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. Anna

    Is It Wrong to Make Babies Cry For Art?

    June 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  2. Science

    Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

    Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

    May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?


    Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

    RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'


    11,000,000 results Any time

    Splat Chad

    June 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • science

      Hey chad think outside the box.

      58,000 resultsAny time

      When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs – CNN Belief Blog ...


      Apr 28, 2013 · hey CNN, this takes the prize ... Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .....reminds me of a 5 year old ?

      June 10, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  3. Jane

    As the mom of a now-adult son, if my son were currently scouting age, I would not permit him in an openly gay scouting troop. Do I hate gays? No, absolutely not, and I treat them with courtesy and respect. But that does not include putting my son in an organization that endorses their lifestyle. And that's the problem. They are not satisfied with courtesy and respect, they want more...ENDORSEMENT. I cannot give that, and my refusal is NOT hate mongering.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Susan

      As the friend of an openly gay couple I wanted to respond to this. First of all nobody says the entire troop would be gay, infact last time I checked scouting age kids were not worried aobut orientation at that age. The fact that you would not allow your son to be in the same scouting troop that had a gay scout leader when you would let your son be in a scouting troop that had a straight scout leader means you are treating them differently. It's not endorsement they are after it is just the desire to be treated the same as everybody else. I would not say you are hate mongering, but rather that you lack experience and knowledge of men and women from the GLBT community. If you get to know a few you will find quality people from all walks of life.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They're not after endorsement – they're after acceptance.
      It's all well and good that you put on a contrite act in public, but just below the surface there is fear.
      You fear what exposing children to ho/mose/xuality will do, as if merely being in the presence of a gay person will somehow influence a child's orientation.
      There were plenty of people just like you in the mid-twentieth century who had the same feelings about racial integration. "Sure, the darkies are nice people and I treat them with respect, but I wouldn't let my child into one of their homes..."

      June 4, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • sam stone

      Jane: Why do you refer to it as a "lifestyle" rather than an orientation?

      Do you think it would turn your child gay?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      When you say they want "endorsement", are you referring to equal rights?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  4. Science

    Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

    RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'


    11,000,000 results Any time

    Splat Chad

    June 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Science

      By the way HAR/chadie..........your header on post was ............see below........so do not go deleting comments !

      Your request was successfully submitted.

      Bing Webmaster Tools

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/............please check out the link thanks .

      June 2, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  5. Kinosaur

    My last paycheck was ($)7500 working 12 h0urs a week 0nline. My sisters friend has been averaging 11k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. The potential with this is endless. This is what I do, Rich4.C0M_

    June 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  6. Science

    Hey chad...........worth sharing !

    And............Biggest JOKE under the SUN.................NO heaven or horn-y red devil..........never has been !

    Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

    By Dan Merica, CNN




    PS Do a simple search for Prof. Higgs.............the church hates that = True Comedy Gold !

    And worth sharing RCC !

    Bono at TED 2013: Eradicating extreme poverty doesn’t have to be a dream


    June 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  7. carl wiley

    OK, so God is in control of everything..the great and all powerful. So didn't he send the storm? Or at the very least couldn't he have stopped the storm? Christians always seem to be the beaten and battered wife in a horribly violent marriage. How can you thank God for everything good but never hold him accountable for the bad? Here is an idea...the tornado was caused by cold and hot air currents merging to form a storm. Those killed just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Now everyone off their knees and let's clean this mess up and help the injured.

    May 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Science

      Hey carl wiley and all creationists ...........chadie too....the truth below !

      Ancient life...............3.5 billion years ago.............NO god(s) or horn-y red devil (666 the beast) never has been

      Disappearance of Stromatolites, Earliest Visible Manifestation of Life: Ancient Enigma Solved?

      May 28, 2013 — The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera.


      June 1, 2013 at 6:50 am |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    this sums it all up ...

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    May 31, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  9. Science

    Star dust we are.

    Pebbly Rocks Testify to Old Streambed On Mars..........and the asteroid that flattened mars aye chadfie !

    May 30, 2013 — Detailed analysis and review have borne out researchers' initial interpretation of pebble-containing slabs that NASA's Mars rover Curiosity investigated last year: They are part of an ancient streambed.

    More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl , http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .

    You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .


    AND the easy to do ............shows you that there is NO red horn-y thingy.

    For all creationists and ID believers...............IT only takes minutes to figure IT out. No fairy in the sky needed !

