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. clem kadiddle

    Want answers? Watch Zeitgiest the Movie. It will enlighten you. Get the facts. There is so much scientific proof now. Evolution trumps creationism. If your very life depended on it, would you believe in evolution or divine creation? The people of long ago did not know what we know now. Their minds could only guess and imagine how mankind and the earth came to exist. Free yourself from religion. God and Santa Claus are fairy tales. The so called Devil is your conscious telling you what is right and wrong. The Universe is the beginning and will be the end for mankind, earth and our galaxy.It has always been and will always be, and perhaps in another million or billion years another planet and life form will evolve just as we did. Sorry to disillision you folks.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  2. Realist

    3 different books speak of a great flood putting animals in a boat two by two that pre-date the bible by many many years – predicting a flood is the same as saying it could rain tomorrow. Read a book sheep / people..

    October 31, 2012 at 4:40 am |
  3. Ben True

    I wish all the Christians would really learn who Jesus really was and what happened to him. He was a Jew carpenter that was made an example of by the Romans for stirring up trouble with his made up religion. Also, people wear these crosses and tattoo them and I really want to slap them because they have no understanding of what the cross was/means. The cross was the Romans most humiliating was to kill you. Make an example out of you and show you how you were nothing compared to might of Rome. So this is what they did that hack job Jew Jesus and somehow over thousands of years all these dopes bought into the story that God let his son get killed for our sins... Really? An all powerful God would let his sun get absolutely humiliated like that? Wake up people and see history for what it was. Stop believing lies and evolve past this none sense!

    October 31, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  4. Richie B

    Don't worry. You can rebuild by getting a loan from your parents. That's what Romney said the other day. Hell, maybe the local Church can donate canned beans to you. Drill baby Drill! Global Warming is just HOGWASH. Maybe the magum .44 can shoot the hurricane down!

    October 31, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  5. Robert Hall

    I Tried posting on the 2 males or 2 females sleeping with each other.

    Gonna Try this again.

    2 Males sleeping together equals 2 Nations lying together.
    Father Abraham had many SONS
    God told Abraham, I will make you the Father of many NATIONS
    A Son Equals A Male Equals a Nation

    2 Women lying Together is 2 churches in bed together
    God is coming for His Bride, which is His Church, A Bride is a Woman and a Woman is a church

    This is Biblical HS

    October 31, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • Your Bartender

      Go to bed and sleep it off, because that didn't make any sense at all.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Common Sense

      LoL what?

      Can't tell if you're trolling or just THAT dumb...

      October 31, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • Liz

      Leave those drugs alone.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:31 am |
  6. BJ

    I think it's more ridiculous to believe that the weather pattern changes we are seeing is due SOLELY on what mankind is doing. This earth is over 4 1/2 billion years old! We have more than enough evidence to prove it's gone through some stunning and dramatic changes that obviously cannot all be blamed on mankind. Also note that when we hear things like "warmest day on record" or "record rainfall", etc., that we has humans have only been keeping RECORD for such a short period of time compared to earth's age. Yes, we are going through climate changes.....but are we as humans only to blame? I don't think so. We do need to take care of this earth, and do need to think about consequences of our actions. But we can't just throw away centuries of proven scientific fact that earth's weather changes, and changes dramatically, just for religious (or in this can non-religious) points, political points, or what have you. Just more realistic discussion..

    October 31, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Ralph Tomassen

      No one is saying that. What is being said is that the global temperature rise does not fit the ambient climatic conditions. Moreover, careful studies of geological stata show that carbon level in the air and ocean are way above levels indicated for thousands of years, and the ocean is about at its saturation point for carbon.

      Here are some things to consider: The amount of vegetation on the planet is decreasing rapidly, and it is being relaced by either plowed land or urban heat islands. Both raise local temperatures noticably. If those are occuring all over the world, guess what? And if there is less vegetation, the air cannot be scrubbed of CO2 as well – vegetation is our natural air filter, but we are deforesting. Even W's administration admitted that air quality was going to go down for a period of decades. And CO2 creation is ever increasing – China and India are rapidly increasing their burning of fossil fuels.

