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Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?
May 21st, 2013
04:45 PM ET

Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - God may not notice the thousands of prayers tweeted for victims of Oklahoma’s devastating tornado - but Ricky Gervais sure has. And he is not pleased.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 75,000 people have used the hashtag #PrayForOklahoma, including pop starlets, pastors and politicians, according to Topsy.com, a trend-monitoring site.

For example, the White House tweeted,

But the hashtag and the sentiments it promotes prompted a fierce backlash on social media, led by Gervais, a British comedian, and other prominent nonbelievers.

And while one Oklahoma City pastor says he appreciates the Twitter prayers, some religious scholars say devout petitions require more than moving your hands across a keyboard.

"A prayer is supposed to have a consequence for you," said Elizabeth Drescher, a lecturer at Santa Clara University in California. "It's not an act of magic."

Gervais, an ardent foe of organized religion, was more caustic.

After MTV tweeted that pop stars Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry are sending their prayers to Oklahoma, Gervais responded, “I feel like an idiot now … I only sent money.”

Gervais and other atheists also kick-started a counter-trend, using the hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma.

“If all people are doing is praying, it is worthless,” Hemant Mehta, an Illinois math teacher who writes the blog “Friendly Atheist,” told CNN. “If they are praying and donating to the Red Cross, that’s more like it.”

Mehta is promoting a group called Foundation Beyond Belief that aims to provide a humanist response to crises like the Oklahoma tornado.

The prayer debate spilled into other social media sites as well, with commenters on CNN’s Facebook page sparring over God’s role in Monday’s destructive whirlwind.

According to Oklahoma officials, 24 people have died, many more are injured, and once-orderly streets look likes foretastes of the apocalypse.

In response to a woman who said she was praying for the victims, Facebook commenter Peter Tongue replied, “If prayer works, there wouldn’t be a disaster like this in the first place .... so please keep your religion to yourself.”

But believers had their say as well.

“God is still in control!” said Wilbur Dugger, a commenter on CNN’s Facebook page. “Everything (God) does is to get our attention. … My sympathy and prayers go out to those who get caught up in his demonstrations of (God) ruling the world.”

The social-media sparring over prayer and God’s will reflect a culture in which traditional notions of religion - and the places where people talk about faith - are changing faster than a Twitter feed, said Drescher, the Santa Clara lecturer.

“We’re watching people re-articulate what it means to be spiritual and religious,” she said.

Just a few years ago, for example, no one knew what a hashtag was. Now the “#PrayFor...” meme appears after almost every national and international tragedy.

But what exactly does it mean? Is the tweeting multitude really folding its hands in prayer, or is it a fleeting expression of existential angst? Or maybe just a trendy thing to say?

“It seems to express hope and anxiety, and maybe even helplessness,” Drescher said.

“At the same time, it evokes this strong response from people who see it as a cop-out, a way of claiming some kind of spiritual space that doesn’t actually have any meaning to the people who are posting the meme or the community they are addressing.”

Traditionally, prayer has required something of the pray-er: an orientation toward reverence, a readiness to act, Drescher continued. “You are meant to do something - and that something may not be an easy thing.”

Slapping a hashtag at the end of a tweet doesn’t meet that standard, the scholar said.

The Rev. David Johnson of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City said the prayerful tweets mean something to him - even if he’s been too busy to read them.

Since Monday, St. Andrew’s has become a Red Cross command post and reunion site for families to find loved ones caught in the tornado’s path. The tragedy has also touched the congregation itself, with homes, and some lives, lost on Tuesday, Johnson said.

Told of the Twitter prayers, Johnson said, “that’s awesome.”

“People feel helpless - like God called them to do something but they don’t know what. That’s where prayer comes in.”

Johnson said his church appreciates the many material donations coming its way: the generator sent by a lady from Arkansas, the food and water sent from neighboring towns. But they also solicit, and are happy to receive, the many prayers recited - or tweeted - on their behalf, he said.

“We’ve seen quite a lot of trauma in the last day,” Johnson said. “Obviously, people are going to ask why God allows tornadoes to happen. That’s just part of this world. God doesn’t promise us that bad things won’t happen, he promises to help us get through it. That’s what prayer helps us do.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • United States

soundoff (3,515 Responses)
  1. RDKAy

    If catastrophes are part of god's "plan;" it appears that all persons who suffer as a result are simply "collateral damage."

