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God will 'wrestle the light from darkness,' pastor tells heartbroken congregation
A woman receives a hug as she leaves a morning service at Trinity Episcopal Church not far from the Sandy Hook School December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut
December 16th, 2012
09:18 PM ET

God will 'wrestle the light from darkness,' pastor tells heartbroken congregation

By Eric Marrapodi and Kate Bolduan, CNN

Newtown, Connecticut (CNN)– The bulletins were printed on Thursday for the third Sunday of Advent for Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown. There was no mention of Friday in the pages' long order for worship.

By Sunday morning, the church was hosting its fourth service since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the sanctuary had been open for 72 straight hours keeping vigil.

A half-empty pallet of tissue boxes greeted church members as they arrived in the front hallway. As the second of the morning's two worship services got underway, people were already quietly weeping in their seats.

Young children sat and quietly played or colored next to their parents, unaware of the tragedy around them or that their friend Benjamin Wheeler, a 6-year-old who attended Trinity with his family, was not there. Wheeler was among the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook on Friday when a gunman burst into his elementary school.

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Pastor Kathleen Adams-Sheperd recounted to the church how she spent Friday at the fire station, waiting with the parents of elementary school children to find out if their child had made it out safely or was among those who did not.

"Friday in some part has changed our lives forever," she said in her sermon as she stood in the middle of the congregation, eschewing the pulpit for proximity to her members.

Speaking to a crowd still raw and still suffering, she told them of the sermon she had prepared and how it was long gone, asking them to be patient with her as she preached with no notes.

On this day, she said, it was "important to be where we are," to be "present with people." She encouraged them to hug one another.

"No, really, get up and hug someone," she said. Old and young, visitors and members, embraced tearfully.

"Families of our lovely innocent children need our prayers," she said. "Families who survived need our prayers."

"I want you to know talking to the ones who have lost, the one spot of joy is that your children are not lost."

Adult men from the church were posted at the doors this week, she said, so the children in the service and Sunday schools would know this was a safe place for them.

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Dressed in purple vestments and wearing a small stud nose ring, Adams-Sheperd walked the church through pieces of the planned Advent service, when Christians light four candles in the four weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

"I believe faith will save us," she said. "To loose this faith is to let the darkness win."

"Was God absent from our world?" she asked, a burning question on the minds of many in this heartbroken town.

"Indeed not."

"Have we been shaken? Yes. Have we seen hope? Yes, yes, yes."

She pointed to the hero teachers who shielded children, administrators from the school who rushed toward the shooter, and the first-responders as evidence of that hope.

"So many signs of hope and light in the darkness that seems to envelope us; that's what Advent is," she said.

She said she believed the horrific acts were not the will of God.

"Where was God? Surrounding all the children. The 430 that made it out, and the 20 that did not."

God, she said, "was with them, is with them, and will be with them always.

"God will find a way to bring comfort and hope and light. He will wrestle it from the darkness."

In the coming days the church will see multiple funerals, including for little Benjamin Wheeler on Thursday and for another classmate, 6-year-old Madeleine Hsu, on Friday. Adams-Sheperd told the church local funeral directors had donated costs of the funeral to the families.

Cameras were not permitted to film the worship service but the church welcomed reporters to come and worship. Adams-Shepard explained to the crowd she would not go on camera and talk to reporters because she had given her word to the victim's families, and that what happened in the school is "owned by the parents."

She told the congregation if anyone was holding any enmity in their heart it was time to let it go.

"I'm done. I love you. Pray, everyone," she said. And with that she turned to prayer and recited the name of each victim.

CNN's Jeremy Moorhead contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Episcopal • Violence

soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. butterflywarrior

    Some of you point to the horrible of this tragedy use it as proof that there is no god. A good God wouldn't allow these things to happen therefore God must not exist. Why should there be any good at all in the world, then? Really. If we are just animals, just accidental beings, why should there by any outrage? Stuff just happens. How can we place any moral judgment on this? There has to be a moral law giver. Who are you to presume what is good or evil over everyone, to sit on that judgment seat? Are you god?
    What do you have to offer the victims of these families: your child no longer exists, you'll never see them again, crap like this will
    always happen since that's just what mankind does and always will. Sorry for your loss.

    Why do our hearts long for a perfect world? We KNOW it should not be this way? I think God created us that way.

