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April 16th, 2013
01:28 PM ET

My Take: Light will conquer darkness in Boston

Editor's note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is an ordained Episcopal Church priest and author of "God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom."

By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

Boston (CNN) — At 4 a.m. on Patriot’s Day, I huddled in the cold and dark on the Lexington town green that’s across from the church where I work as a priest, awaiting the reenactment of the first battle of the American Revolution.

As the sun rose, a small group of haggard colonists assembled. None were in military uniform; they seemed to have difficulty forming a straight line. And when the British marched towards them with their elegant uniforms and disciplined formation, they outnumbered the colonists more than 2-1.

It looked to be a slaughter.

As the “shot heard 'round the world” fired, the colonists scrambled, some dying in the skirmish and others retreating, running away to safety.

To the casual observer like myself, it looked like defeat — defeat of their hopes for freedom, liberty and democracy; defeat of goodness and light. But that defeat turned out to be the call that brought out reservists from all over the Boston area. Ordinary colonists left their homes to hide behind trees with their weapons, haunting the British as they marched back to Boston. The efforts of those ordinary men and women eventually led to victory for our country and the ideals it sought — and continues to seek—to embody.

Less than 12 hours after I attended the reenactment, I heard a different “shot heard 'round the world,” this time a few miles from my home where I was working. The Boston Marathon bombing shook me, as it shook many of my fellow Bostonians. It was a reminder that our world carries hazards and injustice.

An 8-year old boy dies.

Marathon runners have their legs amputated.

Since the blast, I’ve heard some people say this changes everything for Boston, for the marathon, for Americans’ sense of safety in the world. I don’t agree. Our world is scary, unstable, dark as 4 a.m. on the Lexington town green. In the collective history of humanity, it’s been a long time since there hasn’t been tragedy — a life taken too soon, a body hurt by a bomb or a gun or a crippling disease.

The Boston bombings are nothing new. They are simply one more reminder that, at some level, our world is not secure, even though, as comedian Patton Oswalt famously posted on Facebook Monday, “If it's one person or a HUNDRED people [who bombed Boston], that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out.”

It creates a paradox for me as a religious leader to acknowledge the seemingly eternal presence of this darkness while I stand with the fundamental Christian tenet that light overcomes it. That paradox can test any person’s faith, rendering hope complex, messy. That paradox challenges me as I think about this Sunday morning, and what I will preach to my congregation as I stand in the pulpit of my Lexington church.

So what I will tell them is this: I will not deny the darkness. I will not deny its power. But I will remind them — and perhaps myself a little bit too — to think about tragedy the same way our forebears did. It may seem we are outnumbered in our battle against evil. It may seem we’re standing alone and haggard, outgunned like those militiamen who fought for our country’s independence 238 years ago.

Yet just as in those early battles of the Revolution, there are reservists who want the light to win.  There are ordinary people who step out into danger, into darkness, to shine a light. On the day of the marathon bombings, bystanders who could have protected themselves rushed to help the injured. Doctors, nurses, and their assistants worked overtime to make sure that those affected received the care they deserved, while law enforcement officials sought justice on the city’s behalf. Bostonians came out to offer marathoners juice and a bathroom, even as officials told them to stay indoors. A nearby restaurant called El Pelon Taqueria gave out free food, drinks, cell phone charger outlets, and the 9-year old daughter of the owner, Addison Hoben, decorated to-go bags with the words, “It’s going to be alright” and “We’re not afraid.”

Those are some of our nation’s reservists, though not all of them by far. Many of us shine light into the dark in quieter ways: by volunteering at a soup kitchen or a prison, by donating blood, by sitting in the waiting room during a friend’s surgery, by caring for an aging parent. Not for naught did the famous Mr. Rogers — who was also a Presbyterian minister — say the words that have been so often quoted in social media since the bombings: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ”

What I will tell my congregation Sunday is that I believe in the power of darkness, and I believe that humans can do horrible things. But I also believe that light will eventually outshine the dark, that the reservists among us are fighting a war to defeat violence and evil, and that one day they will permanently win it. That is what makes me a Christian, and it is also what makes me an American, the descendant of the patriots who gave their life on the Lexington battle green so many years ago.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Massachusetts • Terrorism • Violence

soundoff (715 Responses)
  1. Vic

    Perpetrators: The Boston Tea Party lives on and is coming for you! You can run but you can't hide!

    Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and to Boston, the City of Champions!

    April 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tea Party Bob

      Yeah, the Tea Party has been really effective at catching terrorists! We've caught, uh, well, uh, okay, we don't do anything but complain, but be afraid anyway.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Vic

      I am referring to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, Bob!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party

      April 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Aren't they dead?

