June 12th, 2014
09:14 AM ET

One priest killed, another injured at Catholic church in Phoenix

(CNN) - A shooting at a Catholic church in Phoenix left one priest dead and another one in critical condition, authorities said early Thursday.

A 911 call came in about 9 p.m. Wednesday local time from the Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church, said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.

One of the victims made the call about the attack, which Martos described as a burglary.

The Rev. Kenneth Walker, who was killed on Thursday, and the Rev. Joseph Terra, who remains in critical condition, both belonged to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a Catholic community founded in 1988 that trains priests and celebrates the traditional Latin Mass.

In a statement, the fraternity said:

We ask for your prayers for the repose of the soul of Fr. Walker and that God might grant great consolation to his family and his parishioners in this terrible tragedy. Fr. Walker was ordained a priest in 2012, and was 28 years old.


O God, Who didst give to thy servant, Kenneth, by his sacerdotal office, a share in the priesthood of the Apostles, grant, we implore, that he may also be one of their company forever in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Guns • Houses of worship

soundoff (457 Responses)
  1. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    HELP! HELP! I'm struggling for context.

    Yes, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is hilarious, (always funny) but I don't get what this has to do with (random?) gun violence against clergy.

    June 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
  2. TruthPrevails1

    finny-you're back...your absence didn't last long enough! Did you think we were dumb and wouldn't notice the same old hate-filled rhetoric and realize it is you?

    June 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Akira

    Don't be absurd.

    June 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  4. doobzz

    Sort of like drowning every living thing because you made them wrong?

    June 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Drowning all but 8 men on the earth... What an act of mercy!

      June 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • doobzz

        They weren't all men, Theo. Don't you even read your own book?

        Drowning your "creation" because you "created" them wrong is the hallmark of the twisted, sick, violent god of the bible.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @Theo Phileo,
        Are you being serious? Do you really view that as mercy?

        June 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        "They weren't all men, Theo. Don't you even read your own book?"
        Not "men" in the sense of gender, but "men" in the plural form, dealing with all of "man," of which there are two genders.

        "Drowning your "creation" because you "created" them wrong is the hallmark of the twisted, sick, violent god of the bible."
        God did not create them wrong as you suppose. It is man's choice to act according to his fallen nature. God was merely acting justly. And in saving 8 on the ark, He was acting in grace and mercy.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        "Do you really view that as mercy?"
        I think it is one of the greatest stories of the mercy of God that we have in the Bible. The WHOLE EARTH was corrupt, that includes Noah and his family. God found him righteous only because of his faith which the rest of the world lacked, but he was just as guilty and deserving of justice as the rest of the world. But instead of giving Noah and his family justice, He chose instead to give him grace and mercy.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • doobzz

        Sure, Theo. Your god slaughters humanity because he "created" them wrong and you're convinced that it's a merciful act. You're as sick and twisted as the deity you worship.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Please explain your opinion that God created men "wrong." In what sense?

        June 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        The miracle in Christianity, if there was one, would be the acceptence of guilt by its followers.

        "...guilty and deserving of justice.." the refrain of battered believer's syndrome.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
      • Akira

        "Drowning all but 8 men...[...]"
        Men can breed now? That truly is a miracle!

        June 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The whole Earth?
        Did all the plants inherit original sin as well?
        What about the poor plankton in the water?

        June 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        "Did all the plants inherit original sin as well?"
        Inherit? No, but they were affected by it.

        Genesis 3:18 – Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you...

        Romans 8:20-22 – For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Right Theo! You're truly bat-shit crazy if you think there was anything good about that story!

        June 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        A woman cloned from the first male's rib caused the deaths of countless creatures, flora and fauna, great and small, by allowing a talking snake to convince her to eat magic fruit.
        Makes sense.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        I'm unaquainted with such metaphores. Would you please explain to me the personification involved in how the feces of a flying mammal can be insane? And then how that explanation can be applied to a man?

        June 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Actually, it's much simpler than that. The story of the fall of man teaches us that the slightest infraction of God's law demands a death penalty. Actually, this story, as well as the long list of capital crimes in the OT is another example of God's mercy.

        What we fail to remember is that the OT list represents a massive reduction in capital crimes from the original list. The OT code represents a bending over backward of divine patience and forbearance. The OT Law is one of astonishing grace. After all, what was the penalty for sin in the original created order? Genesis 2:17 tells Adam and Eve that “in the day that you sin you shall surely die.” In Ezekiel 18:4 we read “The soul that sins shall die.” In creation ALL sin is deemed worthy of death. Every sin is a capital offense. The penalty was not just death, but an instant death: death that very day… In creation, God is not obliged to give us the gift of life. He is not in debt to us. The gift of life comes by His grace and stands under His divine authority.