    In the Bible God created a beautiful, perfect world. And then people messed it up by not trusting what God said, wanting to be their own boss, their own God. Sin entered into the world and it became rampant. God saw this and other than Noah and his family nearly wiped everyone off–and why shouldn't He, really? He made us, and it would be a sure way to end human suffering. Who would know?
    But He didn't. There is something there that is worth the potential tragedy. Like you or me: why do we risk friendships, or marriage, or childbirth, when the potential for it to be not perfect is 100%? We still enter it knowing that there will be pain, but there will be something that will make our heart sing. I believe that God knows we can't fix this evil ourselves, so he became God made human and decided to dwell among us and show us how to live. Jesus.
    But God also demands justice. Those shooting are not right. But I'm not right either. I lie. I say hurtful things. I have wrong thoughts about people. I act out in anger. There needs to be justice for those things too. I'm a nice lady but I'm not Good. Are you perfect? You and I, try as we will, STILL can't live the right way. So I believe God has graciously offered Jesus to take my punishment, and somehow in a way I can't explain, in Heaven I'll be me but won't sin and hurt people, and they won't hurt me, because God's not going to have that crap in Heaven. And I'll see loved ones probably those I didn't love but will then because I'll have a better capacity to love. And maybe there'll be animals and plants and, I don't know, dinosaurs, but I know it'll be better than I imagine, because this world is still pretty incredible. We'll keep on learning and discovering and enjoying and creating much like we do on earth.
    At times like these I cling to this Hope. I offer that to the victims, a God who for some reason allows these tragic things to happen, but walks with us here in our suffering,and a chance to be reunited with our loved ones. A place where there will be no more crying and no more tears, where the present awesomeness will be so great we won't even remember or days of suffering. Much like a baby who doesn't remember being born. This is what I have to offer.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Mirosal

      So tell us, just HOW were these children and their teachers suffering to deserve being "in a better place"? You offer hope. In other words, you offer nothing. Thanks for playing, take your year's worth of Rice-a-Roni (the San Francisco treat) as a consolation prize. Well, just HOW were they sufering in this world? These were 6 yr old kids, they did not know the ways of the world. Their days were spent coloring, napping, and playing. So, where's their suffering?? Be specific.

      December 17, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • sam stone

      people can no more prove there is no god than there are no leprechauns

      December 17, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • butterflywarrior

      I have a 6 year old, and I work with 6 year olds. They are not innocent. Nor are 4, 3 or 2 year olds. And I've seen 1 year olds look mom or dad in the eye and then defy their parents. But nor do they deserve to be shot. There is going to be suffering in this world. I will cause it. My son will cause it. You will cause it. Others will. It's how it is right now. Thankfully we are not overcome by this because there is still much that is good and people who try to do good and a God who works in this world.

      And yes, show me the proof that God does not exist.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Mirosal

      We do not have to show you it doesn't. YOU are making the claim... so show us your evidence. The burden of proof rests with you. Oh, and your bible is NOT evidence, it's considered hearsay. I have 3 kids .... and at that age, they do not know right and wrong, they understand reward and punishment. In time they will learn what it means between right and wrong. My 3 are all in college now, no records, no crime, never a day in jail.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Smithsonian

      " Sin entered into the world and it became rampant. God saw this and other than Noah and his family nearly wiped everyone off–and why shouldn't He, really? He made us, and it would be a sure way to end human suffering. Who would know?"

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Brian

      " They are not innocent. Nor are 4, 3 or 2 year olds. And I've seen 1 year olds look mom or dad in the eye and then defy their parents."

      Then according to your bible you must stone them to death.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Matt

      "There is going to be suffering in this world. I will cause it. My son will cause it. You will cause it. Others will. It's how it is right now. "

      This type of negativity is what is so wrong with Christianity, they always believe everyone is broken and need fixing. The best way we could fix our society is to get rid of this cult.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Lisa

      "Why should there be any good at all in the world, then?" For the same reason why there is evil, because we are human, capable of doing both. Good comes from us, evil comes from us and, sometimes, the same thing can be both, depending on your point of view. Why do you need to imagine some outside source for these things?

      December 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Topher

      Amen, sister!

