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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. d rufus onfyre

    While I am a devout atheist, during trying times like these, many people need to find comfort and understanding from their religions and I respect that. This is one of the main reasons man created gods.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • JJ

      What's a devout atheist? Is that like an evangelical atheist?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  2. NightOps

    Regardless of your system of belief/religion (which includes Atheism and Agnosticism), I will continue to pray and send what aid I am able to. I am a Christian, and I firmly believe that we are held to not just pray, but do whatever is in our power to help our neighbors (as defined by the Christian Bible).

    As for "why God allows this to happen", this is simply what the Christian Bible says: (paraphrased Matthew 5:45) The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. Just as when Job was allowed to be tested, God allows Satan to test us. He doesn't directly *cause* these things to happen, but he doesn't stop them. He knows that, if we turn our lives over to Him, that these temporary issues will ultimately lead us closer to Him.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Primewonk

      "God allows Satan to test us. He doesn't directly *cause* these things to happen, but he doesn't stop them. "

      But your god claioms both omnipotence and omniscience. Why would an omnisicent god need to test us when he already knows the result? How could we get a different result in this "test" than god already knows we would get? Do we have the ability to trick god?

      For example, because of his omnipotence and omniscience, your god knows if I am going to heaven or hell. He knew this before he created me. Hell, he knew it before he created the universe. If he doesn't know, then he isn't omniscient. And if he isn't omniscient, he isn't much of a god, is he? So let's say that before your god created the universe, he knew that I would have my ticket punched for hell. There is nothing I can do to end up in heaven. Otherwise, god would have known I was going to heaven. This means that your god purposefully created me for the sole purpose of sending me to hell and torturing me for all eternity.

      What a swell god you have chosen to worship!

      October 31, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Joe

      PrimeWonk – Or you can view it from the point he could have sent us all to Hell, but allowed provision for anyone who believes in Jesus to get to heaven, then what a merciful God we serve. He at least gave us a choice. Check out Romans 9:20 (and surround verses)

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • sam stone

      "PrimeWonk – Or you can view it from the point he could have sent us all to Hell, but allowed provision for anyone who believes in Jesus to get to heaven, then what a merciful God we serve"

      If he was a merciful god, he would not have created hell in the first place

      October 31, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Primewonk

      Joe – you still don't get it. Your god claims to be omnipotent and omniscient. Before your god created the universe (13.7 billion years ago), he already knew that in the late 1950's he would create me, and that when he knew I would die, he planned on sending me to hell to torture me for all eternity. Since he has known for 13.7 billion years that I was going to hell, there is nothing I can do to end up in heaven. Otherwise, your god is wrong. Your god has purposefully created billions and billions and billions of people, for the sole purpose of killing them, and then torturing them for all eternity. You choose to worship a sick sadistic putz.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @Primewonk: Certainly God has the ability to see into the future but does he always choose to use it? I don't know! That would be like buying a novel and reading the last chapter first to see how it will end. In the book of Genesis God obviously read Cain's thoughts before he killed Able. God admonished Cain to turn away from evil and to start doing good and things would go well for him, but, Cain didn't listen. He proceeded to lure his brother into a field to kill him. Why didn't God stop him? Cain had to do something to condemn himself. God didn't make us robots he gave us free will to choose right from wrong. As far as a literal "hell" goes, as an avid Bible reader, I see no Biblical evidence to support it. If you compare various Bible translations, hell is also referred to as the grave, sheol, hades, and the pit.....which all mean the same, and yes, you are right, It would be unconscionable for God to torment man for all eternity in a burning place of eternal torment....so I agree with you on that. The Bible says, "The wages sin pays is death." Not eternal Torment! Sort of like our justice system.....we don't torture criminals for all eternity....we put them to death.....so why would we expect any less from God!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  3. richunix

    Hey, I'm holding out for Dec 21st....

    October 31, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  4. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The so-called god's wrath has been ongoing since the first life appeared on Earth. The addition of prayers did not stop said wrath.

