Arizona shootings: Why did God allow it?

By Julia DuinA woman takes part in a prayer vigil in response to Saturday’s shooting of U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords … Continued

By Julia Duin


A woman takes part in a prayer vigil in response to Saturday’s shooting of U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) among others at a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Last Saturday’s shooting tragedy at a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket is stunning in its randomness. A little girl who wanted to meet a real politician ended up meeting her Maker. A federal judge who thought he was coming by to say hello to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords never made it. Three retirees and a congressional aide who was simply doing his job never got to finish out the morning.

Whenever these awful tragedies: Columbine, September 11, Virginia Tech and others, happen, there comes the theodicy question. Why did God allow this evil to happen to innocent people? Why did perfectly innocent bystanders at a Tucson supermarket on a Saturday morning find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time?

I call this the Bridge of San Luis Rey question, after the famous 1927 novel by Thornton Wilder about five people who died in Peru when an Inca rope fiber suspension bridge suddenly collapsed. A Franciscan monk who sees the horrifying accident – but who missed being on the bridge himself – investigates the lives of the victims and whether there was anything happening in their lives that made sense for them to die that July afternoon in 1714.

The book – which does not answer the question as to why some people accidentally suffer while others escape – won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1928 and constantly gets brought up when the senseless happens. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair quoted from it at a September 11 memorial service. It was also mentioned by media commentators in 2007 at the time of the interstate bridge collapse in Minneapolis to answer the question that everyone was asking: Was there any divine design to who was on the bridge at the moment it chose to collapse?


Lead Pastor Glen Elliott leads the congregation in prayer for the victims of Saturday’s shooting in Tucson, at the Pantano Christian Church in East Tucson, Arizona January 9, 2011. The pastor also prayed for the shooter in the case. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Along with all the stories of who died on September 11, I also heard narratives from people who were supposed to be in the twin towers that morning but got held up for inexplicable or accidental reasons. And last Saturday, surely there were people who had planned to be at that shopping center that fateful morning but for some reason were not.

As Wilder writes: “Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan. Some say that we shall never know and that to the gods we are like the flies that the boys kill on a summer day, and some say, on the contrary, that the very sparrows do not lose a feather that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.” Like Brother Juniper in Wilder’s book, we all want to make sense of these catastrophes, trying to see life’s great weaving from its underside in our efforts to distill a pattern or sense in it all.

No doubt the Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanis, Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Tucson, is struggling over this exact question as he plans to celebrate a healing mass tonight at St. Odilia’s Catholic Church, where nine-year-old shooting victim Christina Green just celebrated her First Communion.

In a letter to his diocese from Jerusalem, where he was on a business trip when the shootings happened, he said he could not sleep after hearing the news. He added that random and senseless acts occur all the time in the Holy Land “where violence is feared and expected.” That is, people don’t like violent death any more than we do but they face it far more often. There, it’s a given. Here, it’s an accident.

Yesterday, I scanned Twitter, that great marketplace of ideas and current thought, to see what the grassroots are saying. “Stay focused,” one person wrote. “No matter wht comes ur way; opinions, doubt, fear, anxieties, etc. God is in control. Trust .”

Trust is very hard. Then I stumbled across a blog by Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (on an unrelated topic) where he asks why some children are abandoned in this world and others are not; why evil falls in one place but not another. Like the rest of us, he doesn’t know.

“The Creator chooses, for reasons unknown to us,” he writes, “to hide behind the veil of nature and it is we humans who must fill in the seemingly empty spaces.”

Do you think God plans for evil to happen as well as good?


Members of Congress and other Capitol Hill staffers observe a moment of silence on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Washington January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

About

  • Sojouner

    The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

  • drecwood02

    For Christians, the story begins in the Garden of Eden. God created the perfect world and placed man and woman in it. This is a picture of a restricted, but good, environment provided by a loving, benevolent monarch. The idea of good and evil was unknown. To provide for Free Will, there was a tree in the center of the garden – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God advised (OK – commanded) the humans not to eat of this tree. So, if God did not think it a good thing to eat of this tree – why did He put it there? That’s where human choice began. So, the fact that we even want to define evil is a human choice. And if evil is defined, albeit in many different ways, it logically follows that it should be obliterated wherever possible. The definition of evil and the obliteration of it then, are human inventions and choices. And so the sad story of humanity follows.I think the better question is – what are we to learn? To me, this life is like a laboratory that has been set up to teach us something before we move on to the next level – like how to forgive and how to love unconditionally, etc. What happened in Arizona is tragic, and my heart goes out to all who lost a loved one. My heart also goes out to the shooter – what inner turmoil he must have! But it also points me in the direction of contemplation of the fact that none of us knows when we will be moving on. It can happen so fast. So, if I am alive today – what am I meant to learn? Who am I meant to love, to forgive, to serve today? Would I prefer that there had been no “tree” – no free will? I don’t know… it is what it is – or not – as the case may be. But I do personally think that one day, or in some future realm, we will know.

  • kkrimmer

    Humans are part animal… we have a reptilian brain that controls much of what we do. G-d if anything, gave us the opportunity to transcend our animal nature, not all do.. the 10 Commandments etc can be seen as a way to control our animal nature.

  • OneTao

    A time to EVERY PURPOSE under heaven…this says it all. ALL things exist. People create suffering for themselves when they want a perfect world, a world where there are no obstacles, no lessons to learn, no suffering, nothing outside of ‘good’. Everything you know of in life is impermanent. All things change. The good moves into the ‘not so good’ into worse…

  • TooManyPeople

    An extraterrestial being is going to land on Earth one of these days and these same religious fanatics will say, “Praise the Lord.”

  • ztcb41

    “One Nation Under God”…”For those who don’t believe in “the Living God, and for those who do……”Where were you “When I laid…”the Foundations of the “Earth….”Where were you, when I told the Seas to come no further.”…”The Living God” Loves Everyone/all, and Evil does not.”…”Enough said.”

  • Syllogizer

    I wish people would stop fishing for easy answers to hard questions. This question, after all, may seem easy on the surface, but in a very important way, is very difficult for all of us, since there is always a ‘natural’ tendency to resist accepting what must be accepted.So what is that that “must be accepted”? This article, unfortunately, starts out on the wrong foot right away by insisting that it is ‘random’.But this is exactly what must be rejected in order to understand the answer: there is nothing random. The appearance of randomness is an artifact of our own limits to knowledge, limits that do not apply to God.Only once this is understood can we begin to understand the answer to the question. So once you have made that beginning, turn to For those of you who don’t turn there, I can give only very partial hints, such as: these evils must happen in order to put a check on our outrageous pride. But it is only a check: it is no substitute for waging spiritual warfare against our own pride, which is what we should have been doing all along.

