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In Oklahoma, a balm after the storm
Volunteers unload donations for tornado victims at the First Baptist Church on May 23, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma.
May 25th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

In Oklahoma, a balm after the storm

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

(CNN) - For six days, First Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma, provided food and shelter to victims of Monday’s deadly tornado. On the seventh day, the church offers another scarce resource: solace.

“Simply put, we are urging people to draw near to the Lord and near to each other,” said Kevin Clarkson, the church’s senior pastor. “As bad as this time is, we find that God will give us comfort and solace and hope for the future.”

Four of the nine children who died in Monday’s tornado had ties to First Baptist. On Sunday evening, the church will host a prayer service called “Oklahoma Strong: Coming Together in Faith,” which Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to attend.

In all, 24 people perished as a result of Monday’s tornado. Nearly 400 suffered broken bones and bruises, and 1,200 homes in Moore and Oklahoma City were damaged or destroyed, according to state officials. The twister’s tenacity took even Tornado Alley by surprise.

But as cleanup begins, imams, pastors and rabbis in the deeply religious Sooner State are encouraging believers to draw on the deep wells of their traditions for spiritual sustenance. The common message across the faiths seems to be: God’s voice was not in Monday’s whirlwind but rather in the steady, quiet aftermath of neighbor helping neighbor.

“What happens may be random, but how we respond to it is not,” said Rabbi Vered L. Harris of Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City. “Making our responses holy begins with noticing the potential for sanctity.”

One block, two tornadoes: Life in the crosshairs

At Shabbat services on Friday night, Harris read a prayer asking God for the wisdom “to know how we can help” and “the calm to bring comfort.”

Like Harris, Abdur-Rahman Taleb, the director of youth services at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, focused on the human response to Monday’s tornado.

“I find it amazing how people will come together across their differences for a common goal,” Taleb said. “The amount of people who came forward from the different faith communities to help those in need, regardless of their beliefs, is extraordinary.”

Taleb said his sermon on Friday focused on the Quran’s second chapter, which tells Muslims that God tests the faithful with “fear and hunger and loss of property.”

Passing that test entails remaining patient amid calamity, the Quran says.

“We want to be mindful of God day in and day out, whether we’re going through good times or bad,” Taleb said.

At Journey Church, an evangelical megachurch about 10 miles from Moore, Sunday’s message is about rebuilding, said Pastor Sam Wampler.

The congregation will look to Nehemiah, who restored the walls of Jerusalem, for inspiration, said the pastor.

“We are far enough in now where the grieving, the anger, is kicking in,” Wampler said. “People need that hope.”

Photos: Pets rescued after Oklahoma tornado

Pastor Bobby Gruenewald of LifeChurch.tv, which has 11 branches in Oklahoma, said his message on Sunday will focus on two key questions: Where is God during tragedies? And what can Christians do to help?

“It's been a tough week but also an encouraging one as we've seen a tremendous response from the faith community,” Gruenewald said. “Churches from just about every denomination we can think of are coming forward with offers to help.”

A garden statue of the Virgin Mary stands in front of a window shattered by the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

Some of the tornado’s first-responders have been turning to the Rev. Thomas Boyer, the longtime pastor at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in nearby Norman, Oklahoma.

“It will be tough on them now,” said the 72-year-old priest, “and it will be tough on them later.”

Boyer said he’s still searching for the right words to say in response.

“Normally my homily is done on Thursday and posted on the website, but it's not even done," the priest said on Friday afternoon, as day darkened into night.

Boyer will have some help: the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City adjusted the prayers and petitions for Sunday Mass to address the area's tribulations.

But sometimes there is nothing to say other than “look to the Lord,” said Clarkson, who has already presided at the funerals of three young tornado victims.

Perhaps that’s why Jared Bowie’s photo of a dark tornado twisting toward a cross has gone viral.

Bowie, an intern at LifeChurch.tv’s campus in Edmond, Oklahoma, said his image has graced thousands of blog posts, media reports, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts since he posted it to CNN’s iReport. One woman even printed out the image and hung it next to her wedding photo, Bowie said.

The picture was taken on May 19, when another tornado, a less destructive forebear of Monday’s deadly whirlwind, churned through Oklahoma. Nonetheless, the image has become inextricably tied to Moore’s loss of lives and homes, and the ultimate source of salvation for Bowie and other Christians.