    Some examples of "god's" Sandy-a-n-alogous-storm wrath and time-wasting prayers to stop these natural occurrences:

    Hurricanes and Tropcial Storms in the State of Pennsylvania:

    Pre-1900

    September 18, 1876- A tropical storm produced 50 knots (93 km/h, 58 mph) sustained winds in at least parts of Pennsylvania. [1][2][3][4]
    September 13, 1878- A extratropical storm produced at least 70 km/h sustained winds throughout the state. [5][6]
    October 24, 1878- The Gale of 1878 destroys at least 700 buildings, causes $2 million in damage, kills at least ten people and injures more, and produced 80 km/h sustained winds throughout the state. [7][8][9][10]
    October 13, 1885- An extratropical storm produced 70 km/h sustained winds throughout the state. [11][12]
    August 22, 1888- A tropical storm produced 75 km/h sustained winds throughout the state. [13][14][15]
    August 29, 1893- A tropical storm produced 100 km/h sustained winds throughout the state. [16][17][18]
    October 25, 1893- A tropical storm produced 65 km/h sustained winds. [19][20]
    September 30, 1896- An extratropical storm produced 95–100 km/h sustained winds. [21][22]
    November 1, 1899- An extratropical storm produced 95 km/h sustained winds. [23][24]

    1900-1950

    June 29, 1902- A extratropical storm caused 65 knots (120 km/h) winds throughout the state. [25][26]
    September 16, 1903- The V-agabond Hurricane affects Pennsylvania as a tropical storm with winds of 50–65 km/h, after making landfall in New Jersey with hurricane force winds. [27][28]
    August 4, 1915- A tropical depression caused winds of 45 km/h. [29]
    October 1, 1915- An extratropical storm caused winds of 65 km/h. [30]
    October 24, 1923- An extratropical storm caused winds of 75 km/h.[31]
    September 20, 1928- An extratropical storm caused winds of 75 km/h. [32]
    October 3, 1929- An extratropical storm caused winds of 55 km/h.[33]
    September 21, 1932- A tropical depression caused winds of 30 km/h.[34]
    August 24, 1933- A tropical storm caused winds of 85 km/h. [35]
    August 19, 1939- A tropical depression caused winds of 45 km/h. [36]
    September 19, 1945- An extratropical storm caused winds of 45 km/h.[37]
    August 29, 1949- An tropical storm caused winds of 65 km/h. [38]

    October 31, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  5. god DOESN'T exist

    I completely agree. God is simply a figment of imagination among people that are too stubborn to realize other ways. I hate when people think that their religion should be imposed on everyone. What I find most disturbing is that what if God existed and he was a christian? All of the Jewish people, Muslims, Hindu's and all other types would be screwed!!! Believing in God is essentially contradicting science. PEOPLE NEED TO START BELIEVING IN SCIENCE AND ACCEPT GLOBAL WARMING AS A REAL EVENT. Too many people think global warming is natural and God will save us. GOD ISN'T GOING TO DO A DAMN THING FOR ANYONE BECAUSE HE DOESN'T EXIST!!!!

    October 31, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Joe

      Did Jesus Christ exist historically? Yes. Did he proclaim to be God in the flesh? Yes. Did he proclaim to be the Jewish Messiah? Yes. He proved it with miraculous signs and wonders. Did the people accuse him of Blasphemy? Yes. So they killed him – if was God why didn't he prevent it? To pay the penalty of sin (death) in our place. Then raised him from the grave! To PROVE he was who he said he was. What power can raise a man from the grave after being buried 3 days? God does exist. <3

      October 31, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Eric G

      @Joe: I am sorry, but you have made claims of fact without any verifiable supporting evidence. Until you provide verifiable supporting evidence for your claims, your post is intellectually dishonest.

