December 14th, 2012
06:17 PM ET
Massacre of children leaves many asking, 'Where’s God?'
By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
(CNN) – As he waited with parents who feared that their kids were among the 20 children killed at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, Rabbi Shaul Praver said the main thing he could do for parents was to merely be present.
“It’s a terrible thing, families waiting to find out if their children made it out alive,” said Praver, who leads a synagogue in Newtown, Connecticut, and was among nine clergy gathered with parents at a firehouse near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shooting occurred.
“They’re going to need a lot of help,” Praver said of those who are close to the dead.
From the first moments after Friday’s massacre, which also left six adults and the shooter dead, religious leaders were among the first people to whom worried and grieving families turned for help.
Over the weekend, countless more Americans will look to clergy as they struggle to process a tragedy in which so many of the victims were children.
“Every single person who is watching the news today is asking ‘Where is God when this happens?’” says Max Lucado, a prominent Christian pastor and author based in San Antonio.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
Lucado says that pastors everywhere will be scrapping their scheduled Sunday sermons to address the massacre.
“You have to address it - you have to turn everything you had planned upside down on Friday because that’s where people’s hearts are,” Lucado says.
“The challenge here is to avoid the extremes – those who say there are easy answers and those who say there are no answers.”
Indeed, many religious leaders on Friday stressed that the important thing is for clergy to support those who are suffering, not to rush into theological questions. A University of Connecticut professor on Friday hung up the phone when asked to discuss religious responses to suffering, saying, “This is an immense tragedy, and you want an academic speculating on the problem of evil?”
“There is no good answer at that time that anyone can hear and comprehend and take in,” said Ian T. Douglas, the bishop for the Episcopal diocese of Connecticut, referring to counseling family and friends of the dead. “They’re crying out from a place of deep pain.”
Praver, the rabbi, will join a memorial service Friday night at Newtown’s St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.
“We’re going to have a moment of prayer for the victims,” Praver said of the service. “We cannot let it crush our spirit and we march on.”
Some national religious groups are also sending staff to Newtown, with 10 chaplains dispatched from the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on Friday.
Public officials including President Obama, meanwhile, turned to the Bible in responding to the shooting. “In the words of Scripture, 'heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds,' ” Obama said from the White House, citing the book of Psalms.
On Twitter, #PrayForNewton became a trending topic.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Some religious leaders argue that modern American life insulates much of the nation from the kind of senseless death and suffering that plagues much of the world every day.
“Most of the world, for most of the world’s history, has known tragedy and trauma in abundance,” wrote Rob Brendle, a Colorado pastor, in a commentary for CNN’s Belief Blog after this summer’s deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which left 12 dead.
“You don’t get nearly the same consternation in Burundi or Burma, because suffering is normal to there,” wrote Brendle, who pastored congregants after a deadly shooting at his church five years ago. “For us, though, God has become anesthetist-in-chief. To believe in him is to be excused from bad things.”
My Take: This is where God was in Aurora
Lucado said there was an eerie irony for the Connecticut tragedy coming just before Christmas, noting the Bible says that Jesus Christ’s birth was followed by an order from King Herod to slay boys under 2 in the Roman city of Bethlehem.
“The Christmas story is that Jesus was born into a dark and impoverished world,” Lucado says. “His survival was surrounded by violence. The real Christmas story was pretty rough.”
Many religious leaders framed Friday’s shooting as evidence for evil in the world and for human free will in the face of a sovereign God.
“The Bible tells us the human heart is ‘wicked’ and ‘who can know it?’” the Rev. Franklin Graham said in a statement about the massacre. “My heart aches for the victims, their families and the entire community.”
Many religious leaders also said that such tragedies are a good time for lay people to express doubts about God – or anger.
“This is a time to go deep and pray,” says Lucado. “If you have a problem with God, shake a fist or two at him. If he’s God, he’s going to answer. And if he’s in control, he’ll find a way to let you know.
soundoff (9,195 Responses)« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 Next »
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
" ... he got out and evil is left to watch over your children"
And who created 'evil' ?
You're father the devil!
And who created my father ?
.....and you are a slave to jeebus, A**H****
Also, D-bag, "your" does not have an apostrophe
I don't really want to spoil the show
But I thought you'd all like to know
My daddy was a fall-down drunk
His uncle was pedophile monk
I don't know how to handle pain
My childhood prayers were in vain
Richard Dawkins' Lonely Hearts Club Band!
“Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.”
