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. Live4Him

    @Doris : I am ready to address any question that you may have L4H. Any problem so far?

    Okay, lets start on one of the issues you posted : errors in the Bible. Can you identify the errors in the Bible and WHY do you consider them errors?

    November 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      Shall we once again discuss the Roman Empire's methods of taxation and census taking and how they contradict the Bible story of Joseph and Mary having to go to Bethlehem?
      Last time we went round that rodeo, you said you believe that just that once, the Romans changed their established methodology becuase Jesus is magic.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • lol??

        Did they change after makin' the Big Mistake??

        November 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Roman matrons used to tell their sons who went off to war "come back with your shield or on it".
          Then the Empire adopted Christianity and this custom declined.
          So did Rome.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • lol??

          Those matrons were probably votin', too.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Furthermore, we know that the Roman Empire had censuses in 28 BCE, 8 BCE, and 14 CE.
        There was no census in the year of Christ's birth.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • lol??

          Don't let the gubmint get into this. They can't count either. Ooops, they are already joined at the hip to the educratists.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • mom10

          “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not all powerful.
          Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
          Is he both able and willing? Then why is there evil?
          Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
          ― Epicurus

          November 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Roger that

      Doris referenced Dr. Erhman. He probably knows more about the New Testament than anyone on the planet. Get a library card.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • lol??

        Ain't leadership grand??

        November 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Roger that : Doris referenced Dr. Erhman.

        So, you're claiming that Doris doesn't understand the details of the issues and must depend upon experts to do her thinking for her? I think you ought to let her speak for herself.

        BTW – This information is out there are readily available. You don't need to be an expert to get an education on a topic. Just a lot of hard work.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Ummmm

          Tha's why you haven't even read the report by the Smithsonian that states the bible is not an historical doc.ument becuase it contains folk lore and literary genre.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Roger that

          There is little hope for people infected like you, and therefore have grown tiresome.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Typical Christian

          Yeah, people who read stuff by so called experts only prove that they are stupid.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Chris

        I follow the even newer testament... it's been altered to accommodate my opinions.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ray

      Stop making new threads, lady. You look borderline retarded by doing that.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Lie4Him
      Better still why don't you prove that the supernatural events that have never been replicated over the last 2000 years? Ever seen someone raise people from the dead, walk on water, change water into wine , defy gravity and ascend, etc. your ridiculous myth says these things happened, prove it. As for contradictions and mistakes in the bible there is a large body of knowledge that are easy to find, just becaise the deluded reject them does not make them invalid.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Joey

        I would like to see him explain how the sun can stop in the sky for a day and no one in the entire world notices it except for the guy who wrote that particular part of the bible.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • lol??

        The "supernatural events" verified the Word.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Mmmm... circulicious.

          10 PRINT "THE BIBLE IS TRUE BECAUSE"
          20 GOTO 10
          RUN

          November 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @lol??
          'The "supernatural events" verified the Word.'

          What supernatural events, and how were the verified?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Roger that

          The Bible is right because it says so. Thanks. Where do I sign up?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • Christian and proud of it!

        You people are so blind! Read the bible. A lot of the things that are happening now all over the world were predicted in revelations. Non believers will have a BIG wake-up call one day. Thank God I'm a believer.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Please list revelations and evidence of their fulfillment.

          November 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Joey

          Earthquakes and wars and storms happen every year, so all in all not much of a prediction.

          November 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doris

      I think that's a great question, L4H. Ehrman's video does address this and I believe it does so in a sensible way. Because I don't believe we have complete original texts, I don't think we should say that we know for certain that something is positively erroneous or positively correct about the original intent from most of the authors of the Bible. Of course we don't know for certain who many of these authors are for sure, and that even casts more questions about the value of the texts, but regarding errors, I would say, as does Dr. Eherman, that what seem to be errors often have come as a result of early methods in copying – human errors that would naturally happen. I assume that, with your question, you are not addressing translation issues. Then of course there are things like addition of text for certain versions of the Bible – I guess whether or not that is considered an error may depend on your sect.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Doris

        But I certainly do not base my disbelief on the fact that the Bible has been copied erroneously. It's just one piece of information that allows me to arrive at my disbelief. It just shows the fallibility associated with those in charge of words that others have since lived by.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          mama Doris
          Why humor him at all? Until he/they prove that the miracles and supernatural mumbo jumbo is replicatable why should we have to point out the obvious mistakes and contradictions in the many different versions of the gospels? There is of course a massive body of knowledge that thhe christian apologists simply ignore.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Oh wherefore art thou, Live4Him?