“People are going through severe suffering right now,” Bowie said. “But in those times, our Savior can provide so much hope. There is light in the darkness.”

Eric Marrapodi, Dan Merica and Jessica Ravitz contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church • United States

soundoff (1,053 Responses)
  1. TG

    The religious leaders of Christendom have little words as well as comfort to say regarding the Moore City, OK tornado because they have little grasp of the Bible. By simply saying to "draw near to the Lord and near to each other" provides little consolation or merit.

    They have no fundamental understanding of the time period we are living in, called the "last days" and Jesus "promised presence" at 2 Peter 3:3, 4.(not Jesus "promise of his coming") Thus, these have little insight as to why conditions are deteriorating both morally and ecologically.(Rev 11:18; 12:9, 12) When they told people to "draw near to the Lord" to whom were they referencing ? What Lord are they speaking about ?

    For example, due to the removal of God's name of Jehovah at Psalms 110 1, the King James Bible reads: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Hence, there is confusion as to which Lord to draw near. However, the original Hebrew Scriptures reads at Psalms 110:1: "The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: "Sit at at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet."

    David revered God"s name of Jehovah and said that " many are the calamities of the righteous one, but out of them all Jehovah delivers them."(Ps 34:19) Jehovah's loyal servants experience troubles and calamities as everyone else, but when disaster strikes, these know full well that "Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the Provider of escape for me."(Ps 18:2)

    Even if death occurs, these are God's memory and will receive a resurrection (John 5:28, 29), either to life in heaven as "kings and priests" (Rev 1:6) or to an earthly paradise in the near future.(Matt 5:5; Luke 23:43)

    May 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Larry L

      What a pile of crap. You're spouting words written by men – not some god. Throughout history people have all prayed to their many, many gods and all got the same result. Absolutely no response beyond their own imagination. Fear of mortality creates these gods and religion is born from exploitation of fearful people. God didn't cause the storm, he didn't protect those in the storm, and he won't cause the next storm. He is a myth. Myths don't cause storms.

      May 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • allenwoll

      .
      Blather^100.
      .

      May 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • whitepine

      Strangely, we are told God knows the future. Example why He put the fruit tree housing Satan in the middle of the Garden of Eden knowing Adam and Eve would eat it? Sometimes I think religion is an escape and an excuse....man uses it so that he is not responsible for his actions. And even if his actions are wrong, he says I will pray and God will forgive me. Man refuses to change because the 2,000 year old Bible does not change...despite the fact science, medicine, travel have. Man doesn't want to get along with his neighbors because he does not believe as I do. In Heaven....Man sees hope. Man wants to believe that there must be a better place. Man wants to be believe he will be perfect. Man wants to believe that evil will be punished. Meanwhile we have man-made wars and misery,

      May 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  2. brian

    "Prayer changes things."

    That's what Jimmy Swaggart said. I wonder why phonies are so religious.

    May 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  3. Emmanuel

    God is love!

    Catholic blogwalking 🙂 http://emmanuel959180.blogspot.in/

    May 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Kathleen

      No, love is love.
      No gods or angels or demons or vampires or sprites or fairies or unicorns necessary.

      May 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Science

    The legal end from Bing!

    Search
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    Find a Lawyer
    FindLaw Answers
    Legal Forms
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    FindLaw
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    Story

    CNN logo CNN 3 weeks ago
    When Christians become a 'hated minority.............

    When Christians become a 'hated minority'
    The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it... Full Article at CNN

    http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/0bj7cdy2zIcqA?q=law+OR+lawsuit+OR+legal+OR+%28court+AND+law%29

    Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths

    by Vince Lattanzio posted on May 25, 2013 02:45PM GMT

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/5/25/faith-healing-churches-linked-to-2-dozen-child-deaths#

    Have a great life.

    Peace

    May 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  5. tony

    @ Aethism is not healthy , etc., is just a computer program – no religious or intelligent connection whatsoever.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Perfect
      Pervasive

      May 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • tony

      Well, well, well. Atheism "prayer" changes things!!!

      May 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • .

      look tony really can spell atheism that's G-RRRRRRRRRRRRREAT

      May 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • tony

      @Pinhead. I program for a lliving, so I typically type faster than the CNN server can keep up. Gives all sorts of typos

      May 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      careful tony, the religitards will attack at every chance possible.