      So CO2 production is up, the ocean is at its saturation level for carbon and cannot absorb any more, and the planets natural scrubber is reducing, by some estimates below the level where it can break even.

      About the only thing working in the favor of the planet as far a global warming is concerned is that oil supplies will basically run dry in about 40 years of so. Which partially solves one problem but creates another whopper – there is no viable alternative fuel source that can fill the demand.

      Or, put in an even simpler form, do you think that 7,000,000,000 people are not having a dramatic impact on the planet? Do you think that the shark and salmon populations have not collapsed? Seriously?

      The reality is that things will have to get to almost disaster level before attitudes like yours are overcome with the overwhelming evidence of crisis. Those will be tough times to live through, with some big prices to pay.

      So enjoy your denial while you can. Refusing to look at looming problems just makes them hit worse when they get here.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • Richie B

      You are DAMN Straight. GLobal warming caused by MAN KIND? Forget it. Its HOG WASH. DRILL baby DRILL. 99 cent gasoline prices is the way to go. 5MPG cars is what we need. WHo needs alternative energy?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • Liz

      Because scientists don't know what they are talking about. It's a conspiracy.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  7. rcflyer8410

    I'll thank god when he comes down and personally shows himself. Most scammers and con artists dwell and succeed on the ignorance of their marks. The infamous words "trust me", or "have faith" is a how a con man compensates for not having anything viable. Hence religion..."have faith"... sorry, all matters of reason and common sense defy this. Religion = solace for the weak minded.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Alvin

      Christians have long been easy target for con men. The door-to-door bible salesman was to the 1930s what a used car salesman is now. The grifters tend to play whole congregations at once.

      I've seen this one up close.

      I used to be an investment manager. I had a couple clients, nice people, who at various times withdrew large portions of their investment money to place with this special deal that a fellow church member was setting up. I of course asked questions, and the rates of return promised were basically impossible, and the structure made no sense. I would warn them, but no, this was a man of God, a good Christian, and a few weeks later they would come back in tears, retirement now at least another decade away.

      When con men glue a veneer of Jesus over promises of greed, a Christian will go for it every time, even if warned.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  8. Sean

    As a Christian, I don't believe that all things are attributable to God – people have to deal with the consequences of their own choices. While everything happens under God's sovereignty, that doesn't mean He always intervenes. In my opinion, based on the scientific findings I've seen, this weather pattern is a result of manmade actions that harm the environment. God didn't DO this, people did.

    Also, organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church and people who spew hate obviously haven't read the New Testament and don't have a clue who Jesus is and what he embodies.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Steve

      Of course they're responsible... it's called "Free Will" given by God. People reap what they sew.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Not so

      Explain the "free wil" of rape and birth defects.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • BJ

      Thank you for pointing out the New Testament. Jesus coming to die for everyone's sins. There is good reason the Bible is broken into Old Testament and New Testament..

      October 31, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Liz

      If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

      The New Testament is so sweet and has so many awesome family values.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:37 am |
  9. SanityOnline

    Really? CNN is reporting the views of the Westboro Baptist church as 'news' now? I hope you guys are making more ad dollars than Fox. Do we need an ACTUAL news source to talk about the f'n weather? #hacks

    October 31, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  10. Syed

    When man does something bad it is Evil, when God does something bad what is it?
    – A bad God!

    October 31, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      When god does something bad, Christians will be quick to say that "god works in mysterious ways and we should NOT question his motives."

      October 31, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • EnjaySea

      When something good happens, it's god's grace. When something bad happens, it's god's will. When man is good he is holy, when man is bad, he's in league with the devil. Christians have all bases covered.

      When a child survives a drowning, it's god's intercession that saved him. If god were intelligent though, he would have just prevented the boy from falling into the water in the first place.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Sevan C.