It's not the devil did it made me do it Why didn't God stop it? It's people the human race once again not wanting to except we r all animals caapable to tick out an act like one and commit murder to either cause a senseless actthat only makes sense to them wheather its a heroic act to kill to protect our loved ones an protect our country on another note the animals we butcher to the head of an animal u killed severed an now its a trophy on your wall Man ikind is evil and has the right to free will.R WE DON'T C IT but we r evil for those of us who believe in God I believe that just like some robots that went bad and try to kill their maker I think when he gave us free will he waved that right to himself and to those of you who don't do not believe in God it doesn't matter because evil an true goodness r real an it does exist here on earth so whatever u believe we all know this is true. But whatever you want to believe we all know that good an evil exist in the world really comes from WITHIN US
If there was a god, any god, they would have given you at least a few periods, and maybe taught you spelling and grammar! Why are so many believers illiterate?
It was twenty years ago today
That the coaches said we couldn't play
Our classmates called us nerdy geeks
Our pastors told us to be meek
You wonder why we're full of rage?
We need this electronic stage.
We're Richard Dawkins' Lonely Hearts Club Band
We've got no bloddy place to go
We're Richard Dawkins' one and only Lonely Hearts Club Band
The girls in high school told us "no"
Richard Dawkins', Lonely, RIchard Dawkins' Lonely
Richard Dawkins' Lonely (Harmony) Hearts Club Band
Eduardo was a dumb a.ss
ETHELL was a tree
Growing off of his shoulder
Eduardo had two big
Caves for eyes,
With a cliff for a jaw
That would go up 'n down,
And whenever it did,
He'd puff out some dust,
And hack up a boulder
Hack up a boulder
Hack up a boulder
(HACK! HACK! HACK!)
Up a boulder
Where's God? Really??? God is a gentleman. You said (voted) get out and he got out and evil is left to watch over your children! Now you see where that gets you!
How exactly does one "vote" God out ?
Really??? Ask Madeline Ohara! Oh, you can't she was chopped to pieces!
As I suspected, you have no real answer.
Rail, he has NO clue about the court case, or what it says. He's all for suspending everyone's rights so HIS own view is upheld. Hey, Hunter, read the court case, learn something. There are more than just Chrsitian kids in PUBLIC schools. To tell a Muslim child that he must say YOUR prayers is against the law, and for good reason.
We'll here's a real answer for you. By voting for laws that forbid prayer, ten commandments, etc. in school, and by voting for liberal politicians who support those beliefs, like Obama! Real enough for you?
Better. Uninformed and incorrect, but better.
Mirosal......and the children are dead for viewpoints like yours. The other gods are fake and therefore that is why you have no protection for your children anymore. A fake god can't send angels to protect your children. You are repeating the point I just made. God is against the law in schools, so don't ask where He is! He's not there to protect your children because you support having Him removed! So now He's removed! Get used to what you just witnessed. You can outlaw guns, etc. etc. etc., but guess what! Only God can stop evil and evil don't have to use guns! WAKE UP!
How about the fact that people of MORE than one faith attend PUBLIC schools, funded by public tax dollars? As well as public courthouses and public parks. Our basic laws state that the gov't CANNOT support any one religion, and leading prayer in PUBLIC schools, putting bible quotes and "commandments" in public places like parks and courthouses, sends the message that the gov't only sponsors Christianity. And THAT is against the law... real enough for you?
All the other gods are fake?? PLease explain, IN DETAIL, how yours is any more real than Zeus or Apollo. Be specific. Oh, and your bible is NOT evidence by any stretch of the word "evidence".. so tell us, out of the 10,000 gods throughout history, how is yours any more "real"? Once you realize why you know Zeus isn't real, you'll know why yours isn't either.
Mirosal.........that's a choice you make. Choose God or choose false gods. It's like choose life or choose death. It's up to you. America chose and their children are dead! Again your state laws kicked Him out so when tragedy happens don't blame Him and don't ask where He is! That's the point! The government would do well by all to support Christianity because it is the ONLY answer to the world's evil and Jesus if the only one who can save your children from evil. Make your choice and quit your whinning when your children can't go to school without being slaughtered! You're laws killed your children.....is that real enough for YOU? Support your laws and watch your children die!
Now you are showing us how bigoted you really are. It isn't state law, it's FEDERAL law. Again, I ask, how is yours any more real that Zeus or Apollo? So you want to turn this country into a Chrisitan theocracy? Is that about right? So do Jews and Muslims worship a "false god" yes or no.. do they?
A**H*** revisiting his A**Holiness again.
