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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. Vijay

    These sort of storms happen all the time. Just read about different storms that happened in the past and notice that this is nothing new. Nothing weird is happening just people's amnesia of the past.

    November 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Big storms are getting more frequent. This one was more devastating than most because it turned inland when normally hurricanes that go that far turn out to the ocean. This one turned in because of the pressure systems probably caused in turn by the lack of Arctic ice, plus tidal issues and another storm. Still the Koch brothers have enough people uncertain about climate change.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Reality

      AGAIN:

      Storms like Sandy have been routinely hitting the same area as noted by the historical record which started way before any potential climate changes were observed. And with the Sun continuously expanding and contributions of green house gases from volcanoes, African termites, cows and decaying trees/plants/insects/animals, there may not be anything we can do about it even if there is an effect.

      e.g. Sandy type storms Pre-1900 that have impacted Pennsylvania:

      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]

      1951-2000 (when we started to name said storms)

      Hurricane Agnes over Pennsylvania September 1, 1952-
      Tropical Storm Able affects Pennsylvania as a tropical storm and tropical depression after making landfall in South Carolina as a hurricane. [39]
      October 15, 1954- Hurricane Hazel causes hurricane force winds and small portions with 6 inches (150 mm) or more of rain.[40]
      August, 1955- Hurricanes Connie and Diane both cause as much as 10 inches (250 mm) of rain and tropical storm force winds.
      June 21-June 22, 1972- Hurricane Agnes caused rain and some winds. It caused widespread rains of 6 to 12 inches (300 mm) with local amounts up to 19 inches (480 mm).[41]
      September 6, 1979- Tropical Storm David causes tropical storm force winds and at least 5 inches of rain.[42]
      September, 1987- Tropical Depression Nine brings at least 5 inches of rain to part of the state.[43]
      September 26, 1992- Tropical Storm Danielle causes tropical storm force winds
      August 18, 1994- Tropical Depression Beryl causes some rain and tropical depression winds
      August 29-August 31, 1999- Hurricane Dennis causes tropical depression force winds and five inches (127 mm) of rain

      A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worker with a flood victim from Floyd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Floyd's rain affecting Pennsylvania, and surrounding states September 16, 1999- Tropical Storm Floyd causes 6 deaths in Pennsylvania, and 10 inches (250 mm) of rain in the eastern part of the state. It produced a 2.8 ft (0.85 m) storm surge in Philadelphia.[44]

      November 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  2. sparky91

    How many prayers went unanswered? Why did they go unanswered? Why do people use religion as an explanation of the unexplainable? Why do people use religion to give purpose to something we have no control over?

    Why is it easier for someone to accept an explanation of "that's Gods way" instead of the more plausible explanation of "we just don't know what it is yet". How can people apply "God's plan" to the unspeakable things people do to helpless children? So why bring God into the discussion of a hurricane? It's simple, it's large, not something we can control, so therefore it has to be of something far more powerful than ourselves.

    It's ok to think outside of religion. Try it.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Madtown

      Why do people use religion as an explanation of the unexplainable?
      ----
      Seems we humans just have a base need to find answers to questions we have. Even if we're unable to answer the questions, we'll invent ideas that help us try!

      November 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Alive55

      Religion is not just filling in the blanks for the things we don't know. Science has answered a lot of questions which used to be completely unknown. But this doesn't mean that we need religion less than we used to just because we understand more. I think it goes at least as much in the other direction – the more I understand about how things work in this world (scientifically), the greater admiration I have for the Creator who made it all, and helps us to understand what He did.

      I readily admit I don't understand how prayer works, or why God answers some prayers the way we would like, and other prayers differently. The answers belong to God, and He knows far more about us and the world than we do.

      But I have seen enough revelation in Creation, the Bible and my own life that I trust Him even when I don't have all of the answers. And that ends up being a lot of the time.

      If you consider the story of Job, we see behind the curtain of the disasters in his life. But Job didn't get the explanation that we get as the readers. In the end, he saw the power of God on display, and accepted that God was the one who was great and in control, and that God did not need to explain Himself to Job.

      I don't usually talk about "religion" since that is quite generic, and can be almost meaningless. I prefer to talk about knowing God. God is worth knowing whether we think we understand the world or not. God is worth knowing because He Is.

      The biggest obstacle to knowing God is our own selves. We were made to relate to Him, but have run away from Him in the other direction. Some people run so far and fast as to have convinced themselves that God doesn't even exist. We are full of pride and look for the joy we should find in God everywhere else. The Bible calls that sin. God will punish that sin by giving us exactly what we think we want – to be separated from Him. Only we will discover that it isn't quite as pleasant as we imagine it to be.