  • pgibson1

    from my “How to be a Catholic Nitwit”, it says here…”when you are challenged on things you know nothing of, refer to the name GOD, and tell them it’s a mystery, and your problems will all go away”.Also, whenever someone claims that “This”, or “that” is wrong, remind folks that “God made everything”God made Guns, God made idiots, God made self-righteous, indignant haters, God made buttercups, and God made HATE.Yup, everything.Taking credit for the ugliness in GOD’s world has never been the faithful’s strength.So they pretend it doesn’t happen, or will only happen when OTHER people, not GOD, have had enough.Duplicitous enough for you? I’ve had enough.Anything can be justified as someone elses’ fault if you have the right (bible), er tools.

  • jonswitzer

    In the Christian perspective there is God, humanity (male or female), and angels (good and evil). God made things good. Satan decided he wanted to be God and after being kicked out of heaven spitefully went to deceive man. When man selfishly chose to follow Satan’s deceptions evil was introduced into the world (evil we’ll define as hurting others for selfish gain). So to this day, even if we were to have a truly innocent Job character (which is questionable…just look at me), there is still Satan attempting to prove to God that Job really deserves evil. Then Satan throws his best temptations at our Job to get him to slip. God allows Satan a limited time to test such a person to prove Satan wrong in the great court of Heaven. So, the lesson of Job is that when evil is strongly present, the righteous are going to be accused of evil by the evil-doers and likely suffer when they don’t deserve it. Jesus’ death is the ultimate expression of this. According to God, in order to expose the evil of the world, it is right for the righteous to suffer. Someone has to sacrifice and stand up to expose the evil. Then, finally, perhaps, all the world will stand up and say, “WAIT A MINUTE…THAT’s EVIL! STOP!! WE SHOULD BE DIFFERENT!” So, God allows evil until such a time as we humans are willing to admit we have truly seen evil (our ability to rationalize is immense). Til then, the righteous will continue to suffer to expose the evil that is chosen by sometimes good people (like you and I…see above definition) and other times chosen by truly sick people. As a result evil lurks in our midst. In the end, however, evil will be fully exposed, we will all agree together to do right and suffering will end. Which will be truly heavenly! In the meantime, the decision is yours, but the results are driven by God’s choice to allow Satan to deceive those whose selfish choices make them easy targets and, hence, perpetrators of evil.

  • rh92075

    Why did God allow this to happen? is a ridiculous question and such a question is exactly why people such as Jared Loughner commit acts of despicable violence. This is a faith vs. reason issue. All knowledge comes from humans ability to reason. With that said, humans ability to reason is not where evil comes from. Philosophically speaking logic is the tool used to navigate reason so one can understand the metaphysically given i.e. laws of nature that can not be violated without catastrophic results. When one understands the metaphysically given and acts within its parameters, one comes to understand morality and ethics and acts accordingly.Unfortunately most humans do not understand philosophy as the tool used to understand existence and therefore can not possibly use their ability to reason to its full potential. They rely more on faith. By faith I am not necessarily referring to belief in a supreme being, deity, creator and the like, although that is part of the faith vs reason issue. Faith is the belief in something that can’t be proved. Basing ones aspirations, expectations, conclusions,determinations,values or beliefs in life on faith or the unprovable, results in people like Jared Loughner and the evil that exists in this world.Understanding philosophy and using it to critically think is not being taught in our schools. The ignorance of faith is being passed from one generation to the next.So, be prepared for more Jared Loughners.

  • nyrunner101

    There is so much that is NOT in this article. The writer mentions 9/11, a horrible event indeed, but he could go back to July 4, 1988 when the USS Vicennes shot down Iranian Airbus 300 killing all 288 aboard, men, women, and children. Or how about the invasion of Iraq, totally unnecessary, which has killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, many of them the innocent. Or how about the evil of an administration that tortured a large number of men, or shipped them to other countries to be tortured, some of which we know to be innocent. Or that bomb that was accidentally dropped on a Mid East wedding party around 2004, killing almost 40 of the guests. The column’s subject is selective and all are events that happened to US, we in the United States. Perhaps if we stopped engaging in evil acts (the invasion of another country, the shooting down of a foreign airliner) we can then question why these things happen to us. This column is NOT a start.

  • toc59

    Yes religious crowd, it’s all some incomprehensible, mysterious plan! Thats just how any loving parent, or god, wants the world to be for their children.The hypocrisy of the religios dupes is amazing. Science works when it comes to flying in a plane or driving an internal combustion engine powered car or treating a bacterial infection but not when it demonstrates the scam of religion. What a con! The pretzels the dupes have to twist their logic into to avoid the obvious about the nonsense religion sells is truly astounding.

  • vigor

    You want to be Religious and you want to play with guns.Pick one.They are morally opposed to one another.

  • osha1

    There are aspects of our condition that are out of our control–to some extent we choose how we react to our condition. When people’s choices are depraved–when they reflect a lack of cosideration for the health, welfare and basic human rights of others then those actions can be described as evil.Thus, any choice of purchasing a 72″ TV when that same money could be used to feed a starving child is an evil action. Good actions would then be those that are made with a cosideration of the life, welfare and basic human rights of others.It is possible to trace some set of circumstances from any choice that would allow that choice to be considered evil. Likewise it is possible to rationalize a set of circumstances from any action so that they would be considered good.I feel guilty for cheating on my diet because it’s not fair to my wife who needs me to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible to help care for our disabled daughter. In his own mind, the terrorist is performing a greater good than the harm he is causing by setting bombs.Evil and good are the result of the meaning that we construct as we react to our choices. Since this construction of meaning is a necessary aspect of free-will then any God that granted us free-will is both responsible and not responsible for the choices we make. The God would be responsible due to the agency that is granted and not responsible because we as individuals were acting as free-agents.

  • jonswitzer

    Interestingly, a gun is simply the result of knowledge/science (nuclear weapons are the same). I guess we shouldn’t have eaten of that tree after all. Gunpowder, coal power, nuclear power are all knowledge/science based. The knowledge is not bad. It is the selfish use of knowledge without moral constraint that is bad. We could use such power to create energy to grow food to feed the world. We could use that power to fly to Mars. We could use that power to communicate around the world. But some…will choose to use that power for selfish reason without regard for selfish restraint. Such people, if they are truly knowledgable, will be very powerful…Should we use our own knowledge to powerfully bring them to account?…or should we let them have their selfish way?…Perhaps Jesus should have called down angels from heaven to stop Pilate from crucifying him. Or perhaps it was more powerful to let the wicked win while all the world watched, thereby contrasting his moral choice with that of the selfish. Thereby setting the standard for moral rightness for all history to see. Sometimes, its right for the cops to stop the wicked, for the Allies to defeat Hitler. Sometimes, however, its right for Ghandi, Jesus and Martin Luther King to let evil win for a moment to expose its wickedness for all history to see.

