Out of Tragedy, Questions about God

From Haiti to the Holocaust to 9/11, and at all times of extreme human suffering, cataclysm, and catastrophe, people have asked questions about the role of God and his purposes. Watch excerpts from some of our recent interviews about Haiti with Rev. Reginald Jean-Mary of Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami, Rev. Matthew Harrison of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod World Relief and Human Care, Rev. Joanem Floreal of Shalom Community United Methodist Church in Miami, and Rev. Caleb Deliard, also of Miami, as well as interviews from our archive with Rabbi Irving Greenberg on the Holocaust and with Rabbi Harold Kushner and Rev. Lloyd Prator on 9/11.


  • teejay henner

    Since I do not believe in a personal god, but do believe in the workings of karma I accept that we cannot know. It is not what happens but how we react to it and we do not have the right to judge others. All we can do is to act with compassion and try not to harm others.

  • Carl Karasti

    Instead of asking “Where was God?” or “Why did God let this happen?” or “Why did God do this?, the question that should be asked is: “In what ways is my understanding of God so limited that I cannot understand how the world works and how life works?”

    As the teacher of Universal Sufism, Hazrat Inayat Khan, taught in one of his Ten Sufi Thoughts: “There is One Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader.” If we learn how to pay attention we, as he put it, “can read the divine law in the manuscript of nature.” But this is not, as people imagine, only nature “out there” in the forests, fields, oceans and mountains. It is also “in here” within our bodies, hearts and minds – within human nature.

    All of nature operates according to the Laws of the Universe – Divine Law. But as long as we are living in our own small worlds, dominated by our egos, we are struggling under lower levels of laws – human laws that are much more restrictive, and often counter to, Divine Law.

    God is eternally everywhere in everything that exists and that ceases to exist, in every relationship, in every event. Nothing exists or happens outside of or apart from God. Pay attention, always, to all that is and all that happens, from the most minute details to the most grand. Embrace it all without hesitation, without reservation, without resistance, without attachment, and all of the lessons and answers you will ever need will be provided. No one can ever simply hand them all to you – you must learn them all for yourself, then they will be truly yours.

  • Matt Wurm

    How great it is to see Christians in action, being the loving arms of God to their neighbors. We uplift you in our prayers. — a proud LCMS member.

  • Murdo Campbell

    Hi, I came accross the video above and wondererd if I could use this in a school assembly where I will be speaking to the students about the Holocauast. I am a Pastor involved in teaching religious education. I have been unable to download the video clip but I believe that it would be of immense help to students who are wrestling with the question, why did these things happen?

  • Rev. CP

    Mr.Carl Karasti speaks words closest to my belief.
    Moreover, in these catastrophes, we must acknowledge man’s role.

    The holocaust being an extreme example of man’s atrocities against man.

    With regard to natural disasters, why can’t we see that they are the direct result of how we treat the earth?

    How many places can we deforest without ramifications?

    In the age of high technology, do we see a correlation to the high volume of cancer cases?

    We are killing ourselves. How can we then turn around and ask God why?