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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. Jill

    Rainer Braendlein, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

    So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

    Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

    Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

    Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

    And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Alan

      Sadly enough, this post make as much sense as anything else on this page.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Jerry

      Yip, sums up this entire conversation quite nicely.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • joe

      you were perfectly logical right up to the point where you told me to control my wood. 🙂

      November 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  2. IT IS ALL GOOD AND GOD IS AT THE END

    I work with the dying. Many who never believed in a God become believers when they are visited by ministering spirits toward the end.

    It matters what you believe,will not argue or try to convince you...your choice.John Locke said it best,

    the man who does not act upon his own experiences is the man to be feared.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Jen

      "IT IS...", Despite your all-caps shouting in your handle, your story is merely anecdotal and not representative of the general case. There actually have been atheists in foxholes, and furthermore, the "Lady Hope" story about Darwin has been shown to be a fabrication. Look it up, and also go here to cure your ignorance:

      http://militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

      Your post also smacks of Pascal's Wager, a failed argument for any specific god. Again, look it up and cure your ignorance.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jim

      But it doesn't matter to the dead what the dead once believed.

      If we had the technology we could just rewire our brains to believe differently, to believe "correctly". Our brain wiring determines our beliefs. It determines what we hate, what we love, what we remember... Why should it matter how you are wired to an even more advanced being like your God if He could just rewire you? Why would he resort to such barbaric methods like punishment once you can't do anything about it instead? Doesn't that sound made up, like a threat by an unfit parent to get their child to behave?

      If your God isn't some barbaric monster out to punish you then what is there to fear about death anyway? It is merely the cessation of existence, you won't feel it, you won't know it. It's only life that makes us fear, only life causes us worry. In death there is no experience and no worry. Death is nothing at all to fear and yet life makes us fear it all the same.

      So, no, belief doesn't matter after death.
      If you happen to catch any of those ministering spirits on camera though please post it.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • sybaris

      religion and the worship of god(s) requires ignorance to perpetuate.

      You illustrate that fact perfectly

      October 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Paul

      Here we go again. I can tell what day it is with the attack of the zombie atheists.
      Top four threats to humanity:
      1. Global Warming – The Republicrats can only hide so long on this issue.
      2. Atheism – the faith of faith sucking people who hold their beliefs intellectually superior and godly to all others and make everyone else believe they are mere animals in comparison. However, this is all a ruse to blind you from the fact that they lack the intellect to realize that everything was started by something supernatural.
      3. Religious Extremism – the adherents of this mentality merely forcibly push their beliefs onto others, but at least you still have some sort of god to believe in.
      4. The Republicrat parties – when will two party rule ever end in the US? The world demands an answer.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Paul,

      You: "Magic made everything"

      Me: "I don't believe you"

      You: "YOU are a threat if you don't believe me".

      Me: "Isn't that the religious extreme you refer to in your 4th point?"

      Also, claiming "magic did it" does not make you an "intellectual" or even rational.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Paul

      Your last comment: "Also, claiming "magic did it" does not make you an "intellectual" or even rational, " is exactly what I am trying to get at. It does not sound rational if it is impossible for you to think outside of the box.
      If thinking outside of your "rational" box in an effort to understand why we are here angers all of the atheists trolling this blog into making character or personality accusations about my beliefs, then go ahead, everyone needs to know exactly how intolerant and what a threat atheists really are. Forget about the Taliban, the way atheists make you feel when you do not subscribe to their worldview and try to assassinate your character is more of an issue for the everyday American.

      If you want to communicate to the average American to produce real change, like environmental change, using religious terminology is a good way to produce effective change. Atheists ARE a threat to our very survival when they shut down this type of communication. It would behoove all of you atheists to back off while people are still somewhat tolerant of you.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If thinking outside of your "rational" box in an effort to understand why we are here angers all of the atheists trolling this blog into making character or personality accusations about my beliefs, then go ahead."

