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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. james

    CNN, please do not exaggerate. Just report objectively, okay?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Gadflie

      How exactly are they exaggerating?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  2. End Religion

    Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Kevin Harris

      Or, God exists and allows natural evil for God's purposes. It is a huge burden of proof to claim if God exists God would have no purpose for allowing evil. As C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, but shouts to us in our pain!".

      October 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Snacky

      So a parent who lets their child experience negative situations is a bad parent?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Thomas R.

      If God allows evil, then he is himself evil. No way around that.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Snacky

      I mean. I know my dad is impotent at times, but that's no reason to suggest he's imaginary..

      October 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Or if you read the bible, you see that "god" created evil in the first place, which makes "god" a total dick!

      Isaiah 45:7
      "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things."

      Amos 3:6
      "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be EVIL in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"

      October 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Navan Johnson

      @Snacky – a parent who lets a disaster befall a child, while giving absolutely no indication why that happened to him, is a very bad parent. There can be nothing learned when the cause is kept hidden, and of course a sane parent would not allow an excessively damaging experience.

      Your God is a bad parent

      October 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      As is typical, all religious folks have failed the logic exam. There will be a make-up class over next summer and then another test next year. Please study this time.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Zeus "Or if you read the bible, you see that "god" created evil in the first place" Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things."

      @Chad "that is "evil" in the sense of "catastrophe", not "evil" as in the sense of satan.

      @Zeus Amos 3:6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be EVIL in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
      @Chad "again.. that is "evil" in the sense of "catastrophe", not "evil" as in the sense of satan.

      just cutting and pasting from infidels.org isnt really going to work...

      October 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Chad: Yep, like a True Christian! Just make it up as you go. Anytime you are confronted with an obvious conflict, just say it doesn't mean what you think it means. It wasn't 6 DAYS that god took to create the universe. They didn't really mean DAYS. It';s not EVIL..they didn't really mean EVIL.....and yet, gee, they couldn't come up with another better word. DOLT!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Larry Bob

      Chad, are you saying that God did not create Satan, it it was not his plan all along for Satan to go evil?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    ALL religions are cults. christianity is a cult. cults are bad for you. they teach you to turn off your brain.

    unclasp your hands. get up off your knees. go outside and put those hands to use helping someone.

    congratulations, you're now a better person.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  4. cl

    This article is a ploy. CNN is shameless. They're obviously just trying to get people riled up. Now I remember why I barely visit this "news" site anymore.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Yeah

      So you like to occasionally drop by for you self-righteous indignation fix?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Bad news for you, cl – you just fed the beast that is CNN. Not only did you click on the article, but you also took the time to make a comment. You are the reason they do this.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  5. ArthurP

    Religious Person:Thank God I was saved.
    Sensible Person:Why not thank the rescue workers they are the ones who risked their lives saving you.
    Religious Person:But God sent them.
    Sensible Person: No, it was their dispatcher.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      Jesus-love one another, as I have loved you.
      Man-help me God to be understanding to those who make fun of my beliefs

      October 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      There was once a terrible storm like the one going on by the East Coast.
      There was a man, whose neighborhood was flooded.
      This guy sat on the roof of his house watching the flood get higher and higher and higher.
      A rescue boat came to save him, he said: "No, I'm waiting for God".
      Then Coast Guard boat came, and he said: "No, I'm waiting for God."
      Then a helicopter came to save him, and he said; "No, I'm waiting for God."
      Then he drowned.
      When finally got to see God in Heaven, the man asked God, "Why didn't you save me"
      God said: "I sent two boats and a helicopter. You wouldn't take any of them."

      October 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Navan Johnson

      Did you know that one of the most common irritations for emergency doctors and surgeons is that, after they provide their considerable skills, the patient and the family usually thanks God and not them?

      True story.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  6. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    I choose to not battle like that with those who dont believe in God. I just wanted to say that I do believe in him and I have always been tought in the Mormon faith to respect all others who do not agree or even believe in God. It is important that people know that everyone deserves love and respect. No acceptions

    October 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • James

      You say everyone deserves love and respect and yet it's the Mormons who lash out at gay people and shun them out of their families and pay for their rights to be taken away on ballots.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • manbearpig

      mlb –
      Are you voting for a candidate who wants to restrict the rights of ho.mose.xuals or control womens' medical decisions? If so, you're a hypocrite.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chuck

      I have no problem calling your moron religion a bunch of hooey. If you can read the fictional book of moron and believe the bunk in there you have no Brain. Secret handshakes, god of your own planet, really?