        The task that is given to mankind in creation is to bear witness to the holiness of God, to be His image bearer. We are made to mirror and reflect the holiness of God and be His ambassadors, therefore when we sin, we are committing high treason against the one whose image we are to reflect to the rest of the world. As His image bearers, when we sin, we say to the outside world “look at me, this is what God is like.” And God, as our creator, is well within His right to inflict capital punishment.

        In the case of creation and mankind’s fall, the full measure of justice was delayed so that grace would have time to work. Here, the delay of justice was not the denial of justice, but rather the establishment of mercy and grace.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • doobzz

        Your god "created" man in his image and likeness, then slaughtered them when they acted like him. Your god is a murderous, vicious punk and a hypocrite.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        I don't think you understand what it means to be the image-bearer of God. See my post above.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        " The task that is given to mankind in creation is to bear witness to the holiness of God, to be His image bearer."

        What an egotistical jerk.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • Doris

        Theo purported "[a complete rash of crap]".

        Until you can provide any evidence of such a god, I'll have to assume the immoral and illogical rules of your belief system have merely been a device to control and disenfranchise.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • igaftr

        "I don't think you understand what it means to be the image-bearer of God"
        Neither do you...all you know is what it is to BELIEVE you are the image bearer of god.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • new-man

      God's creation was "very good".

      woe to those who call good bad and bad good. I notice you were all up in arms b/c someone claims to be both an atheist and a believer. Likewise you should be up in arms for deliberately twisting words to fit your uninformed agenda.

      It was the devil who would have killed out all of mankind-by having all flesh corrupted, thereby not making it possible for Salvation, as salvation had to come through a man.

      Removing all corrupted flesh from the earth and ensuring the human race could continue through 8 people was an act of love, mercy, and compassion for mankind.

      I don't know about you, but I am fearfully, and wonderfully made. All praise, honor and glory to God for loving us and making us worthy.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
      • doobzz

        Snakes and donkeys talk, time stands still, brushfires speak, a man lives for days inside a fish and women turn to salt.

        I guess believing that murder is mercy isn't such a stretch for you in that case.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • new-man

        funny you can mock "snakes and donkeys talking" while ignoring the serpent mind that you have given full attention and devotion to, that has beguiled you into believing that 'God made & murdered mankind because He made them wrong'.

        This mindset says more about you than it says about God!

        June 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • doobzz

        Actually, it says more about people who believe in talking snakes and donkeys.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Stultus Troglodytarum

    June 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  6. sales3000

    I am glad to see that Nicolas Cage is working the case.

    June 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • doobzz

      Go home, AB, you're drunk.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • sales3000

        I know I am, but he does remind me of Cage.

        June 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • doobzz

          You need new glasses too then, AB.

          June 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Akira

          I think he looks more like a younger Martin Sheen.

          June 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • sales3000

          An ugly Harry Connick Jr.?

          June 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Doris

          I'm kind of with sales on this.

          Nicholas Estevez maybe.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I was thinking Martin Sheen as well, but a lumpier version.

          June 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
      • sales3000

        Really? His hair and that dopey look on his face....

        June 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • doobzz

          Well, in that case he looks like Rick Perry or W.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
      • sales3000

        doobzz, Apple Bush is a really old name I haven't used in a long time. Why do you keep calling me that? My name is the Central Scrutinizer.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • doobzz

          Get a new shtick. This one's really old.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • sales3000

          Ok. We'll do, thanks.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • Akira


      June 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  7. Akira

    Don't be ridiculous.

    June 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Sorry to hear someone lost their life, doesn't attempted burglary/homicide occur everyday all across the planet? Is it relevant because a couple of shamans from the catholic cult were involved?

    June 12, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Clearly it's here because the victims were Catholic clergy and yes, armed robbery is all too frequent, but armed robbery of clergy is not – hence the 'shock' value.

      With a college multiple shooting, followed by a political multiple shooting followed by yet another high-school shooting in the space of a couple of weeks the gun violence topic is magnified right now.

      June 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • Rynomite

      More likely it was revenge for butt banditry perpetrated long ago.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • lunchbreaker


        June 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
  9. doobzz

    You were kind of funny once. Now you're shtick is wearing thin. You need some new material.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • doobzz

      I said "you need some new material", not "you need another new name".