      May 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  6. CSD

    Amazing the things people can tell themselves and make themselves believe to allay their fears. The "clerics" know anything they say is a lie, but when you have built your businesses on lies, what's a few more? "god called him home"....Yeah ok. Or, more likely, the schools were built to JUST the legal code limit for REGULAR CONSTRUCTION, even after the 1999 devastation, to save money. Which is why the inner UNREINFORCED concrete wall fell on the kids.

    People really ought to figure out that it's what we do NOW that matters. We're really good at the whole "asl god for comfort" thing, not too good at doing what's right first.....

    May 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Religion

      Great! Would you pray for all of the innocent people killed in these storms to be brought back to life? Their families would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

      May 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      God is the one that is not healthy for children or other living things...it was hiim sent the flood that wiped out all of them, right?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • CSD

      No, human actions change things.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • nope

      @dick head
      nope

      May 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • nope

      @cssr
      nope

      May 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So, then, nope, did God type your message for you?

      Tell him he's an idiot.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • .

      all the people killed by disaster are already alive before God and have received either eternal life in glory or their legally required ends

      May 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      nope
      Well stated argument. Excellent point.

      You debate with all of the mental agility of a small soap dish.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • .

      when confronted with filth a small soap dish can be very useful

      May 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How come it's not working for you, dot-head?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • .

      well thom o some filth can be washed away but with you stupid goes clear to the bone

      May 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      dot
      You mean the filth in the bible where it specifies exactly how god killed all of the children in the world along with all other living things?

      Pretty filthy indeed.

      And I'm pretty sure you would need the soap, not the dish.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • .

      unfortunately dick head it has long been proven you know jack sh it about the Bible so your comments make no sense.

      May 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ tiny speck of crap

      Is that supposed to be comforting to the people who lost loved ones?

      Do you even comprehend how arrogant, pompous and self-righteous you sound?

      Your god has obviously failed at teaching you how to love others. Maybe you should pray for a natural disaster to kill a few of your loved ones, so you can learn to love others better. Then you can comfort yourself in the fact that they have either received eternal life in glory or their "legally" justified end.

      May 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      dot
      There you go again bearing false witness.

      Noah's ark. God made it rain for forty days and nights to cover all of the earth in water, killing all children and other living things.

      To accomplish this, he would need a sufficient amount of water to cover the highest peak of 29,000 feet and do it in 40 days, that 960 hours to cover 348,000 inches or it would need to rain an average of 6 inches a MINUTE, in all parts of the world at once, for forty days.

      He certainly went out of his way to kill everone.

      May 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  8. Religion

    Catastrophic tragedies like this one are not God's way of reminding us how much we need him. What kind of "God" kills your children to remind you of his "love"?

    These tragedies are realities way of reminding us that our imaginary sky daddies are not real.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Jonah

      You dwell in darkness and it brings you sadness, misery and unhappiness; neither does it give you any answers. I dwell in the light and it brings me happiness and joy, and gives me the answers to all things.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Only if you're satisfied with not thinking much, Jonah.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Religion

      Great! Since you have all the answers.....why does God allow the slaughter of innocent men, women, & children ...many of whom are Christians?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      jonah
      You do not know the heart or the life of the anonymous person who called himself relgion, yet you claim he lives in darkness and hads misery etc...

      You do not know this, so you are bearing false witness, causing your baby jesus to cry.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jonah

      Darkness is the realm of ignorance, supersti tion, wickedness, and sin and misery.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, the irony.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      jonah
      Religion is the realm of ignorance, supersti tion, wickedness, and sin and misery

      May 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  9. Religion

    If you believe in a God that created the entire universe and everything in it but was unable to stop this tragedy, you may be suffering from a delusion called religion.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Jonah

      You seem to believe that atheists have all the answers. So, why didn't the atheists stop this trajegy from occuring?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Religion

      Atheists don't have all the answers. However, in the absence of answers, we don't simply make up imaginary sky fairies. That is what children do. Atheists simply think that it's better to embrace the reality of not knowing than to create a false reality.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      As an atheist my answer would be hmmm thinking hmmm hmmm, oh yeah storm shelter.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Jonah
      It is not that atheists think they have the answers, it is that we know that religion has none.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Those who don't think a god exists understand that it isn't possible to prevent tornadoes, earthquakes, or other natural disasters with prayers. They know that deaths are not always avoidable. They don't pretend that prayer saves them from it or spares them, nor do they pretend that death occurs because a god wills it.