      December 17, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Stacy

      You Christians talk out of both sides of your mouth. It makes absolutely NO sense (NONE WHATSOEVER!) to anyone with half a brain to believe that God is BOTH all loving AND simultaneously allows for young children to be slaughtered "for some unknown reason" (as someone wrote earlier.) A second contradiction that's so common in Christianity is that God has no ability to stop the evil in the world, yet at the same time AFTER the evil is occurred you pray to them anyway, as if they suddenly have power to do something miraculous AFTER the evil is inflicted. Huh????
      The simple fact is (assuming for a second there is a Higher Power that EITHER 1) a God who would create/allow the unthinkable NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON is an evil Deity OR 2) They are all 'hands off", meaning everything that happens is due to luck or our own free will.
      You can't have it both ways. It's one or the other.

      December 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  2. Ultra Atheist

    Why didn't god just give the shooter a fatal brain aneurysm when he woke up that morning?

    December 17, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Because god like blood spilled...he gets off on it.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  3. via2

    That God for the ones that were saved.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Mirosal

      Aren't you going to thank "god" for the ones who were murdered as well? Hey, fair is fair, right? You can't thank "god" for saving the others while dismissing those who were killed, can you? So go ahead, thank your "god" for those whose lives were cut short.

      December 17, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Lisa

      Couldn't God have saved them all?

      December 17, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Thank god for his will was done. He was watching with a smile as their little heads exploded. Yes your god is a good and just god. Your jesus is about as real as a fairy tu rd. Thats right christards ignore the very reality before you.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Lisa: "Couldn't God have saved them all?"

      He was too busy determining the outcome of football games.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Tom Russel

    There is a choice to be made: Is it more absurd to believe in a mythical god who acts on human lives for unknowable "god's purposes" or to believe in a mythical god so impotent as to be unable to prevent such a tragedy? Nonsense! The whole god tthing is patently absurd, and we should stop wasting our time, money, and intellectual integrity.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  5. Hello

    Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
    – Epicurus

    December 17, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • Polonius

      Won't do any good. They have their intelligence-proof vests on.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Pequen

      Yet, "God" is the last word of a dying man's breath. God didn't cause these children to die and neither did he want them to die for God is not evil. That is where ignorance of the scriptures plays into Satan's hands and those who do not believe. God is perfect and if you read James 1:13 When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • akis lak

      @pequen

      so god is issuing disclaimers?

      December 17, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • Veritas

      Hey PEQ....I don't think so...

      o Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

      December 17, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Pequen: "God" is the last word of a dying man's breath.

      And you know this how? You've sat with a lot of dying people and heard their last words? I have (I work in a long term care facility), and I haven't heard anything of the sort.

      And so what would it matter if every last dying person uttered the name "God" with their last breath? It doesn't mean he actually exists.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Lisa

      Pequen
      "God" is also the word of many an orgasming woman, but that doesn't prove that he exists either, right?

      December 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Which God?

      @ Lisa. Good one. Alot of men do the same thing when it's their turn.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      While sublimely concise and glib, Epicurus' riddle has been refuted both by theologists and philosophers. It requires more than a simple rhyme to think it through but you can google it and learn or you are free to keep your comfortable, easily remembered diatribe.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      Then refute it.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      Or let's do this. Why would your god create a world where it is necessary to kill things to survive?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Pequen

      Yet, "God" is the last word of a dying man's breath. God didn't cause these children to die and neither did he want them to die for God is not evil. That is where ignorance of the scriptures plays into Satan's hands and those who do not believe.
      .
      First God created imperfection, therefore is not perfect. Second, evil and sin is God's creation and he/she is both...if you believe in God?

      Third, are you insane? Do you believe in satan, demons, easter bunny santa etc?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  6. Hello

    Scared people who can't think for themselves and who desperately need to find a meaning to their existence turn to imaginary deities. Thus, religion was born. Scared, desperate people, who love to preach from a work of fiction. Oh the horror.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Gonz

      I just wish they would preach from better fiction, like Catch-22 or Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Lisa

      God was created out of ignorance. Ancient people did not understand why things were the way they were so, instead of admitting that they did not know the answer, they said it was "God", or a ghost, or fairies, or an animal spirit.

      People even today, when they struggle with needing an answer as to why something like this could happen, just call upon God's mysterious nature to feel comforted.

      Is it really an answer? No!