  • jonswitzer

    Apparently, the Christian God thinks it is right for the righteous to suffer in order to expose the vileness of evil and stop it. (Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr.)Apparently, He also thinks it is right to let you and I choose evil in our selfishness instead of choosing what is right. Powerful choice God gave us with that tree. Just like Nuclear power or gunpowder, Knowledge and Power are morally neutral, what we do with them are not.

  • halozcel2

    **Why did God allow it?**The Answer is very simple.Very simple….

  • ron_wilpo

    I long ago came to the conclusion that there are only three possibilities:1. God exists but does not intrude in human affairs; i.e. we have freewill.2. There is no God.3. God exists and intervenes, but there is a countervailing force — a Devil.I reject the fourth possibility, that God hears all prayers and grants some but not others. I came to this conclusion reading about the Rwanda genocide. A group of people taking shelter in a church, including children, were slaughtered. They prayed, but the Tutsis among the crowd were given up to the mob by their Hutu minister. What kind of God would allow innocent children to be hacked to death? Not one I can believe in.

  • jonswitzer

    Freedom and Choice are dangerous. I guess it is dangerous to be human, for those are human rights. Moral responsibility should both precede and follow human rights.

  • ron_wilpo

    I long ago came to the conclusion that there are only three possibilities:1. God exists but does not intrude in human affairs; i.e. we have freewill.2. There is no God.3. God exists and intervenes, but there is a countervailing force — a Devil.I reject the fourth possibility, that God hears all prayers and grants some but not others. I came to this conclusion reading about the Rwanda genocide. A group of people taking shelter in a church, including children, were slaughtered. They prayed, but the Tutsis among the crowd were given up to the mob by their Hutu minister. What kind of God would allow innocent children to be hacked to death? Not one I can believe in.

  • jonswitzer

    Apparently, the Christian God thinks it is right for the righteous to suffer in order to expose the vileness of evil and stop it. (Job, Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr.)Apparently, He also thinks it is right to let you and I choose evil in our selfishness instead of choosing what is right.Powerful choice God gave us with that tree. Just like Nuclear power or gunpowder, Knowledge and Power are morally neutral, adding selfishness to the mix is not.

  • malafry

    Why did God allow it? God didn’t. We have free will. Exercising it we have separated ourselves from God and shaped this experience. For every act there is a consequence, and as we are all in this together we share the consequences.

  • david6

    Free Will is a doctrinal excuse to try to evade the problem of evil.

  • TheDiz

    God created evil to make himself look better.

  • pacotheus

    WHAAAAAAT!??? Those who REALLY and TRULY believe in God/Jesus/Heaven/Hell etc have no reason to be upset about people being killed. The victims have “gone to a better place” if they deserved it or are being tortured forever if they didn’t. If you a believer, get over this “grief” baloney and stop pretending that you think it even matters!Only *unbelievers* who know that this one life we know is “it” have a right to be sad, scared, outraged, puzzling over how to prevent irs happening again and so on.

  • TheDiz

    Silly humans!

  • bobdog3

    I think God missed – He was obviously aiming for Sarah and Glenn, but they’re well protected by Satan himself.

  • jonswitzer

    Apparently, the Christian God thinks it is right for the righteous to suffer in order to expose the vileness of evil and stop it. (Job, Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr.)Apparently, He also thinks it is right to let you and I choose evil in our selfishness instead of choosing what is right.Powerful choice God gave us with that tree. Just like Nuclear power or gunpowder, Knowledge and Power are morally neutral, adding selfishness to the mix is not.

  • jimward21

    One theodicy is that evil is necessary for man to have free will.

  • marvschlom

    So the parent of a child allows that child to go to a friends party. He trusts that the child will not partake of alchohol or drugs at the party. When the child tempted by friends gets drunk then drives away and kills and innocent victim on the highway, is it the parents fault? Even though the parent told his child not to drink and drive, the child still disobeyed. Should the parents have locked their child in a room until age 18? It’s the same with God. God loves us and wants nothing more than for us to do His will, but it is still our choice to do so (or to not do so).

  • exoterica

    Alas, this is a seven-year-old’s question, and only a seven-year-old’s answer can satisfy it.

  • gladerunner

    Why did God allow it?A few things about the more common American version(s) of God.Let’s examine God the creator/divine engineer. Like any good engineer he has a blueprint. The blueprint may not contain every nail and carpet fiber, but it lays out the expected/acceptable result and the primary methods and materials for the project.

  • gibsonpolk

    What a bizarre topic? The year is 2011. Humans have walked the surface of the moon, unlocked the secrets of the gene, and yet this thread is asking whether Zeus, Thor, or some other personal sky-god throws thunder bolts. Why don’t we sacrifice a chicken and read it’s entrails? That might settle this once and for all.

  • LeeH1

    I think it is more important to see this from an atheist’s point of view.There is no evil and there is no sin. These are words defined by a God-creature who says what is right and what it wrong. If the God-creature doesn’t exist, then there is no evil and there is no sin.People then live in a social compact. Those who break the compact are separated for breaking the contract, but they are not thought of as either sinful or evil. Thus,. when someone shoots a nine-year old girl in a shooting spree, the society has a right to defend the contract by placing him out of reach of more victims, by placing him in jail. But there is no evil to the crime, and no sin, and no passion.Now, someone please explain this murder was without sin to the parents of the little girl.The problem with logic is that it leads to rationalization. The shooter rationalized that this was a good act. To him, what he did was not sinful or evil, but a courageous act with a large amount of accident invested with it.So the shooter was not wrong, he just broke the bounds of the civil contract. But to say that this little girl had a soul, and that killing her is a crime, is wrong.There was no sin on the shooter’s part, nor any on the part of the little girl. Since the shooter has no soul, it is unwise to punish him with death, since life is the only thing he has. Permanent incarceration is what the atheist would say. To do other would be sinful.Oh, wait a minute, sin is wrong. It doesn’t exist. There is no evil. Just a problem in social contract law.

  • pacotheus

    No, Leeh1, there can be morality without god(s). Hundreds of years before JC is supposed to have lived, Socrates was asking the important questions, including whether the god(s) esteem something because it is good or whether it is good because the god(s) esteems it. If the first, then god(s) are unnecessary. And, if the latter, then divine morality is just a “might makes right” deal.But let me get this straight you believers: in order for there to be free will there has to be sin and evil?! So how can your deity expect to have a perfect forever when time is up? Do you check your free will at the door when you enter heaven? Obviously, your deity just can’t get thigns right: he made the angels and a third of them rebelled and were thrown down to Hell, then he made people and they “sinned” even though they, at the time, didn’t even have the knowledge of good and evil. So how is this deity going to have a perfect forever after the expected Judgment Day? And if he can manage it, why not just create it that way in the first place??