      They don't claim to know. Believers do. And they are lying when they make that claim, because they don't "know"; they just believe.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • CSD

      Atheists and agnostics do not proclaim to "know" anything – that is solely the realm of human-created business called "religion". Atheists and agnostics are advanced and honest enough to admit NO ONE KNOWS..

      May 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  10. Religion

    If you believe in a God who could have stopped this tragedy but decided not to, you may be suffering from a delusion called religion.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  11. Vic

    "God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference."

    May 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • JJ

      And meds to help with my delusions.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Silly man, imaginary friends are for children!

      May 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Vic...........the legal end ?

      Search
      Learn About the Law
      Find a Lawyer
      FindLaw Answers
      Legal Forms
      News
      Blogs
      ...

      FindLaw
      Legal Pulse
      Story
      ..

      CNN logo CNN 3 weeks ago
      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      .
      Hey Buffy..............from Bing.

      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it... Full Article at CNN

      http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/0bj7cdy2zIcqA?q=law+OR+lawsuit+OR+legal+OR+%28court+AND+law%29

      Have a great life.

      Peace

      May 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  12. tony

    Notice how much quieter this comment list is than others on the relige blog.

    That's because the religious folk are pleading the 5th, rather than try and answer this one.

    May 26, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Vic

      We have no self-incrimination nor incrimination by anyone in Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior!!!

      🙂

      May 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Vic and Chadie

      Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths

      by Vince Lattanzio posted on May 25, 2013 02:45PM GMT

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/5/25/faith-healing-churches-linked-to-2-dozen-child-deaths#

      May 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Hez316

      We live in a fallen world. Bad things happen. Are we supposed to be living in heaven now?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  13. EdL

    I feel a bit sorry for the religious leaders who claim to know all about God as they explain to their 'flocks' what God wants them to do, not in the least to keep contributing money to (their) church, which includes providing them with a nice income and nice retirement benefits. Don't believe Jesus yearned for a nice income and nice retirement benefits. There were no automobiles at the time but I doubt He would have asked His followers for nice new cars, nice house, do not believe He told His followers He needed vacations.. Let's call them Sabbaticals, that sounds better.

    May 26, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Jonah

      You are absolutely right, EDL. Christ's true church doesn't have paid clergy. The word of God should not be for financial gain and profit. That gets in the way of sincerity and attracts wolves. The Lord established the true church under the direction of a prophet and still leads his church that way. You should become a Latter Day Saint!

      May 26, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • tony

      The Latter Day Saints have more than enough cash to build storm basements for every family living in the entire Tornado Alley. But they didn't. And they aren't going to either.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "You should become a Latter Day Saint!"

      Hahaha...the church that promotes bigotry and is based off of the lies/delusions of one of the greatest con-men of all time. You're a fool if you believe what Joseph Smith said and you're a bigger fool if you still cling to imaginary friends.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Jonah

      12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. (New Testament, John, Chapter 7)

      May 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lee S

      LDS is the biggest con of all time. Are you mental?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Joey

      The LDS is a smaller con than the Catholic Church.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  14. Jonah

    Don't you dare blame all the calamities of the world on the righteous. Wicked people do bad things and they are responsible for all the bad things that happen.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • tony

      Let me just summon up another couple of Tornadoes and Tsumanis and maybe half a dozen Earthquakes and Forest Fires to prove you right.

      May 26, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • snowboarder

      @jonah, lol! you and that imam in iran believe that earthquakes are caused by immodest women?

      May 26, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have never met a "righteous" person that was.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Don't you dare blame all the calamities of the world on the righteous"

      Sounds like some christard is feeling persecuted for the 50 000 000th time this week. Who are these righteous you speak of? Perhaps their the 75% christian prisoner population or maybe the chirstards imaginary friend god and his zombie son jesus?