      November 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • SuperDave

      The bible is fiction based upon the life of some man who seemingly performed miracles. Much like today's "True story" movies that say "Based upon actual events". The bible thumpers out there are trying hard to explain how all these poor folks died. Are they all sinners? Did somehow all bad people end up in one spot for God to smite? Hardly. This proves, NO GOD!

      November 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Fan2C

      Live4,

      How about that story in Matthew 27:52-53 (and ONLY in that book - EVER)

      "and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

      There is not a single report of this absolutely spectacular event from anyone else living in Jerusalem at the time - NOT ONE.

      November 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Och! Zombies!

        November 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  2. Well Duh

    @Live4Him

    "You've assumed that prayers work similar to rubbing the genie lamp. It doesn't."

    I assumed nothing. I asked Krista if prayers worked 100% time and she answered yes, so I was basically asking for clarification on what yes meant by using an example.

    "Prayers are communications with God – and they work every time. However, you don't always get a 'yes' answer. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and other times is 'wait'."

    How can you tell the difference between that, and chance?

    November 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Doh! I did it again.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • im4given

      If you have relationship with God, you will understand. It's sad that when something like this happens, we blame it on God. We should thank Him for better and for worst. When He blesses us, that's because He loves us not because we deserve it. We don't deserve anything. It's His mercy and grace that sustains us.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Ray

        Too damned bad that 10,000 people's prayers weren't answered. How sad.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Well Duh

        @im4given
        "If you have relationship with God, you will understand."

        So since you understand, please explain it to me. How do you tell the difference God's yes, no, or wait, and pure chance?

        November 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • Madtown

        If you have relationship with God,
        ----
        Can you describe the nature of your relationship? How it might be similar to relationships that humans have with each other?

        November 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  3. Science Assistant

    from Science News Daily

    New Light On Dark Energy, Cosmic Speed-Up: Big Bang Afterglow Shows Earth Has No Special Place in Expanding Universe

    Nov. 7, 2013 — In a new study, Dartmouth researchers rule out a controversial theory that the accelerating expansion of the universe is an illusion.

    While the findings don't explain the cosmic speed-up, they eliminate one provocative possibility that our planet, solar system and galaxy are at the center of the universe and that there is no dark energy. The findings appear in the journal Physical Review D.

    The 2011 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. One leading idea to explain the acceleration is a new, mysterious substance called dark energy, which is thought to make up nearly three-fourths of the energy of the universe. But another alternative is that Earth, our solar system and Milky Way galaxy are at the center of the universe. That theory violates the standard assumption that the universe has no center, but if true, then cosmic acceleration could be explained without dark energy or any new laws of physics.

    But Dartmouth researchers found that this model can't hold up to other observational tests. The sky glows with light left over from the Big Bang, also known as the Cosmic Microwave Background, so they calculated how that glow would be affected. Their findings show that the model's prediction is completely contrary to the glow that has been measured.

    "Essentially, we held a mirror up to the universe and asked if the reflection was special," says Robert Caldwell, a professor of physics and astronomy who co-wrote the article with undergraduate physics major Nina Maksimova. "The reflection shows that we do not appear to live in a special location, and decisively excludes this explanation for the universe's accelerating expansion. It would be a great relief to be able to understand a basic problem of cosmology within the known laws of physics, but our research is an important step in explaining the physics responsible for the cosmic acceleration."

    November 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Your God is relegated to an ever decreasing pocket of scientific ignorance.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • lol??

        Yeah well, stay out of the Masters' pockets.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Doris

    God of the gaps. It's an expression to denote what theists use to "fill in the void" for the unknown.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains in his talk The Perimeter of Ignorance, throughout history many of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle.

    Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

    What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods? Consider this:

    Two-thirds of star names have Arabic names. They came from Islam's fertile period (AD 800-1100.) During that time Baghdad was the intellectual center of the world, open to people of all or no faiths. During that time were some of the greatest advances known to mankind: engineering, biology, medicine, mathematics, celestial navigation; this is the time and place that gave us numerals we use, terms like algebra and algorithm.

    Enter Imam Hamid al-Ghazali in the 12th century. The fundamentally religious period of Islam begins, and so begins the steady decline of free intellectual expression in that area of the world. Some would argue that it has since never recovered.

    Of course the effects of such reliance touches us today – even in the U.S. We see some who refuse medical care for their children for instance.