  • jimward21

    One problem with attributing evil to Satan is the Haitian earthquake. Certainly evil, but demon caused?

  • david6

    All morality is without gods, though some have chosen to try to make the force of the community’s ethical standards stronger by invoking a god who approves of the moral behavior in question or trying to use a god as a sock puppet when trying to get everyone to behave according to the standards.

  • Sara121

    Humans’ need to ascribe agency to events whose causes are unknown (or, as we became more sophisticated in our knowledge, events that were unacceptable) is actually an evolutionarily adapted trait. For the early humans and pre-human hominids, ascribing agency to a rustling bush triggered the physiological “fight or flight” response. This was a successful survival trait because those that ascribed agency, even if they were wrong most of the time, were less likely to get eaten or mauled by something than those that didn’t ascribe agency to something. Thus, the trait was passed on. These are the exact same brain patterns and mechanisms that went on to ascribe agency to things like rain, earthquakes, floods, sunrises, and eclipses. We know better now on all of those things. Now we ascribe agency to evil acts, even though we can still know better. Incidentally, when people ask why god allows things to happen, it is usually said with the implication that god could also have prevented it but made a conscious decision not to. (An interesting distinction from saying god caused a bad event, like an tsunami.) If a human being has the capacity to prevent a terrible event and actively chooses not to do so, we generally think of that person as being complicit in the action. Not so with god. As Eezmamata pointed out, in ascribing things to god, believers forgive on a much grander scale than god does. This presents the curious situation of god having an exceedingly lower standard of behavior than people. One wonders how such a god is even worthy of respect or worship…

  • JWTX

    God does exist, I was sent a Angel when I was five. This Angel spoke to me so clear an vivid as I can remember for all of my life. I talked back to him, I really did think he was God himself an he was all in white an his hair look like it was white but the light eminating from him made it look like that. He was there to protect me from a dog that had chased me for sometime that I lost my boot an shoe, it was in the winter in February. I realized that I lost my shoe an boot an began to panick an cry so I sat down an told myself that I was dead an that I would freeze to death. Thats when the Angel appeared to me. He was loving so beautiful an patient with me. He kept saying my name, I looked up at him an said what how did you know my name I did not tell you? My Mommy told me not to speak to strangers. He replied to me I want you to calm down an stop crying an I said to but I am just a kid I can’t stop crying. He then said to me take a deep breath when you do I will send to you peace an serenity so he did an heaven washed over my whole little body to let the fear an tears rush out of me. I then asked him can I tell my mommy I saw you an talked with you. He said no not now but when you grow up you tell who ever you want to. I know why he came, he saw the trouble in my life an what Americas Trouble is in that I might question Gods existance but he personnally wanted me to know something better is waiting in Heaven at the end my life here on earth.

  • sandfootprints

    Perhaps God allowed it to prove you can’t kill what is his; and the nine year old death to be representative of terrorist attacks.

  • jonswitzer

    This is why ostensibly atheist nations have ended up being control freak oriented. Their sense that God should never allow evil to happen leads them to think that humans with “political power” should use that power to control things completely so that nothing bad ever happens. The result is totalitarian control orientation. A truly righteous God would NEVER try to control everything. That would mean that there are NO other morally free agents. We are not children but morally responsible agents. BTW – when we get to heaven we will not check our free will at the door. We will have chosen at that point. Some will have chosen to reject God and will not be there. Those who have chosen God will retain their free will and be with him forever. But don’t miss the morale to the story. CHOICE is the point.

  • Sara121

    True, we are morally responsible people and we can and do make choices. If such a god as Christianity posits exits, than that god should be just as morally responsible for his actions as we are for ours. Otherwise, what right would he have to expound on morality? Do as I say, not as I do?For such a god to have the capacity to act and not do so is morally irresponsible. The other option is for god to not have the capacity to act, making god not omnipotent, which opens up the possibility that god can’t do a whole huge host of other things. And of course the third option, the whole argument is moot because such a god doesn’t exist.

  • carlaclaws

    I am an atheist. The watershed moment in the evolution of my religious beliefs was a news report of a tornado. Several people had been killed or injured; the destruction was enormous, and a woman whose home and family escaped harm was being interviewed. She kept saying how good God was, and how God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Meanwhile, other people were completely devastated. Later, I saw, over time, the mental deterioration of someone who had great faith, and had undergone considerable emotional trauma. She is basically incapable of communication or rational thought to this day. Is insanity a manifestation of God’s mercy, or is it a manifestation of the pathology of unbearable stress? I am unable to believe the former.I do believe in miracles. They occur when people join their minds, hearts, and labor, and perform together under a motivation of unconditional love and charity. Whether God exists or not, I believe it is our responsibility to inspect and improve ourselves, our communities, and our world, and to work together toward the common good. Faith in God isn’t necessary in order to accomplish this. Faith in humanity is.

  • mini2

    To paraphrase Whitney Houston, what’s “god” got to do with it?There are so many variables involved in the creation of a single act that both the motive force and the result can only be indeterminate.To call the shootings in Tucson, AZ, “evil” is banal. Idiotic, yes. Depraved, possibly. Unfortunate, of course. Immoral, of course. But the culture, the situation of the young man and of the Congresswoman, the availability of high-powered weaponry for non-militia, etc, etc, are more likely matters of ignorance and stupidity than of “evil.”"god,” who he?

  • eezmamata

    Remember, in the christian story this murderer can beg forgiveness from their god and be forgiven. he gets to go to heaven, where he didn’t check in his free will, while those who don’t believe are burning in hell.Yeah, that’s a good story.

  • karlmarx2

    This question “Why did god allow it” is so theologically juvenile that I have a hard time believing the Post is dignifying it with an entire online column.Anyone who has faith worthy of the name has already dealt with the fact that bad things happen to good people and that there is no such thing as “justice” in human life.People looking for a god that makes everything “have a reason” are just indulging in childish superstition. But I suppose that would cover about 95% of so-called religious people.

  • eezmamata

    Our lives are not about God, but about each of us individually. Life is a test. In light of events such as at Tucson, it becomes quite clear who is good and who is bad. Were God to intervene, the distinction may not be so clear.What!! This little girl has to lose her life so you can tell who is good and who is bad, or your god can more easily tell the difference?This is the most insane response I’ve heard from you christians .. just awesome, breathtaking insanity.

  • jonswitzer

    No, actually, its about 95% of the world’s population believes in God and is Spiritually minded.

  • jonswitzer

    If admitting that you have a problem is half the battle, then a repentant murderer who acknowledges that he has been living selfishly is more likely to embrace the “law-giver/creator” than the person who thinks he is good enough himself and only has a little bit of greed, gossip and lust, but not enough to get thrown in jail for doing bad things. So, free will murderer repentance getting to heaven really is logical. (If you assume God).