      But, thank you for playing. Please try harder next time.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Joe

      Eric – There are plenty of books on this subject, check out 'A Case for Christ' or many others out there, I truly believe that an Atheist has more faith than a believer – because he doesn't believe despite the overwhelming evidence of his existence. My life story is all the evidence I need, I get unbelievers viewpoints – but at least consider; consider the possibility of God – he's changed my life, he can change yours. Jesus LOVES you, died on the cross for you and rose from the dead! If the historical accounts of this aren't enough – then after he rose from the dead – look at the followers afterwards – they would have been on a suicide mission to continue to preach Christ after they crucified him. But Christianity took off after that – it was unstoppable, Rome couldn't stop it! God proved his love for us already – in Christ.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Archer

      Spot on Joe.. continue the Work of Spreading the Message... God doesnt Exist? well.. He has placed the Heavens in Place.. so when you look up at night and see the moon, galaxies... etc... He placed them there so you could see His Handywork.... all Created by Jesus the Christ Himself.. all things were created by Him, thru Him and For Him.. and by the Word of His Power .. they are all held up.. so when you look up at these at night... you may someday realize there is a Creator... and He did this so that all men can see it.. and that means.. MAN IS WITHOUT EXCUSE... when It comes to the question.. does God really exist? Man is literally without excuse.. As far as Sandy? He that Inhabits Eternity has spoken... and Yes He uses storms of Biblical Proportion.. He is NO Respecter of Persons at all... God Manifest in the Flesh , in the Person of Jesus Christ has Spoken.. and He will continue to speak.... Many today have a 'god' or another 'jesus' that is merciful and compassionate... but that's Just one Side of Him.. He is also Just and Righteous .. many when it comes to the Judgement of God.. turn their ears off.. or they dont want to hear that.. or 'want' preachers who will just tell them the loving and merciful side of God.. that side that just 'tickles' their ears... But God is also A Righteous Judge.... and He has left all that up to His Son.. Jesus the Christ.. who was fore ordained before the Foundation of the World to be His Judge and Advocate.. God manifest in the flesh.. Jesus the Christ.. who NOW sits at the Right Hand of the Father.. God's Elect 'know' what Sandy is all about.. they are not ignorant of the times we live in... America is a Gentile Nation... and they have Mocked Him.... only time will tell if America begins to respond to this event...and HOW they respond to this event... My gut instinct is they will continue to Mock Him... Im an American and I'm so thankful to be raised in this Great Country... but what I"ve seen over the past 5-10 years.. is really a slow slide downward.... America its time to wake up...

      October 31, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Eric G

      @Joe: Your reference is opinion based. It provides no verifiable evidence supporting your claim. You have started at your conclusion and filled in evidence that supports your claim while disregarding conflicting evidence. That is, at best, an argument from ignorance, and at worst, a deliberate intellectual dishonesty.

      Verifiable evidence is not biased. It does not need a conclusion to support. You Sir, are cheating.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • sam stone

      "God's Elect 'know' what Sandy is all about.. they are not ignorant of the times we live in"

      No, they are delusional people who have bought into an Iron Age comic book.

      Did god tell you to capitalze words incorrectly, or do you foolishly believe they give your post more credence?

      October 31, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • the AnViL

      joe – one of the hard cold facts you're going to have to get used to is – there is precisely zero evidence of jebus. everything written about jebus is hearsay. it's all subject to conjecture and none of it is substantiated.

      were it any other way – you'd not be admonished to live by faith.

      in reality – there are precisely zero gods.... and there's compelling evidence to support that stance.

      you should be ashamed to be so ignorant – but since it is all pervasive you've got a lot of company to share your delusional ideals with.

      provided you and those like you keep your religious idiocy out of our government – we don't have a problem.

      ooops! we have a problem!!!

      October 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  6. 2tired2care

    If god really wanted to make a statement he'd just hold a press conference and answer questions.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  7. Syd

    "The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent." - Carl Sagan

    October 31, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  8. Rundvelt

    I love it that people pray to a God who's the one who designed the hurricane to occur. You can't be an all knowing God who creates everything and is perfect while not intending something to happen.

    Your nanna getting cancer? Act of God.
    The child having spina-bifada (sp) and will never walk? Act of God.
    Leukemia? Act of God.

    Why is it that people think praying to God, when God clearly intended these things to happen will have any effect at all?