      December 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  7. bellaterra66

    Leave it to an Episcopal priest to try to have answers regarding this tragedy. The vast majority of authentic theologians would say that there are no answers. Read the Book of Job. God is God, and we don't have to understand.

    December 17, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • What IF

      You think that the story of Job is real?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • Raskolnikov

      The book of Job? Where the devil tricks God into torturing his best follower, and god falls for it and makes Job absolutely miserable? Yeah, there's a good reason to worship God. Easily duped, and happy to torment his best followers to prove a point to a bad guy.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • james

      raskol, we need to read Job again. i think we missed the part where Job proved satan a liar and God showed that people love him despite what they get for it. God did nothing to Job but let him prove himself faithful and show us that we can also.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Zamo, Hero of a Thousand Tales

      Spoken like a total idiot.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Raskolnikov

      God did nothing to Job? All Job's possessions are destroyed: 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys carried off by Sabeans; 7,000 sheep burned up by 'The fire of God which fell from the sky'; 3,000 camels stolen by the Chaldeans; and the house of the firstborn destroyed by a mighty wind, killing Job's ten children. That's nothing?

      God let's satan smite him wth very painful boils. Nice guy, god.

      Impoverishes job, kills his entire family, lets job be in writhing agony. Yeah, that's worthy of worship. All to prove something to Satan.

      You have to he one sick heartless individual to think that what god did was okay. God's morality is horrendous. Good thing he doesn't exist.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • UncleBenny

      " ... the devil tricks God into torturing his best follower ..."

      Actually, in Job, Satan is not the devil; that's a later Christian invention. Satan (ha-Satan in Hebrew, the "opposer" or "adversary") is a member of God's divine council ("Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them" Job 1:6). His role is to tempt humans and report to God when they stray. He and God make a wager on the righteousness of Job, and Satan is given permission BY GOD to do anything he wishes to Job short of killing him. So far from being an evil demon, Satan is truly on a "mission from God."

      [Sorry if this subject appears twice – my first attempt seems to have disappeared into the ether.]

      December 17, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  8. Topher

    Apple, dude? You still around?

    December 17, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Kenneth

      He gave up on you after you said that you were happy for the murdered children and then couldn't understand why everyone thought you were an insensitive monster for saying it, then vanished. He wasn't real impressed with you, as I recall.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Topher

      Why do you want them in Hell?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Kenneth

      Gosh you are a dishonest person, saying that.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Topher

      I wish what happened hadn't happened. It was horrible. But I can't change that. And since it did, I can at least take solace in that their suffering is over and that they now live in Heaven. I'm sorry you atheists find that so offensive.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Kenneth

      Go read what they posted one page back. You want to converse with them, there are their discussions. Since you have gone full circle, then you can either reread them and see why they were disgusted with you, or you can pretend it never happened and you didn't make a fool of yourself. But that is between you and them.

      As for me, you owe me an apology for the your crazy, mean-spirited "I want them in hell" remark. I said nothing of the sort, and you are a disreputable jerk for being so dishonest as to pretend it was my position. But I doubt you have the integrity to apologize for your lying misrepresentation.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • Topher

      Then why are you so offended that they are now in a better place ... a place where there are no more tears? Never once did I say that I'm glad they were killed, but you atheists want to villify me that way. The only thing I've ever said was that they are now in Heaven and everyone is all up in arms. Shame on me for saying God is taking care of them. You're right! I'm so awful!

      December 17, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Kenneth

      Again you misrepresent me. You seem to be mistaking me for someone you argued with earlier. I did not participate in that. I just read them a little while ago.

      If you read my actual posts, you will see absolutely nowhere that I said I "wanted them in hell", or that I am "so offended that they are now in a better place" You keep inventing things that I never said. You continue to misrepresent me with your dishonest assertions. Again I say I said nothing of the sort, and you are a disreputable jerk for being so dishonest as to pretend it was my position.

      You clearly do not have the integrity to apologize for your lying misrepresentations.

      I am done with you. You are beneath contempt.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Topher

      You butted into a conversation directed at Apple making a snarky comment in my direction. I naturally figured that you were siding with him. I shouldn't have done that and I apologize for it.

      So which side are you on?