    May 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Everybody gets resurrected. God is perfectly fair.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Ann

      Not if he's all-powerful. That would imply that he specifically chose which individuals would suffer, and how. Sounds like a real SOB, to me.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Religious kooks unite

      Perfectly fair? Babies born with birth defects would argue otherwise. How can an almighty, who is supposedly perfect, produce such an imperfect being? And all the suffering that goes along with it.

      Seems like a lie, smells like a lie because it is a lie. Enjoy your slavery to the bronze-aged tale.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  2. sly

    "The Red Sox are the greatest team ever"
    "No the Yankees are"
    "No the Red Sox are"
    "God is the greatest"
    "There is no God"
    "The Yankees are the greatest"
    "No God is"
    "No the Red Sox are"
    "There is no God"
    "The Yankees are the greatest"
    "No the Red Sox are"

    yawn

    May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • DrivenB4U

      I love how you equivocate one of the most pressing questions of the human condition to the trivialities of sports teams. If you got nothing add step out.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • sly

      I love how you are not intelligent enough to realize it is a perfect analogy to what y'all are debating:

      People have personal opinions. None right. None wrong. Opinions.

      You can argue about the Red Sox or Yankees or whether there is a God or not, ALL DAY, and NONE of you are right, or wrong.

      Sorry that flew so far over your head. I'll try to spell it out in fingerpaint next time.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Robert

    God is not like Tinkerbell. He does not cease to exist just because people cease to believe in him.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • frhoads

      Neither does he exist because some people believe in magic.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      but like Tinkerbell, he never existed in the first place ...

      May 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Ice

      Likewise...doesn't have to exist just because people believe he does..

      May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      If tinkerbell never existed, then the cartoon show's that she appeared in never existed either.

      Your analogies are bad.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Religious kooks unite

      Prove Tinkerbell does not exist. There is as much evidence to support the existence of your sky fairy god as there is for Peter Pan's fairy.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Really, Robert?

      There are many gods that man has made that people no longer believe in
      they have disappeared

      May 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Dan

    What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with an atheist? Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason!

    May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  5. palintwit

    With any luck that tornado wiped out a few Chick-fil-A's. And maybe even took a few teabaggers, too.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • george

      U my friend are a TRUE LEFTY and one for SURE "SICK PUPPY!? Go have a beer

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Drew

      You're funny. Maybe my fist would improve your face, funnyboy.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      drew: really? threats of violence?

      May 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Rcknrbn

    Why are atheists angry all the time? How sad.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dan

      Jealous, I imagine!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      not angry, just amazed that you believe in something so mind blowingly foolish!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christianity is the belief that a god impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the "original sin" of a couple we now all know never existed.

      Atheism is the belief that the above belief is fvcking stupid

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • george

      Because they have NOTHING to believe it while OTHERS do have somthing to believe in...maybe???

      May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Phil

      We aren't angry at all. We simply do not believe in an invisible man in the sky, who controls everything on earth. If prayer worked, there would be no deaths from childhood cancer. Every parent, religious or not, has prayed over their dying child, I can assure you. It simply doesn't work. You cannot reason with religious people however, or there would be no religious people.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mike

      Because the rest of the world just doesn't take them as seriously as they like to take themselves. Poor atheists. The world's social, philosophical, and moral backseat drivers.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mike

      And yes, I realize the utter futility in "debating" religion with atheists in the comment section of an internet article. Apologies for entering their layer and offering an opinion different from their's to spend the rest of the day bashing and belittling online.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      george: we have plenty to believe in. for example, i believe you are an imbecile

      May 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  7. lbdukeep

    There's nothing wrong with Prayers for Oklahoma....we pray for everyone who has to suffer. Prayers mean you have some sort of compassion for those who are suffering a catastrophic situation, and we all pray we never wind up in the same boat.

    As far as RICKY GERVAIS (GARBAGE MOUTH) is concerned, he doesn't like it, he can go back to wherever it is he came from. I can't stand him, and his bullying bad mouth anyway. He is as bad as Gottfried....no one needs him! What a lousy human being!

    May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Lisa B.