  • pgibson1

    If you were to actually believe your OWN dogma, then this question is moot.God invented evil.I say this because religious folks I know say regularly that God made everything.silly question coming from ‘the faithful’.lol.

  • jonswitzer

    Okay: God should intervene IF he can. Remember Tom Cruise in that movie about stopping murderers before they commit the deed and putting them in jail. Should God do that? Would we then not likely develop a mistrust as to whether or not God really knew that someone was guilty. Wouldn’t we doubt his judgment even still? If God doesn’t allow the action to happen then we can not be sure that the person would really do it. Furthermore, if a whole nation stops showing the courage to rise up and stop evil-doers, then shouldn’t a righteous “power” let them choose their own destiny? Wouldn’t it be imperialism for an outside agent to impose their will (i.e. impose Democracy on Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran)? The same is true about Zimbabwe, Congo, Palestine and the Sudan. At the end of the day if a group of people reject doing what is “right”, then they should be allowed to determine their destiny…at least until another generation rises up with courage and says things should be done right. So, isn’t God doing the same thing? Isn’t His inaction showing His commitment to letting us figure out what is right and choosing it the right thing to do? Or perhaps, the United States with their military might should invade the world and impose Democracy and American values of right and wrong on them?

  • areyousaying

    GOD IS TELLING YOU SOMETHING !!!!Posted by: yourmomscallingWould Jesus pack a Glock with 30 round clips?Like someone here said before, the words of Jesus and packing heat are not compatible.

  • jonswitzer

    God’s creation of man in his image is exactly what Loughner was intended for. The fact that he and many others no longer “act” in accordance with how they were created is precisely the point. They chose to live and act wrong. This has been happening for generations (thousands of years). That much choice to not do right affects humanity at every level (psychological, physical etc.). That is why we need a savior to save us from ourselves; to call us to repent and return to what is right. We were made for so much more than all of this. Funny how we are all in agreement about that expectation!

  • Kansasgirl

    It could be that Jared didn’t believe in God. If one does not believe in God, then God has been driven away by the heathen. Therefore, Jared believed in nothing. I must say, after going to his facebook, I think Jared is and will always be a lost soul. May God have mercy on him.

  • duncanw

    The question is: “Why did God allow it?” Some people who don’t believe in God don’t like this question, and I can understand why.A belief-neutral way of asking the question “Why did God allow it?” is:“Why is life so full of suffering for so many?”Whether you believe in God or not, the two questions are really the same.Even for those who don’t believe in God, the idea of so much suffering can raise doubts and despair – or anger at the seemingly wanton nature of being alive in a violent universe. Even people who don’t believe in God are looking for meaning in life – and since life includes suffering: Why? What is the purpose?And yet, if intense suffering is caused by ‘accidents’ many are able to understand, or at least to accept. Whether religious or non-religious, we can accept suffering as part of life, because we are smart enough, and well off enough to enjoy what life has to offer – including most of all, being with other people.But when wanton suffering is caused by people, with apparent intention, it seems to be particularly wrenching.This tragedy was caused by a mentally ill person. But what about other tragedies such as terrorist killings and criminal acts? We somehow don’t think of those perpetrators as “mentally ill” – instead, we think of them as criminals, people who are immoral, or full of hatred and deeply misguided. And yet those terrorists and criminals are in fact created by mentally ill cultures (or families or groups) in which they are raised, or to whose messages they are vulnerable. Our “mainstream” society in America does not intentionally nurture terrorism. We also of course oppose crime. But on the other hand, our society does have the potential to prevent mental illness, and the potential to prevent immense rage, depraved, stupid thinking, and all manner of suffering in our cities and neighborhoods. Why aren’t we doing a lot better? Because it’s too expensive?? Maybe, after all, that’s a better question to be asking than “Why is there suffering?”

  • itsthedax

    This shows the entire fallacy of the Christianity/Judaism/Islam.If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then he has always known exactly what Loughner would do, who he would kill and injure. He created Loughner to fulfill those actions as part of “His Plan”. Meaning that God created evil, the attack was part of his plan, and he wanted those innocent people to die.If Loughner was acting against God’s will, then God is not omnipotent, and could not protect innocent people. According to Occam’s razor, the simplest answer is that God is not active in creating people or managing the world.

  • Sara121

    JONSWITZER,Your analogies leave something to be desired. In Minority Report, people were thrown in jail before they had done anything wrong, or even knew they had done anything wrong. This isn’t Minority Report. If god has the capacity to intervene (or not cause) and has the same moral responsibilities, or more, as people, and so intervenes, such that the bad event doesn’t happen, no need for anyone to go to jail. As to your second point, the problem you describe is one that political science theorists and ethicists have been discussing for decades. It’s the right of sovereignty versus the responsibility to protect. There is no solid consensus, though genocide usually gets a pretty solid vote for intervention even from the stalwart realists. Beyond that there really is no consensus on when one trumps the other. It sounds, though, as if you are arguing in favor of sovereignty. What would you make of enforcing the no-fly zone in northern Iraq in the 1990s? Definitely a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, but, in the limited way that a no-fly zone can, it protected the Kurds. This is certainly not the only example. Part of this debate also centers on capacity. Nations that may want to intervene and when it is moral to intervene may not have the capacity to do so. There may also be conflicting responsibilities such as to that nation’s own citizens. The reason this is a poor analogy for god and the current discussion is that the Christian god is generally portrayed as one that has unlimited capacity, omnipotent. If god is not omnipotent, that is, does not have the capacity to intervene, the effect is exactly the same as if god can but doesn’t act, or as if god doesn’t exist at all. (This is why tragic events, or good events, don’t provide evidence for the existence of god). Therefore, whether god can act, doesn’t act, or doesn’t exist leaves us in exactly the same situation: to determine for ourselves based on trust between individuals, between groups, between nations, and on our own estimations of what makes for a functional society what is and is not moral behavior.

  • Sara121

    “whether god can act”Should say “can’t” in that last, sorry typo.

  • spidermean2

    The shooter is an evolutionist, an atheist and pot smoker. What do you expect from him? Do good?Stupidity is self-destructive. More destruction would be coming soon.The parents should sue the evolutionist school for molding this person into a monster.The parents should sue the people who are promoting pot smoking get legalize.The parents should sue gun vensor for selling gun to this pot smoking, evolutionist individual.

  • spidermean2

    why do the idiots blame God when God has been warningthe idiots that STUPIDITY IS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE.Forget that you came from chimps, idiots. Give a chimp a gun and it will do the same.

  • MrMeaner

    Why are we here?Could it be that we are all born here with free will, so God can can be fair in final judgment? Innocent victims gain everlasting life, while no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1John 3:15)If it is written that some Christians are destined to be killed for their testimony, (Rev Ch.6) then isn’t it fair to assume that this will be allowed to happen, to “separate the wheat from the chaff” so to speak?If God intervened every time something terrible was about to happen to someone, then wouldn’t he be working against his own purpose?