    It seems that people have this mental disconnect, thinking that God is responsible for creating everything good in this world, yet don't seem to think God created anything bad.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      The mental disconnect is beleiving in supernatural beings to begin with.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  9. G8R

    The problem with bringing god into this is that one must reconcile the notion that the same god they're praying to for safety created the storm and set it on its path. Gods by definition are omnipotent so it wouuld be well within a god's power to stop the storm should it choose to. So if one believes in a god then they must also accept that this same god created the very thing they need to pray to be saved from.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  10. frankb2910

    Where is your proof that praying works? If you can show evidence to make your point I will sit and party with you.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Joe

      I prayed for someone to get healed from a lump they had for years the day before they went in for surgery – she went in for the surgery and the lump disappeared.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • G8R

      There's a word for that joe, "nonsense".

      October 31, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • G8R

      Every single study that has ever been conducted on prayer has found it's effects to be nonexistent.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Joe

      Well the Doctor's had no explanation as to where it went, it was there for years and years – in fact it started growing – hence the need for surgery, then – they can't find it... I would call the word 'miracle' – but believe what you like 🙂

      October 31, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      @Joe
      Thats some rather poor evidence there Joe. Are you suggesting that your god would have left the 'lump' he put there alone, had someone not prayed? Seems to me your prayer types are trying to change god's will, not follow it.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Zeta Reticulan

      Joe, a much more likely explanation is that it was an Alien implant & they simply removed it.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Joe

      God beckons us to ask him for things in his son – Jesus name to build our faith in him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God's will is for all to turn from sin and believe in Jesus. If people end up believing because of this answered prayer then his will is done. The wind you can't see – but you see it's effects; the same is for God. How many stories of lives radically changed by faith in Christ?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Bryan

      If "God" put the lump there because it was his will but decided to make it disappear because you prayed then it would seem to me that "God" is narcissistic, vain and needs attention. I would hardly call that "benevolent". You know, the dictators of evil regimes act the same way. The universe behaves the way it does because there are natural, scientific forces at work that vastly outweigh any significance that Man thinks he has. Life, storms, stars, planets, lukemia...all made when the right ingredients to make those things come together. Thousands of years ago, people were convinced that Posideon ruled the seas, Hades ruled the underworld and Zeus ruled the Heavens. Now we call that "mythology".

      October 31, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      Joe, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far you have failed to provide even ordinary evidence. Not wanting to speak for the others, but I would like to see the pre-op work-up. Specifically, show me the photographs, the xrays, and the needle biopsy of this lump – especially the pathology report of the biopsy. Include the physician's pre-op dictation. Also include the follow-up xrays, pictures and biopsy showing nothing there. Include the physician dictation.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • humanbean

      Ha ha ha ha! At first I thought that this was sarcasm on Joe's part. I thought that he was aware of the fact that surgery was the reason behind the lump's disappearance, but he was trying to jerk some chains by saying that it was because God did it instead of the talented surgeon. But it turns out that he's really serious...and delusional.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Joe

      @Primewonk – if you really want, I'd be more than happy to put you in contact with the people that experienced this. Clearly I'm not able to submit all that info in text. Regardless – there are plenty accounts out there of miracle healings; you just need to open your eyes and ears. Much Love to you all!

      October 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Primewonk

      Joe – Again, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You are on here making extraordinary claims. As of yet, you have provided no extraordinary evidence. You have provided no ordinarry evidence. You have provided no evidence at all. You posit that there are numerous "miracle cures". Yet, once again, you proffer no evidence.

      Fundiot nutters, like you seem to be, are great at making claims of miracles. But fundiot nutters are terrible at actually supporting those claims.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • humanbean

      Joe, it's called coincidence and happenstance. Luck of the draw. Maybe you should look into statistics or how odds work. For every one of your "miracles" there are millions of cases where your god must have said F it.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • the AnViL

      there is no evidence to support the stance that prayer works. there is, however – evidence that it does not.

      science rocks!

      October 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  11. barfly

    humans love to make up crap

    October 31, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  12. 13directors

    And they're joyful!

    October 31, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • norm

      God loveth a joyful liar!

      October 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  13. Joe

    If there was no God there would be no Atheists. Anyway, I would view this as a loving rebuke from a God who wants none to perish, but to turn to his son Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Awaken from your slumber America! Turn back from your sinful ways and believe in the only person to have ever RESURRECTED FROM THE GRAVE EVER.......