      So people who don't pray have no compassion? Wow, that's rich and conceited. But you sound like a Christian, so it fits.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you're getting a little hysterical here!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Stephen

      I don't care about the prayers, but when three or more of your state politicians are asked and on national TV "what assistance do you need?" You look stupid when you reply that all you need is prayers. The politicians should be ousted for being stupid. Should we honor their request and save our money?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lb: Feeling a little persecuted today??

      May 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Phil

      Praying does nothing. Ask any parent who has prayed over a dying child in a cancer hospital. It's foolish to think that mumbling under your breath has any effect on disease or whatever. This is 2013 for crying out loud!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  8. nu2okc

    The choice for prayer is up to you however we do accept your money to help those in need.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    Looking at all this Christian hatred for Gervais, it's easy to see how you religious types got all worked up and reached for the torches and pitchforks in the old days. Don't you think you're being a little hysterical? He was just saying to send money rather than praying (which is proven to achieve nothing).

    May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  10. gadlaw2012

    I see some people taking Ricky Gervais' tweet as 'hate' – give it a break. Your imaginary man in the sky and the foolishness of prayers as a response instead of actually doing something to help is the issue he's poking fun at. Of course we all feel terrible about the act of nature. You can't logically 'praise god' for those who survive and then ignore the lack of logic in not also laying the blame on your invisible man in the sky for the people he would have killed if he in fact existed. (which he doesn't) He's pointing out the hypocrisy of praying for something from something that doesn't exist. Instead, donate to the Red Cross – that would actually help and would actually be doing something.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      So let me see if I understand this correctly.

      If people praise god that people actually made it out alive is illogical, since we don't hate him for those who don't?

      Seems like some one is thinking that since there is a god we should all have full immunity, and never parish from natural causes.

      FAIL.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • lol??

      Shouldn't he have outgrown tweeting by now??

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • linsey

      I think regular people who pray or give money (or both, yes they do exist), do more than any stupid celebrity ever. We don't see Gervais in Oklahoma giving of his time, we see regular people atheists and Christians alike helping their fellow man, that's what I care about...and yes I donated and PRAYED!

      May 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  11. Maria Ferreira

    It amazes me how some people who never care about God every time something bad happens they blame Him!
    When people say: "Our thoughts and our prayers are with them".
    That alone is not a prayer.
    When we pray we must adress God the Father in the Name of Jesus.However we must become His child before we can call Him "Our Father". You can't reject God and His Word and His Son whom He sent to die on the cross for our sins, so that we could become God's children, and then expect for Him to answer your prayers.
    Also: God deserves to be loved, praised and worshiped daily!-We must spend time with Him and in His Word and obey!-You can't come to God with a "grocery list" every time you need something and then turn your back on Him when things go well!
    Hypocrites!-How dare you say that God doesn't listen to people's prayers?-Many people blame God is for what the devil does!-We have a loving God who gave us His very best: His Son!

    May 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      maria: could god not have forgiven without the blood sacrifice?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • george

      WELL STATED INDEED Maria !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christianity is nothing more than a pagan religion that caught on. It has its roots in other, older pagan religions that were common in the Mediterranean region before the supposed life of Jesus. There isn't a single original thing about it. Every tenant, and every story is borrowed from other religions. From the Garden of Eden, to the Great Flood, to the virgin birth, to the miracles, to the resurrection – all borrowed concepts from other religions.

      Mark wrote the first gospel several decades after the supposed life of Jesus – yet he is able to quote him, word for word? How is that? He never met him. And the other three gospels were copied from Mark. Whether Jesus was divine, or just a prophet, was an item of debate amongst early followers, and wasn't decided for good until the council of Nicea in the fourth century. It was put to a vote, and "divine" won by a narrow margin! A vote!

      Christianity is no different than astrology, fairy tales, and psychics. It's nothing but a conglomeration of myths, perpetuated by those craving money and power.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Ann

      Maria – he probably could have - if the all-powerful thing was workin' for him - but then where's the fun in that? Back in the Bronze age, he probably couldn't have gotten as much press without all the gory stuff.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Lisa B.

      Well the devil won on this one, and many others. he didn't give his son, he gave a dead man walking.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • TruthandConsequence

      Thank you for your strong defense of prayer. Those who practice it, know they never go unanswered...even when they are not the answer we seek.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Ann

      Sorry, that was meant for sam.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      ann: so, if he could have done it without the blood sacrifice and chose not to, does that not imply that he was more than a wee bit vindictive?