      "When man does something bad it is Evil, when God does something bad what is it?
      – A bad God!"

      Sayed. That is reasoned how? Should that last bit not end with a question mark? I realize a storm may be called an "act of G-d, but Bad weather just happens as part of the cycles of life and regeneration. How does a storm make G-d "bad"? You mean as if He sent it to, well, Babylon 2012? Seems to me if G-d wanted to make a statement with una tormenta, He would stop one in its tracks.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • supaevil

      Remember when katrina hit? seems it was a giant toilet bowl flushed with turds. Now its headed towards the jersey shore oh noes! Who cares seems like god is taking care of the filth if there was one, even einstien said god is for the weak but this new flush makes me wonder slightly.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      We are not mentally equipped to understand the mind of God because he is too far above us. The greatest minds on earth both past and present, even if you were to meld them together could not compete with the mind of God. Sort of like the computerized game of chess. The greatest chess masters in the world cannot compete. Why? Because it's infallible and we are imperfect. God's sense of justice, his ways are far greater than ours. We may not always understand but that's only because we don't have the brain power in comparison to him. He has the perfect mind and is incapable of making mistakes. The Bible says, "The wisdom of the world is foolishness to God." And...."He has hidden his truths from the wise and intellectual." The ones who discredit him thinking that they are infallible like God.....

      October 31, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • BJ

      Most times the bad is the devil, at least that is what it says in my Bible. Also, humans had a choice according to the Bible....reread the story of Adam and Eve. Humans still have a choice, though, but noting the consequence of the choice Adam and Eve made...

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • OTOH


      Adam & Eve had no knowledge of good and evil. How could they have possibly known that their 'choice' was evil?

      p.s. The Bible is nothing.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @OTOH.....Maybe because God said to them, "The day you eat of it you will positively die." Of course, "To God a day is like a thousand years." He kept his word. They did die on that day. God's definition of a day not mans. Adam died at nine-hundred and thirty. No man ever lived to one-thousand or beyond. The oldest living man was Methuselah who lived to 969.....

      October 31, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • sam stone

      dissident fairy: you claim that we cannot know the mind of god because he is too far above us, then you quote a book written by men (iron age agrarian society man) who are claiming that they know the mind of god. which is it?

      October 31, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Sam: The Bible is the inspired word of God. The 66 books of the Bible were written by 40 men over a span of 1600 years. Many of them didn't even know one another. They came from all walks of life. Luke was a doctor and there was even a king....Solomon. The Bible is in complete harmony and carries the same theme throughout. How could that be when many of these men died without any chance to confer? If you were to ask 10 people to write a chapter of a novel without knowing what the other had said, do you think it would make any sense? Yet the Bible makes perfect sense. Prophecies have come true, such as the fall of Babylon, which was foretold 500 years by Isaiah before it happened. Babylon was a city like NYC in ancient times. It was a port surrounded by water. History confirms this. Isaiah even went so far as to say, "it would never be rebuilt" It is a dry desolate wasteland today. The Bible even says that the earth is round.....but it took Columbus much later to prove it in 1492:)

      October 31, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • sam stone

      i don't think it was 1492 when we discovered the world was round

      October 31, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • sam stone

      how do you know it's inspiration is any better than yours, or mine, or van gogh's, or rod serling's, or etc etc etc?

      October 31, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Sam: Are you referring to God or the Bible? As an artist I understand inspiration and art. There hasn't been an artist who has ever lived that can compete with the artistry and colors of nature. We can't even come close. All we have to do is view the wonders below the sea, or the magic of our Milky Way. If we were able to travel across our galaxy it would take 100,000 years at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second to do so, and the Milky Way is a mere drop in the sea of what is out there in our universe. It is endless. To believe that the Big Bang eventually produced life on this planet without the help of an Intelligent Maker is way more far fetched than believing in God if you stop to think about it. If I left paint, brushes, and a canvas in a room for the next 50 years and went back to check on it what do you think I would find? A completed masterpiece waiting for me when I returned? Of course not! I would have to paint it myself, it would be just as I left it. Likewise this creation had to have had a Maker! In terms of "Inspiration" what artist living or dead can give any of us Eternal life? In the case of Van Gogh, or Picasso, are they able to bring themselves back to life? Without God it doesn't matter what we achieve in this life because it would all come to nothing in the end.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Dylan