      November 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Johnny America

    Let me know which Atheist charities to send money to....oh wait....

    October 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • ArthurP

      do some research they are more that you can imagine.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Kevin

      Right, because atheists don't believe in charity. That kind of narrow thinking gives religious people a bad name.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Here you go

      Doctors Without Borders

      Engineers Without Borders

      Goodwill

      Foundation Beyond Belief

      S.H.A.R.E.

      OXFAM

      There are many more, but these should get you started.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Gadflie

      I recommend EARTHWARD, Inc. they do a lot of good work.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      li'l johnny wee-wee just learning to use the internet? 3 seconds in google shows plenty.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • nojinx

      The Atheist Fund
      The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
      The Secular Center USA
      HIVOS
      American Humanist Association
      Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (S.H.A.R.E.)
      Kiva Lending Team
      Atheists Helping the Homeless
      International Humanist and Ethical Union
      Fellowship Freethought
      Earthward Inc.
      Foundation Beyodn Belief

      That is all I could name in sixty seconds, which is more time than your question was worth.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • S.H.A.R.E.

      How much are you sending, Johnny?

      Oh, you haven't even sent any to religious charities either? You were just mouthing off in the name of Jesus?

      Gotcha.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Well, Johnny, it appears that you just got owned.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Johnny Got Owned

      Too funny.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      My favorite: richarddawkins.net.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  8. Martin

    There is no god. People have a hard time accepting randomness so they invent a god to explain what happened or to fill in gaps in their knowledge. It's always amusing to hear people thanking god when they are spared. I wonder if the people who weren't spared damned him in their final moments.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Johnny America

      What an ignorant statement. Please show proof there is no god....don't reply unless you have proof that there is no possible way there is a god.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Johnny America, it is hard to prove to sheeple that I don't exist, because your brain is so small. Close to the size of a pin head. But just keep saying to your self "god doesn't exist" and it may eventually sink in.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Johnny America: Please prove there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please prove that there is not a teapot orbiting the sun somewhere between Earth and Mars. Please do not reply unless you have proof..... blah blah blah!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • karl

      there is evidence there is no god and not one ounce for a god. If you find a reason to disprove zeus then all gods are disprovd. Stop being a child and use your brain

      October 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Austin

      @Johnny:

      Prove there is no herd of magical pink unicorns on the dark side of the moon. Prove I don't have a dragon in my garage that only I can see. Prove there is no Sasquatch or Loch Ness Monster.

      It's hard to prove a negative, isn't it?

      I would never claim to know there is no god, but without any evidence for this extraordinary claim, I see no reason to believe.

      "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"– Christopher Hitchens

      October 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      li'l johnny wee-wee, please provide proof the universe was not farted into existence by a zebra-striped purple elephant.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Mohammed

      You tell them, J.C. Are we still one for that strip club on Friday? Should be dry by then.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • nojinx

      Remember to disprove all the gods, which are infinite in number. In face, once you disprove all the gods you know of, you have to exhaust your imagination thinking of any new possible concept of a god, then prove those gods you just thought of don't exist. Otherwise people will believe in them.

      Hope you have forever.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Johnny, I have proof that your argument is just a laughable logical fallacy. Look up "Negative Proof" to see just how ignorant it truly was.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • laodegan

      There absolutely is a flying spaghetti monster. I have been to his web site. Search for him on the Googles. He will show you the noodly way.

      Atheists are d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  9. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Yeah and what about all those Solar storms, where huge claw-like coronal mass ejections are thrown off the sun's surface, the size of which could swallow up tens of millions of Earths? God must really be pissed at the Sun, huh?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  10. The Astrophysics of Pi$$y Dieties

    The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is a storm that is 20,000 miles long and 8,000 miles wide, and has been going on for hundreds of years.