      April 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • fred

      God is also dead, and never actually existed.

      April 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    Theological Dementia breeds all mannerisms of vile and villainous acts/actions.

    April 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • .

      Oh look the belief blog pseudo intellect is back.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Oh Gawd, another speck on the windshield!

      April 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • neoritter

      You might want to clean yourself off it then lionlylamb.

      April 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  3. bostontola

    My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and hurt. In a time like this, it doesn't matter what your belief in god is. This was not an attack on the US Govt, it was an attack on people. Not Bostonians, or Americans, but on people of the world . Senseless violence should be opposed by all faiths and atheists.

    April 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Salero21

      Mostly agree.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Salero21

      But then again atheists are extremely Hypocritical. So who can believe them, well not me!

      April 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      So should be droning of innocent by government of USA around the globe. No one is above the La, truth absolute.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • derp

      "But then again atheists are extremely Hypocritical. So who can believe them, well not me!'

      Yes because atheists are always committing terrorist acts. You know, like the Atlanta Olympics and 9-11.

      Oh wait, they were christian and muslim terrorists.

      Nevermind

      April 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      No, they are hindu secular, filthy self centered, out side limit of truth.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  4. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    My Take: Light will conquer darkness,

    VERY TRUE, TRUTH ABOLTE WILL OVER POWER HINDUISM, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE , WAY OF HINDU LUCIFER, FILTHY SECULAR OF ALL, HINDUISM CRIMINALITY OF HINDU SECULAR S, IGNORANT BABOONS STANDS NO CHANCE TO SUCCEED.

    April 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    The author, Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is very accomplished, but if you look in to her writing regarding Harry Potter's "theology" she has missed the mark. Harry Potter's theology is a very old mythology and is part of a very long tradition of fantasy-fiction based on Norse legends. I believe she is an opportunistic fan of HP and that is fine, but she doesn't get where the soul of fantasy comes from.

    April 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    What I will tell my congregation Sunday is that I believe in the power of darkness, and I believe that humans can do horrible things. But I also believe that light will eventually outshine the dark, that the reservists among us are fighting a war to defeat violence and evil, and that one day they will permanently win it. That is what makes me a Christian, and it is also what makes me an American, the descendant of the patriots who gave their life on the Lexington battle green so many years ago.

    this is not what makes you christian - it's what makes you human. atheists, buddhists and jews were horrified by this terrible tragedy too. not only that, but it's more than just "Americans". there were people there from all over the world, running and watching. when this author says "christians" and "americans", this author does what the religious often do - try to raise "christians" and "americans" above others. but it wasn't just christian americans that were hurt and terrorized that day.

    April 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Get a grip.

      Let it go, bro.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  7. Reality

    The light of the world is brilliant in its truth: THERE IS NO GOD !!!

    And these are some of the many reasons why:

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES? Have Done to Each Other:

    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

    "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    April 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      Your a retarded idoit. Shut the Fuk up

      April 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Big Shiz
      That's the best response you have to facts? insult and close mind? great comeback.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Segoy

      People killing people, and your point is what? Humans die. Wow, that's a shocker.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Shining more light with a creed:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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 descent into Hell, 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)

      April 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  8. Segoy

    There is evil in the world. Sometimes it's easy to get complacent and see the world in grays. But then something like this happens and you are reminded that there is evil out there. I am quite certain whomever did this probably can justify their actions but that doesn't take away from what it was.

    April 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Evil is not quantifiable. There is no evil, there is no good.
      The atoms in your body have traveled great distances in this universe.
      You are a space traveler!
      There is no evil in space. Only rocks and ice to avoid.
      Good luck.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Segoy

      "Evil is not quantifiable."

      The greatest ally to evil is denying that there is such a thing. Yes Virginia, there is evil in the world.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Truth.

      Take a stand against evil. Don't deny or try to excuse it.

      April 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Larry

      Segoy
      Are you saying that there are no grey issues?

      April 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.

    Why do you ask me to see another?

    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!

    Perfection exists in the suffering too.

    Be thankful for the pain.

    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    April 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Anon

      Jesus is myth and Christians are delusional lemmings.

      April 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  10. ... --- ...

