home
RSS
Where was God in the Philippines?
A flood survivor is surrounded by debris on the Philippine island of Leyte.
November 11th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Where was God in the Philippines?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country. Meanwhile, many people are asking: How should we make sense of such senseless death and destruction? Was God in the whirlwind itself, as the Bible hints, or present only in the aftermath, as people mobilize to provide food, water and shelter?

These questions may not be new, but we keep asking them, perhaps because the answers remain so elusive.

For many Americans, a paradox sits at the heart of their thinking about natural disasters. According to a survey taken after 2011's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most Americans (56%) believe that God is control of everything.

But more Americans blame hurricanes, earthquakes and other storms on global warming (58%) than on an angry and punishing deity (38%), according to a 2011 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night," institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.

"They’re thorny theological issues."

READ: Typhoon Haiyan: Survivors in Philippines face grim struggle as death toll rises

The Bible's Psalm 107 says that “For (God) commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. ... He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground."

But, as the poll shows, most Americans have moved past the idea that God causes natural disasters, wrote Stephen Prothero, a frequent CNN contributor, in a 2011 column.

"When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists," Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. "Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates."

For atheists, storms like Haiyan are proof that God doesn't exist, author and activist Sam Harris said.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary," Harris said after Japan's tsunami. "Take your pick, and choose wisely."

God may or may not be in withering storms, but many religious leaders say they sense a divine presence in the aftermath, as people across the world mobilize to lend a hand.

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous names in the realm of theodicy, a branch of theology that tries to explain the unexplainable: why a good God would allow bad things to happen.

After Japan's tsunami, Kushner called nature "an equal-opportunity destroyer," making no distinctions between sinners and saints.

But Kushner, author of the bestselling book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," said he sees God's hand in the resilience of people whose lives have been destroyed and in the "goodness and generosity" of strangers who donate and pray for the survivors.

READ: How to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan 

That still leaves a tricky question, though: Why do humans suffer, sometimes terribly, in the first place?

There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and best-selling author.

"Each person has to come to grips with that," Martin said. "It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful."

Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

"Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need," Syeed said.

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan's path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

"This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them," Hanh said.

Stephen Prothero, Jessica Ravitz and Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Asia • Atheism • Belief • Bible • Buddhism • Christianity • Death • Ethics • Faith • God • Islam • Judaism • natural disasters • Philippines • Prayer

soundoff (3,827 Responses)
  1. Rafael

    I answer this question with another ...
    Where are the people who seeks God with devotion?
    A very small percentage of humanity seeking God to worship and serve him with all their heart.
    We only seek God when we need Him and not to worship with humility.
    2 Chronicles 7:14
    If my people, which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and away from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.

    He is always ready to listen, we just have to look for Him ..

    November 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Roger that

      I think not. Look what he did to Job.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Glen

      That's bullshite, Raffy, and it stinks plainly. Why should we have to "seek" god? And why is your god such a mean, difficult jerk?

      November 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Realist

      ******************************

      Is it too moch to ask for a "Non-Belief" option?

      ******************************

      ... http://www.GODisIMARINARY.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ... http://www.EVILbibe.com ...

      ******************************

      November 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  2. Nouri

    Do you feel secure that he who (holds authority) in the heaven would not cause the earth to swallow you and suddenly it would sway?
    Or do you feel secure that he who (holds authority) in the heaven would not send against you a storm of stones?
    then you would know how severe was my warning.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Deb

      Hard to understand what you are trying to say Noirie, but it sounds like your god might be one of the vengeant jerk type – gods, maybe the Christian one.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  3. Roger that

    Where was God? The same place he's always been. In your head.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  4. Robert Brown

    God is love. Here is how he expressed his love to all humans, he made a way for you to become a child of God. He loved you first, what will be your response?

    November 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Any evidence?

      November 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Yes

        November 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Glen

          Well, present your evidence then, or else I call you a liar. Out with it, coward, or admit that you have none.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So educate us.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So present tangible evidence of a god and its love.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Glen, I wouldn't be able to type it all on here, maybe I should write a book. Since the day God began to convict me of my sin, he has given me evidence. The most convincing was when he saved my soul, the answered prayers, and the frequent spiritual blessings.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Glen

          Robert, without specifics and with a vacuous, lazy post like that, you are just dodging. Your claims count for nothing and are not evidence. I think we can fairly call you out as a liar now.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
      • devin

        Of course there is evidence, you just choose to dismiss it because it can't be analyzed and quantified in a lab.

        November 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      God is love, how does "love"...love?