      May 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      truthandconsequence: how do you tell the difference between an answer of "no" and no answer?

      May 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  12. TheOlympicTroll

    To not believe in god is to admit that there is a god not to believe in.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Now there's ignorance at its best. There is no evidence to support the notion of any god, therefore I see no reason to believe in one. Dictionaries are useful items, you might want to try looking up the meanings of Atheist, Theist, belief and disbelief.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      "To not believe in god is to admit that there is a god not to believe in."

      To not believe in leprechauns is to admit there are leprechauns not to believe in

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      There are leprechauns.

      Have you never seen a midget with red hair? 🙂 Ha.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • robharrisaz

      I don't believe in the Easter Bunny or Harry Potter either so I guess they are real too.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      Funny, you say there is no proof to say there is...

      But there is no proof that defines with 100% certainty that there isn't one.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      Your analogies are bad.

      Harry potter does exist. He was played in a movie and written about in a book.

      Easter bunny's are real too. Have you never seen a white bunny before?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  13. Ann

    I'm an agnostic, but when I'm going through a tough time and someone tells me they're praying for me, I accept it as an offering of emotional support. Feeling the emotional support of others IS helpful, so I think it's a bit ridiculous to be offended by the offering of prayers.

    However - it did seem a bit ridiculous when I recovered from a recent serious illness, and some religious friends stated that my recovery was directly related to the fact that they had prayed for me. "Um, thanks for the thoughts, but I think I'll give a bit more credit to the medications." Their response to that? God sent the medications. Yeah, whatever.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Agnostic only defines knowledge, it does not define belief.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Ann

      Um, your point?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Wow, someone points something out to you and ignorance becomes your friend...how mature!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  14. QS

    I thought something similar yesterday when I kept seeing the common theme being expressed that "Oklahomans are special because we can deal with this stuff" or "Okies have a special relationship with the sky"! HUH!

    Seriously, why when something like this happens do people feel the need to try to make the place they're from and that they are obviously proud of seem like it magically makes people who are super-human and can handle things that others who aren't from that place wouldn't?

    It happened it Boston too. Boston Strong? I mean, I get the sentimentality of it all, but really what gets any of us through anything like this isn't "god" or even being from that place that was struck with the tragedy....it's our humanity.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • OUfaninNC

      Our humanity is given by grace from God.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Not sure how I feel

      There is a HUGe difference between people in boston and people in the bible belt. Bostonians are logical people who will bite the bullet in a LOGICAL way to get a greater good done. We would NEVER have building codes that couldn't sustain blizzards. We would NEVER say 'eh, we're not going to worry about that, we'll let the man in the sky protect us". When the governor said 'we would like everyone to stay home " ..we did. voluntarily. that would JUST NOT HAPPEN in one of these southern states that hates government where everyone has a gun and thinks they're RAmbo and has a hero complex. That guy who approached that boat did so with NO weapons, risking his life, and that was why the bomber did not shoot him. Let him go, so he called the professionals who got him out with nobody else getting killed. that tooks major balls, YOu dont get anymore brave than to approach a terrorist with no gun!!!!! he did that so as not to alarm him, and that takes balls. To say 'we believe God will take care of us" while you do NOT accept climate change, do NOT have adequate building codes...I feel for the folks of this area, I do, and I can't imagine the pain the parents must be in, but there is an infantile state of mind with the bible belt that needs to be addressed. Its time to use logic or more people will die when it comes to weather in the south. Boston does NOT a problem with using logic. in fact, it's what we do, we're even willing to lose money, put personal safety on the line, if the logic says that is what will get the job done.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  15. kf

    Whether you are a believer or not a believer, God did not do this. He is not the ruler of this world but he his the protector of those who seek to know Him. And this is the problem the farther one gets from protection the closer they are to disaster. This world laughs, mocks, and even spits at the very notion of Gods existence. Then turns around and tries to blame Him for everything that goes wrong. While continually telling Him to get away. Natural disasters are not an act of God they are a lack of a world wanting him around.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Ann

      "... the protector of those who seek to know him."