    Sally21 You ignorant fvcking troll just shut the fvck up for a change you are to ignorant to be alive.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Special Ed

      "to ignorant" lol

      April 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • ... --- ...

      too before I am corrected.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Special Ed

      "to" late.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    Why is this in the Belief Blog at all? It has nothing to do with religion.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think it could have been written using roughly the same words and not been "religious" in the sense of relating to god. However, that is what the author means by "light". Also, even if the author didn't believe in a god and just meant "goodness" this would still, I think, be talking about a "faith" that good would win out.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Dead Children

    Thank you God. Great ah, "design" you have here.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • derp

      I'd like to see the page in "his plan" where it says,

      4-15-2013

      To do list

      Feed some poor people
      Decide who is going to win the Flyers v Habs game
      Blow up some innocent people watching a marathon

      Great plan loser.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  13. lionlylamb

    The "Muslim" children being raised here in the U.S.A. are mere copies of their mid-eastern brethren cousins. Game-Set-Match and connect the dots people!

    April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hi Lionly-Lamb you crazy old fuck. You don't know any American-Muslims do you? (rhetorical)

      April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow. The one post I've seen from lionly that was short, and without the standard pseudo-intellectual bullshit, and it's a generalization of American born muslims that is akin to the Nazi propaganda.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      HI ABc,

      Still churning the web we are. In Life it's all about the odds. The known and every unknown are merely the equations of symbolism. Each symbol is but a spoke upon the wheels of societal derision. Life is good and may well get better in living the ages. Ya think?

      April 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest stated the innuendo "Nazi" not me!

      Can't you see 'hg' that it takes many spokes within 'multiple' varied wheels to traverse the epitomizing roads. Does the epitaph about "Barabbas" come to mind when considering the arms of Muslim theological philosophies in this days' eras?

      April 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  14. Salero21

    See, atheists are extremely Hypocritical! They refuse, reject and scorn God, then turn around and very arrogantly DEMAND an explanation from God whom they hate, while at the same time deny His existence. Because they BELIEVE God owes them [atheists] an explanation. Do you understand now why I say atheism is stupidity in Full bloom?

    After they [atheists] adamantly and in the most arrogant manner scorn religions and especially Christianity. Then in the most Hypocritical of ways, they turn around and DEMAND us Christians to give them an explanation and apologize for our beliefs. Because they [atheists] BELIEVE they are owed such explanations from God and from us.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @salero

      Are you just incredibly stupid, or a flat out liar? I can never tell.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • sam

      Hush up, fool.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Salero21, I demand that you tell me why God did this!

      April 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and going with stupid...but then I've been wrong before.

      OK, Salero...please cite a single example where any atheist is demanding an explanation from God. And no, atheists asking Christians to try explaining this as an intellectual exercise don't count. Go...challenge on. If you can't do it, please let us know whether it was the stupidity thing or the lying thing.

      Thanks.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Oh shit Saraswati, my bad. I totally demanded an explanation a few minutes ago.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Greg

      But Apple, that's OK, you were asking Salero21. Saraswati is asking where an atheist is demanding an explanation *from* God.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Greg

      (which is what the idiot was claiming)

      April 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      your book is a fairy tale. you are in a cult. ALL religions are cults. cults teach you to turn off your brain. cults are bad for you. leave the cult and think for yourself. be a good human being - you don't need an invisible sky fairy telling you how - you know how already. become a free thinker - you won't regret it.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      how can people scorn a being in which they do not believe?

      we can, and do, ridicule the inbred fvcks such as you who do believe

      April 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Salero21

      Can't handle the Truth huh! Unable to disprove or refute what I said? That's why I say atheism is stupidity in Full bloom. Atheist especially the practical ones like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Jung Ill etc. are the worst of all peoples. They're worst than wild animals, even when they disguise themselves with some cult/religion. Even wild animals have been observed/recorded showing affections and even compassion towards animals of other families, species and genus.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • derp

      "scorn religions and especially Christianity"

      We don't believe in any religions you dunce.

      We place no weight on your particular version of ancient myth worship.

      Don't flatter yourself.

      Christianity is just as useless as Islam.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • lol??

      Here come da feel gud mob.

      April 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Greg

      Salero, Saraswati challenged you in fine fashion and you flub-a-dub ducked big time. You have nothing. Lol.

      April 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  15. Where is your God now?

    'No more hurting people,' he wrote

    Almost a year ago, 8-year-old Martin Richard wrote those words on a sign at school. He died Monday in the Boston bombings.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Topher

      That poor child. At least we can expect to see Him in Heaven.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      Pretty sure about your destination, are ya Topher?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Topher

      Yes, I am.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      then why wait?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey T, I wish that were true. It is a very sad day indeed.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      You know nothing of this child's religious views. He may be one of the folks who have not accepted Jesus as a savior. That would mean that hell is his destination, right?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Nothing smug about you, Gopher, nosireeebob

      April 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      Why wait for what?

      Apple Bush

      Dude! I haven't heard from you in forever! Where've you been?