    New Device Can Extract Human DNA With Full Genetic Data in Minutes

    May 6, 2013 — Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.


    Have a great life and look up for that falling chondrite !

    May 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  10. Science

    BUZZ OFF fake science poster.and chadie/faith/Austin/toothless and L$H saw you somewhere today........the cats !

    all creationists !

    Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function

    May 28, 2013 — UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.



    Have a great life if you can crawl out of the green slim you are in.

    May 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  11. Science

    Big Data Chardie.............from Bing................again easy to access.

    Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood ..................cloning could happen maybe

    Posted by Soulskill on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:52PM
    from the wooly-mammoth-vampires-very-excited dept.


    May 30, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  12. God's Dead

    Nietzsche 5:12

    May 30, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Well, fvck, he owed me twenty from last week.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  13. Answer

    God went to the bathroom..

    Break 12:40

    May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  14. MJW

    A religious organization preying on the weak, distressed, downtrowden, offering hope in mythology? Has this ever happened before?

    May 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  15. Really-O?

    Here's Doug Stanhope's fundraising website to which Duh! referred –


    Take a look...a chance to do something worthwhile and have a few laughs. This may be my favorite:

    "For 25 dollar donations, we will leave a free Bible in the nightstand of your next hotel stay. Go ahead, take it. It's yours."

    May 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • faith

      he picked up gideon's bible
      open at page 1

      i thank god he stole the handle and the train it won't stop going no way to slow down j tull

      June 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  16. Chad

    I was looking for the American Atheists and American Humanist Association aid response .. oddly enough, I dont see it anywhere?

    Is it being done anonymously?

    May 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What difference does that make to you Chad?...Why are you wasting time on that when you could be helping? You only want to know so you can judge others...right?
      What did your jesus character say about that Chad?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I was looking for evidence of god only to find that there is none, and that he is completely invisible and undetectable--just like the invisible and undetectable space ship I keep in my garage. They must both be completely irrelevant.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Vic



      May 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nah Chad, you are missing the obvious

      They sent you the storm

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chad

      Red Cross is an atheist organization?
      wow, who knew.. have they been told?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Almost everything we do is anonymous, we do not have any organization we all belong to. We give without any need for attention. Don't worry, be happy.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • ME II

      The Red Cross is a secular organization, perfectly acceptable to atheists, agnostics, and everyone.

      Here's some more that Atheists might donate to:

      Plenty of choices for Atheists.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Vic

      The American Red Cross Helps ALL

      May 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

    • @Chad (being conspicuously asinine and of no help to his God that I can see): "Is it being done anonymously?"

      Probably it is, for the most part. I gave $250 on 5/24/2013. I encourage everyone to do what they can.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Atheists Giving Aid would welcome your donation.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc "http://www.weareatheism.com/donate/atheist-giving-aid-oklahoma-tornado-relief/"

      Hey, that's awesome! A whole $18,302!!!
      nice job atheists!

      May 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chad

      $18,302 would probably pay for the diesel fuel that Samaritan's Purse (Franklin Graham's aid organization) will spend this week in that area..


      May 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, I gave to the Red Cross – do you consider that anonymous? Your feigned outrage does not deflect from the fact that your omnipotent, omniscient god either sent the tornado or chose not to stop it and save lives including children.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's a shame faith-based groups can't act anonymously. There always has to be something in it for their God – plus a bit of promotion for their own particular brand, of course.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Belittling a young, grass roots charity.
      That's mighty Christian of you.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "That's mighty Christian of you."

      I don't think this lying and deceptive person is really a true Christian.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • ME II

      Is that the Samaritan's Purse "charity" that is paying for anti-gay ads? http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/15/franklin-graham-irs-targeted-ministries/

      Or the one that Franklin Graham receives a second full-time salary from? http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2009/10/franklin_graham_moves_to_addre.html

      May 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, Chad truly is an ass, but a fine representative of his God, no doubt about that. I'm sure all aid is appreciated by the recipients.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • ME II

      At 75+% of the population, wouldn't it make sense that Christians to donate more to charity than the 2-10% of non-religious in the US. (http://religions.pewforum.org/reports)

      May 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • meifumado

      Very christian of you to put down people who do not have as much money as others, I'm sure Jesus would approve of your behavior chad.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Duh!

      "Hey, that's awesome! A whole $18,302!!!"

      That's only one example. Atheist comedian Doug Stanhope, has just raised $100,000 and counting.

