a good controlling aspect of people in general?!

      Believe and judge as you wish, just don't be a fool!

      October 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • tony

      Sure beats religious based violence though

      October 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Milky Pirate

      How can not doing anything (other than offering happy thoughts) change anything?

      October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Meet with God and find out. God bless

      October 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • richard g

      Doubt it changes anything but how the prayer feels about themselves. Not that you don't have good intentions, sure throwing them a few bucks might be better.

      peace..if it exists

      October 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • fintastic

      Think for yourself. No god, no heaven, no hell, no satan, ,,,,, just mythology.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  16. hubert39

    Who did Pat Robertson blame this hurricane on? Why didn't he pray for it to change course?
    Where is Pat when we needed him?

    October 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  17. T.P.Thank

    The Superstorm Sandy is not God's will. God exists in the minds of the believers, and it has no power to control
    nature. Nor can God determine the result of an election. Bill Graham' statement that "God wills Romney's victory over
    Obama" reflects his personal desire and religious prejudice.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      These blue states must repent their Democratic voting.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  18. Jon

    I'm a Christian. But rather than argue about faith with someone who isn't, I'd take a page from Obama and Christie; work together to make things better. That means, among other things, donating to the Red Cross (or service agency of your choice); pushing politicians to be more proactive about global warming; praying as we work (if believers) and being respectful of other human beings in the midst of our commonality. Loving one's neighbor as one loves oneself... hmmm.... who said that?

    October 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • manbearpig

      I'm onboard with that. But until your brethren stop trying to legislate their religious beliefs, there will continue to be a problem.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Steven Adlard

      Agree with your sentiments re helping others but the "love one's neighbour" sentiment was an evolved part of human behaviour well before Jesus reportedly said it, and occurs across all cultures, even non-Christian ones.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  19. MashaSobaka

    How about atheists and theists stop capitalizing on every freaking event to stage their pointless little argument and focus on helping the people in need. How about that?

    October 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • MalcomR

      We do, all the time.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • tony

      Just like religious folk. What do you think saying "Thank God" all the time is?

      October 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      In other words, if you don't agree with me, shut up. It still amazes me that people who claim to want to live in a free country, still enjoy trying to take those freedoms from others whenever they find an opportunity.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom

      Listen, it's clear that people who do not believe the same things as you, upset you.
      I grew up in a very proud and very religious home. I think nearly every aunt, uncle, cousin i have has be some sort of leader in a church of one sort or another. My family is very large. I never found belief. I tried, but it was never right for me.
      Do you know why Athiests speak so loudly. It's because we have spent our whole lives having religion crammed down our throats, been threatened with damnation and even violence, as well as ostracized from society and our families. Belief isn't something you can control. Either you believe, you pretend you believe, or just accept it.
      Yes, some people can be rude, crude and insulting, but you should try to understand that they have been oppressed, unfairly judged and kicked around for something that is not within their power to control. It feels good to have a safe place online to express yourself, and let back out the anger. It's not directed specifically at you, but mainly those who are zealots, biggots and those who have rubbed our noses in their excrement. We have a voice too, and it's good they are speaking up.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  20. MalcomR

    The atheist says we need to abandon our dangerous, superst.i.tious ways of thinking and pull together in the face of an often hostile, and certainly indifferent universe. Almost all of us have a shared view of the universe as discovered through science.

    The theist says that the universe was created just for him, and he is personally favored by its creator. And there are almost limitless un-shared views of the universe that drive them apart, and that many of them will kill or die for.

    Who is arrogant? Who is the self-aggrandizing bigot? Seems pretty clear to me.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Yeah – and wasn't that Jesus chap talking about humility all the time? Well, at least they wrote that he was in that one old book...

      October 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • EleanorV

      Watching these comments reminds me of all the conversations after Hurricane Katrina. Guess nothing has been resolved and we still have catastrophic weather. But it's good to have these conversations!

      October 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • MalcomR

      Right. Seems it's been oh... thousands of years and we still have bad weather despite the billions of prayers and sacrifices that have been offered up. I say it's high time we try a different approach.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
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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.