      It is true. With Christianity, you can have assurance of where you will go in the afterlife.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ Topher

      What if this child did not believe in your god?

      Is this innocent murder victim going to burn in hell?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      Topher: If you are so incredibly sure that you will be in heaven, why wait for it? Do you have tall buildings where you live? Perhaps a sidearm?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "You know nothing of this child's religious views. He may be one of the folks who have not accepted Jesus as a savior. That would mean that hell is his destination, right?"

      I don't need to know his religious views. I'm confident an 8-year-old hasn't reached the age of accountability. And if that's the case, because of God's grace he'll be in Heaven.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Sam, he attended Catholic school but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. One of the weirdest parts of many forms of Christianity is the guaranteed trip to heaven for kids (age varies depending on who you ask). It actually means that parents who murder their kids, or any kids, can argue that they are merely guaranteeing them eternal life in heaven. That's one scary position.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Topher

      meifumado

      "Is this innocent murder victim going to burn in hell?"

      No. Not according to the Bible.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      Topher: This "assurance" is a promise by man. Claim all you want that it is the word of god, but you have not shown this. For all your blather about proof, you have supplied NONE.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      God's grace? You have got to be kidding.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "If you are so incredibly sure that you will be in heaven, why wait for it? Do you have tall buildings where you live? Perhaps a sidearm?"

      That would be murder. I have no interest in breaking God's laws.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Sara: The whole thing is one scary position. A vindictive pr1ck god knows who will accept his son/himself as a savior punishes those who don't.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ Topher

      So this child can deny Jesus and still get in heaven?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @sam, It's weird all right. I don't know how much scarier it is than all the other weird stuff people believe.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      such rationalization......

      April 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      if it is murder, so what? you have already confessed that jeebus is your savior, so you have the spiritual free pass to heaven. the savior is as close as the click of that trigger

      April 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      topher: where is this much promised proof that those ware "god's laws" rather than the translated, edited hearsay of iron age sheep boinkers? come on, you have promised proof many times. do you really lack confidence in this alleged evidence? are you really that much of a coward? (that was a rhetorical question, of course you are)

      April 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      sara: what sort of mental gymnastics must people like topher go through to believe this promise of heaven (or the threat of hell)?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Topher

      meifumado

      "So this child can deny Jesus and still get in heaven?"

      Yes, provided he hasn't reached the age of accountability. The problem is the Bible doesn't say what age that is. That's why we generally hold it is different for every person. We all develope at different rates.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      My comments are no longer posting. Awww....did widdle Gopher have a hissy fit?

      April 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Paul

      So could a mentally handicapped person ever reach the age of accountability?

      April 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Akira

      The root post:
      ‘No more hurting people,’ he wrote

      Almost a year ago, 8-year-old Martin Richard wrote those words on a sign at school. He died Monday in the Boston bombings.

      How incredibly sad.
      My sincere sympathy to the parents of this incredible child.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      "So could a mentally handicapped person ever reach the age of accountability?"

      If Topher is any indication, the churches are full of them

      April 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Topher, if some people are exempted from having to go through any process to get into heaven, what exactly was the point of the whole exercise of being on earth?

      April 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @sam,

      "sara: what sort of mental gymnastics must people like topher go through to believe this promise of heaven (or the threat of hell)?"

      Quite a lot if one were to try to do it in the Christian form without holding any contradictory ideas. But when one feels "certainty" about something then the whole exercise of making it logical isn't that important to him or her.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "My comments are no longer posting. Awww....did widdle Gopher have a hissy fit?"

      Well, THIS comment posted, so I don't know what to tell you.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Topher

      Paul

      "So could a mentally handicapped person ever reach the age of accountability?"

      I'd say no. Of course that would depend on if they were always handicapped and the extent of that handicap.

      April 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      tell me of this proof you have been promising for so long

      April 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      you are like the boy who cried "wolf"....you have been blathering on about proof, but have not provided an iota of it. your only argument seems to be that youo believe, so others should too

      April 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Saraswati

      "@Topher, if some people are exempted from having to go through any process to get into heaven, what exactly was the point of the whole exercise of being on earth?"

      Oh, my! You see, when a mommy and daddy love each other ... 😉

      April 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      proof? evidence? can you supply it, or will you have the intellectual honesty to admit it is a BELIEF, not a fact

      April 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      What if the boy's parents are avowed atheists and the boy has never been exposed to the jesus myth? Topher's alleged god is without doubt going to send the boy to an alleged heaven? That's weirder, and more arrogant, than mormons "baptizing" people.
      after their death.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • derp

      "With Christianity, you can have assurance of where you will go in the afterlife"

      Unless the muslims are right, in which case you will butt banged with a flaming pitchfork for all eternity.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Topher

      derp

      "Unless the muslims are right, in which case you will butt banged with a flaming pitchfork for all eternity."