    How about this, we let people continue to find comfort in their religion, whilst at the same time agreeing that climate change is a serious problem that we have to address

    October 31, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      That would be great. . .except some of the more religious people, with the loudest voices btw, insist climate change and global warming are made up. If this kind of weather doesn't convince them, what do you think will? Even if their "god" came down, in person, and told them the human species is ruining the environment and that this type of behavior has to change, they would STILL find a way to deny the existence of global warming and climate change.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Bob

      What about overpopulation? "Go forth and procreate" is very bad advice now. One of the biggest problems of the next decades will be the excessive demand on limited resources, which will run us nearly out of fossil fuels, further overwhelm the planet's ability to scrub carbon from the air, and cause the further collapse of crucial fisheries.

      How do we stop the overpopulation when your magic book say to populate?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  12. pastapharian

    Ok, my head hurts from exposure to such volumes of pure unadulterated ignorance. I need to get out of here before my IQ drops another 10 points.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • FSM

      Too much exposure might drop your IQ all the way down to "religious" . . . but it takes a long time to lose that much.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • pastapharian

      R'amen, FSM!

      October 31, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  13. Antony Scalia

    I remember reading that *Mother Theresa* of Calcutta ("Little Flower Therese") SAID:

    "The United States shall be punished (by God) by its WEATHER.

    Well, its just a historical fact–take it or leave it.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Yeah, it's called Global Warming and Climate Change. . . and it isn't only affecting the US btw.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Righteo

      I remember Mother Theresa took stolen money from a con man and absolutely refused to give it back to the victims.

      Who give a damn about her weather threats when she took dirty money?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • End Religion

      if it is a fact, please cite the reference. Until then we will chalk this up to the seemingly universal ignorance of the definition of "fact" amongst the religious.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • pastapharian

      Scalia: even a broken clock is right twice a day. Who cares what some old lady said years ago?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • It's a lie

      I googled all possible variations of keyword for that quote, and got nothing. It's bullshit.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Thanks for the choice of taking it or leaving it. I'll leave it.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      I remember reading that meteorologists have been predicting increasingly violent weather as man-made pollution destroys the very delicate natural balance of our atmosphere.

      Meteorologists: 1
      Mother Teresa: 0

      October 31, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Johan S

      Storms and natural disasters like this happen every decade. In the 80s it was the Mt. st. helen eruption, loma prieta earthquake, and hurricane hugo (which killed more people than Sandy btw). In the 90s in was hurricance andrew. 2000s it was katrina. 2012 sandy. In the last century America has seen far worse natural disasters than even Katrina.. for example the 1906 SF earthquake, the Galveston hurricane, the dust bowl in the 1930s that led to widespread hunger. And btw, this was when there were a lot less people in America. It's not God, it's not man made, it's just normal weather! If God wanted to bump off 33 people there are a lot more easy and selective ways to do it.People use any big event no matter how random to justify their agenda. It's just normal bad weather not the sign of anything. Well its a sign of normal weather.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 am |
  14. Jacob

    Whether or not a "prayer" is actually helping out a cause a long, long way can't be "scientifically proven," but the prayer can still help the person praying gain a little more comfort. A postive thing about faith is that it allows us to make sense of things that are outside of our ability to comprehend. I believe God answers prayers, but I also believe that prayer changes me. Changes me to be more understanding and compassionate towards other people and less self-absorbed.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      If you wanna be more "compassionate" to the world, do what you can to fix the climate we human beings have messed up.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Larry Smith


      Can we not make this political?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Alvin