      December 17, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Topher, what makes you thnk those innocent children were suffering in the first place? This was not an act of any "god" or "devil". It was the work of one deranged, mentally unblanced in-DUH-vidual with serious "mommy" issues. He killed his mother first, took HER guns, then went to the school where she taught. No one could have really foreseen this, and if you think your "god" knows all, then it did nothing but let it play out. Your prayers now are moot at best. Get up off your knees, unclasp your hands, and DO something to help the parents and loved ones of the victims. Many organizations are set up to help deal with this tragic event. Go to CT, volunteer your time to help, or contribute to people who ARE there to help. Two hands at work accomplish more than 1000 hands clasped in prayer.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • Zingo

      It would be a really bad idea to let Topher anywhere near those families. He would tell them how happy he is for them.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • Topher

      Mirosal

      Totally agree this was a messed up individual and yes, we all should do whatever we can to help these families and this community. But my faith allows peace in that those children are with God and that justice is being served.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Topher

      See? Misrepresentation.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      Topher, you're the king of cop-out. And you didn't answer my origina lquestion. Yiou said these kids are no longer suffering. What makes you think they were suffering in the first place? These were kindergarteners and first graders, along with their teachers who loved what they did. What suffering were they going through to make you say "they aren't suffering anymore they are in a better place."? Your faith tells you that your "god" is looking after them and has meted out "justice" to the gunman. Faith.. noun .. to believe without evidence. You have no evidence that your "god" is doing anything of the sort. Why not take care of them BEFORE anything ever took place? Astrology has better odds of being true than your "god" ever showing up. So, just how were these kids and teachers suffering that they needed to go to a "better place"?

      December 17, 2012 at 4:47 am |
    • FYI

      Mirosal,

      Just a minor thing:
      "then went to the school where she taught."

      This seems to be unsubstantiated. Several reports say that the mother did not ever teach at that school.

      (also, the story about the shooter having an argument with the principal in the days preceding the shooting are unverified)

      December 17, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      ok, thank you for that polite clarification. I'd still like Topher to answer my original question though.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • FYI

      Mirosal,

      No problem. As in everything, I like to keep stuff real.

      The rest of your post is great, as usual.

      Good luck keeping Toph's feet to the fire... he will most likely only give you unverified plat'itudes - *sigh*

      December 17, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " I can at least take solace in that their suffering is over and that they now live in Heaven"

      Must make yourself feel really nice and tingly, huh.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " But my faith allows peace in that those children are with God and that justice is being served."

      Your faith allows YOU peace. What about the families of the people who were slain? They hardly have peace

      December 17, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Topher ran away again

      He sure is the king of putting his foot in his moouth, getting the other one in there too, then vanishing.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  9. Greenspam

    Guns, religion, Obama..... I am making popcorns just to watch the firefight ensures to follow....

    December 17, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • 007

      "I am making popcorns just to watch the firefight ensures to follow"

      That's some kind of spy code, right? You are waiting for a beautiful femme fatale dressed in black to respond with "Lindsay Lohan is the Anti-Christ. Bite the wax tadpole." Then you go off and assassinate Crispin Glover, right?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  10. Roger

    Many, many successful 'atheists' and 'theist' trolls here...

    December 17, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Zombie Squirrels Shall Feast Upon Your Nuts!

      This is an unmoderated forum, so it is the wild west here. But it actually does not matter is there are trolls if they give us a topic of debate. Only the ones who think it is cute to be dirty or racist are useless. Anyone on topic provides both sides with the opportunity to discuss some angle, and viewers may consider what they will.

      Yes, it's the wild west, so you have to have thick skin and be able to defend yourself really well. That's why so many Christians run away – they put out something they heard that they thought sounded good, but then have to defend something they actually find is inhuman or idiotic or impossible, and they vanish. Gotta be able to logic very quickly here, or you are Wile E. Coyote.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Zamo, Hero of a Thousand Tales

      classic troll.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  11. oldusafsarge

    I've said it before and I'll say it again; this god of yours is one mean uncaring SOB. What more proof to you need? More death? Just wait a few days, I'm sure you'll get it in one form another, just as I'm sure you'l find a way to spin whatever tragedy unfolds to fit your beliefs. Bottom line ... children are dead while your god either sat idly by and ignored it, let it happen, or caused it to happen. Which do you prefer? Oh, I'm sure you'll twist it to come up with an option where he's the good guy, it never fails. You people disgust me.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Up with People

      Our God is an awesome God! He rules over Heaven and Earth!