      Another great example how Chad tries to be deceptive for his God, even though that is condemned in the bible.

      The sad part Chad is if your God really existed it should have stopped it in the first place so NO ONE would have to suffer and NO ONE would have died. DUH!

      May 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's comment in this thread are even more abhorrent than his usual tripe. Jesus wept.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      I think the metric you're looking for, but dont want to find, is the dollars per person..

      The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions
      - Brooks, Arthur C., faith and charitable giving Policy Review, Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The World's Biigest Givers
      Bill Gates – $28 Billion donated – irreligious
      George Soros – $8 Billion – Atheist
      Gordon Moore – $7 Billion – Deist
      George Kaiser – $4 Billion – Jewish
      Carlos Slim Helu – $4 Billion – Christian
      Eli Broad – $2.6 Billion – Jewish
      Azim Premji – $2.1 billion – Muslim
      James Stowers – $2 Billion – agnostic
      Micheal Dell – $1.2 billion – Jewish

      Only 1 Christian out of the bunch!

      May 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      chad is everybit the disingenuous, lying cvnt as his buddies topher and austin

      May 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Do those donation figures include church tithing or collections?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • sam

      Chad, using this tragedy as a means of one-upmanship is very unchristian. And actually kind of creepy. You should go do some kind of pennance.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Khloe

      Chad, you are being even more Snarky for Christ than usual. You have succeeded in making an even bigger ass out of yourself than usual.
      Congratulations. Well done.

      Why anyone would ever be persuaded by this person's innate dishonesty and misrepresentations to actually convert and BELIEVE is his version of Christianity is beyond me. Although he has that "mo money mo money" Christian mind set down.
      Damn, Chad, you really ought to be ashamed of yourself; using people's death and suffering to make some retarded, convoluted fun out of some atheists? Shame on you. You are about as Christian as the carbuncle on my dog's ass.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • ME II

      "Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money"

      Does that count supporting their own church, i.e. ti.theing, as "charity"?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Chad


      One of the outcomes of this profile – and one of the least favorable points of comparison for atheist and agnostic adults – is the paltry amount of money they donate to charitable causes. The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.
      - Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007

      May 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      This is the concluding paragraph from the article by Arthur C. Brooks that Chad referenced above. It makes some interesting point and I think what we should all take from it is that we can all help more.

      On the other hand, the connection between religiosity and generosity might be more earth-bound: It might be that religion simply has a strong pedagogical (endogenous) influence over giving and volunteering. Houses of worship might teach their congregants the religious duty to give, and about both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor. Simply put, people may be more likely to learn charity inside a church, synagogue, or mosque than outside. If charity is indeed a learned behavior, it may be that houses of worship are only one means (albeit an especially efficacious one) to teach it. Secularists interested in increasing charitable giving and volunteering among their ranks might spend some effort thinking of alternative ways to foster these habits.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Ummmm

      " Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money "

      The part that you're leaving out and not using your brain about Chad is Atheists do not have their moral duty to give to charity preached every Sunday throughout the year. They do not have a collection plate waved in their face every week reminding them of their obligation to make a donation. They usually only have their consciences stirred when they become aware of the tragedy around them.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • ..

      You do nothing to further the cause of Christianity, indeed: if you are representative of Christians, you are shallow and petty.
      You should probably quit while you are ahead; as pointed out before, nautuarally the percentage of monet donated will be higher by Christians, as they breed like cockaroaches and indocrinate early. What is the Christian/atheist ratio of not seeking medical attention and letting their children die? Bet it looks something like this: all/none.

      You are a tedious blow hard. Shut the fuck up, you nasty asshat.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Joey

      I would bet Chad has donated no time or money, and if given $100 to give to tornado victims he would just steal it.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Here's Doug Stanhope's fundraising website to which Duh! referred –


      Take a look...a chance to do something worthwhile and have a few laughs. This may be my favorite:

      "For 25 dollar donations, we will leave a free Bible in the nightstand of your next hotel stay. Go ahead, take it. It's yours."

      -inadvertently posted at the top of the page-

      May 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I realize I called Chad an ass earlier. I feel bad about that. Chad is redeemed by his Saviour, so he is in fact a saint, which is a sort of ass with a pass from God.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Khloe "you really ought to be ashamed of yourself; using people's death and suffering to make some retarded, convoluted fun"

      =>you mean like the way this blog is full of atheists talking about how God is immoral for the sending the tornado, not saving lives... etc..

      you mean, like that?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Chad


      so, you're arguing that Christianity is a good thing (positive influence on charitable giving)
      never heard you argue that before..