  • ratl

    God is to blame. How convenient.

  • qqbDEyZW

    It’s been since 2000 and many followers of evil have resulted in this horror. Obama thought he could change those who followed evil but as we saw the continued speeches and TV show host spill evil it effected more and more people. God was watching and gives to those who have pure hearts. Congresswoman Gifford was spared by God to continue her mission. Judge Roll was blessed with a job well done and now has gone home. Each victims who died completed their mission and God welcomed them home but they left a lesson which we should learn and follow. Evil spill from the mouths of many who call themselves leaders. Some like Sarah Palin thoughtlessly used hunting/shooting examples without thinking of how Americans would address her message. Some Talk Show Host used the hate for profit and fame. Satan will quickly give you what you want but never tells you the price you will pay. When we hear a Religious Church protesters at victims services it says alot about America and God.

  • eezmamata

    Even for those who don’t believe in God, the idea of so much suffering can raise doubts and despair – or anger at the seemingly wanton nature of being alive in a violent universe. Even people who don’t believe in God are looking for meaning in life – and since life includes suffering: Why? What is the purpose?Sorry bud, lots of us don’t get so hard over these questions as you. “Life sucks, and then you die, get over it.”How’s that for a philosophy?Why does there have to be a purpose, what makes you think there’s a purpose behind you and any other human that exists or has existed or will exist?If you feel some pathetic sense of purposelessness, and for this you have carefully removed your ability to think and reason in favor of some gods nonsense, what is your purpose there? You’re a coward, like all other christians, other believers, a coward who can’t face reality and so squanders your existence in fantasies and delusions.But then, it’s your life, squander away. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. You won’t be there wondering why you were such a fool during your life to believe this crap.

  • Sara121

    DUNCANW: “Even people who don’t believe in God are looking for meaning in life – and since life includes suffering: Why? What is the purpose?”EEZMAMATA: “Why does there have to be a purpose, what makes you think there’s a purpose behind you and any other human that exists or has existed or will exist?”I too have never really understood the fascination with purpose. Why presume it? I would also add that the implication that people are incapable of defining their own purpose for themselves, that a god has to come along and give it to them, rather insulting.

  • RobbyS

    “here is no such thing as “evil.” People such as Jared Loughner, Mark David Chapman, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolph Hitler are sick.” Sick means ” unwell,” Well means “good.” Evil means the opposite of good.

  • RobbyS

    “@Sara:I too have never really understood the fascination with purpose. Why presume it? I would also add that the implication that people are incapable of defining their own purpose for themselves, that a god has to come along and give it to them, rather insulting.” What, to the only god you acknowledge? Some god who cannot increase her height by an inch just by willing it!

  • Sara121

    “What, to the only god you acknowledge? Some god who cannot increase her height by an inch just by willing it!”I don’t acknowledge any gods. Would have thought that was clear. Whose height are you referring to? Mine? Why would that be relevant? Are you assuming that I am short? Why? Are you saying that since I provide my own purpose that I am acting like god, but I must not be much of a god because I can’t increase my own height? That doesn’t even make any sense. I find the implication insulting to everyone, not just to me.

  • eezmamata

    The Marquis De Sade believe it or not, considered himself to be a philosopher. I know, he was one sick muther, but there we are.He cut through the whole theodicy problem with the easiest solution: god is a malevolent, despotic, and sick master who wants his creations to suffer. To be like god is the best way to get to heaven, so he was like god – sick, malevolent, and despotic.Compare that to the energetic gyrations the christians, take for example the examples we have here today, must go through to forgive their god for the meaningless murder he allows.

  • MrMeaner

    So, why do people who eschew the concept of a God, waste their time spouting their blather on a page called “Under God”, in a Blog called “On Faith”?What does that say about your ability to “reason”?

  • spidermean2

    Stupidity is self-destructive.You can’t be an evolutionist, an atheist, a pot smoker and expect to be sane.Why are people so surprised by the action of this shooter when it is so predictable.In a few months, more destruction is coming.

  • spidermean2

    Catholicism officially supports Darwinian evolution because it is the devil’s religion. Don’t be duped about this so called “the Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanis, Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Tucson”.People who call themselves “the most reverend” is probably the most evil.

  • lwilliamson1

    There is no such thing as “evil.” People such as Jared Loughner, Mark David Chapman, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolph Hitler are sick.

  • Davidd1

    Both evil and good came into the world when humans did. As did the concept of a god.

  • eezmamata

    Don’t complain too much about spidey now, I mean – I like the guy. Every time I see him show up here it reminds me of just how stupid, insipid, and insane religious people really are, and how happy I am not to be one of them.Hey Spidey, last year you said armageddon was only a couple of months away, a whole year ago in fact… how’s that end-of-the-world thing going for you?I’d ask you if you’ve changed your mind about your time table, but hey, nobody ever accused you of having a mind, have they?

  • eezmamata

    Do you believers ever stop to wonder if your god is simply incompetent?You people forgive your god a lot more than it ever forgives you, and for much bigger things too. How do you compare a lustful thought against a quarter million people lost to a tsunami, against a little girl killed by a nut?

  • kencasey

    In specific answer to the question: no. Evil and good are both defined and created by humans. To suggest that such acts are beyond even an attempt at human control is to abdicate all responsibility for them. We can take actions that will make such actions as Mr. Loughner’s less likely…even preventable. Strict gun control would be a start.

  • escribe

    I see no evidence for a god at all, let alone one who plans my life’s events – or yours. The people who died in Arizona were victims, not of God’s plan or conservatism or too-little gun control, but of ballistics and mental illness. The shooter wasn’t even a gun nut – just a nut with a gun.I weep for the injured and the families of the victims, and for the family of the emotional cripple who fired the shots. But I see no plan in any of this. Ascribing any of this to ‘God’s plan’ is an abdication of personal – and societal – responsibility.The Earth, however badly you want it to be flat, remains quite sphere-like.

  • theAnswerIs42

    It always amazes me how binary some religious people can be, labelling acts and people as “evil” or “good” … “darkness” and “light”. In truth, I have not met a person that was not capable of doing a good or wrongful act. I do believe there are people out there that are without a moral compass that are destructive in nature.Why does evil exist? I do not believe most of us understand what the definition of “evil” is. The term “evil” can mean many things. In Christianity it is any act that turns you away from God. If you are Christian, it is explained as original sin. Given this definition, evil exists because we are imperfect. In the christian fath, evil also came with knowledge and the freedom to make choices, both good and bad. Thus, in the Christian world, evil exists also as a means towards making the right choices to become closer to God.

  • rsl903

    (question):Arizona shootings: Why did God allow it?