      Paul,

      Saying we are here because of a "supernatural" does not add anything to the actual understanding of "why we are here". If anything it stops the discovery. Why keep looking for the answer when you already have it (magic man did it). How about when you have a question you can't answer you just admit you don't know, instead of going around claiming to know the answer when you don't. Also a major problem is theists such as yourself tying your "beliefs" to you "character" and claiming you are being personally attacked when your beliefs are criticized. I have no reason to think you are a person of low character. I do have reason to think you hold unfounded, unproven beliefs and I consider that type of belief to be one of the biggest threats to us all. Beliefs should not be given automatic respect, they should be able to stand on your merits.

      As far as the environment goes a Christian who quotes Jesus saying "take no thought for tomorrow" is more of an environmental conversation stopper than your argument about atheists. I am sure you don't agree with the application of that quote to our environmental situation but there are plenty of Christians who do, and many are in high goverment positions. Since both those beliefs are based on a religion, neither can claim to be right on anything but assertions. If you are of the opinion that religious dogma is better than using reason to come to a solution you just aren't using your head (pun intended).

      October 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  3. Sam Yaza

    i say it again its Gaias wrath for worshiping an evil god God that enslaves her and R@p3s her

    October 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  4. Rick Shultz

    To Blessed Are The Cheesemakers:
    You need to read the post more carefully. I did NOT "admit" that Christians can be just as obnoxious as atheists. I said atheists will SAY that Christians can be just as obnoxious. I also said that it did not trouble me and it doesn't. I have come to expect it as something that's just part of the character of most of them. Perhaps to clarify I should say that not ALL atheists are loud and obnoxious. Just 99% of the ones I either know or have met. It seems most of you just can't help it.
    And to The Schmaltz who said:
    It is important to ridicule religion at every opportunity, lest it gain the illusion of credibility.
    Sorry bubba, but you're a little too late. Atheists are a TINY minority and will probably REMAIN a tiny minority for the foreseeable future. Get used to it.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • biobraine

      Actually those who call themselves atheist or agnostic are growing quickly. A quote from a recent article in the Economist about growing disbelief: "...the past seven years have seen a fivefold increase in people who call themselves atheists, to 5% of the population, according to WIN-Gallup International, a network of pollsters. Meanwhile, the proportion of Americans who say they are religious has fallen from 73% in 2005 to 60% in 2011" We are witnessing a major shift in our society regarding religion. I imagine for some religious folk, this is a scary proposition. Many like Rick fail to realize how fast people are abandoning the empty promises of religion.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Rick Shultz

      It's not scary to me biobrane because you are still only 1 or 2 million among BILLIONS on this planet. You will never gain ascendency.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      @Rick Shultz – said the Romans to the Christians!

      October 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @biobraine....Actually those statistics are like a two-edged sword. One one hand it's sad to see so many turning away from God, but, on the other, it is definitely fulfilling Bible prophecy. The Bible says that many would turn away from him in end, and say, "there is no God." So it's not that surprising.....it's to be expected!

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Rick,

      So basically you care if atheists are obnoxious but not if Christians are, and it doesn't bother you. Good for you Rick.

      Atheism is a response to a claim. You claim your god is real, we would not respond unless you make the claim first. Most christians claim those that don't share their beliefs will be punished for eterni.ty and they DESERVE it. They also claim they have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe (something they have no evidence for and isn't that humble). They put up signs, knock on doors and want their beliefs codified into law in a free society. They blame natural disasters on us, claim this is a "christian nation" and atheists should not be allowed to live in this country, thereby instilling an adversarial relationship. They want their baseless assertions taught as fact in science classes in public schools. You yourself claimed a connection from atheists to evil with no basis for that causation. And then when atheists and others push back we are accused of persecution and are the obnoxious ones. Here is a hint Rick, if you want atheists to back off, focus your attention on the nuttier population of your faith, we won't need to respond then.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And yes Fairy, The bible is a book of "prophacies" that are sure to come true at some point and then the believers say "look the bible said that would happen!"