    "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

    November 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Doris : As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains in his talk

      Okay, already. You've proven that you cannot discuss these topics yourself and need so-called experts to justify your beliefs. So what? Why post if you're unable to present your own opinions without help?

      November 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        And where does Live4Him get his opinions? The "infallible" bible? Give us a break!!!

        November 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Well Duh

        @Live4Him

        Please supply evidence that justify your beliefs.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Lie4Him
          Man you are very excellant comic relief today. All you have is a 2000 year old book of myths that is interpreted differently by 1000's of different christian sects just to keep their part of the scam flourishing. Love the way you lot can reject modern science/thinking to believe in you ancient delusion.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Maddy

        How very condescending of you, since you are guilty of the very same thing.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • Doris

        I am ready to address any question that you may have L4H. Any problem so far?

        November 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • lol??

          You could try an' stab this:

          Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Ray

          A Bible quote that makes no sense out of context? Sure. Thanks.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

        I have found Doris to be one of the most intelligent posters on this board ... consistently.

        November 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      “What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods?”
      I’m guilty of bringing up creation, the universe, and life in discussions with nonbelievers to encourage them to consider God. Perhaps this is where the idea comes from. I know that I never thought of those as yet unanswerable questions when I came to faith.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • Brainwashed christians

        I and others would certainly consider "god" if evidence was presented to support the existence of a god.

        So far, nothing...... and quotes from a book of mythology written by man do not qualify as "evidence"

        We're waiting.....

        November 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Doris

    A speech by Bart Ehrman at Stanford about the story behind who changed the bible and why and the history of the bible and how they got tainted. He is a former Christian bible scholar who studied the bible and found the mistakes and became an agnostic.

    This speech is a must see for christians who ask questions like:
    Who wrote the gospels?
    Is the bible the word of God?
    Are there contradictions?
    Does the bible contain errors?
    Is there evidence or proof?

    Bart Ehrman holds a PhD magna cum laude from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zWbL8Uqfw

    November 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Booksellers, flagsellers, it's what you want.
      Don't be surprised
      When you turn out gaunt.
      Sufferin' sufferin' no escape
      When the mob comes
      To do the r*ape.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Doris

        I think we all know bookselling in one form or another began long ago. Even before Gullible's Travels, Parts 1 & 2 – oops, I meant the Bible.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  6. Doris

    This is a wonderful discussion. Topics include knowledge and consensus.

    Published on Nov 5, 2013

    00:00 Introduction
    07:07 Limits of Science
    19:40 God & the Supernatural
    31:20 Science & Morality
    50:11 Something out of Nothing
    1:03:42 The Value of Philosophy
    1:20:59 Cognitive Limits
    1:35:43 Questions:
    – 1:35:56 Science & Politics
    – 1:43:33 The Status of Economics
    – 1:48:17 Does Consciousness Exist?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tH3AnYyAI8

    November 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • lol??

      Now you know why you should tip the bartender handsomely.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Maddy

        Something I know you have to be reminded of, I'm sure.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  7. Joey

    Why do people keep bringing up North Korea as if it is run by atheists. They worship the head of state as a god, and I don't know any atheists that would do that. Sounds more like a theocracy to me.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ignorance is why they keep bringing it up.

      Also, they are told to worship their leader as god...who knows what any individual ACTUALLY believes.
      In Stalins Russia, he banned religion...it didn't stop believers from their beliefs and practices.

      November 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  8. AverageJoe76

    Quick question: What makes MORE sense?

    1) Kill Adam and Eve – then start over. Redesign the Garden Of Eden, place the Tree Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil out of the next Adam and Eve's reach? Now we have perfection – a 'sinless' world. We're all naked in the 'Garden' – and we live happily ever after......

    OR

    2) Don't kill Adam and Eve after they eat the apple. Allow the 'damaged' product to reproduce many times over (all the while knowing their flawed due to the corrupted dyes -Adam and Eve- that you've allowed to live. Then get really angry years later, cause an Earth-wide flood (sheesh) because man is corrupt, from Adam and Eve's blueprint, and kill countless humans, save for seven (so they can inbreed the same corrupt Adam and Eve blueprints).

    November 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      But Eve is nothing more than a clone of Adam.
      The raw DNA was extracted from Adam's rib – the only difference was a bit of divine XY chromosome manipulation.
      Is breeding with your own clone considered incest?

      November 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Joey

        Wait, god did create Adam and Steve?

        November 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        And Jesus was a clone of Mary – with the same divine XY chromosome tweeking. Either that or she was lying about being a virgin. What would Occam's Razor have to say about this?