      December 17, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Sherri

      I'm sure you'll get some mean responses, but I agree with you one hundred percent. What KIND of god says "I think I'll kill 26 6 year olds today"? I mean if this was an earthly 'father' who did this, we'd string him up. But since it's a 'heavenly father' we just say 'it's god's will' and let it go. But I think you can't have it both ways. If you say that god knows all, and is all powerful, then you are saying that god KNEW it was going to happen and could have prevented it, but chose NOT to. What kind of god is that? Not loving, that's for sure. I want no part of this kind of mass hysteria.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      With the funds from taxing useless, fraudulent, anti-science churches, research can actually tackle the problems of mental illness and gun violence better. till then,t he perps will feel they are gonna be forgiven. What BS.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Flip

      You can't reason with people that believe in "God".They have a BS answer for everything. Best just to let them live in a world of make believe.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  12. the AnViL

    if you rely on an imaginary man in the sky to fix the problem – it will never be fixed.

    if you turn to religion and faith for a solution – it will never be solved.

    you must choose knowledge... not faith.

    you are compelled to look at the actual problem – which isn't an imaginary satan or the fantastically evil powers of darkness...

    it is MENTAL ILLNESS

    we may be able to get a handle on the actual problem if you can stop trying to apply non-remedies and delusional thinking to it.

    prayer won't do it.

    sitting back and having faith in the imaginary man in the sky to fight the evil forces of darkness won't get us there.

    only science will.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  13. CHRIST TIL THE END

    I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy so why would I even argue with a kid about believing? Clearly a part of these blind folks want to believe that is why they spend so much time online bashing! AWWWW THEY ARE SCARED OF GOD"S WRATH FOR BLASPHEMY!???? HONEYYYY, I WAS A BORN GAY MAN, guess what I found out after redeeming myself from men when asking God to take it away?! I found out that I am actually a FIRST FRUIT, 144,000! YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT I KNOW AS SCRIPTURE SAYS! THANK YOU LORD! FOR SHOWING ME THE LIGHT! Clearly if one argues about something they say doesn't exist, THEY ARE DELUSIONAL! The same ones who celebrate Christmas, but don't believe in Christ? Right?? Enough said, thank you and say no more! PEACE AND SHALOM!

    December 17, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Justin Time

      Can anyone tell me what language that is? Is there a translator in the house?

      Moron speak with forked tongue.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • the AnViL

      justin time... christ til the end writes in the lingua franca of the uneducated, superst/itious, delusional, true force of darkness on planet earth.

      the language of the enemies of reason.

      be afraid – very afraid.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • CHRIST TIL THE END

      Much spittle was shed in the making of my post.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • sam stone

      well, first fruit, we are not arguing about a being in which we do not believe. we are arguing about the influence of those folk who want to use their belief in what we see as mythical beings have on our secular laws

      December 17, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • Kirk

      That you, UD? Up to your old shenanigans still, eh? You blather on for waaaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo loooooooonnnnngggg!

      December 17, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  14. CHRIST TIL THE END

    God is science, The Book of Enoch! I never understood why people who don't believe in God bash those who do so much? Oh yeah it's the demon factor, they can be evil, but God will handle that! Clearly you can look in the killer's eyes and see satan. If God created this world, why wouldn't he create science too? It's the speaking thru the conscience, too many people here are letting Satan speak thru them!? Isn't this the time to mourn, why argue? Oh yeah cause most are insecure and fear the fact that there could be a God so they can kill, be racist, hateful etc. THANKS PEACE AND SHALOM!

    December 17, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Righteo

      Stay away from kindergartens please. They have had enough problems with delusional people lately.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Not very easy to read, but I get the gist. God and science are both man made things. Science has proven more useful.

      I'm non-theist. Not hateful or racist and I don't want to kill anyone. I do feel uncomfortable around people who believe their only restraint is God.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Apple Bush

      @CHRIST TIL THE END

      You do realize that your post makes you sound like a 5-year-old reading from a fairy tale book?