Mirosal.........fake, false, as in no proof of their power, no book left behind that evening scientist and historians and atheists can't disprove or prove fallible. Fake as in no miracles, no healings, no deliverance, no nothing, just a bunch of angry empty followers, waiting for the day their imaginary god will show. My God has already shown and He is here and answers prayers in the here and now for those who believe. Fake as in books full or error, proven false, and failed prophecy! Zeus and Apollo is just another word for satan! You worship a fallen angel created by God almighty who will be defeated by Jesus Christ. Zeus is one of the MANY names of satan, and he is no God! All other gods is just one of his many faces. He was kicked out of Heaven by another angel, not even by God. His power failed him. Like I said reject God, and get used to your children being plowed down. Without Jesus Christ they will have no protection. Man can't protect them no matter how many man-made laws you pass. Just sit back and watch. You will see for yourself. You are seeing for yourself. Pride is the fall of man.
Atheist Hunter wrote, " your state laws kicked Him out so when tragedy happens don't blame Him and don't ask where He is"
When did your omnipotent and omniscient god turn into such a woose? In the good old days your god was smiting folks right and left for trying to kick him out.
And once again, a believer becomes a great example of why not to become a believer.
AH, you are sick – mentally ill – quite possibly only a few steps from grabbing a couple of guns and taking things into your own hands. Please seek medical help.
sam stone.........well, well, if it's not sam I am. Cursing a God he doesn't believe in, fighting ghosts, a Holy Ghost that is. You know, Jesus Christ could clean up that foul language you got going there and take that hate out of your heart. Seems to me from what I've read from you over the years, you got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Primewonk.............I guess when we started smiting ourselves and our children with our anti-God laws. You're busy doing the smiting, so he just bowed out. The real criminals in this tragedy are the politicians who passed the laws and everyone who voted for them and supports them. Only Morons would now outlaw their own right to bear arms. You think you kids have no protection now, wait until you disarm your foolish selves! Criminals will always have weapons, you can bank on it! Do you think they really honor laws? Blind leading the blind. Wake up people, you're being sold out!
Now you are nothing but the ultimate troll. You are in dire need of psych help. Would you like a glass of Kool-Aid? Your god has never shown itself, as NO god has ever shown itself. Gods were invented because man did not know how the world around him worked. We know a lot more now, hence no reason for any supernatural deities. And as far as books being left behind, your book is about as false as it gets. Not one single line in it is from an eyewitness. That's why it's called hearsay. I fear not your "god", or your "devil", because every human has the power to kill them. Simply stop believing in them, and they fade away. See. no more power to them.
Mirosal.........muslims do, Jews just need to accept their Messiah Jesus Christ! State laws, federal laws, you kill your own children! He's more real because he is real! The other's are not!
Hunter, you're an idiot. Muslims worship the EXACT SAME god that Jews and Christians do. Thank you for showing us your ignorance. Read the Qu'ran .. I have... Jesus is mentioned more often than Mohammed is. I don't believe in it, just like I don't believe your bible either. The word "allah" is simply the Arabic word for "god", just like Spanish "dios" or German "gott"
We are a secular nation with secular laws. Our laws are no more anti-your god than we are anti-Zeus, or anti-Amma.
Mirosal...........wah, wah, he called me a troll! How mature! I can see that man is now doing a great job of working the world! Tell that to the families of the victims. You reject God, how do you expect to see or hear from Him? "We know a lot more now." Really, is that what happened at the school, all our knowledge and wisdom! LOL!!! Just because the eye witnesses are dead now doesn't mean it didn't happen cause they didn't live to meet know it all you. Get ready buddy, you're about to see a "fairytale" as you call it, unfold into reality right in front of your doubting eyes. Wish I could stand beside you when it does and see the dumb look on your face!
Primewonk.........."We are a secular nation with secular laws. Our laws are no more anti-your god than we are anti-Zeus, or anti-Amma."
Yeah, and you nation has a bunch of dead children because of your secular laws! Zeus can't help your children, God could have! But YOU kicked him out of the school! SAVE IT!
Seems that AH has become a Marilyn Agee convert -see http://prophecycorner.theforeverfamily.com/
Mirosal..........."Hunter, you're an idiot. Muslims worship the EXACT SAME god that Jews and Christians do."
You're sadly mistaken! Better re-read! Wrong God and wrong Jesus. Jesus warned, many will come IN MY NAME, be not deceived. YOU'VE BEEN DECEIVED! Satan call himself god too, so that means nothing. Just like you posers sometimes call yourselves "Atheist Hunter", but you're not. You have to know your God, just like you know your father. You don't go with just any man cause he says, "I'm your daddy." That's so simple a pre-schooler knows better.