      Here is the non-political version: Instead of praying, which only benefits you and not the victims, why don't you get off your butt and donate some money or blood?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • pastapharian

      Larry: that's not politics; it's science.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Political? How is the weather that affects the entire planet "political"? Are you THAT ign orant?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Larry Smith

      My point was that we could argue all day about whether this was caused by global warming or even if global warming even exists, but I didn't think that this is the time to head that direction.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • pastapharian

      Larry: it's not a very risky assumption to say that this storm and others of this magnitude are being exacerbated by man-made climate change. Given the choice between listening to religious zealots and republicans or listening to climate scientists, I'll take the scientists, thank you.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Alvin

      Larry, why is it that people feel that you cannot discuss other topics if some event like this is happening? I mean, aside from the repugnant stifling of free speech for no real reason, most people cannot do anything more than donate money or blood. WHy should they modify their lives otherwise, and stifle their opinions on other matters?

      I see this one all the time, but it seems a repressive mindset that is not what this country is all about.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • End Religion

      Jacob, that sounds practical and perfectly reasonable, except why the need to call it "prayer" and focus it toward a god? It's called "introspection". Why not just sit and think about your day, yourself, how to improve, or whatever, if you feel you need to, but then NOT attach that to some fantasy. You don't need god or religion to be a nice person and work on improving yourself.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Larry, reality doesn't have a political party. Weather patterns are changing at an unprecedented accelerated rate, and it doesn't matter if you want to believe it or not: It's happening. The very likely cause is human pollution.

      What really bothers me is that even if global warming was not real, people like you are trying to defend your desire to ruin this planet anyway. This is the one planet we have, Larry. It is really, really stupid to use up all the natural resources and pollute our water, air and soil, because eventually there will be no way to sustain life on this planet. And then everything, including humans, will become extinct. I don't know about you, Larry, but I think destroying your own home while you're still living in it is pretty short-sighted.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Jacob

      Aren't we being a little hypocritical here? My faith is the way I make sense of the things i dont understand fully, and part of faith is giving up the desire to be right all the time or to have all the answers. My prayer gives me joy and then in that joy I have a full heart to serve and help people who need it. I don't simply sit on my hands and pray. Shouldn't we all do a little better at understanding how people make sense of the world? even if its not the way you make sense of things End religion please respect that. I actually understand atheism to be a faith too believe it or not. Atheism is the way you make sense of things, and I respect that.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • LinCA


      If you recycle a single sheet of paper, you will have done far more good for the world then all prayers combined. While prayer may make you feel better about yourself, it does jack-shit for the real world.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Jacob, what sort of faith is required to not believe in something for which there is no proof? There isn't a single shred of evidence for the existence of any god. Not a single shred.

      I don't mind that prayer brings you comfort (I prefer chocolate, myself) but your religion should never be used as an explanation of strictly natural phenomena. That is simply perpetuating ignorance in an effort to rationalize your own lack of knowledge. Prayer has never stopped a flood. Human engineering has.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Alvin

      The faith thing is a lie perpetrated by religious zealots. They are commiting the Fallacy of Equivocation, wherein you have a word with two definitions, and pretend they are the same when in fact they are not. For example, bananas are yellow, therefore bananas are cowardly Asians. As to faith, the theological definition is "(1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion" – which clearly does not apply to atheism. The equivocated definition is "something that is believed especially with strong conviction", but that only tangentially applies to religion, and it is not the definition you are using for your own faith.

      We get this a lot from disingenuous Christians, but it is total bullshit. They try to play the same game with the words "religion" and a few other words, but the same untruthful fallacy underlies those as well. And you can point it out, but they just keep repeating their lies. For some reason it is improtant to them to say we are a religion, that we are our own gods, that we hate the god we don't believe in, that we are angry, and all these other foul lies. How can Christians violate their own Ninth Commandment so much? Will you?