      I have confidence the Muslims can't be right. But the point was assurance, which even the Muslims admit they don't have.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • .

      " But the point was assurance, which even the Muslims admit they don't have."

      neither do you.

      April 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Topher

      .

      "neither do you."

      Yes we do. If you repent and put your faith in Christ, you will be saved and thus going to Heaven.

      April 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Topher,

      Nice try at avoiding answering a tough question. Or is your argument that god put us on earth to enjoy se.x because that wouldn't be an option in the afterlife?

      I repeat: If some people are exempted from having to go through any process to get into heaven, what exactly was the point of the whole exercise of being on earth?

      Try answering it with an explanation of why some of us need to be here making hard morel choices to get to heaven why some do not.

      April 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      that's what topher does. he avoids hard questions that may shake his belief. witness his much ballyhooed, but ALWAYS absent "evidence" for god. topher is an intellectual coward, and pompous to boot

      April 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      your "assurance" of heaven is from the same cesspool of edited, translated iron age hearsay.

      April 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • lol??

      Topher, the more you keep these socies postin' here, the less chance they'll be in the streets causing trouble, too.

      April 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      topher: do you think jesus appreciates your cowardice? how about your lying (you claim you have proof, and said you would come forth with it, but you haven't)?

      the answer is no. he is fvcking dead. and you are delusional

      April 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  16. meifumado

    "God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom."

    LOL Faith is fantasy and the bible is fiction.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  17. meifumado

    Would anyone like to place a bet on who did this?

    My money says its a religious person not an atheist who did this.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yeah, I don't think you get many atheist terrorists outside of Turkey and south Asia...and even those are few and far between.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I think it was a homegrown terrorist attack that was not religious or anti-religious at all, but anti-government.

      Had it been from a religious group like Al Qaeda, they would have already taken responsibility for it.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ Chuckles Ya, I agree its some type of homegrown terrorist, A crazed right winger or jihadist.

      but most likely the person(s) has religion.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Meifumado

      Well homegrown terrorism doesn't necessarily mean it was a jihadist and if this person does have a religion, so what? If the person did it because of his religion, well then that would mean something, but if the act was perpetrated because the person was angry with the governments stance on drone strikes, or the new budget, or maybe the person was against runners.

      I refuse to believe that this act was committed in the name of religion until I see evidence that supports that conclusion. As of now, all we know is that the bomb was designed to cause destruction and to maim its victims. We still have no idea why.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • meifumado

      The reason i say the person has religion is that most people who commit this type of act try to justify the evil they do by saying it for the greater good that religion has taught them, but you never know and we wont till all the facts are in.
      But in still sticking with homegrown crazed right winger or jihadist.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Meifumado

      Possibly, but look at Timothy McVeigh, or even more recently Adam Lansa or James Holmes. None of these people were justifying their acts through religion and perpetrated some of the most chilling acts in recent memory. You might as well say that the person who did this is probably a white guy because of the people cited above.

      Some people do bad sh.it for no good reason.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Alias

    Okay Salero21,
    tell me how you know you worship the correct god.
    There have been thousands. Please enlighten us as to how you figured out the ONE true god.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • morgan

      you use something called faith. Faith is that conscience feeling that pushes you towards good, and away from evil. You must seek for truth. let your conscience lead you to God!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  19. Harry

    Are the streets of Boston sufficiently lit?

    April 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Harry

      Plus – didn't this tragedy occur during the day?

      April 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  20. Salero21

    This is another classic example of what I call Practical Atheism. Atheism is stupidity in Full bloom, atheists are worst than wild animals in their behavior and conduct, even at the dinner table. I don't dine with atheists.

    April 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Peter

      I think it is all part of God's plan. For some reason God wanted to blow up an 8 year old kid yesterday. Must have been bored or something.

      April 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Field Guider

      Different kinds of animals, in fact, don't like to dine together. We have finally been able to identify what's often referred to as the "Salero21":

      Class: Mammalia
      Order: Rodentia
      Family: Cricetidae
      Subfamily: Arvicolinae
      Tribe: Lemmini

      April 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • meifumado

      I bet you it was a religious person who did this, not an atheist.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Paul

      You have to keep in mind, that in the completely whacked out mind of a religious person, anyone who does something bad is automatically an atheist, or at least not a believer in whatever god the religious person happens to believe in.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ Field Guider

      Nice! =)

      April 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • derp

      "I don't dine with atheists"

      Given your foul personal aroma, I see this as a good thing.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
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About this blog

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