A**H***, from what I have read from you, you are a one trick pony, and that trick ain't that good. Get back on your knees and beg, B!tch
@AH, Judging by the low rate of violent crime in Ja p an, Denmark, France and other secular countries I'd say we have to assume God loves non-believers.
" Get ready buddy, you're about to see a "fairytale" as you call it, unfold into reality right in front of your doubting eyes. Wish I could stand beside you when it does and see the dumb look on your face!"
That would give you pleasure? You hideous monster.
Everybody has it all right and all wrong. For it is not one thing or the other butthings combined. No.1 Guns are way to easy to easy to get now a days period point blank everywhere around the world. Who made them Man not Woman. That was just an observational statement. No.2 it is the video games an movies especially the ones where u go around robbing killing people to make your way through life surviving like a monster. In my day it was Mario Bothers Doom Tomb Raider. instead of killing or fighting people It was always a monster or a demon something that wasn't real something someone I never killed in my game. Now the games r way to real. And when u kill a person on a video game it doesn't show the body laying there until police or ambulancee get there it doesn't show u grieving parents children brothers sisters cousins it doesn't show you any of the aftermath. The person u get to kill in the video games just simply disappears.no you can't blame the video games or music for every single psycho patg out here but u can blame it or you can blame it for filling your mental with false death or reactions to death and just overall giving u while your playing the game its giving u A false bogus reality of what killing a person realty is or would feel like and since most of us in society have not killed anybody so we don't know what it feels like to actually kill somebody but in these games we r. Drugs alcohol anti deppression pills ritalin. May all be factors. An the main most powerful thing we miss ass a society. We don't think we judge people but we do the majority of us do not look put for thy neighbor we r all about us ours taking care of our own an not each other. What im saying is good old fashioned manners. I mean if you see somebody who's overweight underweight different than you are got it together or they don't bunny dirty drugged out just to high maintenance or somebody who is not attractive to you or just your type of person to hang out with don't judge be a ass et make fun of a stranger for whatever you're lame reason is for wanting to make another feel bad don't comment don't judge try being nice helpful to thy neighbor or just give a friendly hi instead of chucking making rude comments to your neighbor as u walk by. Because you don't know the person's feelings maybe the last person and laugh at u could be the last chuckle that might hurt them an make them I hate the world so bad that they have no more love for it take it from someone who was bullied for being one of the only Koreans in the town. the key the world can heal the world with simple respect nonjudgement prejudice an a lot more love an acceptance from each other. Whoa sorry that was Sooo. Long I hope everybody really got the point and heard it loud an clear.
Take away dr.u.gs
Take away s.e.x
Take away ab.o.rtion
Take away health care
Dems may be in control now but Republicans will be back in power again. Might want to be careful about what you ban, because the other side can play to.
I don't know how the government can take away procreation, like you seem to think Republicans want to do.But the rest of your list – yeah, I'd be in favor of the govt staying out of those areas
The school shooting is not about religion in school vs. no religion in school. For example, we know this kind of thing doesn't happen in Saudi Arabia – and they have PLENTY of religion in school. Nor does it happen in Cuba – and they have NO religion in school.
It's about totalitarianism vs. freedom. The less you control every aspect of peoples lives, the more likely something like this will happen.
Take away guns, take away sugary drinks, take away cigarettes, take away incandescent light bulbs, take away "hate speech," How far would you like to take this?
Obviously the gunman missed a few people. Should have skipped the kiddies and shot the christian sky farie worshipers.
matt, that is why they call it faith.
Here, let me translate: "matt, that is why my head is up my ass".
There! Fixed it for ya, donchano.
zamo; if you ever look back here you may want to seek help, soon. anywhere would be good since I can not think of anyone that could not give you some advice that would be better than yours. you are so sad, pathetic, in need of medication or prayer or someone to hold your hand or give you a hug or kick you in the.....
Where's GOD? It is obvious the LORD has done unto you (Americans) what you (Americans) have done to others all around the world, especially in AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, etc. This is an ACT OF GOD for those who have any sense.
Then god is not worthy of worship. Only scorn.
We should make a list of all the things god is mad so mad about that he slaughters kindergarteners. Lets see,
1. God kicked out of school
2. Drone operations in Afghanistan
3. Being too nice to gays
4. Not letting America be a theocracy
5. American foreign policy
6. Pro Choice laws
7. The re-election of Obama
Did I miss any?
We left the gold standard.
We no longer have black people as slaves as "god intended".
People leaving churches in droves.
Evolution is taught in schools.
Anyone who is not lily-white that lives here.
And there is surely more for those brain-damaged idiots to hold up as justification, but I ran out of steam there.