    WOW is God angry at Jupiter! Must be because the Roman god got a planet named after him and the Christian one didn't. God is a vengeful god.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Yes, my dad is really mad at Jupiter. I told him "Hey, the people on Jupiter didn't nail me to a cross, but the people on Earth did. Give them some payback." But then, I realized my dad doesn't exist, so I don't either.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Astro,

      Yeah, and he even threw a comet at Jupiter several years ago!

      I can imagine how irked he is that half of the months of our year and all of the days of the week are named in honor of pagan gods and objects of worship...

      October 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  11. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    No one has the right to say an Athiest is bad, or doesnt have good principle I say unto everyone here that an Athiest will get into heaven faster if he loves people sincerely and does good for them then a man that says he believes in God and doesnt love those around him. A believe in Jesus means you care about one another, and there is no monopoly on this by Christians. It is however a central tenant to Christianity. We must respect and love one another. It is so sad that so many people lash out NO one in any Mormon church I have ever been to would be looked at with respect if they were to belittle or show malice towards anyone elses faith or beliefs.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      One does have the right to assert that your spelling is in the gutter, however.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      every kook has his blogspot and/or free wordpress blog

      October 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • TJ

      Uhh... why would God allow someone into Heaven, when they don't believe in either God or Heaven? You seem to have little understanding of what God is about, and considerably less understanding about faith. Both are nil for you.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • spockmonster

      @TJ, god would let an atheist into heaven, why not? What kind of qualification is that? Only stupid people would believe in fantastical things without evidence. If this god had an ounce of brains, why would he want to populate his mansion with stupid people? If I don't believe in a store's manager, you think the manager won't let me in the store? If heaven were populated with idiot christians, wouldn't that be he-ll?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  12. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Whatever happens, whether it's favorable or unfavorable in fill-in-the-blank-religious-adherent's opinion, then it must be the will of "god" or the will of "satan" depending on which way the wind is blowing any given day. Gimme a fucking break! If you hate someone that something bad happens to, then gee, you can blame it on the mighty and righteous "will of 'god'" whereas if you like someone when something bad happens to them, you can claim it was "the devil who done it." STUPID! RELIGULOUS! Flip a coin and get the same results, idiots!

    October 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • TJ

      Uh GEE, with language like that, we now all know your single-digit age.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Try again, Christard!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • TJ

      Christard? Wow... you really are a five-year old.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • laodegan

      Zeus isn't 5. He's just an atheist. As such, he's a complete and utter d*ck. Doesn't really matter how old he is. He will always be a d*ck. Don't ask him to change. That would be like asking a fish to stop swimming. Being a d*ck is all the atheist knows.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      And laodegan is an ambiguous closet fag who wants you to sort of agree with him and yet simultaneously despise him. What a DICK!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • laodegan

      Sooooo, that said, atheists are d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  13. 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? Becoming as a child is what the bible says all men must do. It would be better to return to God as an infant then a man that is pridefull and denies Gods existance and ways. Jesus said out of the mouth of babes came truth in the temple, and to the pharosis he said 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ... "We see," your sin remains. 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 11:06 pm |
    • Really now

      You misunderstand the real world. There is no god. Everything you just said is totally untrue, fiction, made up, propaganda.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      So, pick any god you like and prove their existence. Or admit that you believe in imaginary beings – that you are likely mentally ill.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Austin

      So we'll only see evidence of god after we choose to believe in him, not before? I'm afraid I can't do that. It need to see evidence of something before holding it to be true. That's kind of how reason works.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      No one has the right to say an Athiest is bad, or doesnt have good principle I say unto everyone here that an Athiest will get into heaven faster if he loves people sincerely and does good for them then a man that says he believes in God and doesnt love those around him. A believe in Jesus means you care about one another, and there is no monopoly on this by Christians. It is however a central tenant to Christianity. We must respect and love one another. It is so sad that so many people lash out NO one in any Mormon church I have ever been to would be looked at with respect if they were to belittle or show malice towards anyone elses faith or beliefs.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Mikey

      I am praying for all those devestaed by this disaster but to all of those unbelievers out there I have one question for you...if there is no God then where does morality come from? Who decided that murder is wrong? that theft is wrong? Where does this standard come from? This is just some food for thought, not an argument trying to force my faith upon you but for you to ask yourselves more questions.