      December 17, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • the AnViL

      this is the sort of mental illness we need to get a handle on in this country.

      this post is a perfect example of religious fervor mixed with ignorance and a heaping buck of idiocy.

      these people are frightening and sad.

      it's very disappointing and almost disheartening...

      the enemies of reason are the true force of darkness in this world.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  15. Wade

    People always ask where was God in these horrific situations? The truth is in the bible. The word of God clearly points out the events of the end of times. We are seeing the world crumble before our very eyes. The world wants God out of the picture and they will get what they want. God is slowly moving further away from this earth and soon the Anti Christ will take his place and reign.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Wade", but "God", the "word of God", the "end of times", and the "Anti Christ" are all elements of mythology therefore all of your assertions are falsehoods. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      December 17, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Righteo

      Jesus clearly said that the end times would happen in the lifetimes of some of those standing there listening. So yeah, the End Times happened already, 1,900 years ago. We don't really exist, because of course Jesus just cannot be wrong or anything.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • CHRIST TIL THE END

      AMEN! You see the light, clearly 17 trillion dollars in debt and these people clearly think there is hope in this world where the Anti-Christ is rising. The Bible explains everything. Global warming is the pits of hell opening, it's symbolic with Science. I am glad that God awakened me out of Disbelief because people don't believe to impress others as if they are smart or something, some Satan blinding tool, I don't know. Everything that is happening is supposed to happen. I love you my brother in Christ, keep the faith, let them be follies in their own foolish wisdom of the world! They'll learn when they take their mark of the beast.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • Righteo

      "Global warming is the pits of hell opening" Oh that's hilarious! You must be a Poe! That's a good one!

      December 17, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • the AnViL

      here it is again – more willful ignorance – pointing in the completely wrong direction.

      wade ignorantly posits that the answers are all in his bible – and the sky is falling this is the end of times! run! pray!!!

      ... instead of recognizing the actual culprit: mental illness.

      more delusional thinking that will not ever solve this problem.

      the enemies of reason are the true force of darkness on planet earth.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  16. Art

    Science will do it all for only 3 payments of $29.95. Act Now!

    December 17, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Tra

      Wow! That's MUCH cheaper than christianity! I guesss the scientists don't wear those shiny expensive preacher suits and drive those expensive preacher Ferraris then. Keeps the cost down.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      preacher Ferraris? LOL

      December 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  17. hooah

    As god is all knowing, he saw that this was going to happen. And as he is also all powerful, he 'allowed' it to happen. Yea, yea, I know. God works in mysterious ways....please.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  18. John P. Tarver

    Vote anti-Christ America and then ask why? If there is no hope or faith or love then what is left for this damaged young man?

    December 17, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Dudley Do-Right's Sermon on the Mounties!!!

      Oh John, really? You do know that he went to Catholic school, don't you? That he wass recognized to have mental issues from an early age. I mean really, blamiing the congenital mental problems of an insane man on the American political process or on atheists is just plain ignorant, and downright slanderous.

      There is plenty of hope and love amongst seculars. You are inventing bizarre slanders again. You might want to read that Ninth Commandment again. It's hell if yoou break a commandment, isn't it? You are going to hell for bearing false witness against seculars?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Kirk

      What "damaged young man" are you talking about? The shooter killed himself you dimwit.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • the AnViL

      here it is again – more willful ignorance – pointing in the completely wrong direction.

      john p tarver ignorantly posits that voting for anti-christs caused this... instead of recognizing the actual culprit: mental illness.

      this is the product of delusional thinking.

      the methods of the enemies of reason are useless and dangerous.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • sam stone

      So, John P., which anti-christ are you talking about?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • John P. Tarver

      Anti-Christ Morty, Polka King of Nebraska! No Anti-Christ is more Anti-Christy than Morty. And he'll get your toes a-tapping as he brings on the Polka Armageddon!

      December 17, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • Zamo, Hero of a Thousand Tales

      I met Morty at a cast party once, I think, many moons ago...

      December 17, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  19. common sense

    there is no god.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • GAW

      I am impressed by your simple bumper sticker philosophy. Come on!

      December 17, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • +

      common sense. You should understand what you wrote. you are really saying "NO I WON'T". No God I will not stop sinning. Therefore, there is no God in your life until you learn how to stop.

      God Bless you.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • todd cook

      common sense, when you can create a living cell, YOUR word will carry authoritative weight.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Kirk

      Wow! You made a sockpuppet fundie mad, dude! Good troll!