There is only one correct answer for this! The Mormon Church has allowed people who are not white and delightsome into their fold!
Anyone who believes this was an act of God is a danger to society.
yea, the Moron .. I mean Mormon church decided to do that in 1978. If your church were soooo loving, why wait so long to do it? Now let's see you welcome the entire LGBT community into your fold, then we'll talk about how "loving" your church is.
Only for the new members of this blog:
The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only three children survived."
Wikipedia has an excellet review of the topic.
And the shootings obviously have not stopped.
What to do?
Background checks not only for the teachers but also their relatives.
Added security for all schools.
More at-home/internet education.
Gated parking lots.
No toleration of bullying or bullies.
And instill in all global citizens, three words: DO NO HARM!!!
Wow, dude, you really don't get the whole mental-illness thing, do you?
What sort of answers do you have to the problem of mental illness?
Do you hate the idea of universal healthcare now?
Who said the shooter was mentally ill? Are all killers mentally ill? And besides this killer was receiving medical help.
Yeah, Kirk, he's totally clueless and doesn't understand squat about mental illness. Seems pretty clear from here.
Big Bang – you all are product of someone's big faart 😉
Where's God? To which God are the writers referring too? We have so many God's in our country right now.
The grammar....it burns!
Burns like an oven? 🙂
LOL! You've cracked me up more than a few times. 😉
Hopefully in a good way.
But of course!
I think she meant to, not too. And Gods, not God's. But who the hell knows?
Damocles should have his own series.
OK – beddie-bye time for old Lemaitre. Remember that name – Catholic priest, scientist, father of the Big Bang Theory, died in 1939,the next time you set up your straw man arguments about what Christians supposedly believe, or don't believe.
I can see not a scientist in the bunch, not a logician, nor anyone who has a clue what the scriptures really say. All in all, a gathering of nit wits.
And you are the nit wit king
isaac newton invested a lot of time in alchemy.
he also believed in an imaginary man in the sky.
doesn't make calculus any less useful... doesn't negate optics. all it says is people are raised to believe delusional constructs.
it even happens to smart people.
As your schoolmates will tell you tomorrow – takes one to know one.
What the hey is wrong with alchemy?
You manage to get more and more obnoxious with each passing day, chicky - amazing!
eiggghty fivfsd bootttles of bbers on thenwall, 855 bbbotlles ooofber,,,,thaae em dwn. pasd aroubn 884bbottlest5ht bbeer. ONN THHE WWWWWWWAALLL. thank you, thank you, nity niiet, Mrs. Calassssmmash., wheever ur aer.
The current head of the Vatican Observatory, Father Jose Gabriel Funes, co-authored a paper back in 2004 called,"H-alpha and UBR imaging of elliptical galaxies with dust lanes". What are your thoughts on his hypothesis?
He later co-authored a paper in 2007 called, "The star formation demographics of galaxies in the Local Volume." Again, any merit to their discussion?
I'm not a scientist like you, Santa, so I'll take your analysis as solid.
Stop abusing these poor atheists!
So you are pointing out that religious people use science to prove....science.
Not the point at all, Cheesemaker. I should have known that the point was too subtle for you to get.
Implying you are making some argument that I just don't just shows your lack of ability to make your point.
I'll look at those papers because I'm sure they are fascinating.
Do religious people contribute to science because of their religion or despite it?
You can have a basic spiritual belief of 'I'm going somewhere when I die' and still do the science thing.
"Mat 23:8-9 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."
as for jose funes – he's done nothing groundbreaking – not even trying to reconcile his retarded catholic religious ideology with science.
it means precisely "dick"
cha cha cha
If you desire to bring Astro-Physics into the equation, then here's something from someone a few pay grades above Father Funes:
"...in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tried to lay down the law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the moment of Creation and therefore the work of God. I was glad then that he did know the subject of the talk I had just given at the conference - the possibility that space- time was finite but had no boundary, which means that it had no beginning, no moment of Creation. "
- Professor Stephen Hawking.
hello, hello, She holds her head so high
Like a statue in the sky
Her arms are wicked, and her legs are long
When she moves my brain screams out this song
Sidewalk crouches at her feet
but had no boundary,
but had no boundary,
but had no boundary,
but had no boundary,
Silly A S S U M P T I O N
Like a dog that begs for something sweet
There is no god. Stop being a frigging child......
am a troll. Please, please do not feed me – it only encourages me to post more drivel. Ignore me and I will eventually go away and stop cluttering the board.
Tell us all Santa – what parts of Father Georges Lemaitre's theories on the Big Bang are correct, and which parts are incorrect?