    October 31, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Tony

      Are you retarded? God doesnt exist. People died, innocent people, and thanks to science and technology, we prevented the deaths of millions because of that storm.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark goes Quant-ity Surveying

      Hello?? Matthew 27:52? "The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life." According to the bible that you, being a Christian should know, Jesus was NOT the only example of someone being resurrected. Which begs the question – if many get resurrected, what's so special about Jesus?

      October 31, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • griz5106

      Joe, I doubt that surviving family members of those who died consider the storm a "loving rebuke" from god.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Joe

      I've personally experienced God, so I know he exists. He radically changed me, healed me, set me free from every addiction – all alcohol, drugs, and fear – A man with an experience is never subject to a man with an argument.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Joe

      Those were resurrected at the death of Christ – signifying the new covenant. It's all about Jesus, his Resurrection is indeed the first of many to come.

      -grizz – yes I agree to them it would not be a loving rebuke, but if eternity is of greater importance to God than this temporary life – it requires a different perspective. To those who lost loved ones, I weep with you – no doubt all death is a result of sin – for the wages of sin is death, everybody dies. It's sad – but when/how you die is the only unknown.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Joe
      Out of curiosity, did you find your faith in a 12 step program?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      Joe: I've personally experienced God

      Translation: I have no actual evidence but I make nonsensical connections to reinforce my emotional binky.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • JJ

      "If there was no God there would be no Atheists." That's like saying if there were no fairies there would be no one who lacks a belief in fairies. Please don't vote.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • norm

      If your god wanted "none to perish" he really screwed up royally this time, didn't he?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Joe

      I did not go to any 12 step program. I prayed God if you are real show yourself to me, I asked Jesus in my heart and I immediately knew that God was real, I ran to the Bible and blew the dust off of it, and just read and read – and cried and cried for months, God is real folks – please don't harden your hearts against him – he is a Good God who loves you, he died for you – think about how humble our God is..

      October 31, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Joe

      norm – great point, but remember he created Free Will – this created sin, sin spurred perishing. I get your logic, but there is more too it than that.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Joe

      Third Eagle – I AM the evidence, if you knew me and my story – it is no lie, no man made tradition, I am a changed man – my life is a miracle.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Bryan

      Its human nature to "sin". That makes Man imperfect. How and why does an all powerful god create something so imperfect? He supposed created everything as we know it in six days and rested on the seventh. He made all this complex stuff but messes up on the creation of Man? "Well I screwed up when I made Man....I guess I'll only treat the ones who pray to me. Oh and as long as Man is sinning in my name by way of prejudice or war, it will be justified".

      October 31, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • humanbean

      David Koresh thought that he was evidence of God's existence as well. So who's correct, him or you Joe? Or wait, there was Jim Jones too! And there was...

      October 31, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Joe

      Bryan – He didn't create man as sinful, he gave them a choice, and for a good amount of time – men were sinless, it wasn't until Adam/Eve disobeyed. God didn't want robots, he wanted people to know him and choose him – but he respects people choice to NOT choose him. That's the beauty and disaster of free will. God didn't screw up, man did, but he made a way for us still get back to him; however, it's still your choice – just know this, come judgement day – you will answer for your choice. But it's not too late, you can still get to know him and believe! The cross of Calvary is GOOD NEWS!

      October 31, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • humanbean

      Joe, God supposedly created EVERYTHING. So he created sin as well. It didn't just come out of thin air.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Joe: Did you for one second consider the fact that it was you that made the changes all on your own and not some imaginary creature? You've given credit where credit is not due and that simply is bizarre...you deserve the credit for the changes, not your imaginary friend. You, like everyone who has found this god, claim the same sort of thing-you each believe you are living proof when in fact that isn't proof of anything!

      October 31, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • humanbean

      And he doesn't respect people's choice not to choose him. He's like a spoiled child who tortures people if they don't wanna play with him. What kind of sick psychopathic love is that? I created you. Now love me or else! Such sick, sadistic behavior that could only come from man's mind. That's one of the many reasons why God is totally made up. But you do whatever you gotta do. It's a tough life, so whatever imaginary stuff you need to get you through the day, knock yourself out.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • sam stone

      Joe: The whole "resurrective from the grave" thing had been done before.