      So now that you know, are you going to be like them and continue to lie by saying that?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • Alvin

      Oh, and atheism is not how we make sense of anything, any more than the non-belief in leprechauns is how you make sense of things. Seriously. What you don't believe in has no impact on your philosophies.

      You seem well-meaning, but you clearly have been filled with lies and propaganda about atheists perpetrated by your fellow Christians (what is with the Christian love of lying?). Our beliefs are not what you say they are, as much as you want us to have "faith" and all that other dishonest slander.

      We are sick of the distorted stereotypes you and your brethren try to duct tape onto us, and we wonderr how a group who believes themselves to be of superior morality does such sleazy, immoral things.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  15. Mary

    The storm did not take LIFE, LIFE is eternal... GOD brought us this storm to unite the world that has become divided. After 9/11 we came together. We were a United States once again. We have become divided once again. We said Never Forget but we have forgotten. GOD used Sandy to remind us to come together to heal the world. Give clean water to the thirsty around the world, Feed the hungry at home and around the world, Clothe those in need. Help one another. Love one another. There is only ONE GOD and He is in us all. You might not believe in HIM and that's your choice. But HE believes in you!! #ONELOVE #ONEGOD Let's come together and feel alright

    October 31, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Larry Smith

      Thank you Mary. There is good to be found in all trials. We need to ask God to see the good and ask Him to turn all trials to the benefit of ourselves and others.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I agree about helping those who are less fortunate, but destroying the planet as a result of abusing its resources or not even caring whether the planet's environment is destroyed is just plain stu pid.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • foolishpursuit

      G-d is cleansing the earth...His Way..

      October 31, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Bob-just Bob

      I guess there are arsonists who get a lot of satisfaction out of saving victims trapped in burning houses.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • End Religion

      you people are indescribably twisted...

      October 31, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • EnjaySea

      That's right. You've hit the nail right on the head! God created this storm. And now he's standing by, taking prayers to intercede for those that are suffering from the very storm that he created.

      It really is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  16. Martin

    One option you didn't post was speaking to the storm with the authority Jesus gave us. Maybe if people actually believed in the authority of the believer we'd move more mountains.

    "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

    Too many doubters, unbelievers, and ignorance in the Word of God.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • foolishpursuit

      Agree...and religious tradition tells us to pray at the drop of a hat...

      We are to be led of the Lord in how we pray, then we will see answered prayer.

      And the scorners and skeptics would not be able to make a joke of "prayer" as they do with unanswered prayer...

      October 31, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • End Religion

      Mankind's entire pantheon of gods, including Jesus and the Abrahamic god, never existed. All religion is a fraud. If you suffer from a brand of the delusion that holds any of it as "reality", it is no less crazy than any other.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      There were a lot of people back in the Middle Ages of Europe, and most of them were christians. It's amazing how helpless they were when the plague wiped out their families and communities, despite the increased prayers. It's ironic that they thought cats were witches and killed thousands of them, when the cats were the natural predators of the rats that spread the plague. Thus, christianity actually made the situation worse. This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when supersti,tion supplants reason in times of crisis.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:20 am |
  17. Larry Smith

    God doesn't need us to believe in him. However, we need to believe in him for us. I have seen more evidence of God's existence and his love for his children than I can explain in a few posts. I know God lives and loves each of us. Our trials are but a small part of eternity and how we react to them is part of the test. I believe in the next life, we will look back on our trials as a badge of honor. Did anyone have as hard of trials as Jesus Christ? Nobody else had to suffer for all the sins of mankind. Are we better than him that we should never suffer? Trials are part of our curriculum in this life and it will all be for our own good.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      That doesn't really make much sense. Why did your "God" create a world where suffering and killing are the norm? Most animal species, long before human beings ever evolved suffered, killed and ate each other in order to survive. What's up with THAT? What kind of a God would give his creatures that type of existence. I can't believe in the Judeo-Christian god-of-the-gaps because well frankly, it sounds like something a caveman might make up.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Larry Smith