      June 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • doobzz

      LMAO!! On my WordPress site, you have yet another name:

      "sales3000 28m
      Awwww, are you butt hurt because another atheist is out shooting people kid?"


      June 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And 'sales3000' has posted at the top of the thread at 12:39 EDT. Perhaps he forgot which personality he is today.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • doobzz

      Pretty sure we're dealing with AB again.

      From the CNN blog:

      I am your dentist.
      She is ok for the shower, but some voice lessons would help her a great deal. Her technique is poor. As a professional she would lose her voice after 3 or 4 concerts or musicals.

      June 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      Every party has a pooper.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      Alien Orifice
      I agree with dentist.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      Someone has to drive the pooper home, I suppose.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      Alien Orifice
      I wouldn't pay a dime to see her perform but I am happy for her.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      Thank you for your participation, your opinion is duly noted.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      Alien Orifice

      June 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

      From my WordPress feed:

      In reply to your comment
      Every party has a pooper.

      sales3000 1d
      I agree with dentist.

      In reply to your comment
      Every party has a pooper.

      sales3000 1d
      I wouldn’t pay a dime to see her perform but I am happy for her.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
  10. Alien Orifice

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!

    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.

    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    June 12, 2014 at 11:52 am |
  11. Alien Orifice

    The troll;

    frozen in time;

    squeezes through the crevice;

    now blocked by green rock and green tree;

    just as he.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:52 am |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    There goes any hope we had of you being less hateful and ignorant with the name change.

    I bet it stings you to know that we aware you got booted because you refused to comply with Daniel Burke's requests for you to stop posting inappropriate comments.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:36 am |
  13. MidwestKen

    I haven't researched it, but seems like more of an economic related crime than anything religious.

    I hope for the best for the victims.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      I don't see what this has to do with belief...

      June 12, 2014 at 11:34 am |
    • Akira

      I agree, MWKen.

      June 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  14. MidwestKen

    This is a tragic event and I don't wish anyone killed.

    Perhaps less reliance on prayer and more on mental health would help though.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:25 am |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    it's absolutely tragic when anyone is murdered like this.

    Just to clarify though: the shooter obviously used the "free will" that god gave him. Did the priests get to use their "free will"?

    How does the free will thing work again? Because that's the only thing that absolves your god from being the cause of this death. Otherwise, it is all by god's plan that the priest was murdered.

    Your religion is all so confusing with all its escape clauses and disclaimers and loopholes. You Christians should all be lawyers.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      The bible makes it clear that there can be no free will, therefore god did it.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  16. doobzz

    You're funny.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:14 am |
  17. noahsdadtopher

    Sad news. I'll be praying for that man.

    June 12, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • doobzz

      Why? He has doctors looking after him. They can actually make a difference.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      You will pray so that YOU feel better. It won't help the victims.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • kermit4jc

        such an arrogant response ...topher is not praying so he (topher) feels better....

        June 13, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No kermi, that is what it is regardless of what your biased ignorant mind may think. There is zero evidence that prayer does anything other than make the person saying the prayer think they are doing something good when in many cases they are doing nothing useful. We know that praying instead of actually doing the right thing can be damaging...look at the Schiables-two innocent children dead because they prayed instead of being good parents.

          June 14, 2014 at 7:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you arew pretty stupid to make such an argument..YOU are not topher..ok? as far as IM concerned topher is nOT doing it so he can fell better.your argument does NOT support your response (topher only does it dso he can feel better about himself) Topher beliecves strongly the prayer works regardless of what YOU think ok?

          June 17, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: Again with the bullying! Calling someone stupid is not the sign of a stable or well mannered person. I realize I'm not topher or you for that matter and thankfully not, I couldn't imagine being so blatantly ignorant of actual evidence or feeling good about thinking you're doing right by praying when there is vast amounts of evidence to prove it doesn't work.
          I'm rather certain based on how you speak here that you lied about being a psychologist, no good psychologist would call anyone stupid or use the bullying techniques you do. Now you can try to turn this but all that is, is you not taking responsibility for your own actions. You hate when people show you where you are wrong or where your bible fails...to admit the problems within that book would start to destroy your life...I feel bad for you to be living such a shallow life in need to the non-existent to get by. You are living the grand delusion...time to join us in the 21st century.