      Also sometimes God allows bad things to happen because it wakens people up to the realization that we need something more than just what ourseleves can offer, He is trying to draw his creation back to himself and unfortunately WE NEED it, God does not need us, but he chooses to love us and give us the choice to put our faith and life in his hands. A gift which we do not deserve because we are sinful people who have fallen asleep and need to be awoken!

      October 31, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • The Four Flurry Kittens of the Apocalypse play with the Scratching Post of Doom!

      Before I answer that, Mikey, consider why God's first morality for humans was so violent and horrific and evil, so bad that even you would want to punish someone who had his own son stoned to death for being disobedient. Why was that okay for so many centuries, and why did God change it?

      As to why, there are many pragmatic reasons which are the actualy reasons you act in certain ways too. One is that if you commit a crime, then people tend to seek revenge, either legally or extralegally. This leads to cycles of violence that can go on for long periods and cause much suffering. People don't like to suffer, and they don't like to live in fear, so they usually don't do things that might cause it.

      But that is only the "punishment avoidance" side of the equation. Humans also have found that cooperation yields long term prosperity and happiness, without fear of reprisal, whereas crime/theft only is a one-time gain, with people out to get you. Long term prosperity is far more appealing, so people do what is needed for that. Certainly it is not a perfect system, and people cheat, but the cheaters are proportionately more likely to be religious than secular. Game Theory proves out the value of cooperation if a long term series of cooperation is available. One-time transactions are more prey to bad behavior, but again, religion does nothing to change this.

      Finally, humans are a social species, and ostracism from the tribe is actually quite detrimental to their well-being. People like to be liked, and they care for others because of that social biology.

      So this is where morality really comes from. Religion has long taken credit for creating morality, but if you look at your own scripture, you will find that much of the Old Testament morality is horrible and ugle, that things like "do unto others" is so obvious that every culture came up with a version, and "don't murder" really isn't much of a revelation.

      And Jesus added little to morality, beyond "be decent", which is a good message, but again is pretty obvious. And the real reason to be decent is not some magic reward or brutal imaginary punishment, but the reasons I gave.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  14. grammarian

    I don't really care about your opinions, but one doesn't speak AROUND Sandy; one speaks ABOUT Sandy. What is wrong with you people?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • MalcomR

      For my part, it's late and I'm half cooked now.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  15. laodegan

    I don't know about Saturn. but I LOVE it when Father Bob tells me "I'm going to storm Uranus!"

    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      this can't really be you, you didn't say 'd*cks'

      October 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • laodegan

      Well at least you know me. It certainly wan't me.

      Atheists are d*cks on Uranus too.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      the imposters around here are fun on both sides if used lightly but I can't abide a terrible imposter even if the argument is on my side. If someone is going to impersonate you, they've failed miserably if they don't say 'd*cks' at least once, and preferably directed at atheists even if the topic had nothing to do with religion.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • laodegan

      In all fairness, I'm glad someone other than me is having fun here. I think it's Zeus. But I don't know for sure. In any case, I know I've gotten under someone's skin when the posing starts.

      Oh yeah, and atheists are still d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      Zeus was my guess too. 🙂

      October 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  16. Joaquin

    God is as responsible for Sandy as Thor is for thunder or Poseidon for the waves, I dont know why thats so hard for people to see.... One would think that in the 21st century we would have stopped blaming Gods for at least the weather.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • laodegan

      Are you trying to assert that Thor and Poseidon are not real? Do you have any proof?

      Atheists are d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Lorel

    Did anyone click Hassan Chandio name in the article and see what he has written on his Facebook page? That he admires Ahmadinejad and apparently claims he does not hate women, but every indication is that he really, really does hate them. But, yet he believes in God and is proud to be Muslim while wishing the worse for those of us caught in the path of Sandy. What a stand up human being. I am sure that is exactly what God would wish. What a poor excuse for a human being he is and anyone else that wishes harm on others.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  18. Austin

    "Atheists don't believe in love." "Atheists have no hope." "Atheists [INSERT SLANDER HERE]"

    Where do people get this stuff? I don't see any evidence for any supernatural force so I lack belief in a deity. "A"="Without" "Theism"="Belief in a deity" It really is that simple. It doesn't make me a bad person. It doesn't cause me to do bad things. It doesn't harm my ability to love or enjoy life or have things matter to me.