      We cannot understand all of God's workings. But my best guess is that we will appreciate living in God's world much more after having lived in a fallen world. But it is said in the scriptures that the lamb will lie down with the lion when Christ reigns on the earth. This fallen state of the world is but a short part of eternity. I trust God has a good reason for setting things up the way he has.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • pastapharian

      DeeCee: not cavemen, but uneducated Bronze Age dessert wanderers hoping to control the masses through fear and intimidation of an imaginary sky monster.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Larry Smith, you really don't like using your little noggen for thinking purposes I see. What is a "fallen world"? Did all of the creatures that were here before humans somehow "sin"? Is that why your "God" made them suffer and kill each other for food? . .because they "fell"? I get the feeling you do your best to avoid science and then expect the rest of us to believe in your idi otic cr ap.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • pastapharian

      DeeCee: very nice.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Jacob

      It would be easy for anyone to be joyful if things were always good. When people can have joy in God's grace and love despite afflictions and lack of money, God is most glorified. That is why God created us; for our joy!!! :))))

      October 31, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Thank you pastapharian. Larry Smith probably believes that evolution is something made up by "the devil". Don't get me wrong, since I consider myself agnostic. I just hate it when religious people who haven't even bothered to look up anything still act as if though everyone should be required to believe in their senseless ideas.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Jacob, you come across as a brainwashed simpleton.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • pastapharian

      DeeCee, I understand. My PhD is in molecular biology and protein biochemistry, yet religious zealots who haven't seen a science book since the 10th grade want to argue the validity of evolution vs creationism, and claim they never lose these debates. I'll give them that much. I'll give up in exasperation before I waste any more time trying to educate the willfully ignorant.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Casey

      God created man, and gave him the freedom of choice. With that comes.consequences. to have choice means that you.must have things to choose between. Therefore, both good and evil musst exist in this universe. God did not create us to be blind robots. He wants to chose tondo what is right, and to come to him on our own. We are His children... and He loves more than we can understand.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • pastapharian

      Casey: Nice fairy tale with NO basis in fact whatsoever. And by the way, man created god, not the other way around.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • tallulah13


      Do you know why you can't understand god's workings? Because god doesn't work. There is not a single logical reason to believe he even exists. What you don't understand is the science of how the world works. A lot of knowledge is already out there. You have a computer. You have internet access. You have only yourself to blame for your ignorance.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Randy

      pastapharian, yes you should give up because your human degree doesn't stand a chance against God. Why don't you go to creation dot com and learn from a real scientist and stop your non-sense lies!

      October 31, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Casey

      Some theologens are " creationists" but many are not. The Catholic Church has no issues or conflicts with the evolunnationary processes as applied too human development. God can use any process He wants. As a professional electrical engineer and ameteur physics author, it is amazing how well our understanding of science reinforces our understanding of God. It is so cool when you can sense the hand og God in particle physics and m theory. We live in a very exciting time for the convergence of our understanding of God and acience.... too bad so many are blind to it.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  18. logan5

    It boggles the mind how people can pray to their god and thank him when more than 30 people lost their lives due to this storm.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Geves

      It's very simple actually. It's these types of events that make us realize the limited number of days we have and how quickly they can come to an end. When you accept the fact that you're only here for a very short time, the troubles we encounter every day, and the disasters we experience, how much we need God.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Dave DS

      From my cursory review of these threads, it looks like the ratio of religiosity to rationality is decreasing as the hour gets later. Question?: Does intelligence correlate with staying up late?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • thankfull

      We thank him that ONLY 30 lives were lost.....and not more...