      Look up "confirmation bias".

      October 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • biobraine

      RS wrote: "It's not scary to me biobrane because you are still only 1 or 2 million among BILLIONS on this planet. You will never gain ascendency"

      The Christian religion is followed by about 33% of the planets population, Islam is followed by about 21%, and those classified as nonreligious(including atheist, agnostic, humanist, no religion) are about 16%, Hinduism is 4th with 14%. Your "1 or 2 million" just became over a billion. Don't you hate it when facts get in the way of a point you are trying to make?

      October 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    America needs God's preservation. If America wants God's preservation it should favour the faith in Jesus which he has prescribed and condemn the Islamic doctrine.

    I think a great sin of the Western leaders of today is the establishment of a so-called moderate Islam.

    This has some consequences:

    – the Muslims which know the Koran feel fooled because they know exactly that the moderate Islam of Obama and his disciples (Angela Merkel?) has nothing to do with the genuine Islam of Muhammad and the Koran

    – Westerners feel fooled because Western countries get overcrowded with Muslims, and this is hard to endure even for someone who loves someone independent from his religion. I myself am a Christian, but despite of that I love my Muslim neighbours; it is only that I wish to meet some Germans in Munich sometimes where I live and not only Turks and Arabs. Is Munich an Arab/Turkish town or a German town?, I ask myself sometimes.

    Of course, Mr. Obama and friends only want to establish a moderate Islam because of economical reasons. They don'T love the Muslim people but want to abuse them as economical slaves. There are such intensive economical connections between the Western World and the Islamic World that religious argument would cause some economical damage.

    Yet, for the sake of truth we should take the economical loss, and tell the Muslims the truth according to historical opinion.

    Muhammad hated Christianity. He degraded Jesus to a mere human being, even a preacher of Islam (Imam). Furthermore Muhammad daresays that the first Christians were former Muslims which have turned apostate from Jesus' religion (Islam in Muhammad's eyes). Muhammad considered Christianity as the reason for the corruption of the Western World, and saw it as his main task to lead people back to the Religion of Truth (Islam in his eyes). He also believed that Abraham, Moses, David, the 12 Apostles, etc. had teached the Islam.

    There is no greater sin for a Muslim than to say: "Jesus is God's Son or God himself!"

    Hence, Islam is the exact opposite of Christianity because Christian salvation depends on the faith in Jesus, God's only bigotten Son, a person of the Holy Trinity.

    Obama and his companions should stop to promote the Islam any longer, otherwise America will lose the preservation of the eternal God who has made heaven and earth, and who send Jesus, his only bigotten Son, to save us from our sins.

    I don't hate Muslims, it is only about the demonic doctrine of Muhammad. I wish every Muslim would find salvation in Jesus soon. No harm to Muslims!

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    October 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Joseph Pacheco

      Romney...is that you again?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Rainer,

      You know how you can tell your "logic" makes no sense? When you can plug different words into what you say and the meaning does not change, just the "bad" guys. And there is an equal amount of proof for both statements....exactly none.

      As in....

      "I think a great sin of the Middle East leaders of today is the establishment of a so-called moderate Christianity".

      October 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • biobraine

      Here is a good example of the harmful way that religion divides the people of the world.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Jill............... EXCELLENT!!!........ almost spilled my coffee.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      rainy: your god is a punk. thanks for playing

      October 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  6. art

    Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the light.No man come to the father except by me. A fool said in his heart there is no God. They are corrupt, the have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. For all of you on this forum that don't believe in God....Have you ever been wrong about anything in your life?? What if you are wrong about this?? Are you willing to accept the consequences?? And last but not least..Just because you don't believe does that make the power of God not real??? You better check yourself..before you wreck yourself.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Athy

      There is no god! And there is no way I could be wrong about that!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Pascal's Wager" (that is what you are arguing) is a terrible argument for so many reasons.