      Other than referencing the bible, what makes you think that man is "sinful"?

      October 31, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • sam stone

      "I've personally experienced God, so I know he exists. He radically changed me, healed me, set me free from every addiction – all alcohol, drugs, and fear"

      You still have the idea that you need salvation, so you are not free from every addiction. You are still addicted to Jeebus

      October 31, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • sam stone

      "think about how humble our God is"

      yeah, that "believe in me or burn forever" schtick is a sure sign of humility

      October 31, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Donovan

      I am happy to tell you Joe, you overcame those addictions, not god. You did these things. There is no such thing as a god whether you think your experienced it or not. You overcame those addictions, so don't forget to give yourself credit for that. And please stop trying to explain other stuff using god, it only belittles your own accomplishments.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:46 am |
  14. Martin

    Christians people always complain atheists pick on them and yet the try to shove their beliefs in your face every chance they get. How would you feel if people start telling you the sky is made out of jello over and over again everywhere you go? Wouldn’t you get fed up and start telling people no is not!! you guys are crazy and stop telling me about it!! Is only 7:30 am and do you know how many times I heard about God this and that so far just on my way to work and getting coffee at the cafeteria, way too many times already. Christians should learn from Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists they keep their beliefs to themselves and don’t bother other people all day long with them.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Motherof5

      "AMEN" to that! Well said Martin.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      Overall great post. However it lost some credibility when you used Muslims as an example. Let me guess..you’re one of those type that believe it’s only a ‘small number’ causing all this trouble GLOBALY …..right?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  15. fintastic

    Belief in god is one contradiction after another.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  16. frankb2910

    Praying for help is like a sitting in a rocking chair. Doing a lot and getting nowhere. It amazes me how children grow to realize there is no Santa Claus. Yet grown intelligent adults can't let go of their imaginary friend.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  17. Donovan

    In a nut shell: God will protect us – but what about those that died? God punshishes those that live in sin – but you sins are passable? There is no winning with this circular thinking.. Science disproves that prayer works, but that is ignored. History shows that God is a manmade concept and there is no evidence for it. I don't care if you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the god of your choice, just do it in your own personal way, and leave the real world to figure things out with real studies. We should care about everyone and stop making excuses for what we can't explain and learn from what we can explain. Supernaturalism is nonsense until it can pass the scientific method, as that is humanity's best way of figuring things out.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  18. rjsprafka

    The only constant in the universe is change.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  19. Dana

    Go give 10% of your income to child molesters this Sunday so you won't go to hell. Fools.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  20. Dana

    I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. He was good though. Grow up people. Your god was made up by people thousands of years ago that could not explain why things happened. We know better now. The sun does not revolve around the earth, the earth is not flat, and there is not an invisible guy in the sky controlling everything. You don't know how silly you sound when you talk about which god is the true god. It's like arguing over which tooth fairy is the true tooth fairy.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • GATORpride

      You must live a sad existence if you are on here trying to persuade people to reject their beliefs. I'd rather prefer people to keep their religion to themselves as atheists should keep their mouth shut telling people they are foolish to believe. You are no different than some religious nut who thinks their God is the right God and everything else false. Maybe it is you who should grow up if you feel so lonely since people don't see the way you do.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark goes Quant-ity Surveying

      @ Gator: the problem is that many religious people do NOT keep their faith and beliefs to themselves, but try to spread it, and try to have those faiths influence the lawmakers and the laws of this country. When that happens, then – yes – atheists will become vocal. but, if the religious keep their beliefs to themselves, and don't hurt other people as a result of those beliefs, then you would hear from far fewer atheists

      October 31, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • fintastic

      @gatiorbites;

      I'll keep my "mouth shut" when the religious stop trying to place their belief in mythology and fairytales into law / government,.

      Fair enough???

      October 31, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • It must be Done

      Mark 16:15
      He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

      The Gospel is God loves you and Jesus died for you. Accept this for yourself and live. Pretty simple!

      October 31, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • sam stone

      The Gospel is God loves you and Jesus died for you. Accept this for yourself and live. Pretty simple!"

      Or reject it and live

      October 31, 2012 at 10:04 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.