      December 17, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      ... and never was. All plagiarized marketing pap for the frightened and ignorant and gullible. Too bad it now retards the potentially most progressive, powerful, humane nation on earth.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Zamo, Hero of a Thousand Tales

      And what nation would that be, exactly?
      Sure as hell ain't us!
      But considering how pervasive delusional thinking is, you are appear to be at least technically correct for whatever nation that could fit those criteria, since every nation is diseased with the pustulent fraud of religion to some extent.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • UncleBenny

      todd cook "common sense, when you can create a living cell, YOUR word will carry authoritative weight."

      I give it about 10-20 years, and we will do just that. What will you say then? Have to keep raising the bar?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Todd cook – right back at you, Sparky. Show us the scientific evidence that particular version of a god created a single living cell.

      I've asked nutters, like yourself, to do this a thousand times before. And a thousand times you nutters have refused to do so.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  20. 3n1

    To all of those who are bashing God...

    God did not kill His precious children. Does anyone recall Sodom & Gomorrah? All the evil, sinning, turning their backs on God...then the great flood? God promised that he wouldn't send a flood again. Now we are living in this sinful world...not any better, perhaps worse than how it was back in Sodom & Gomorrah days. There is evil all around us. God is good. Satan is real and he knows he only has so much time left to roam around this earth with only limited powers..he is seeking to kill, destroy, devour... There is no doubt in my mind that Satan was behind this killing of innocent children. He is able with his demons to get into minds, etc. and has used this killer to do what he did.
    Praise God that these precious children are no longer suffering...they are being loved by Jesus...in Heaven.

    To those of you who simply do not believe, that is your choice. There is Heaven and there is Hell. It is your choice to follow God and believe or not. I pray that you make the right choice. Eternity is forEVER.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • the AnViL

      3n1 – be brave and pay attention:

      the culprit was not satan or any imaginary forces of "darkness". it was mental illness.

      your imaginary man in the sky will not combat the forces of darkness...

      instead – more educated people than yourself will utilize our knowledge to formulate better methods of detecting mental illnesses earlier – and we'll educate their families and friends and associates – and at some point we may develop means to greatly limit these psychotic breaks in which countless precious innocent lives are lost.

      the point here is – science will get us there. human work and knowledge – NOT your silly imaginary man in the sky. if anything – all you and yours do is inject more noise into discourse in your destructive attempts to apply your delusional ideals to serious real-world problems.

      you aren't helping – you're actually a big part of the problem.

      grow up! evolve!!

      December 17, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • GAW

      Dualism with a little bit of Gnosticism.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • GAW

      3n1 There will be a quiz on this later so study hard.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Not again . . .

      Another loney Christian who is praising God that those children are dead.

      You are one weird, heartless cult.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Vishnu

      Just a hint: if you are praying to the wrong god and acting badly because you are following a false ideology, you will pay a nasty karmic price in your next life. I'm thinking dung beetle for you at the moment.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • the AnViL

      oh yeah – vishnu – that's a great help. tell people they're praying to the WRONG god...

      brilliant.

      you are another glaring example of the actual problem.

      good work!

      December 17, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Vishnu

      No, young grasshopper. I am an ad absurdum revelation of the flaws of Pascal's Wager.

      To a Christian, he concept of wrong god is as impossible to assimilate as the concept of no god, so no change from one god to the other will occur. Vishnu has gained no disciples here tonight, and Vishnu is at peace with that concept.

      And as the divine one once said in a fortune cookie, "Your fortunei s in another cookie."

      December 17, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • the AnViL

      vishnu – oh.. well – in that case – excellent work

      carry on mate!

      December 17, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • sam stone

      3n1: you want to be alive for eternity? it would get boring after a few millenia, no?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • Zombie Squirrels Shall Feast Upon Your Nuts!

      The interesting thing about the Christian heaven is that you sit around and do absolutely nothing but worship god for the rest of eternity. No challenges, no changes, just eternal knee-bowing tongue-confessing boredom. If you add in the fact that you will be surrounded by a place packed with Chads, you now realize that heaven is hell! Both places are torture!

      December 17, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • What IF

      Who'd trust that trickster god for eternal bliss anyway. He'd be just as likely to come up with another "covenant" somewhere along the way. Would there be free will there?... or everyone just mindless zombies?

      December 17, 2012 at 3:39 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.