      1. How do you know you have the "right" god?

      2. Wouldn't your all knowing god "know" if you "believe" just on the off chance it might be true?

      3. Should we believe in all the postulated gods in history because they might also be true?

      4. Threats of infinite punishment betray a weak argument.

      5. Punishing people for crimes of thought (non-belief) is immoral and makes your god immoral and therefore not worthy of worship even if he did exist.

      Just a partial list.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jim

      So you pick one particular god and anger the true gods you didn't pick, isn't that the worst of the choices? Why not be comfortable believing in what there is evidence for instead of believing one baseless belief out of millions? Why would any god that isn't a psychopath ever punish you for not believing in stuff they haven't provided evidence for?

      Live a good life, be friendly and help your fellow man, and do those for their own sake!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Barry

      The way, the truth, the light. In his name, as people like to begin or end their homilies, have been perpetrated some of the greatest evils of humankind. Some way, some truth, some light. What bothers me most is the holier-than-thou group of any religious tilt who, in so many words, say my way or the highway–that there's only one True Path or whatever–and that those (this is the worst of it) who don't believe are cursed. The is the pinnacle of human ignorance, intolerance, and fear of the "other."

      October 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. centeredpiece

    Some see God as some kind of ATM machine and prayer as an ATM card to get what you want. That's not how I see it. I pray mostly for the strength to deal with what comes my way. I have faith in God not because I think he's some kindly Grandfather who will make sure nothing bad will ever happen to me. I've lived too long and gone through too many horrible experiences to think that way. I believe in God because I know that no matter how bad it gets I am not walking through it alone. I am always in the presence of my loving God.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Ran

    Clearly God brought forth the hurricane, the destruction and the death to the victims. But God also steered the hurricane away from other people saving them. And finally God brought forth the human compassion that is helping the victims in need. God is one stop shopping.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Athy

      You can't really believe that, can you? If so, you are seriously deluded.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Barry

      Clearly? I guessed I missed that empirical evidence in the Situation Room. Anybody know where I can find a re-run?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  9. IT IS ALL GOOD AND GOD IS AT THE END

    Where is God? He can be found in all which show compassion. God is love....some of His spokepersons do a terrible job .

    Whatever your believe...love your neighbor and keep those impacted by Sandy in your thoughts.....by the grace of?????????? go you and me.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  10. aktap

    Religion, no matter witch one you pick has always has been a tool of Government and the powerful. Its never been about any thing but control of the underclass's and the weak minded. wile Believeth on a personal level may have lead many People over time to have made personal act's of kindness. The price payee by human kind for the greed and blood lust of our Godly Leaders far out weights any good gained from faith.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  11. TheHealingPrayerBlog

    The truth is God is in you. The truth is God’s Kingdom is all around you.

    If this storm is a consequence of global warming, then man’s greed and disregard for God’s Kingdom has led to this. The truth is this storm is a consequence of man and not God.

    Man has put making money above God. Man has put getting more above God.

    The most important commandment is put God first. Prayer works because when you pray, when you talk to God, you are putting that relationship with God first.

    What you are seeing is not God’s wrath, but the consequences of man’s stupidity. Those who put their faith in God aren’t ignorant. It is those who put their faith in man that are ignorant.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Athy

      What you are seeing are perfectly natural events, no gods needed. Why, in these modern times, people believe in religious nonsense is beyond me. Too much bible washing and not enough critical thinking, I guess.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jamie

      Athy – "Modern times"? So it's cool now to lack religious? Grow up. Atheism is an epidemic.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If this storm is a consequence of global warming, then man’s greed and disregard for God’s Kingdom has led to this."

      And your god justifies this by saying "take no thought for tomorrow".