          June 17, 2014 at 6:46 am |
        • kermit4jc

          no good psychologist would call anyone stupid or use the bullying techniques you do.<-and you tell ME I liing with myths and supersitions? Psychologists are people too who do things and call names at times..they make mistakes.....and you thought they were perfect? that's a laugh....take off yoru rose colored glasses and see reality. we are HUMAN like you,

          June 17, 2014 at 9:53 am |
  18. Doris

    trollin' trollin' trollin'....

    June 12, 2014 at 10:55 am |
  19. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


    June 12, 2014 at 10:49 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The obsession this country has with firearms *has* to change.

      June 12, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • Doris


        June 12, 2014 at 10:54 am |
      • Alien Orifice

        More civilized countries just shake their heads at the U.S. We are barbaric.

        June 12, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        A gun didn't kill that man. Another man did.

        A gun is nothing but a tool, the same as a knife, arrow, shovel, and a pencil. All can be used for good purposes and for bad purposes.

        What needs to change in this country is not views on guns, but views on the sancti.ty of all human life.

        June 12, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • tallulah131

          Americans view guns as an instant cure to their problems. The atitude about guns needs to change.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          But that's not a problem with guns.

          The problem is that people feel that they need to resort to violence in order to cure their problems. Guns are not the only tools that are used for wicked purposes.

          From their birth, children have been told that they are nothing but animals, and then we are suprised when they start acting like them. The problem is not over tools, but over worldviews.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          In any secular worldview, there is no basis for the nobility of man, nor of the sancti.ty of human life.

          If morals are merely an adaptation of evolution, then there is no basis for the permanance of morals because that system is marked by change, and in that mindset, morality becomes a product of averages – what is most popular is what is right, and when popularity changes, so do ideas of right and wrong.

          And when morality is as stable as the winds, no person is grounded in any ideas of certain right and certain wrong, and acts of violence become first inevitable, and then normal, and then morally right.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Alien Orifice

          A gun is not like a pencil.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "A gun is nothing but a tool, the same as a knife, arrow, shovel, and a pencil. All can be used for good purposes and for bad purposes.
          Shovels, pencils and most knives are not designed as killing tools. Guns are designed specifically as killing tools that is their sole purpose.

          There is no "good purpose" for most firearms. Their sole purpose when operated correctly is human death. You can argue a defensive purpose all you want but this is easily reduced to their purpose being death, or the threat of death.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • MidwestKen

          That is a vast over generalization. Not up to your normal level of discourse.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          " .... there is no basis for the permanance of morals
          And to underscore your point, empirically, morals do change.

          We do not consider slavery to be acceptable today.

          We place a much higher value on life today. The latter judgment is difficult to measure, but consider how many crimes are capital crimes today compared with centuries ago? With increased secularization, we value life more.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "That is a vast over generalization.
          American att.itudes to guns do need to change.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "In any secular worldview, there is no basis for the nobility of man, nor of the sancti.ty of human life."


          Theo: "If morals are merely an adaptation of evolution, then there is no basis for the permanance of morals because ..."

          Oh my and we do need the "permanance" of morals:

          ""Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me." (Exodus 22:29)"

          So you say God version II repealed that? I say it's much more likely that people wrote that revision into the screenplay. Walla – a change in moral permanence thanks to the pushers of early Christian theology.

          So here you go again putting the wagon before the horses. Prove your God first ("We live in a world created by God"), then we can talk about your notions of the source of morality.

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only under the guise of something that represents a claimed unsubstantiated source. Without your proof, we can only assume that you, and groups with which you have affinity in addressing moral issues, obtain and adopt moral views subjectively in the same manner as atheists from within the human collective.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Akira

          Since Theo is conflating crime with a secular world view, how do you reconcile the fact that prisons are filled with overwhelmingly Christian inmates?
          Or that the overwhelming amount of abortions are performed on Christians?

          Note that I am not correlating Christianity with these actions. But neither is it fair to blame a secular view as being the cause, as Theo does.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "their purpose being death, or the threat of death" Yup... but the same could be said about a sharpened stick

          June 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I agree with part of what you say, Theo, but we are animals, Theo. We are nothing more than primates clever enough to manipulate the world around us, for good or for bad.

          Teaching respect for life is part of the solution as long as it's respect for all life and all ways of life. But that's not going to happen as long as pundits, politicians and pastors preach hatred for minorities, non-christians, gays and members of other political parties. If you can't control people, then the only recourse we have is to control the guns. Not take them away, but make gun owners more accountable for their weapons. It's not a cure-all, but doing nothing doesn't solve anything.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "But that's not a problem with guns."

          Again Theo is trying to argue against what he wants to argue against, not against the assertion made.