      November 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Love loves by dying so you can live.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • Glen

          Nonsense. Why would a god require death of anything? Christianity is one monstrously stupid delusion.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Real love would give itself and expect nothing in return....

          November 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Wouldn't the lover hope to be loved back?

          November 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It depends, sometimes I give and sacrifice for others and they don't know even who I am.

          Also if someone didn't love me back, even if I really, really wanted them to, I would not punish them for it....that would just make me a jerk.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          how is it dying if he is alive 3 days later?

          i suppose your standard schtick beats "jesus had a bad weeked for your sins"

          November 12, 2013 at 3:33 am |
  5. Victor

    Another option exists. It is a logically fallacy to accept the only options they have presented. The other option is that God gave us intelligence to know to get out of the way of a hurricane. That same intelligence states that if you jump off a ten story building you will fall and most likely die or be injured. These are just the natural laws of the world. God does love us, he gave us the freedom to choose and intelligence to guide us. Sadly, the world could have chosen to mobilize air carriers from around the world and evacuate people before the storm and on an area that has already seen multiple storms this year. The argument above is thoughtful but I suggest the other option not listed.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Millions of people from thousands of islands and sailing through the storm. Another fail for your imaginary friend

      November 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
      • Peggy

        Don't all of you realize we are in the end times? God is shaking the world, the weather related catastrophes are stated in the bible. I suggest you look it up. God is real and he is mad at this dirty, filthy, greedy, rotten world, no one lives forever, everyone dies, what is paramount is having a personal relationship with God. It's all about eternity, where are you going to spend it. There is going to be more catastrophes, inevitable, cannot escape it.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • Sue

          I call bullshit on your post about end times, Peggy. Major, steaming BS, and you have created one awful stench with it. Anyone can say "bad stuff is gonna happen" and be right eventually, just because enough stuff happens over time. Show where your fairy tale book gives exact dates for the predicted specific events and show how those events later happened on the predicted exact dates, or else we can discard your claims as rubbish.

          November 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

          Indeed, we may be in for a steep decline due to climate change as well as the exhaustion of our energy resources, but it has nothing to do with any deities. Rather, it is through our collective, willful ignorance of cause and effect.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          wow, The End Times.....

          luckily that has not been predicted before

          are you familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:35 am |
        • sam stone

          if you are so certain where you are going to spend eternity, and we are in the end times, why not take the big step now? do you have tall buildings where you live? perhaps it is time to step up to (and off for) jesus

          November 12, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Reality

      sounds like a mean god who ignores those who don't understand or know better.

      You need to quit making things up,, then again you learned too because your religion and bible make things up

      November 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      I hate you Victor and want you to die a slow, painful death. I thought I loved everybody until I read that post, but I don't. I hate you. I hate you more than sin itself. You are a mincing little worm and I can't wait for Satan to burn you forever.

      November 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Roger that

      If god have us intelligence, then why has it taken millions of years of evolution for man to create satellite imagery and radar?

      November 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
      • dillonb1950

        uhhmmmm....I know...cuz we are all slow learners.....

        November 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Before man had the technology to anticipate and respond to disasters what did your god expect humans to do?

      Accoding to your mythology god could have made the world in any way he wanted, so this was his choice.

      A better banner on this piece would be "Another Distaster Causes Cognative Dissonance".

      November 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Massive logic fail – original poster assumes god without actual evidence for any god.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Realist

      ******************************

      Is it too moch to ask for a "Non-Belief" option?

      ******************************

      ... http://www.GODisIMARINARY.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ... http://www.EVILbibe.com ...

      ******************************

      November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  6. Reality

    sorry guys,, God was busy with football this weekend. He had to help wide receivers catch touchdown pa-sses.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Roger that

      God does like a good football game. If he would only spend more time with cancer patients.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • Akira

        Well Tebow clearly thinks he's favored...

        November 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • lol??

      C'mon myth experts. What do the man made gods say?? Kitty got yer tongue??

      November 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  7. Reality

    sorry guys,, God was busy with football this weekend. He had to help wide receivers catch touchdown passes.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  8. Robert Brown

    God is love. Here is how expressed his love to all humans, he made a way for you to become a child of God. He loved you first, what will be your response?

    Bad things happen on earth, God made a place where bad things don't happen, would you like to go there?

    November 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • tony

      I'd like you to, right now. What's your chicken-s–t excuse for not leaving immediately for the better place?

      Don't really believe the BS, do you?

      November 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Reality

      wacko.. I hope you aren't around children.