      October 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Athy

      I certainly hope atheism becomes an epidemic. It's time to leave stone-age nonsense behind.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • TheSchmaltz

      Jamie: Cool? Not really. I go with Rational. It's the only thing that makes sense.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Rick Shultz

      To Athy:
      Yes I'm sure you would love to see atheism become an epidemic. But as I told The Schmaltz,(what a stupid handle)it won't happen. Atheists are a TINY minority and they will STAY a tiny minority for the foreseeable future. And although I know I shouldn't, I dearly LOVE telling atheists that because it's the one thing they CAN'T argue with, or do anything about.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Rick,

      History is full of the "majority" believing in false ideas and conclusions. And I LOVE telling people who use the fallacious "argument from popularity that.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Jeff

    While we do have a lot of issues to consider as a country, I agree with this blog posting that we should be "slow to attribute natural events to supernatural causes" http://www.denisonforum.org/cultural-commentary/551-is-hurricane-sandy-the-judgment-of-god. I further agree that "God stands ready to redeem that which he allows". My hope and prayer is that the body of Christ will step forth in humbleness and serve those who have been devastated by the hurricane. That would be something that everyone could affirm as well as attribute to God.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  13. Rick Shultz

    I have never denied to anyone the right to their beliefs or the lack and I have a few friends who are atheists. My atheist friends are aware of my belief in God and they don't give me a hard time about it. I wish this were true for the rest of them, but unfortunately it is not. The vast majority of atheists are UNBEARABLY arogant, self-righteous pri*ks. They seem to live just to castigate Christians for their belief in God. I tolerate them, but I won't give them a pass for it. Yes, Jesus did teach that one should turn the other cheek to insults and harrassment, and forgive those who engage in these practices, but I will never believe that He intended that we should not defend ourselves. I have and will continue to forgive those who do this, but I will not remain silent. You are ALL utterly obnoxious individuals. I am sure that you will say that Christians are equally obnoxious and it does not trouble me. I learned a long time ago that God wants a lot from true non-hypocritical belivers. He wants a HELL of a lot, and if you're not willing to give it, then it's best that you don't get involved. Atheists, for whatever reason, tend to attribute ALL of the evil in the world to either Christians or other believers in one god or another, but from what I've read in history books, the evil comes mostly from people with no God but money and no faith in anything but weaponry. And this includes atheists whether they like it or not. The only real difference that I'VE found at least, is that Christians and other believers are willing to admit they are not perfect and most atheists are NEVER willing to admit it.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Athy

      You speak as if god were real. What evidence do you have?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom

      Actually the majority of atheists just quietly go about their business wishing that the religious zealots would stop trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the population. Some atheists are loud and obnoxious just like some religious zealots are. On both sides they make the rest look bad.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jesus Saves!

      @athy, explain to me how you became to exist! I'm sure it's far more fetched then believing you was created by God.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Rick, you babble on and on about how you are the tolerant one and and atheists are the self-rightous ones and then you draw a correlattion from the evil in the world to atheists causing most of it BECAUSE they are atheist with nothing to back up your conjecture and assertion. You admit christians can be just as obnoxious but then claim they are not really christian, again with no basis. People that live in glass houses....

      I don't know any atheists that attribute all the evil in the world to religion, religion just provides justification for additional evil and fundamentalists blame naturally occuring events on those that do not share their beliefs as their gods will.

      And christians may admit that they are not perfect but they claim to have to "solution", which of course elevates them above non-believers. I am not perfect, I can't speak for other atheists though.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Athy

      To Jesus Saves. Explain to me how god came to exist. How far fetched can that be?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • TheSchmaltz

      It is important to ridicule religion at every opportunity, lest it gain the illusion of credibility.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Joseph Pacheco

      Thank you for your fantastic analysis of atheists. Its interesting how you can say that non-believers live to castigate Christians? There have been so many times that my lack of belief in god has caused those believers to think that they are better and are living a better life because they are in the "club" and I am not. I went to church growing up, read the bible, but at some point, there was no true belief inside and I just felt like a hippocrate continuing to go through this existance pretending that I believed in some person in the sky when I don't . I dont look down on those who believe, in fact...I really dont care what you believe in...just leave me out of your religious agenda that seems to be everywhere nowadays. Organized religion is big business and I want no part of it...there are more than enough hippocrates who go to church already

      October 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • TheTruth

      If you have the courage to see the proof, start with "Evidence That Demands A Verdict". Follow that up with "The Case For Christ".