        November 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Dog
          Jesus had a brother so Mary was getting a bit on the side. Joeseph was a cuckcold but didn't seem to mind.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Or, create a creature with the capability to love you, or not.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        Well Robert, he created Lucifer and the third of those angels that disobeyed along with Lucifer. They had free will. Adam and Eve obviously had free will to love or NOT love God – or disobey/ obey. Doesn't escape the fact that it would seem that if God feels the first 2 were flawed, and he kills many humans there after in the Bible....... why not kill the ones that started the entire debacle? Is it just me that sees the sense in that?

        I would not EVEN think this if God didn't personally kill many people in the Bible well after Adam and Eve. BUT.... since he does, on MANY occassions, get personally involved in killing. Why not kill the start of the problem – and prevent the countless sufferring due to the 'flaw'?

        That's just too darn logical, I guess.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          AverageJoe76,

          No it is not just you. We all have questions and wonder why God did things the way he did them. It seems we as humans put more emphasis on physical life than God does, no surprise there. Also, God could have created us with no capacity to do anything outside his will. It is like he chose to create us knowing we were capable of anything. Obviously, this was his choice.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Joey

          You can only take that view Robert, if you ignore the parts of the bible where it is claimed that god knows exactly what choices everyone is going to make in life, and can't be wrong. If that is the case then everything that happens is god's will including all the bad things that people do.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      AJ76
      Wouldn't need either option if dah god had not created the serpent that convinced our air head Eve to take a bite in the first instance. Must have been fifficult for Adam to trust Eve orally after that, her being a biter and all.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      OR

      Place Adam and Eve in a garden next to a tree of life that after they have eaten of it they would become immortal, but for some reason Adam picked the tree of knowledge instead...

      November 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  9. CNN Please Fix It

    The "Recent Comments" links are broken AGAIN. Please fix this.

    It's way too much trouble scanning entire pages to find replies. Sorry, but you are not worth that much time & trouble & frustration - will check in later for improvements...

    November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Linking to comments gets broken when lots of posts are deleted due to moderation.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • CNN Please Fix It

        I'm not,

        Yeah, I know, but there IS a solution (maybe more than one); and it leaves one with the impression that CNN is either too _?_, _?_ or _?_ (fill in the pejorative of your choice) to deal with it. It has been happening for months and months now.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Don't Care

    god is the same place that he is all the time. Nowhere.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Polecat copycat.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Billy

        Any kind of cat is less lame than drive-by flatulence.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • lol??

          Are you pro or con hogs, errr Harleys??

          November 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    I am looking through this keyboard at my carpet my carpet to the foundation of my house the foundation to ant worlds so complex there is no apparent end ancient lemon tree roots gouged holes and tunnels in the ant paradise and below them a frothing churning Earth’s core that leads directly to whatever is waiting in my exact opposite location on the other side of the Earth which might me someone typing and through their keyboard I see the glossy eyes pondering this very matter the eyes to the soul.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  12. lol??

    Get real about the free will thang. You've got about enough to be saved and that's it! No such thing as a free lunch, no matter what the Frankfurt School taught Bloom.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Billy

      Kristian Konflictedness – 'live and kickin' in the twenty-fiirst century.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • lol??

        So yer a narcissistic reflectedness??

        November 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Billy

          Not about me. That's about one Kristian and the next Kristian.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Maddy

      The only person who ever talks about the Franklin School is you. You must be about 75 years old; no millennial has ever heard of it. Next up from you: "get off my lawn" and fighting you cat for the last can of cat food.

      November 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • lol??

        The educratists covered up their Bloom connection?? Those Greeksters are devious. You bought it.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  13. AverageJoe76

    When it comes to the concept of God, the one thing that keeps separating and killing us is 'details'. Assigning details to a concept like God, means you can say just about anything as long the person listening adheres to it.It can be totally wrong – but who cares? I gotta enough people to believe what I said.

    The Bible's god is humanlike, possibly because we couldn't imagine anything else. He sure acts like a human. He makes mistakes (the flood proves God makes mistakes – because he promises to not do it again – something I would do if I were 'remorseful'). Gets jealous (of other imaginary, powerless gods -why? we don't know). He gets angry with humans.

    "Genesis 8:21
    The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."

    When I was younger, I stole some candy from the supermarket (y'know the kind in the barrels for anyone to grab?). My mother caught me, and I was scolded. I felt remorse and shame. But then again, I'm human and didn't create reality and it's laws.