      November 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes Robert, I would love, love, love to leave town right now and get the million dollors. However, there is a problem. Let me explain by telling you what happened to me last Saturday 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, we have faith in Hank. It’s good to have faith in Hank and bad to question, doubt or think skeptically of what Hank says. Hank will kick the guts out of you if he finds out you do that.

      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. 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.

      November 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's like this, Robert. We live in a place where disaster can strike anywhere, killing people with no regard for them as people – it's entirely random. Of course we would like for things to be different, but a promise of something better beyond death is not a substitute for having things better here. In fact, it's kind of offensive to bring it up.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Tom, Tom, the Other One,

        No offense intended. No one knows why bad things happen. The idea of a place where there is no disease, pain, or death sounds pretty good to me. As believers we attribute the bad things as a consequence of sin, and then someone, whom everyone perceives as good, as far as we can tell, meets an untimely and tragic end. We don’t know why. The Holy Spirit is also called the comforter; through the comforter we can receive peace that surpasses understanding.

        November 12, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • Sara

        I agree with Tom that it's offensive to bring up the religion behind trajedy at the time. People have beliefs already and now is not the time to debate with them the existence or lack tereof of a god but to offer neutral, univeraal support until you know what thet believe. However, I also agree with Robert that we don't ultimately know the cases. We may be someone's cruel reality show for all we "know".

        November 12, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • sam stone

      if you are sure you are bound for heaven, robert, what is keeping you here?

      perhaps you believe that your god is really a vindictive petty pr1ck?

      perhaps you believe that it is all nonsense and, in the end, you've been sold an empty bag of promises?

      November 12, 2013 at 3:42 am |
    • sam stone

      god is calling you home, robert

      so go home, and get your shinebox

      November 12, 2013 at 3:45 am |
  9. tony

    "god" is one of the easiest and best grossing businesses on Earth. Just ask Billy Grahams's son or any other TV evangelist. They all want to take over Dad's business.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  10. Jessica Christ

    I wish people would give up that 5ooo year old bronze age concept that everything bad that happens is because the big scary boogieman in the sky is punishing the wicked. The victims of horrific natural disasters don't need to be blamed for their suffering. God's got nothing to do with it. Go to Youtube and look up "God's Song" by Randy Newman. It's the perfect answer to the question, "Where was God in (Your epidemic, disaster, mass murder, holocaust here)?"

    November 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  11. Mick

    "Muslims believe that God tests those he loves." Really? How come the people he "loves" are clustered in geographical areas that are prone to natural disasters?

    "the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful" Yes...If I lose my family and home to a typhoon, it will be comforting to know that an all-powerful being who can poof things into existence can supposedly feel my pain.

    "There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin". YES there's a good answer: There's no god. Natural disasters happen through natural means, most of which are well understood. Stop looking at the world through a god haze and you will stop scratching your head in confusion when things like this happen.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Sara

      '"Muslims believe that God tests those he loves." Really? How come the people he "loves" are clustered in geographical areas that are prone to natural disasters?'

      Didn't you answer your own question here? He's testing them.

      '"the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful" Yes...If I lose my family and home to a typhoon, it will be comforting to know that an all-powerful being who can poof things into existence can supposedly feel my pain.'

      Agreed. This is pretty silly...who would care what god felt half as much as whether he could fix the problem. People care much more that god promises to reunite them with their family than that about what he "feels".

      '"There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin". YES there's a good answer: There's no god. Natural disasters happen through natural means, most of which are well understood. Stop looking at the world through a god haze and you will stop scratching your head in confusion when things like this happen.'

      There are probably an infinite number of answer that work including waring or incompetent gods, aliens conducting lab experiments, clashing dimensions...

      November 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  12. scott cisney

    I hear this question alot when "something bad" happens. Which of course is every day for someone. I'm unable to walk and have been for 8 months now (two ankle fusion surgeries, the first one failed). So something bad is and has been happening to me for quite a while. Now I'll tell you something, from when I almost died. It is impossible to explain, but everthing that happens to us it purposeful. If we lived in a world where no bad things happened no growth would occur. It has to be this way.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • tony

      The purpose is to eventually persuade you that you should get educated.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
      • scott cisney

        I was surprised , Tony, what I learned in just a few minutes. We all will learn alot, when it is time.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          "alot" is not a real word, it's "a lot"

          You would not say, "I have afew apples", would you? Include this in your learning package.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  13. AE

    A light shines in the darkness and the darkness can not, will not, shall not overcome it.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      nor can light overcome darkness.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
      • AE

        Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          And yet your god cannot prevent 1000s of its followers dying daily. Or does it only want praise for touchdowns and Grammies?