      October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And then follow up Lee Stobel's book with Robert M. Price's

      "The Case Against The Case For Christ: A New Testament Scholar Refutes the Reverend Lee Strobel"

      October 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  14. sybaris

    So when a hurricane, tornado, blizzard or earthquake hits an unpopluated area your god

    A) Missed
    B) Was practicing
    C) Doesn't Exist

    October 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Carl

      Oooo, oooo, I know the answer! I know this one! – C

      October 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You forgot the obvious answer: "Gawd" works in mysterious ways... (please don't ask which "Gawd" I had in mind... I haven't picked one of the thousands of Gawds out there...)

      October 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  15. Carl

    Hey – look at me! I can quote the bible too!

    Psalms 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

    Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live

    Deuteronomy 32:33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

    Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

    1 Corenthian 14:33 God is not the author of confusion but of peace.

    Exodus 14:3 The Lord is a man of war.

    Forbidden in the bible:
    -ham sandwich
    -tattoo
    -rounded haircuts
    -men with injured privates entering houses of god
    -divorce
    -marriage after divorce
    -working on the sabbath
    -women speaking in houses of god
    -women teaching men
    -eating shrimp, lobster and other shellfish

    October 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • art

      So....What your point??

      October 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Mark

    BATCM writes,

    Mark
    "You whole religion is based on that concept (original sin). But you are right it is immoral and should be rejected on that basis alone, quit trying to justify it."

    You have me confused with someone else, I do not believe the bible teaches "original sin" and anyone who does teach the doctrine of "original sin" is NOT a Christian. Don't put me in that category, please.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mark,

      I did not say you believed in original sin, I said your religion is based on it, whither you believe it is valid is a completely different topic. There is no denying that christianity is rooted in the concept.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Carl

      Did you miss a bible class or two? The whole of Christianity is based on original sin. You all can't even agree on the tenants of your own religion.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • *

      * tenets

      October 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  17. Mark

    gheezy writes:

    "Mark if 95% of the world population believes in god, then why is he punishing believers and not atheist?
    why didn't the hurricane come after me>"

    gheezy, Where did you get your stats? I never said 95% of the world population believe in God. and you didn't hear me say that the huricane was His punishment for anyone or anything.

    Matter of fact, Jesus stated that the "many" would be the ones on the road to destruction and the "few" would be the ones to find the way to life...
    Mt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  18. Kafir

    The positive aspect of having religious fundies trolling these threads is that for every crazy scriptural/dogmatic post made for their religion, there will be a flurry of rational responses to follow it, thereby educating the passing public as to the reality of these ideologies and all their pathetic flaws.

    So I say, keep em comin', trolls.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Its how I became an atheist! I used to get so mad when people would challenge my faith. But after seeing post after post of atheists making reasonable arguments, it was only a matter of time before I started to question what I beleived (or rather, told to beleive). Keep the posts coming, its only a matter of time before everyone snaps out of the religous delusion that I was once a part of.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Good news! We're actually making progress.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jesus Saves!

      Mocking God does not end well!

      October 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Athy

      You can't mock something that does not exist.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Jesus Saves!

      @athy, how did you become to exist? I would love to hear your take on that.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      @Jesus Saves – At one point lightning was the gods. We could not understand how it was created. Now we know, and it is not the gods. Example after example and here we are, where almost everything that was once attributed to gods is now explained naturally. Your gods have a smaller and smaller place to hide. It would appear that one day your gods will have no where left to hide except mythology books.

      Why does something that you do not understand demand the existence of a god?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Athy

      I could explain it to you, JS, but you'd never be able to understand it, so we'd just be wasting our time. Read some good books on biology and evolution, if you're willing (and able) to do so.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Jesus Saves!