      May 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • nobody

      Of course it's being done quietly. I sent a donation, I don't need my picture in the paper that I did. I don't belong to any organization either.
      "Quran’s second chapter, which tells Muslims that God tests the faithful with “fear and hunger and loss of property.” That's about the most pathetic thing I've ever read. So god did that mess, caused death and destruction, to test you. What a horrible god you have, please keep it away from me.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @nobody ""Quran’s second chapter, which tells Muslims that Allah tests the faithful with “fear and hunger and loss of property.” That's about the most pathetic thing I've ever read. So god did that mess, caused death and destruction, to test you. What a horrible god you have, please keep it away from me"

      =>you're thinking of Islam..

      May 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      1 Thes 3:3 (TEB) ... None of you should turn back because of these persecutions. You yourselves know that such persecutions are part of God's will for us.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "so, you're arguing that Christianity is a good thing"

      No, I'm indicating that charity is "a good thing" and interactions that foster altruism are desirable.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      1 Pet 4:12-14 (Phi) And now, dear friends of mine, I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means that you are sharing in Christ's sufferings. One day, when he shows himself in full splendor, you will be filled with the most tremendous joy. If you are reproached for being Christ's followers, that is a cause for joy, for you can be sure that God's Spirit of glory is resting upon you.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Adversity leads to Endurance
      Endurance leads to Character
      Character leads to Hope
      Hope leads to Love

      – Viktor Frankl, holacaust survivor of Auschwitz and professor of applied psychology, creator of the discipline of logotherapy

      May 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Commiting horrible crimes and getting sentenced leads to Adveristy
      Adversity leads to Endurance
      Endurance leads to Character
      Character leads to Hope
      Hope leads to Love

      May 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Khloe

      Chad, you're right. Instead of making fun of God, who they totally don't believe exists, therefore cannot be made fun of, they should be making fun of the people who *believe* God brings tornados down on the heads of _________(sinners, gays, atheists, et al).
      There. All better. Make you feel a little more smug and self-righteous that I've heard your "word"?

      May 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad – "so, you're arguing that Christianity is a good thing"
      @Really-O? "No, I'm indicating that charity is "a good thing" and interactions that foster altruism are desirable."

      @Chad "interesting, so from your earlier quote "Houses of worship might teach their congregants the religious duty to give, and about both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor. Simply put, people may be more likely to learn charity inside a church, synagogue, or mosque than outside.

      you're arguing that houses of worship are a good thing..
      never heard you argue that before..

      May 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • ?

      "@Chad "interesting, so from your earlier quote "Houses of worship might teach their congregants the religious duty to give, and about both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor. Simply put, people may be more likely to learn charity inside a church, synagogue, or mosque than outside.

      you're arguing that houses of worship are a good thing..
      never heard you argue that before.."

      This is how deceptive and stupid this poster is because Realy-0 was actually quoting from the same article as Chad yet here's Chad twisting it. Your one pathetic coward.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "you're arguing that houses of worship are a good thing..

      I know you're simply being your usual disingenuous, dishonest self, but ...

      Again, no, I'm indicating that interactions and behaviors that foster altruism are desirable and yes, some of the interactions and behaviors that take place in houses of worship may foster altruism and, therefore, the outcome of those interactions and behaviors is desirable. Unfortunately houses of worship cloak these positive actions in superstition and tribalism.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      moby getting arrested for committing crimes is only perceived as adversity to the criminal. Your not comparing concentration camp survivors or victims of unmerited disaster to criminals are you? Has morality become that subjective to you?

      May 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      As a side point, Chad, if you believe that charity and altruism are exalted values (I certainly do), you really should investigate Tibetan Buddhism and Jainism – when it comes to compassion, altruism, and charity, Christianity ain't got nothin' on those two!

      May 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I wish I had seen ?'s May 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm post before I bothered responding to Chad. Thanks, ? for seeing what I assumed would be obvious to all...but then again, Chad has proven himself to be obtuse over and again.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I've chastised myself for interacting with Chad – a worthless endeavor – and now I'll get back to ridiculing him.