    In fact, losing my faith (Protestant Christian born and raised) has made me more tolerant of different faiths and lifestyles and more driven to do good now that I think this is probably the only life we are going to have.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Basically

      When you need your imagination to create your deity, you need your imagination to create your enemy.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      Atheism is a belief similar to any other religion.
      You will believe what you want to believe, and you will find out if it works for you or not.
      We cannot read everyone else's souls, but I would say that a majority of atheists want a certain kind of freedom for themselves: a freedom to sin, a freedom to be selfish, a freedom to harm other people.
      -Because those who think people are merely animals like the cattle are animals, and those who believe that human life is merely an accident of random dust blowing across the Earth see no value in human life, neither the pre-born, nor the born, nor the elderly. I realize that there are exceptions, but I believe that this is an accurate generalization.
      And how do Atheists explain the beginning of Life? They believe that the first living cell that ever came into existence was formed randomly by dust blowing around in the wind, and then some atmospheric electricity jump-started it. Perhaps it took zillions of years for that first cell, which contains its own organs, to be formed, but after it was supposedly formed, it only had about a minute to be jump-started before it would die or be “unformed”.
      My description of Atheist Creation sounds unbelievable, but that is what they believe.
      If you cannot explain how the first cell or the first life came into being, then Evolution theory is moot.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Austin

      Wow. I really hope the "ordinary average American" isn't as ignorant as you. Atheism is a lack of belief in a deity, not a belief in and of itself. Atheism is also not synonymous with abiogenesis, evolution, or the big bang–all three of which you clearly have absolutely no understanding of. And your assertion that atheists don't value life is utter BS.

      Wow. Just wow. So very ignorant.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • manbearpig

      OAA-
      You apparently know nothing about atheism. Atheists do not believe in gods. That is all. It has nothing to do with morality – in fact, maybe you should read the bible a little more carefully. It's chock full of horrible, immoral stuff that was supposed done by the hand of a jealous, petty, vengeful deity. Check it out sometime.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • manbearpig

      OAA-
      And don't pretend to know what atheists believe about the origins of life if you don't even understand what atheism is. Atheists are honest enough to admit that we don't know how life got here. Theists made some (completely unsubstantiated) stuff up about how it all happened. Methinks your pal Jesus would like the intellectual honesty of atheists more than he would like the crass assertations from theists that they have all the answers to everything.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @OAA,

      who spewed these nasty lies to you:
      "I would say that a majority of atheists want a certain kind of freedom for themselves: a freedom to sin, a freedom to be selfish, a freedom to harm other people"

      your pastor, hoping to keep you t;thing in thrall?

      Atheists do want freedom – from the idea that there's a man in a cloud watching us showering. Atheists believe in moral behavior just as much as anyone. We just don't need graven tablets and a burning bush to figure out that killing, lying and stealing is wrong.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      if you're religious, you may be an "average American" but you are hardly "ordinary". Your delusion makes you an aberration even if a majority in the U.S.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • fred

      manbearpig
      “Atheists do not believe in gods. That is all. It has nothing to do with morality”

      =>where do you get your morals? I recall the Greeks also rejected God and they also claimed a morality of man. Without God you only have the morality of man. This is what you need to balance your world view and I need God to balance my world view. I follow divine laws that created the very earth you get your information from so who is right? Using you own rules of acceptable evidence you have no more evidence than I do about the existence of God. That should tell you that your rules don’t work because there cannot be God and no God in the same time and space based on the rules you rely upon.
      How about that Greek Philosophy you hang your atheist hat on. Let us check out the moral foundation of those you follow in their beliefs. Pederasty was their game without shame and blame. Parents brought their young boys to be taught in the wisdom of the Greeks as that brought the parents social status. So where do you get your morals and who was to say what the Greeks did was evil as it was an honored privilege before the days of Christ.
      No God no standard bearer and no point of reference at some point in time. That is the atheist mindset without God.
      Atheists do believe in the gods of the Greeks. Their source of life was mother earth. You claim proudly that you do not know the origin of life yet you rest upon the premise that we are evolved animals from the earth. The Greeks erected a monument to the unknown god and very proud of it.
      You claim no belief but your logic and world view are one with Zeus

      October 31, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Austin

      @Fred: You're just as bad as the "ordinary American" guy, it seems.