      There is a way back to God. It isn't something we can manufacture ourselves, as if we could do enough good things to outweigh the bad, much less clean ourselves up when we have bathed in evil. The way back is through Jesus the Messiah, whom God sent into the world for that purpose.

      In an earlier post, someone asked something to the effect of was I a spokesman for God. The implication was that it was either impossible or else the height of pride to imagine myself to be that. Actually, God has made me His spokesman. It is not a unique role – God has chosen many men, women, boys and girls to speak on His behalf, as His ambassadors. We are called Christians.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Get Real

      Alive55,

      Just as many favors are granted by wishing upon a star as by praying. Sometimes stars fulfill your wish; sometimes they say, "no"; and sometimes they say, "wait".

      The story of Job is a fantasy tale. There is not a single shred of evidence that it, nor any other of the 'divine' interactions told about by early Middle Eastern Hebrew men in The Bible, ever actually happened.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • biobraine

      55,
      I haven't had to convince myself that god doesn't exist...I just had to stop trying to convince myself that god does. It came very naturally.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Why did prayers go unanswered? The simple answer is that Gawd (pick whichever one you find attractive) works in mysterious ways...

      November 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Science is questions that might be answered, religion is answers that are forbidden to be questioned.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    November 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • chipndale

      Strange, plants seem to do well with some rain, bees, sun and soil.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      Prayer is useless and delusional. Prayer changes nothing! Prayer is nothing more than tilting at windmills...

      November 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • biobraine

      If prayer actually affected the outcome of events, it would be easy to prove scientifically.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things stated once again and again and again over and over; Ad Nauseum,
      "Prayer changes things"

      Earlier I challenged you to do something positive for humanity by praying to stop the international forced sëx trafficking of an estimatated 800,000 people.

      To wit,

      I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders have not worked.
      Wait since prayer changes things that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

      Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

      Matthew 21:21:
      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt,not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
      _______________________________________________________________________
      [A true believer can ask a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will be done. LOL!]
      _______________________________________________________________________

      Mark 9:23
      All things are possible to him who believes.

      Luke 1:37:
      For with God nothing will be impossible.

      John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

      John 14:14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.
      So there you have it, straight from Jesus in the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

      You are a sincere believer are you not?

      So go ahead and do it. Pray to god to eliminate forced international sëx traficking, bacterial disease, genetic disorders, war, famine, etc.

      In Matthew 21:21 Jesus states; I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt you can do anything including making a mountain throw itself into the sea. You do have faith and do not doubt, RIGHT? So do it.

      Or perhaps your faith is not really up to snuff and you know that so you do not prat to end these human scourges but instead only come up with your usual wimpy statements and name calling.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  4. Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

    "Other survivors are mourning the dead, including a father and son who drowned in the basement of their home"
    .
    The child is dead because of a stupid parent.

    Really????? Sit in your basement during a flood???????

    November 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Hey, Christianity and Islam is a mental disease (SIC – should be "are mental diseases")... why pick only on them? There are lots of other religions you could add to the list...

      November 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  5. fintastic

    "The United States Of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy"

    George Washington

    November 1, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Gloria

      "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

      George Washington

      November 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Mankind shall not be free until the last king is strangled in the entrails of the last priest."

      Denis Diderot –

      November 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Madtown

      "What's the bible?"

      -signed,
      human beings who are Gloria's equal, but were born into a culture where christianity isn't accessible

      November 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • fintastic

      "“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”

      George Washington

      November 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • fintastic

      "Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies."

      Thomas Paine

      November 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Science

      And way to funny the gang needs to take the test !..........looks like someone did.

      DNA tests reveal Prince William's Indian ancestry

      By Peter Wilkinson, CNN

      updated 12:48 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/14/world/europe/britain-prince-william-india/?iref=obnetwork

      Great cheese comes from Wisconsin and just on the other side of the big lake 1900 million year old algae fossils.

      June 22, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  6. Wayfaring Stranger

    A Word for All of Us.

    It has been drawn to my attention that the path of Hurricane Sandy made the shape of the Hebrew Letter LAMED, ל I find that most interesting as this letter in Hebrew means to learn, it also speaks of the King of Kings. This very strongly indicates to me that the King of Kings is not only telling us something but He is teaching us how He feels about what is happening in the United States of America.

    When I first noticed the path of the storm Sandy looked like Lamed, I stopped and begin to pray over this, and during prayer and asking God what did this mean, I heard in my spirit that small still voice that speaks to those who know His Voice.

    "This is the beginning of Great Sorrows for the Churches have fornicated with other gods and have offered up prayers that are a stench to my nostrils. Those who have called themselves people of God have deceived the people and fed their own bellies with unclean foods of greed and spiritual pride. No man can save them now, for those who know me and I them must know My Word is the Beginning and the End of all things, now it must rain on the just and the unjust alike. There is still time for repentance for those who have sinned against Me, but Judgment now will fall on the Nations who have come against Jerusalem and My people.