      Chad posting as "Rachel" –

      Starting ~September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm
      Busted – September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Nonsensical Chad-bites:

      "I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

      "Every book that purports to accurately record history needs to be examined critically for internal consistency and for its accuracy in detail. The bible succeeds on all accounts."

      "The Genesis account stands alone amongst all creation stories of the time, a fact universally acknowledged...We are only know [sic] beginning to scientifically discover how accurate it is indeed."

      'As for supernatural vs natural processes, I also believe that the origin of life, and the development of more and more complex life forms on earth in the stages reflected in the fossil record, is the direct result of supernatural intervention (it's called "punctuated equilibrium" )'

      May 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "Tibetan Buddhism and Jainism – when it comes to compassion, altruism, and charity, Christianity ain't got nothin' on those two"

      @chad "really? for some odd reason I'm having trouble finding any annual budget information on them.. odd heh?

      I did find that the Tibetan Aid Project did not meet the reporting standards of the Better Business Bureau..

      May 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad thinks compassion, altruism, and charity are measured in cold-hard cash. I'm not surprised.

      May 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Chad thinks compassion, altruism, and charity are measured in cold-hard cash"

      @Chad "cash, time spent, good metrics.

      what are you suggesting as an alternate? "number of positive thoughts sent out to the universe"?

      May 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Khloe

      Apparently Chad's religion = fat bank account. No poor welcome in the Church of Chad.

      May 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard, have you come to any conclusions as to why the Schaibles allowed their child to die believing they were following the same book you do? How do you know their interpretation is incorrect? How do you know yours isn't incorrect instead?

      May 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I love it when Chard calls someone else "repulsive" and then proceeds to act out the adjective in his own posts.

      May 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • רחל

      @Chad, Great question in your root post.
      God bless the relief efforts undertaken by churches and organizations.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Science

      Hey chadie you might want to do what Rachel told you to do the other day OK .

      Or your red horn-y devil might ?

      May 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I hate it when I miss a Chad-a-thon. Reading thru these has been priceless.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I have been looking high and low for an answer from Chard about how it is the Schaibles, their pastor, and their entire church's congregation could misinterpret the bible, when Chard claims it is absolutely crystal clear if one just "reads it all." How does Chard know that the Schaibles were incorrect? How does he know that his own interpretation isn't wrong and precisely the opposite of what his god intended?

      May 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, Bill, I'm saying there's nothing so pliable as a rhetorical causality chain. Narratives are hard wired into the mind. All you're doing is plotting the narrative arc and implying the hero's journey. I just offered one possible "problem" and element of setting.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Science

      Chad what Rachel said..............plus

      Over20 billion tons hit the rock long ago (BILLIONS of years ago).and created the gold we mine today.

      ASA's WISE Mission Finds 'Lost' Asteroid Family Members

      May 29, 2013 — Data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to a new and improved family tree for asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.


      AND..........all creationists.

      lol??/cadie/faith the peachy one.......................EVOLUTION WINS THUMBS UP NO horn-y red devil !

      Apes Get Emotional Over Games of Chance

      May 29, 2013 — Like some humans, chimpanzees and bonobos exhibit emotional responses to outcomes of their decisions by pouting or throwing angry tantrums when a risk-taking strategy fails to pay off, according to research published May 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alexandra Rosati from Yale University and Brian Hare from Duke University.


      May 30, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • Science

      Or way to simple for you Chardie...........................Big DATA............Like the family tree of everything.

      Easy to access Chad.

      May 30, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • Science

      Chad do not forget this .............also easy to do for YOUR records................right click on comment section.......click print

      preview..........set.............print.......to easy chad.

      Or save as what ever your heart desires chadie you to lol?? and faith the peachy one.

      May 30, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • ?

      "@chad "really? for some odd reason I'm having trouble finding any annual budget information on them.. odd heh?"

      In your deceptiveness again you probably skipped over articles about their giving. For example: The Buddhist disaster relief agency the Tzu Chi Foundation will be giving $10 million to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.

      I could go on but of course you'll lie and be even more deceptive.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  17. meifumado

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

    May 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      CALL 911...meifumado is choking on his tongue !

      May 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Sorry, meif, I know of no Klingon restaurants in your area. Perhaps a fresh hot pastrami on rye today to tide you over?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • meifumado

      Hey Arch!

      Your a mind reader, went to Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop today.

      Fatty Pastrami on rye with good new york deli mustard sour pickles and a cherry lime ricky!