  • rexreddy

    In Gods view a living human is but an embryonic or larval state of a soul.lwilliamson1; Believes that no Evil exists.

  • DwightCollins

    we all have freedom of choice…

  • MrMeaner

    What would attract people who reject theology to a faith-oriented blog?

  • Secular

    You morons, whoever thinks your dog let this happen. I have news for you, there is no sky-daddy.

  • loco71

    If I believed in a god who allowed such things to happen–and this was but a brief flash compared to all the suffering in the world–I would have to hate that god. Although the idea of god may offer comfort, I believe it is a delusion.

  • rexreddy

    : rsl903The modern main stream Catholic and Protestant religions are a fail safe guide to success. If you follow them as instructed by the New Testament you will have very little difficulty in life comparatively to what you would have otherwise. Had I followed “God’s Plan” instead of “Little Rex’s” plan, my life would have been much better. I would not have gotten evolved so early. and well….As for the shooter, if he had grown up in a good church environment:

  • freidenker

    “Ascribing any of this to ‘God’s plan’ is an abdication of personal – and societal – responsibility.” perfectly put, escribe. you are right on the mark!

  • spidermean2

    What I said was “less than 15 years”. I think I oveshoot by 7 years.

  • adrienne_najjar

    If you think about this rationally, the judeo-christian model of god that we are taught is one of a just and good god. So when this question is asked, and the fact that evil exists despite god’s goodness, it can only lead to the conclusion that there is no god. So folks, get over it and just lead a good life for the sheer sake of it, and stop thinking that this so-called god is responsible for everything. It is just a lot of hokus pokus designed to subjugate and control ignorant and superstitious people. I think humanity should be long past that phase of its evolution.

  • spidermean2

    Australia elected an avowed atheist as prime minister. A few months later,it seems that there is no God there taming the rivers. Did they got what they wished for?

  • tazdelaney

    with 125 billion galaxies here and new proof that ours has neighboring other universes… seems likely that einstein’s ‘prime mover,’ aka god, has enough on her mind without involving in every petty little planet’s problems. ‘the lord helps those that help themselves,’ eh?

  • theAnswerIs42

    “Why did God allow it?”Many religions have wrestled with this question for ages. This is a problem when you believe that God actively manipulates the world. Because if God does do things every day for instance, why doesn’t God do things to prevent what some believe to be destructive or evil acts?For me the answer is simple. God does not actively intervene in our world at all. I believe that God created and set things into motion … the rest is up to us. Therefore when things happen, they just happen … It doesnt have to be for a reason.

  • funfun881

    Things in nature survive through excess production. There are billions of humans, so the death of a few through accidents does not affect the group survival. Same with any living thing. The goal of what we call civilization has been to reduce the death rate so more of us can live out out span of life without accidental death sooner. But not all of us will be succesful. Just most these days.

  • Ken16

    “There is no such thing as “evil.” People such as Jared Loughner, Mark David Chapman, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolph Hitler are sick.”So why isn’t such sickness itself evil?”Evil and good are both defined and created by humans.”More flaccid bloviation. Who defines? Whose definition carries more weight if complete agreement can’t be found? Is there not at some primal level, a profound agreement that certain actions are reprehensible that transcends culture?As long as good and evil remain “values” they are simply subjective and solipsitic preferences. Only a transcendent awareness of intrinsic good and evil provides a platform for serious moral reflection.

  • eezmamata

    Who defines? Whose definition carries more weight if complete agreement can’t be found? Is there not at some primal level, a profound agreement that certain actions are reprehensible that transcends culture?

    Your dismay at choosing a ‘who’ to define evil and good is not even close to a valid reason to assume your assertion is valid.In fact, it is solipsistic BS from a weak-minded human too much the coward to face the often ugly reality of existence without reaching for his teddy bear.

  • contactklc

    It has long been known that where deranged young men can obtain access to lethal weapons, some young men will do so and deaths will result.In most countries, capable lawmakers anticipate this obvious problem and enact appropriate gun control legislation. Many nations take the additional step of prohibiting the sale of military-style weapons such as semi-automatic guns.The US constitution, which suffers from having been written so long ago, before such weaepons were even imagined, allows militia to bear arms but is silent on personal gun possession.

  • jckdoors

    There is no god. As long as there are people on the planet terrible, horrific things will happen. Magical thinking won’t change a thing.

  • david6

    Whether those who do evil are sick or sociopaths is of no interest. The evil is still happening. Theologians have always stumbled over the problem of evil. They cannot square their doctrines with reality.”Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of DisbeliefParsimony tells us that religious doctrines about gods and evil are mistaken.

  • lkop56

    Why are those nuts from that Topeka church going to protest at that little girl’s funeral? Have these people no shame???? ?Talk about evil…….

  • environment1

    Your question is silly.First, it assumes there is a God.Second, the question could just as easily be phrased, why is there any GOOD in the world? Don’t you think that would be a much more catabolic vs. anabolic way to present the question?M

  • larryclyons

    I think the ancient Greek Philosopher Epicurus said it best

  • otis1

    Wrong question. Ask the correct question.

  • yourmomscalling

    GOD IS TELLING YOU SOMETHING !!!!

  • mwpalmer

    EEZMAMATA | January 11, 2011 6:12 PM,I said nothing about the young girl except to imply that she is in the arms of the Lord. So, what words of comfort will you offer those who must suffer the senseless loss of such a fresh life?Furthermore, you apparently don’t appreciate the precious promise offered in the mission of the Christ. (see Isaiah 61:1-3, God gave us free will. We are completely free to act for ourselves and He will not take that agency away from us – though other people might. God knew this arrangement would lead to all kinds of trouble – as we demonstrate daily. So He provided a way to make everything right, to repair and remedy everything that we cannot. That is why He sent his Son. (see John 3:16-17, God does not leave us comfortless, but the empty doctrine of atheism does. Accept God’s comfort if you will … or not. It’s up to you. But must you insist that others suffer the choices you make? Is not that at the heart of all the troubles.