          There obviously is a gun culture att.itude problem in the U.S. Now if the guns were not there to be used, then there wouldn't be any issue regarding the atti.tude, right? I realize that is an unrealistic goal for many reasons, but to just state that the problem is not with the guns themselves does not help anything. It has obviously become much too easy for unstable, irresponsible people or their family members to gain access to these deadly weapons.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Ken, I don't know how else to see it. We are a very immature culture and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          Are you trying to suggest the overall gun culture of America is not at issue here?
          The gun macho mentality of it? The culture that feels that everyone having guns would somehow reduce violence?

          I spent time in Tokyo. The police walking the streets had poles, not guns (though they did have them available, they did not carry them as standard equipment.) I talked with people about that, and they could not understand the mentality of gun culture, to them a gun was a sign of weakness, that you need a weapon to feel strong.
          The facts remain that almost ALL of the guns used in crimes came from "responsible" gun owners, and you are far more likely to be killed by a gun if you own a gun.

          Only by reducing the love affair Americans have with guns can we start to reduce the macho gun owner mentality ( and I know many gun owners...most are hunters, and I have no issue with that, but no deer was ever so formidable that anyone ever needed an assault rifle to take it down ( and I've caught wild turkey with nothing but snare traps)
          People get up in arms caliming their rights are violated when some law limits guns, but that does not remove the right to bear arms, simply limits it to reason within the spirit of the amendment.
          When they eliminated automatic weapons, there was all the same 2nd amendment rights garbage going on, but that was not a violation of anyones rights. The NRA would have it legal for me to have my own 50 cal mini gun (cause I likes to shoot squirrels)
          It is the overall cultural perception that is the problem. People who need guns to feel strong, are the ones that are too weak in their minds.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Yup... but the same could be said about a sharpened stick
          I can see the headlines screaming now: "Man runs amok with sharpened stick. Sharpened stick mass killings on the rise".

          Hogwash. Most firearms are designed to kill humans as their sole purpose.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • tallulah131


          June 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Oh please, if all "Americans" felt that way there would be millions shot dead every day, at least until the population dwindled. Be realistic.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Sh*t happens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenpeng_Village_Primary_School_stabbing

          June 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Ken, I didn't say that "all" Americans were running around shooting each other.

          But... We live in a feckless culture where the media treats guns like they are magic toys that create instant power. We have pundits, pastors and politicians with large followings claiming that fellow Americans who are of a different race, sexual orientation, religious belief or even political party are the enemy. We have a genre of music that advocates violence. We have a generation that was taught that they deserve to be respected, without being taught that they need to earn that respect. There are many Americans who believe that the right to own their gun is the most important Constitutional right and will go so far as to carry their weapons on city streets.

          So as I see it, the American culture is extremely immature. Until our atitude about guns change, the violence will continue to escalate.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          That is a far cry from "Americans views guns as an instant cure..." Thank you for the clarification

          June 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          "A gun didn't kill that man. Another man did. "
          Not really theo, a man chose to pull the trigger, but other men chose to make the gun, make the ammunition, make laws allowing the sale of such a weapon, but ultimately it was physics that killed him, so let's blame physics...or maybe blame the guy for stopping his resperation...it's his own fault because he stopped breathing....

          June 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          The Old Man and the Ladder

          One day a very distinguished old man was standing near a high wall next to a park. The old man, whose white beard flowed down to his chest, stood and held a ladder that extended to the top of the wall. After a while a young man, who had the eyes and expression of a maniac, walked up. He was loaded down with a large automatic rifle and several cartridge belts on his shoulders and waist. The young man saw the ladder and asked if he could use it. The old man kindly assented. The armed man began to climb the ladder. The ladder was so long that it required the old man's constant support to keep it from falling down.

          When he reached the top, the young man started firing on the people in the park. After ten minutes of shooting, there were at least fifty dead bodies and many wounded lying on the park ground. The sound of the rifle's fire brought a quick response from nearby police and firemen. They arrived on the scene to find the young man firing his last shots and the old man patiently holding the ladder. It didn't take long for the firemen to use their own ladders to find out what had happened on the other side of the wall. Both the old man and the assassin were arrested and taken off to jail.

          A Courtroom (several days later)

          The Judge (to the young assassin): Why did you kill all those people in the park?

          Young Man: God told me to kill them. They were evil, just as you are, and therefore they had to die.

          The Judge: Do you know the other defendant? The one that held the ladder for you and pulled you up?