      May 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • meifumado

      Does nobody like Lovecraft here?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Awww – I am so jealous, meif. Alas, I can get no sandwich like that here. II guess the odd apostrophe placement led me to guess Klingon.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Odd. One would think that, as atheists tell us, the human fascination for myth and meaningless gibberish would attract more adherents. Perhaps if you built a few hospitals.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • fred

      "Perhaps if you built a few hospitals."

      What makes you think they don’t? Plus most hospitals are funded by insurance companies, not churches. Atheists tend to think that giving a group of starving people a bible and building them a church does not really count as charity. Atheists would prefer to give tractor and some seed.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      fred, if that were true there would be a lot more farms. But I'm merely goofing on the Lovecraft. Don't be so sensitive.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • meifumado

      If you like horror Lovecraft was a master of the "weird tale", check out his work.

      I have always been interested in the strange and the occult and I would love to be proved wrong and there is anything supernatural out there.

      However, I would not want a boring god like the Christians and Jews and Muslims have.

      May 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  18. The Truth About Tornadoes

    They happen.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Makes Sense

      If the Hebrew God had anything to do with them you would think they would only hit places like the child s e x slave district in Indonesia or the Casinos in Vegas, or maybe the meth dealers houses or gang ridden neighborhoods. Instead it swipes a two mile wide swath through a bible belt suburb.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      then again...
      the bible openly supports slavery throughout. god drowned every single human on earth but one family. god killed babies to punish the pharoah of egpyt. so not all that hard to believe.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • George Karlson

      The slavery spoken about in the bible was a long term contract. They were not to be treated as less than human and many of them desired to remain in the service of their "masters".

      May 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You do not know that....Do you have any accounts that were done by the slaves?...you were not there, you do not know what their desires were. In many cases, as in america, the slaves had a better life in slavery than they would as free men, as free men they were often treated worse.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I work by long-term contract, but it doesn't allow them to beat me as much as they want as long as I live for at least three days afterward. But hey, god allows it, maybe I should suggest that they put that in my contract. I don't think that they'd ever actually do it, unlike the biblical prophets who hack their own conc.ubine into pieces and have them shipped all over the nation. Of course, if god told them to do it, I guess that they would. Hmmm..

      May 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      to clarify...the slaves would have had better lives in their own country most likely, but many if freed while still in america, would be treated worse than if they were property owned by their neighbors. History bears that out in the way that minorites have been , and often still are treated.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • George Karlson

      Jews had laws that state, if your slave wishes to remain in service after the agreement has come to an end...

      May 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Joey

      Non Jewish slaves were treated as property of the owners family. Jewish slaves were to be released after seven years of service. Even the death of the master would not free non Jewish slaves as they were treated as inheritable property

      May 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      George, In some cultures, the slaves were placed in the tombs with their masters. I don't imagine that was a willing choice on their part.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Contracts for indentured servitude were only for fellow Hebrews.
      "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom." – Exodus 21:2

      Heathens were chattel, to be treated as property.
      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." -Leviticus 25:44-46

      And sure, there were rules for how to treat your slaves. If you're going to beat them, make sure it's a gentle beating from which it will take a few days at least to die.
      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." – Exodus 21:20

      May 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • meifumado

      I prefer Tomatoes.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Knights Who Say...

    ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
    WOMAN: Order, eh - who does he think he is?
    ARTHUR: I am your king!
    WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
    ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
    WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
    ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
    [angels sing]
    her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
    from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
    Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
    [singing stops]
    That is why I am your king!
    DENNIS: Listen - strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
    is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
    derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
    aquatic ceremony.
    ARTHUR: Be quiet!
    DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
    just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
    ARTHUR: Shut up!
    DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
    because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
    put me away!
    ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
    DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
    ARTHUR: Shut up!
    DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
    HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
    ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!

    May 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • sam

      Ah, still one of my favorites.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Alias

    Why would a natural disaster change anyone's religoius views?
    Did the bible ever promissed justice in this world, or a life without pain and suffering?
    If you are an athiest before a storm, why would strong wind make you suddenly believe a god exists?

    May 29, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Pete

      "If you are an athiest before a storm, why would strong wind make you suddenly believe a god exists?"

      It doesn't because wind and storms can be explained and they actually exists.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Facetious

      Winds storms are real...they are caused by giant invisible dragons flying around. Prove I'm wrong.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      what atheist are you talking about that became believers after a storm?

      May 29, 2013 at 12:45 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.