  • jrpearcey

    An excellent book on the problem of evil is “The Innocence of God,” by Swiss-German thinker Udo Middelmann. The Middelmanns during the Nazi era stood against National Socialism, and Middelmann himself, who holds a law degree from Freiburg University, wrestles seriously with the question of whether God is a monster and argues against any answer there is merely a “religious” escape. Here’s a link at Amazon:

  • andrew23boyle

    It’s God’s fault. ALL evil is ENTIRELY God’s fault.God created the universe. Since He is omnipotent, He choose to create the universe with evil despite the fact that, being all-powerful: He COULD have created a perfect universe without evil but did not. Since He is omniscient and infallible, evil cannot be a “mistake” because God KNEW there would be evil in the universe He was creating (he, indeed, created the evil): it cannot be an oversight, because He cannot err.God, therefore, created a universe with evil in it. He created Loughner and his victims, knowing with perfect accuracy BEFORE they were created that Loughner would commit this terrible atrocities and shatter dozens of lives. He created Loughner to murder his victims; He put these thoughts in Loughner’s head and knew what Loughner would before he created the universe.If Loughner is “judged” and sent to hell, this too is ultimately God’s fault. God create Satan knowing Satan was evil and would betray him. God created Hell and God created Lougner to go there.If one believes in an omnipotent, omniscient, infallible creator, then that creator is ultimately responsible for EVERYTHING because He created the universe knowing there would be suffering and evil DESPITE the fact that He had the power to create a universe WITHOUT suffering and evil. This is NOT a loving god. This god is malevolent. He cannot be good and have the other attributes given him by His worshippers. They can keep him.And before you call me all sorts of terrible names and threaten me with eternal damnation, please remember that I am saying this because God created me to say it, knowing before He created the universe that I would say. I don’t really have a choice in the matter. And if God condemns me to the hell he created because I say things that He “programmed” me to say before the beginning of time, then He is just a sadist.

  • jimward21

    I was thinking about why God didn’t just create a perfect forever for man, but is saving it for after Judgment Day? Perhaps it’s the same reason there are caterpillars before there are butterflies. The world would be a duller place if butterflies were born that way.

  • itsthedax

    JIMWARD, you’re saying that God intended all these acts, to make the world interesting?So, if all evil acts are part of his plan, why does he punish people for committing them? If he knows the future for every individual, and knows everything they will do, then we are all working according to his plan and none of us have free will. This being the case, why does he punish us for carrying out his intentions?

  • spidermean2

    It is not the will of God to become human so that he would be crucified at the cross, but He did it nonetheless to warn the people of the coming destruction if we CHOOSE the dark side of life.It may go against common Christian belief but I think when God created man, He did not know that man will CHOOSE the dark side of life.You are alive today and you still have that CHOICE which one to follow. Everyone are given the capacity to be able to seek the truth. God is so kind but HE can be very ruthless also. A person is a fool if he thinks he can take or handle God’s wrath.”Seek and he shall find”. That is God’s promise. But sadly, just a few bother to seek intently.Also, take into consideration the existence of Satan. He is the great deceiver which I think Rene Descartes (the philosopher) realized truly exists.Humility is key to seeking the truth.

  • itsthedax

    So, God just created the world without a plan, is surprised by everything we do, and is powerless to prevent evil? And apparently Loughner was driven mad by evolutionary teaching, and God allowed him to kill 6 innocent people to express His righteous anger?Some religion you’ve got there, Spidey.

  • spidermean2

    If you read some of Jesus parables, you would realize that God gave man the authority to be ruler of his own life. After that period of self-rule, He would check how did you managed your life. He will then give you reward or punishment on the basis of how you managed your life.But even if we managed it very wrongly, there is still a chance for forgiveness if we ask for it.

  • spidermean2

    The shooter has still a way out and escape hell if he would only ask God for forgiveness.

  • itsthedax

    EEZMAMATA: Just because believing something makes you feel better, doesn’t make it true.

  • itsthedax

    Except that our lives affect others. Your saying that God gives you the authority commit evil, hurt and kill others, inflict suffering on others, so that he may judge you. So, God is complicit in any evil that you inflict on anyone else. If innocent people are hurt of killed, it’s with God’s cooperation.You’re also saying that God will forgive any sin except being in the wrong religion. So the most important thing to God is that we worship him in the right church, using the right rituals?

  • Davidd1

    You’re so right, Spidermean2. There obviously was no evil before 1859!

  • itsthedax

    So, Spidey, Didn’t God know in advance that the Australians were going to elect their PM? Didn’t he have this arranged from the moment of creation? Since all is done according to his plan – why would he punish the Australians, since they had no choice in the matter? Since God has complete foreknowledge of everything, they were just carrying out his plan.And didn’t God create young Jared? Didn’t he know every action that sick pup would take? Wasn’t this preordained?Seems to me, that if God didn’t want Jared to kill those people, and if he didn’t want the Aussie election to turn out that way, then he can’t be considered omnipotent – or even infallible.

  • itsthedax

    So, Spidey, Didn’t God know in advance that the Australians were going to elect their PM? Didn’t he have this arranged from the moment of creation? Since all is done according to his plan – why would he punish the Australians, since they had no choice in the matter? Since God has complete foreknowledge of everything, they were just carrying out his plan.And didn’t God create young Jared? Didn’t he know every action that sick pup would take? Wasn’t this preordained?Seems to me, that if God didn’t want Jared to kill those people, and if he didn’t want the Aussie election to turn out that way, then he can’t be considered omnipotent – or even infallible.

  • itsthedax

    So, Spidey, Didn’t God know in advance that the Australians were going to elect their PM? Didn’t he have this arranged from the moment of creation? Since all is done according to his plan – why would he punish the Australians, since they had no choice in the matter? Since God has complete foreknowledge of everything, they were just carrying out his plan.And didn’t God create young Jared? Didn’t he know every action that sick pup would take? Wasn’t this preordained?Seems to me, that if God didn’t want Jared to kill those people, and if he didn’t want the Aussie election to turn out that way, then he can’t be considered omnipotent – or even infallible.

  • Chops2

    Australia elected an avowed atheist as prime minister. A few months later,it seems that there is no God there taming the rivers. Did they got what they wished for?Posted by: spidermean2Please prove the moral link between weather patterns and morality.God spared Bourbon St but regularly blows down houses in the bible belt. What does that tell u? Its just a stupid argument spidey seriously.

  • itsthedax

    So, How does God permit this to happen?If God is all knowing, all powerful, and all present, then this happened with his foreknowledge. According to Christian dogma, this was preordained from the moment of creation. Therefore, God is the author of this evil act.On the other hand, if humans have complete free will, and can act on their own. Then God allowed innocent people to be slaughtered. He is an accomplice to the evil act.Or, he knew in advance that it would happen, but was powerless to prevent it.Take your pick. Or think about it, and realize that religion really has no answers to any questions, and exists only to establish its authority over as many people as possible.

  • mwpalmer

    ITSTHEDAX,By mis-attributing my comment to EEZMAMATA you have certainly demonstrated your great capacity for observation and reason.I fundamentally agree with you. Just because I think you exist, doesn’t necessarily make it so. But I have far more evidence of God’s existence than I have of yours. So I choose to believe.On the other hand, just not believing something, doesn’t make it not true. And that turns out to be a much harder thing to prove. But that shouldn’t challenge your remarkable reasoning powers much.

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Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

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Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

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“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

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Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

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Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

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The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

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Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

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From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

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Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

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God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

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The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

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The End of Surveillance for New York Muslims — For Now

How American Muslims modeled the right response to systematic injustice.