          Young Man: No, I don't know him. I just happened upon him near the wall of the park. I don't even know his name. He strikes me as a strange old duffer.

          The Judge: That's all for now. Call in the other defendant.

          The Old Man takes the witness stand.

          The Judge: Please state your name and occupation.

          The Old Man: I am God. I am the supreme governor of the universe.

          The Judge (a bit shocked): Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. You are God, the one who is all‑powerful, all‑knowing, and all‑good? Is that who you are?

          The Old Man: Yes, your honor, that's who I am.

          The Judge: Tell me, God, what were you doing in the park with that ladder which this madman used for his slaughter?

          The Old Man: Well, your honor, I haven't become flesh for a long time and I wanted to see what it felt like again. I am really at the same time everywhere, supporting and moving everything with my ladders. I just thought I would make one of my supporting ladders visible.

          The Judge: You mean I'm on one of your ladders – and everyone else too?

          The Old Man: Yes, your honor, that's right.

          The Judge: Tell me, God, if you're all‑knowing, that means you knew that this young man would do what he did at the top of your ladder, right?

          The Old Man: That is correct, your honor.

          The Judge: But since you're all powerful, you could have easily prevented him from killing all those people, right?

          The Old Man: You are right again, your honor. I could have prevented him, if I had wanted to.

          The Judge: Well then, for heaven's sake, why didn't you?

          The Old Man: Well, you see, your honor, I believe very strongly in human freedom and want people to take responsibility for their actions.

          The Judge: Then this man must be lying when he told me that you told him to kill these people.

          The Old Man: Yes, some people do use that as an excuse for the evil deeds they do.

          The Judge: Excuse me for being somewhat philosophical, but how can human beings be free if you constantly have to hold their ladders. Somehow that doesn't strike me as compatible with the definition of human freedom.

          The Old Man (hesitantly): That's a very complicated question I would prefer not to get into now. Suffice it to say that the human will is free. People of course rely upon me for everything else.

          The Judge (forcefully): I must confess that I still don't understand how I can be free, if you have all the power and I have none. I also cannot understand why I must charge this young man with murder, since he is not free either. If you knew beforehand that he would shoot all those people, it seems that he was compelled to do just what you foreknew. He had no other choice.

          The Old Man: I cannot dispute your logic, sir, but please trust me.

          The Judge (yielding): Since you are God, I guess I'll have to take your word for it.

          The Old Man: Thank you, your honor, for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

          The Judge (with renewed vigor): But I'm afraid I'll have to charge you with being an accomplice to the crime. You knew that the man would kill those people. You offered him your ladder when you knew he would commit a crime, and you also supported the ladder during the crime itself.

          The Old Man (nervously): I certainly cannot argue with you on those points. Please your honor, have mercy on me.

          The Judge: Well, that's up to our jury here. Bailiff, will you please take both defendants back to their cells so that I can instruct the jury?

          (Some hours later, the jury returns from their deliberations)

          The Judge: Have you reached a verdict?

          Head of the Jury: Yes, we have, sir. We have found both defendants guilty as charged.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          '..who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..' – Hebrews 1:3, NKJV

          – 'upholding all things by the word of His power' means everything; gravity, the air we breathe, the sunlight, everything needed to sustain life here on earth are due to His benevolence. However, God is not the author of sin and only the wicked and evil heart blame Him for the evil in the world. these are the same who will not accept responsibility for their own actions and are forever blaming everyone else. He gave us free will but that does not make Him responsible for what we do with it.. it is man's own wicked heart and rebelliousness that causes God to look the other way

          June 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Sadly, it's too believable. This country has gone crazy.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        This country has long been crazy over guns. The current political environment is worsening it, evidenced by the recent Las Vegas shooting.

        The recent Reynolds High School shooting in Troutdale, Oregon was perpetrated by a teenager raised as LDS. Religion is not the answer either.

        June 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I attended a Reynolds High School in Victoria, Canada.
          While I was a student there, a young girl named Reena Virk was beaten to death by her classmates.
          Note to self: Make sure my kid doesn't get near any school named "Reynolds"

          June 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Or Columbine, or Thurston, or Newton etc.

          It's sad to imagine a classmate beaten to death. That must have been challenging for you and your classmates to process. Of course children can also be much more pragmatic than adults often assume.

          June 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Oops "Newtown".

          June 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I googled Reena Virk. That poor girl.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
  20. martialbob

    I don't hate them, I pity them. And I abhor the murder of them.

    June 12, 2014 at 10:15 am |
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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.