      Do you even realize how ridiculous this sounds? How protected were all those victims? Or - were they all atheists?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      Your God sounds petty; folks don't pay attention to him and so he gets mad? Why would an all-powerful being need to be so small?

      Anyway, I pray, but not to make things happen or keep things from happening, but to better get in touch with the love and compassion that MY god represents. Then I take action.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      Not only that, but this being is supposedly omniscient, so he knew that people would not pay attention to him

      May 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • george

      WELL STATED Friend !

      May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • ScienceNeedsNoMagic

      kf: The improbability of a "God" is what keeps me from believing. If "God" made us in his image, why did he give me such rational thought to find the story in His "book" so outlandish? Why did He not leave one tangible shred of evidence? Why does He work in such mysterious (total lack of logic) ways? Why would he choose such a backward time to announce hhimself to the world? Why did he not show himself sooner than the bronze age?
      To believe that "sin" is the cause of natural events is idiotic nonsense. To believe that man made disasters are God's punishment is equally insane.
      I chose not to believe because their is no rational reason to. "Faith" is just a grown up word for "make believe." If there is a God and I am sent to judgement and asked why I did not believe, I will simply reply; "Because there was no tangible, rational signs of existence. Why did he make me too smart to believe his book?"

      May 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Not sure how I feel

      Natural disasters are not an act of God they are a lack of a world wanting him around.--Dear Lord, natural disasters are simply the laws of physics playing out. Heat, warmer oceans, warmer geographical land masses, location of the jet stream, etc. It's not God being angry, it's just science. I absolutely cring when I read a post like yours. It is the epitomy of what is wrong with religious people. YOu live like infantile children wanting a daddy to take care of everything. You're too lazy to try to understand the science, so you just look to some daddy to protect you. You dont want to grow up, own the problem, and formulate what solutions we should try to apply. Those children died from religiouis idiocy of denying climate change and the models that told long ago that F5 storms wont be the exception anymore, they will become the rule, and the loigcal science that if that is the case, you best change your building codes for schools.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  16. Fred G. Sanford

    The saddest thing about all this is we always want God to hear us, but NEVER, or, very selectively want to hear Him.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • TheOlympicTroll

      Why is this .......... so true? 🙁

      May 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • ScienceNeedsNoMagic

      Why hasn't he said anything for 2000 years? I've listened but only heard silence. Tell me where in the sky to point my telescope to see heaven. Science shows us more each day how unlikely "god" is.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • nerdy_christian_13

      So true. Depressingly true.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  17. PeterD

    The difference between President Obama Chewing Gum and Cow Chewing Grass is that Cow looks more intelligent and Presidential.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      That's a lot of effort to say something really childish ...

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • george

      Well I can't certainly DISAGREE with that now !!!!

      May 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      What does your hatred for Obama have to do with this article?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      Petey: Wow, how hip and edgy...bringing Obama into this article

      George: Jeebus is waiting

      May 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  18. Katie

    Well said Reverend Johnson!!

    May 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  19. Super Silly

    "we are all believers", no dude that's your illogical assumption, I don't believe in super being overlords.
    When a politician says "let's pray", he or she means vote for me.
    Besides why would it matter if this overlord did hear your prayers, he she or it is the one that killed them all anyway.

    BOW!!!!!
    YIELD!!!!!
    KNEEL!!!!
    AND GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, ERRR UMMM, I MEAN DONATIONS!!!!!

    May 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • george

      U ever step inside a church big boy...might want to try it sometime and you might become a believer...ever think about HOW you actually got on this planet? somebody just drop you in and run? hardly...think a little further...Birth itself is really something when you think about it and give the conept the time of day.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      george: what has church got to do with it?

      May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  20. sly

    The Muslims have been praying for years to rid their nations of foreign invaders from America.

    Hasn't helped. And we all know that Muslims pray at least 7 times a day.

    And, please, since I am not a believer, I sure don't want to hear a bunch of non-Muslims saying that only 'certain choosen' few get a God, and that all the other believers in the world are 'false'. THAT would make you look like a seriously mentally ill hypocrite. If there was a God, then sure as hell He listens to prayers to Allah, Jesus, Wicca, Buddha and the other thousands of deities.

    Not saying prayer doesn't work, just saying it usually doesn't. Ask the Muslims.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:39 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.