      @athy, was you burped up by the universe? Yeah far fetched!

      October 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • biobraine

      JS,

      You could also ask the question, "How did your Christian God come into existence?". Just because I don't know the answer to something doesn't mean that I have to assume some god or gods are responsible.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      Well put biobraine; lack of evidence does not equal evidence of a god.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Athy, have you actually read "Origin of the Species" by Darwin? At the end of his life, even he didn't believe in evolution and discredited his own work.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      @TheTruth – LOL! nice try, never happened....please cite an unbiased source for this please.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Athy

      Even if true,Truth, it doesn't disprove evolution. We've (at least most of us) have learned a lot in the last 140 years. I'll go with evolution over some totally unbelievable creation bullshit.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Mocking God does not end well!"

      I am not mocking god. i am mocking YOUR version of god

      October 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jesus Saves......how do you make the logical leap from a creator to a "god"

      I have asked this many times, and have not gotten a response.

      Can you answer, or do you just prefer to kneel?

      October 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • fintastic

      @jebus ....." how did you become to exist? I would love to hear your take on that."

      Well you see, my mommy and daddy had s*e*x, then 9 months later I was born.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  19. Mark

    Please take note:
    Ps 14:1 ¶ The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
    2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
    3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    "They are all together BECOME filthy" NOT "They were all together created filthy"
    The doctrine of "born in sin" is FALSE.
    This is why we have so much unbelief in the world today, because people have been taught that they are "born in sin" or that they "inherited a sinful spirit from Adam" which is totally FALSE and a PERVERSION of the scripture.

    NOTICE: Ge 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    GOD "created man in his own image"

    Zec 12:1 ¶ The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

    GOD "forms the spirit of man within him"

    Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    The son "shall not bear the iniquity of the father"

    How much plainer could he have said it?
    It's no wonder we have so many children turning away from God since they are being taught that they came into this world already tainted.

    Jesus himself said: Mr 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    Now, was he saying "the kingdom of God is like these little sinners"???? NO! He was saying that children are innocent.

    And he goes on to say "except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."

    Mt 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Again, was he saying that we must "be converted and become as little sinners"???? That's absurd.

    It's no wonder people are turning to "atheism" with all the perverted teaching that is being espoused.
    But the truth is available.

    Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    Joh 17:17 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The son "shall not bear the iniquity of the father"'

      Mark,

      You whole religion is based on that concept (original sin). But you are right it is immoral and should be rejected on that basis alone, quit trying to justify it.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Mark wrote, " Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

      The son "shall not bear the iniquity of the father"

      How much plainer could he have said it?
      It's no wonder we have so many children turning away from God since they are being taught that they came into this world already tainted."

      Except, of course,your god also says the exact opposite. Numbers 14:18 Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.' And Exodus 20:5 I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

      So which nis it Mark? Are kids punished for the sins of the fathers, or aren't they?

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Joseph Pacheco

      Uhhh...and how many times has this bible and all the other books written, been translated, written, re-written, censored, chnaged, etc...by man over the centuries? Its hard to believe that this book that so many believe in was never changed or edited to satisfy the agenda of men through times.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Ah... quoting from a work of fiction... what for?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • fintastic

      Telemachos fear also the gods’ anger, lest they, astonished by evil actions, turn against you. I supplicate you, by Zeus the Olympian and by Themis who breaks up the assemblies of men and calls them in session: let be, my friends, and leave me alone with my bitter sorrow to waste away; unless my noble father Odysseus at some time in anger did evil to the strong-greaved Achaians, for which angry with me in revenge you do me evil in setting these on me.’

      See? I can quote mythology too!!!

      November 1, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  20. Burt

    Hey rudy, like that other poster said, all prayer can do for you is make you hoard cats. So how dem cats of yours be doin today?

    And hey 2, your post content is largely Pascal's Wager. Look it up or Odin will smite you and Zeus will bolt you.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:06 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.