    .....just saying

    November 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Well Duh

    @Krista
    "For open-minded, honest and willing individuals I share about the power of prayer."

    Do prayers work 100% of the time?

    November 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Opps, was suppose to be a reply. Doh!

      November 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Krista

      Yes.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Well Duh

        So every Christian who every prayed to God to cure their terminal child, the child was cured?

        November 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Well Duh : So every Christian who every prayed to God to cure their terminal child, the child was cured?

          You've assumed that prayers work similar to rubbing the genie lamp. It doesn't. Prayers are communications with God – and they work every time. However, you don't always get a 'yes' answer. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and other times is 'wait'.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • StarBright

          Live4Him:
          ". Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and other times is 'wait'."

          Weird. That's the same thing that happens when you wish upon a star... Jiminy Cricket's promise notwithstanding.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Lie4Him
          Except more often than not it is the nurse coming by to tell you it is time for your medications.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • ME II

          "Prayers are communications with God – and they work every time. However, you don't always get a 'yes' answer. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and other times is 'wait'."

          I never understood this. If the supposed response is yes, no, or wait, then how do you tell that it "worked"?

          November 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • dillonb1950

          No where in the REAL biblical tects did Jesus say "I and the father are one. This was added by some scribes and proof of this is in the earlt COPIES that he never said this. It appears in later versions. They know this by comparing the early texts. The same goes for the bit about after the body was not found in the tomb. Please see this whole video...it may change your mind on many things you think you know as "truth"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zWbL8Uqfw#t=35

          November 13, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Joey

          and if the answer is no then how can you claim that prayer worked?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  15. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    Where was God in the Philippines?

    Where was Superman in the Philippines?

    Where was Captain America in WWII?

    Where was Batman in Iraq?

    Where was Thor in Afghanistan?

    Where was The Punisher in Sandy Hook?

    Where was Wonder Woman with her lasso of truth after 9/11?

    November 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • AE

      I've never met anyone that has trust and confidence in Superman, Captain America, Batman, Thor, The Punisher or Wonder Woman.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Millions of Norse people had faith in Thor.
        Once the time of the Asgardian myths passed, Thor became relegated to the pages of comic books and other children's stories, no longer to be taken as literal truth.
        The same thing is beginning to happen to Abraham's God.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • AE

          Yet people are still turning to Him. Not as something we read about, but something we experience. Jesus lives.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Billy

          So you don't think people who used to believe in Thor felt they experienced him also, AE?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • AE

          I don't know. I don't think I've read anything that belief in Thor led to a life change that occurs like with Jesus Christ.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          More and more people continue to turn to Hinduism, just as they were doing in the centuries before Abraham's God was first mentioned.
          I guess that means Brahman is real.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • AE

          That is an "Argumentum ad populum" fallacy though, Doc.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @AE
          So the logic is OK for you to use as proof of your religion's veracity, but it isn't acceptable for any other belief system?
          People "experience" their various "living" deities on a daily basis.
          Feelings aren't proof.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Billy

          AE: "..ad populum.."

          maybe, but if I were you, i'd start coming up with some better evidence for your belief if you have any if you don't desire it to fade away from any kind of trend, whether or not the trend has merit.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Exactly what you're doing with Thor vs Jesus.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • AE

          I don't know anyone that believes in those fictional and mythical characters the OP listed. Including Thor.

          I do personally know sound-minded, logical, intelligent and creative people that do believe in Jesus Christ.

          I do personally know sound-minded, logical, intelligent and creative people that do believe in other things like Buddhism, Judiasm, atheism, agnosticism, etc.

          I'm not trying to prove anything to you other than I've never met anyone that honestly believes in those characters.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So Hindus don't believe in Brahman?
          I'm sure that'll be news to millions of devout HIndus!

          November 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Joey

          AE, why do you not accept the evidence from Hindu's that they feel their god, and at the same time expect others to accept that Jesus is real because you can feel him?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        So trust & confidence in something that has zero empirical evidence is your proof for your invisible creator being? It must be nice to abandon logical thinking so you can have your ears tickled.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • AE

          I haven't abandoned logical thinking. I strive to abandon arrogance though, yes. How about you?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • ME II

          @AE
          "I've never met anyone that has trust and confidence in ..."
          "I strive to abandon arrogance..."

          November 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "I strive to abandon arrogance though"

          Hmmm, let's see...