    As for Jerusalem I say to you, I will cleanse my house first, fall on your faces and repent before it is too late. You have invited horrible sins into My House and the time for cleansing has come near.

    END of MESSAGE

    Shalom, JG

    November 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • .

      totally troll

      November 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • fintastic

      I kinda thought the shape of the storm looked like a croissant, or maybe a banana? .... AH HA!!!!..... A message about food!.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • SmallzthaGod

      Wow with that said did the ltl voice tell you to start praying for those in the path an in the way of destruction did he tell you to pray for the haitians who suffered in contrast with those in the U.S.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Ceilo

      Bahahahaha

      November 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      I have great respect for Jews and the nation of Israel. It's a theme that is carried throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Why is it though that only the first five books of the Bible (the Torah) are accepted by the Jewish religion? The Bible says,"all scripture is inspired of God," not just the first five books. The only reason I can see that the rest of the Bible is being ignored is because the majority of Jews are offended that their status as being God's "chosen people" isn't limited to them any more. Jesus Christ changed all of that and opened the door to Gentiles. Ironically the only reason the Nation of Israel was given that honor to begin with was because of Jesus Christ, out of respect that he would come from their lineage and save the world, but instead of embracing him, for the most part, they have rejected him. In fact most Jews insisted that he die. At the time of his death they said to Pilate, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children." Not only did they do a great disservice to their Lord and Savior but they brought on extreme suffering to future generations during World War11.

      Yes the Nation of Israel was once God's chosen people but they lost favor with God time and again. They were worshipping false gods made out of silver and gold. The women were waking up early to bake cakes for the "Queen of the sky." Every form of greed and corruption was going on in Judah and Jerusalem back then, that's when God finally turned his back on them and sent them into exile for 70 years in servitude to Babylon. Yes they did regain favor with God after that but as before it didn't last for very long. So he opened the door to non Jews as well as to Jews to accept him as their Lord and Savior and be saved. The "root of the tree" will always be there regarding the Nation of Israel, that is a fact, but only because of Jesus Christ and the Jews that choose to follow him.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Mark

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers wrote,

    "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."

    And then Carl wrote,

    "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."

    BATC and Carl,
    Just because the majority of the world and "their" practices are espoused to be "Christianity" does NOT make it so and I for one do not claim to be in their camp. You two, as have many others, have simply taken the way the "world" defines "Christianity" and are trying to put me in that category. I do NOT believe so-called "denominations" represent any part of Christianity. Paul said Christians are to speak the same thing...

    1Co 1:10 ¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    Also Notice,
    2Jo 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    10 ¶ If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

    All the so-called "denominations" have their own "doctrines" ie. "Methodist doctrine" "Baptist doctrine" "Jehovah witness doctrine" "Lutheran doctrine" "Mormon doctrine" etc. etc. etc. therefore I do NOT bid them God speed. I have NO part with them. Paul said there is ONE FAITH...

    Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    We see the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch...
    Ac 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    The name that glorifies God...

    1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

    Paul tried to persuade Agrippa to become a Christian...

    Ac 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

    Never, Never, Never, was anyone tried to be persuaded to become a "Baptist" "Methodist" "Roman Catholic" "Presbyterian" "Pentecostal holiness" etc. etc. etc.

    They are NO part of Christianity and I have NO part with them. Please do not simply "blanket" Christianity based on the hypocrisy of the world.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mark,

      Than start refering to your belief in a more specific way. But my point was it doesn't matter what version of christian you are, you still refer to the contradictory immoral writings of the bible as if they were inspired by a diety. Original sin is just one of many.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • the AnViL

      everyone who believe in imaginary men in the sky lives in a delusional construct.

      mark... as much as you try to separate yourself from your xian brethren – you all have that one thing in common: you believe in a lie.

      you hold the bronze-age scribblings of ignorant, uneducated men from 2000 years ago as "truth"

      you've been lied to – and you should be ashamed to be so stupid.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  8. OOO

    What is the intention of this article?

    November 1, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  9. Prayer = waste of time

    Prayer: How to do nothing and still think you're helping.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Like the old joke goes: A visitor to Jerusalem heard about this old man who's been praying at the Western Wall twice a day for decades. She found him and asked him what it was he was praying for. He answered: "I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. “I also pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all our children to grow up in safety and friendship.” So she asked him how he feels after all this time, to which he replied: "Like I'm talking to a wall"

      November 1, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • LOL

      Sometimes there is no better way to bring out the absurdity than a good joke.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  10. derp

    "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!"