      May 26, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Doobs

      Oh, the outrage! Why so butthurt about your god's failure to answer prayer yet again? It's not like it's anything new. You should be much better at making excuses for him than this. You've had a few thousand years to practice.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  15. tony

    Where as the sign in the heavens before this? Genesis 1:14

    May 26, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The sign said "Park's Closed"...the moose out front should have told you.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Love when they use the bible to defend themselves...too funny.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      sorry tony, didn't see your other posts.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • tony

      's OK.Thanks for re-posting. It was a slight typo – should have been "where was" of course

      May 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  16. thebes42

    God is just punishing the bigots of the Mid-West for their support in killing his Brown People in the Middle East with evil remote controlled flying robots.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Kansas

      Baloney.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • LinCA

      @Kansas

      You said, "Baloney."
      What makes it any different from any of the hundreds of other claims why this or that god did or didn't do anything?

      May 26, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  17. tony

    No Pastor will ever dare to try and explain this. I've been asking for a response on explaining the Tsunamis carnage of innocents, from any church leader, on this blog for years.

    Part the Red Sea.
    Send Tornado

    Same power, same god. But most likely, no god.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Jesse

      "WHERE WAS GOD"!? Why did God not save the children from the tornado? One day we will fully understand but for now we can have some understanding; for example, we live in a world of accidents. A school bus runs off the road into an ice cover lake and all the children die. Its a weather related accidents we deal with it as best we can; we do not blame God. "Accidents" also happen in nature when cold air hits warm air and these accidents also can take human life. ITS A WORLD OF ACCIDENTS! DON'T BLAME GOD!

      May 26, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • LinCA

      @Jesse

      If your god created this universe and is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, it knew about the effects of this tragedy and all others when it created it. It must have been intentional.

      So, your god is responsible, or it is a fuck-up. You pick.

      I elect to pick the third option. It's imaginary.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • rational minnesota

      Jesse,

      Therein lies the problem. Your god gets credit for all that is good, yet takes no blame for anything bad.

      Sorry, that just doesn't work if you have any sort of ability to think and reason. Your position is simply not plausible or logical.

      May 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  18. EdL

    Clerics search for the right words? How about God is Love.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      God is all things so he is as much hate as love.

      May 26, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • snowboarder

      i can't imagine why anyone would actually believe that.

      May 26, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • tony

      and executioner in fact

      May 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Doobs

      The christian god loves children so much he sends mentally ill men into their schools to blow them apart with assault weapons and tornados to torturously drown them. Don't ask why, he has his reasons.

      Sounds legit.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Rob S

    How about school cafeterias, in that area be built underground to serve as both cafeteria AND tornado shelter?

    May 26, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      They could re-inforce the walls with leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I think I still have some of that cafeteria food in my intestines from when I went to school.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  20. One one

    It must be a challenge for pastors to try to make sense of this for the believers. According to their religion:

    God created the conditions for the tornado to happen
    God knew in advance that it would kill people and destroy their homes
    Devoted believers prayed to god to protect them and their homes
    God had the power to protect them but he did not

    After all that, people still pray to god for help, and believe he will, somehow, provide help.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Singingdrum

      Here's a little food for thought. Think of this world as a schooling ground (hmmm...even as a hell) and there is an answer for you. In this school you are to experience and learn....grow. Part of the experience is to experience good and bad. There are lessons to learn in both. And I think that is why we are here. As for, "why would God allow his children to suffer". the answer for me is that it is all part of the schooling. The gift that comes from bad times is the love that goes out from the people involved. Since I believe we are all expressions of God–each and every one of us–God in action is the love that goes out from each and every one of us.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • tony

      You can't school children to lead better lives, if the first part of the process is killing them.

      May 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • JJ

      And meds to help with my delusions.

      May 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Singing drum

      As for, "why would God allow his children to suffer". the answer for me is that it is all part of the schooling. The gift that comes from bad times is the love that goes out from the people involved.

      What a callous thing to say, you clanging cymbal. It's easy to point to "god's mysterious ways" when your child isn't the one who suffered a slow, painful death by drowning. If the christian god wanted to "school" these parents in love, whatever the hell that means, he could easily have done it by letting them raise their child, and someday perhaps grandchildren, in a loving home with lots of hugs and kisses.

      This the equivalent of teaching your children how to care for a pet by putting an animal in a cage and letting them watch it starve to death. Sure, they'll learn something, but you are causing needless suffering for everyone in the process. Isn't your god smart enough to figure out a curriculum that doesn't include torturing and murdering people? I guess not, since cruelty seems to be his typical method of operation.

      Of course, the christian god has his reasons. Right?

      May 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
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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.