      Atheists believe in Zeus? Seriously? You're the one who thinks there's a bearded god sitting on a cloud watching us all.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • fred

      Austin
      No, that would be the Greeks with their man made gods. God cannot be confined to a form yet alone have a beard. The Bible was the only Holy Book to get it right when it said God is not made of physical matter or energy that is known or knowable to man. Stephen Hawking likes to think that someday we will know the properties of the unknown cause but there is no evidence to support that outside of the Bible which says we will see Gods Glory in Heaven.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  19. thecarp

    Would the believers prefer that either their God is unable to prevent terrible things from happening or unwilling? Gotta be one or the other: He's ineffectual or just kind of a dick.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      I have another question for you: Can God create a rock that he cannot move?
      Your own question is a serious one. It is a question worth discussing, and it has been discussed many times.
      I cannot give you a satisfactory answer. I would have to be as smart as God Himself to do so.
      I can only tell you that sometimes, in an individual's life, one tragedy often creates a lot of good for the victim of the tragedy and for many others. I'm not saying it's nice or fun or pretty. I'm saying that one tragedy is not the end of the story.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • thecarp

      And seeking comfort from tragedy in an imaginary friend, no matter how comforting at the time, doesn't make him any less imaginary. (And seeking comfort in an imaginary friend who has spent the last few thousand years being a total dick, even to his own devotees, speaks to a kind of loneliness and self-loathing that is deeply sad and ugly.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • manbearpig

      OAA- Children starving to death or being hacked to death by machetes at the hands of those who "believe" differently doesn't do any good. Justifying evil by saying that it must have happened for a good reason is pretty sick.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  20. To The Westboro Cult Hate Mongers

    If God sent the storm to teach the evil Americans a lesson, why does he waste time with storms on Saturn?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • laodegan

      Duuuh! It's to punish all those pagans on Saturn.

      Atheists are d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      laodegan is a DICK!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Fast Dave

      Saturn? God is sowing his wrath upon those lousy cars! And darn right of him to do so!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • MalcomR

      Why do you keep calling us ducks and replacing the 'u' with an asterisk? Is this some kind of avian slander that I haven't heard before? Whatever it is, it makes you look like a d.i.c.k.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Jupiter has huge storms. Sheesh, it even had a freakin' comet plow into it a few years ago. That ought to show those evil Jovians and cause them to repent!

      October 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Laodegan

      I don't know about Saturn, but I LOVE it when Father Bob tells me "I'm going to storm Uranus!"

      October 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      A Frayed Knot: But if you call a religious freak out with that argument, then they'll just come back with "Well, but, Jeezus was only meant to apply to Earth, and in particular, humans on Earth." yakkety yak

      October 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      Those Westboro people are real weirdos.
      I don't care what they call themselves, but they do not follow Christ or the Bible.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • laodegan

      Zeus, since we are speaking about planets, you should change your name to the Roman version.

      And I might be a d*ck, but that doesn't change what I just said: Atheists are nothing but d*cks. Even on Jupiter.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • laodegan

      And I am a connoisseur of dick.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • laodegan

      By the way, Zeus, who is Father Bob? He sounds like a d*ck. But I guess that would make him an atheist.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • nojinx

      See there, laodegan, you are just causing more confusion. just because atheists are d**ks does not mean all d**ks are atheists. That is a logical fallacy.
      Just because are theists are self-deluded does not mean all self-deluded people are theists.

      See how that works?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • laodegan

      nojinx, you are correct. I carelessly made that statement. Father Bob could very well be a d*ck and be a theist. In any case, his obsession with Uranus makes me wonder if he's a pagan.

      Oh well. Atheists are d*cks.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:46 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.