          November 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          hate or love are not tied to a particular religion (including the belief in christ)

          November 12, 2013 at 3:48 am |
    • tony

      That's the 4,000,000 years old light from the nuclear fusion deep in the Sun.

      Handy to watch massive numbers of innocents die by natural disasters in a world where there is no god to intervene.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  14. Human

    The question is not where was God. The question is, does God question us when we sin. We humans are destroying this beautiful world that was given to us to look after not destroy it. Don't question God.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Are you sure it was given to us? I mean, we humans have only been here for a tiny speck of time compared to the millions of years that Dinosaurs ruled the earth...

      November 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      sin is a man made concept, like god and heaven and hell

      November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • tony

      Changing the question to duck the answer is typical religious falsification to keep the collection plates full and the priests in work-free business

      November 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  15. jayhawk

    duhh ...Christian

    November 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  16. jayhawk

    God was busy with Christin Mingle , finding beautiful people to go forth and multiply.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • saggyroy

      And with the Lions win over the Bears, he was pretty busy.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Science Works

      And the Pope just called contraceptives a sin in a letter to The American Bishops.

      It was on CBS Evening News.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  17. Billy

    God is in the same place He's always been. He told Adam and Eve that "in the day you eat of it (i.e., the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die) but they ate, and man has been dying ever since. The issue is not that God isn't there or is somehow absent. The issue is that man doesn't seek for him in order to find him. We're all going to die sometime, and when ever catastrophe hits, whether by typhoon, cancer, heart attack or even murder, everyone asks "where was God." He's there. We need to find him now so that when we die, we can have eternal life. (Read the gospel of John and the letter of St. Paul to the Romans and his letter to the Galatians. Those are a good start.)

    November 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Why should the rest of us be punished for what Adam and Eve did?

      November 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
      • Sara

        Just because God's a jerk doesn't mean he's not real.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And jueven if god was real does not mean he should be worshipped, or considered ethical.

          November 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Sara

          On the other hand if he was an all powerful jerk who could offer me eternal happiness or eternal torture I'd probably worship him all the same. And after a few months of torture I suspect most people would do the same.

          November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Mick

          I agree with you, Sara. Many atheists claim they would never worship a god who did all those horrible things in the old testament. But let's face it, for a shot at eternal happiness, we'd all be like "Hey, dude, that guy gathering sticks on the Sabbath really DID deserve to be stoned to death (Numbers 15:35). Praise be to you! Now about that eternal happiness..."

          November 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • ME II

          @Sara,
          But if He's a jerk then the omni-benevolent god does not exist and that seems to the one the Christians are rooting for.

          November 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Sara

          Yeah, that particular Christian image isn't going to work. But as pointed out, somesee hi as less onmipotent thanothers, and they could fall back on having been mistaken. Most god never really had the power ro do anything.

          November 12, 2013 at 6:51 am |
      • Lisa

        Guilt (i.e. fear) drives further participation in religion.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
      • AE

        Love (i.e. compas.sion) drives further participation in following Jesus Christ.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          That has nothing to do with my response A.E.

          November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • tony

          It works even better for dead storm victims – they'll tell you.

          November 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
      • Steve

        Why might God punish us for Adam and Eve's sin? First, i don't personally believe there was a literal Adam and Eve. But what the serpent (I don't have anything against real snakes either) tempted them with was the ability to be like God (gen 3:5). So to answer your question, the story represents the tendency of mankind to want to know and do all – that is, be our own god. And do course that's a sin for which we are all guilty.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  18. Spuds Mackenzie

    There world will be so much better off when the people start realizing that things just happen. There is no God controlling anything. Not now. Not after you die. Nothing. Live your life now. Treat people the way you want to be treated. And most of all, don't be a dick.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Sara

      You have absolutely know way of knowing whether or not that's true, and to think you do is every bit as delusional as thinking you have magic powers or free will.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  19. SLB

    Psalms 10:4 – "In his haughtiness, the wicked man makes no investigation;
    All his thoughts are: “There is no God.”"

    November 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    November 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      ... because there is not god, or God.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      what? your god book says that those who don't believe are fools? unbelievable!

      November 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Spuds Mackenzie

      You took your own damn Bible out of context. Geez. Psalms 10:4 states, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.". Meaning, the wicked man does not seek him, that he doesn't have room for God. This tells me, that the wicked is anyone who does not worship. Athiest or not.

      And do you really want to be quoting the Old Testament. I've got some doozies for you if you do! We'll see what real evil is. Let's start with the 500,000 or so murders of innocent children just to show how mighty this God of yours is.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Advertisement
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.