      October 31, 2012 at 4:03 am |
  19. Amazed

    All you people that believe in your god and were affected adversly by Sandy should not receive 'government' assistance. Ask your god for help and stop tapping into the help the rest of us need.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Geves

      On the contrary, by your comments I would suggest that you reach out to God and his son Jesus Christ because you clearly need his saving grace like the rest of us.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Jacob

      I think you'd be amazed if you seek the unconditional love of Jesus. You probably think im crazy, and i agree!! Seek Jesus for who he is: LOVE. He died so that humanity could be saved: EVERYONE (that includes you 😉 and you will find a joy words cannot express!!! If you don't believe me, talk to God for yourself.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Loki

      You got that right Amazed! Let god be responsible for you and the rest of us take care of the others. Thank you for removing yourself from the equation.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • End Religion

      jacob, you can't find the words to express it because religion is about emotional delusion. You've stepped outside the boundaries of our shared reality.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  20. Jacob

    The reason a devastating storm hit the upper northwest, other than being due to weather patterns and atmospheric pressure or whatever else determines the paths of a storm, cannot be entirely proven. Was God manifesting his apparent hatred upon his deviant people? Probably not, but who am I to know for sure. Was it mother nature just doing its thing and people just happend to get in the way? More likely, but the naturalistic perspecitve is not a great perspective for any feeling, caring, empathetic human being. To say something is natural is like saying people in Africa who die of starvation is natural, or a mother who dies trying to give birth to a child. Obviously, the natural disaster is a NATURAL occurrance, but one's response should not end there, unless you don't really care about other people. A more HUMANISTIC response would be to empathize with the victims of the storm and naturally have the desire to help them in any way we can. For the most of us, whether you're religious or not, prayer is the least we can do to acknowledge our empathy for anyone experiencing grief or loss from a tragedy outside their control, no matter who you believe is actually in control of things.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Alvin

      Prayer? That's is only the self-satisfied illusion of helping. Send a donation or give blood, but long distance empathy is a fraud, a self-congratulation. Help if you can, get on with your life otherwise.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Jacob


      October 31, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Jacob

      Whether or not a "prayer" is actually helping out a cause a long, long way can't be "scientifically proven," but the prayer can still help the person praying gain a little more comfort. A postive thing about faith is that it allows us to make sense of things that are outside of our ability to comprehend. I believe God answers prayers, but I also believe that prayer changes me. Changes me to be more understanding and compassionate towards other people and less self-absorbed.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Alvin

      The person gaining comfort is not the person in need. In a case like this, prayer is selfish, as every comment you made supports.

      Let me say it again, for your post proved it: Prayer is only the self-satisfied illusion of helping.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Chuck

      Right on Alvin.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Loki

      Jacob writes, that the storm can not be entirely proven by weather patterns........right. World weather patterns are changing. You can either go with either that god is in control or that we are in a natural world (to whom we did harm through our pollution). If god were in charge, why cause the destruction, pain and sufferring? If it is natural (with help from us through industrial age polution), then we'd better adjust. Finally, praying is like wishing, see how well it works? We have to stand up for ourselves and get off these relegious shackles and make a better world – no one is coming, it is upon us.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Jacob

      Loki: i stated that we can in fact relate a storms destination based on its weather patterns. The question why has two parts: mechanism and purpose. The mechanism of a storm hitting the east coast is through specific weather patterns (which CAN be predicted and understood), the purpose why the storm hit the east coast is beyond our understanding (even though several people would like to think otherwise)

      October 31, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Oh really now

      Nature has no purpose. The storm went where the physics took it. Your whole attempt to put the hand of God into it is purely your imagination.

      You see, the storm must go somewhere, and the path is determined by a very complicated series of factors that are virtually impossible to predict accurately (Chaos Theory), but those factors are physical science, not supernatural force. If the storm had been about to hit then vanished instantly without any trace, then you can claim God, but otherwise, it was just a storm doing what a storm does.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Jacob

      Alvin: Essentially prayer is talking to God. It's not always asking for things. I could be thankful, joyful, or even upset while praying. I definitely belive that prayer can easily become selfish (i.e. people praying that the Minnesota Vikings win the super bowl or praying to win the lottery). But if prayer is intended for the good of other people (comfort only comes as an effect of praying not the cause of prayer). We should not be mixing up the cause with the effect.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      Essentially, praying is talking to yourself.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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.