    Remember christians, these guys are on your team.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  11. fintastic

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise"

    James Madison

    November 1, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • MannyVeritas

      James is dead.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      MannyVeritas wrote: "James is dead." If the fairy tales concerning the afterlife are true, how do you know he's really dead?

      November 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Huebert

      @Manny

      Does the fact that someone is dead make their words any less meaningful? Remember that every person mentioned in the bible is now dead.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  12. Damocles

    In response to the last part of the article: I think people are goofy. I think that faith and a deity put an unnatural spin on a natural weather pattern. I think Shirley Phelps-Roper is the pus leaking from the pimple on the ass end of humanity. I think people's grip on reality is slipping at an alarming rate. I think that if you thank your deity for being spared, you should thank it for taking 52 people's lives as well, give it credit for all things as you should. I think if you don't, you are a hypocrite. I think that the hurricane should be discussed for what it was, a hurricane, nothing more, nothing less.

    November 1, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  13. ElmerGantry

    Hmmmm,

    Dopey nopey is back.

    Yeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaw.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • and as always

      elmo is 100 % wrong

      November 1, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  14. To prayer troll

    So it was you, b1tch, that prayed that Sandy would make a hard left turn onto land rather than a hard right into the ocean. That would go along with your belief that your sadistic god wants people to suffer to test their faith, right? No matter which of the many handles you post under, you require serious medical attention, seek and you shall find.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • nope

      @to...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Haya

      Why prayer troll, that is not correct.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  15. Reality

    As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, god (if one exists) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

    Church: The Human Story of God,
    Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

    "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices. (my note: like the stupidity of building homes on beaches).

    Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

    For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

    i.e. No one, not even some god (if one exists) can prophesy since that would violate the human condition of Free Will and Future.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT

      November 1, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      November 1, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • nope

      @re...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things'

    November 1, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mammals produce milk.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • truth be told

      Cheesmaker produces stupid. The circle of life..

      November 1, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • derp

      I prayed that you would stop posting this drivel.

      Yet here you are still posting drivel.

      Prayer changes nothing.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Cheesmaker produces stupid."

      Ahhh, that does not make sense....

      "Cheesemaker produces cheese"

      than is bettter.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • the AnViL

      there is no evidence that prayer works. there is proof that prayer does not work.

      blessed are the cheesemakers is actually quite lucid and funny and does not produce stupid.

      truth be told/ atheism is not healthy blah blah blah is clearly mentally ill and obviously ignorant.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  17. louicro

    i will be so amused when americans realize what happens with the weather and global warming and its effects. It will be too late. It is already too late. anyway , as Thomas Jefferson said, all fools and hypocrites.
    Just pray and die. Future generations will find the remains of your cities and will tell tales about your foolishness.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • WASP

      @lou: que background music " it's the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine." 🙂

      November 1, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • nope

      @lo...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • nope

      @wa...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • nope

      @wa ...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Reality

      Storms like Sandy have been routinely hitting the same area as noted by the historical record which started way before any potential climate changes were observed. And with the Sun continuously expanding and contributions of green house gases from volcanoes, African termites, cows and decaying trees/plants/insects/animals, there may not be anything we can do about it.

      e.g. Sandy type storms Pre-1900 that have impacted Pennsylvania:

      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]

      November 1, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • nope

      @nope
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • WASP

      YAY! how i have missed my NOPE MONKEY while i was weathering the hurricane. dance for me again NOPE MONKEY, see how lovely my NOPE MONKEY dances. 🙂

      November 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • and as always

      wisp is totally wrong

      November 1, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • WASP

      YAY it's my other trained dancing monkey. oh how i have missed you, please keep dancing NOPE MONKEY under another name. you bring such joy to my heart as you twirl chasing your own tail.......................careful you don't get dizzy.
      XD hahahahahahahahahahaha

      November 1, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • nope

      @wus...p ...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      reality, There is no question that the storms are getting worse. Records only go back just over 100 years so we can't say if this a normal cycle, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that human use of fossil fuels has had a huge impact on climate. Given the trajectory of drought, floods, hurricanes, etc. do you think that ignore and hope is a great strategy?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Reality

      The storms are not getting worse. There are simply more people living in their paths !!

      November 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Reality

      2012-1876 = 136 years of storm records:

      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]

      November 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  18. saggyroy

    The religious ass-clowns on these boards provide an endless source of laughter and entertainment.

    November 1, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • nope

      @sa...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  19. Humanist11

    "The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites." – Thomas Jefferson

    November 1, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • nope

      @hum...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  20. Humanist11

    Eskimo:"If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest: "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

    "Without religion, we'd have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Stephen Weinburg

    "It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." – Carl Sagan

    November 1, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • nope

      @hum ...

      November 1, 2012 at 7:47 am |
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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.