          You believe in an all powerful creator deity that knows you, listens to you and loves you, right?
          You believe those who you don't think live up to your Gods standards and don't think and act like you will get an eternal punishment while you get to enjoy eternal bliss at your invisible deitys right hand, correct? You believe this all powerfull creator split part of himself off and sent it to earth to die as a demi-God and by his blood pay for your sinful nature so you would be worthy to sit with God in heaven, right? Now please explain how any of that could be considered abandoning arrogance? To me it is the height of hubris, the pinnacle of pretentious, the apex of audacity, and the worst part is you don't even notice.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • lol??

          Prophets that the A&A's attack. Worked for John the baptist when the goin' gets tough.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • AE

          Just the Facts Ma'am...

          No, that is not what I believe.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "No, that is not what I believe." Wonderful. So I take it you accept that there may or may not be any God/gods and all we know for sure is that we are without evidence of any God/gods and thus claiming any adherence to any specific religion is foolhardy.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • AE

          "You believe those who you don't think live up to your Gods standards and don't think and act like you will get an eternal punishment while you get to enjoy eternal bliss at your invisible deitys right hand, correct? "

          No.

          "So I take it you accept that there may or may not be any God/gods and all we know for sure is that we are without evidence of any God/gods and thus claiming any adherence to any specific religion is foolhardy."

          I know Jesus Christ is real. I can't deny this. I'm called to love others, not judge or imagine they go to hell.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          AE
          So you no longer need faith since you know.

          Abandoning ignorance? Not even close.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        If you're not sure you would feel confident with Wonder Woman, there are medications you can take, AE.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Fan2C

        AE,

        You know, in the old days these giant typhoons never occurred in the Mediterranean when people were sacrificing horses to Poseidon.

        I guess the protection from those ancient horse sacrifices continues today – Mediterranean Hurricanes ("medi-canes") are pretty wimpy compared to storms elsewhere!

        November 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • AE

          You don't think in the old days people in the Mediterranean who were sacrificing horses to Poseidon were immune to all natural disasters? Or just typhoons?

          I haven't been hit by a typhoon in my city since I started following Jesus...

          November 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Joey

        I know plenty of kids who put trust and confidence in Superman

        November 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • cleanvoice

      The trolls who troll on religious sites are there to feel smug, superior, as they look down so dismissive and arrogant from their perch of science and reason. Give me a break – go sit in a coffee shop or poetry slam.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Why the fuck should we leave? This is the Belief Blog, not a religious site.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • AE

          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/11/where-was-god-in-the-philippines/comment-page-21/#comments

          Religion and God are in the URL!

          November 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          You go by the URL? Okies.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • AE

          Just noting the irony.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I do agree it would make more sense to name the root folder "belief" rather than religion.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        The fact is that not one single religious person has any empirical, verifiable evidence for their brand of invisible fairy.

        My belief is that the religious suffer from mass delusions but prefer it to the reality they just refuse to accept, that of life ending in death and this being the only existence we get. Anyone who believes anything else is making it up to make themselves feel better and to feel not so alone in the universe because they are to immature to handle the truth. Religion is the pacifier of the weak minded and the security blanket of the afraid.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • AE

          How... small minded of you.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • zagzaggy

          "AE" says, "How... small minded of you." I say, "How ironic of you to say that. It is you, AE that believes in a magical dude in the sky, talking snakes, and that priests must have testicles." How small-minded to think such irrational things.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • ME II

        @cleanvoice,
        "The trolls who troll on religious sites are there to feel smug, superior, as they look down so dismissive and arrogant from their perch of science and reason. "

        I find it interesting how difficult it is to call others arrogant and dismissive without appearing arrogant and dismissive.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • lol??

          Billy is here to hep yer konflictedness.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • zagzaggy

      God must have been busy giving children leukemia when the storm hit.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  16. Dan

    The answer, of course, is 42.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • james

      who asked for 6×7?

      November 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Joey

        NO, someone asked how many Vogons does it take to change a light bulb.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        I don't remember anyone NOT asking for the answer to 21 +21

        November 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Except that it is 6×9!

      November 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        6 * 9 = 54 (FACT)

        November 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Joey

          Why do people keep bringing up North Korea as if it is run by atheists. They worship the head of state as a god, and I don't know any atheists that would do that. Sounds more like a theocracy to me.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Joey

          Don't know how that got there.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        You clearly haven't read "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" which what I was referring to here.

        In a messed up world (in this case the Magrathean earth, being the computer to find the ultimate question) 6×9 = 42.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          You'll find that 6×9 = 42 in base 13.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Alex Trebek

      What is Dan's IQ? 🙂

      November 12, 2013 at 1:57 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.