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What the Fort Hood shooting teaches us

Sgt. First Class Erick Rodriguez stands guard before a news conference by Lt. Gen. Mark Milley at the entrance to Fort Hood Army Post in Texas April 2, 2014. (Credit: Reuters/Erich Schlegel) Fort Hood made global headlines in 2009 when Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers and wounded 31.  Now it's back in the news for the same tragic reason.  An Iraq war veteran named Ivan Lopez opened fire on his fellow soldiers Wednesday around 4 P.M.  Three were killed and 16 wounded; when he was confronted, he killed himself.

While the Ft. Hood shooting captured headlines, other stories illustrate the same theme of innocent suffering.  According to police, someone duct taped razor blades to playground equipment at a park outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  A week ago, authorities in western Illinois found a dozen razor blades glued to playground equipment in a city park.

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Why does God allow earthquakes?

Residents lending each other support outside a destroyed building in Talca, 300km south of Santiago, Chile (Credit: Reuters/Victor Ruiz Caballero) A magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck Chile Tuesday night, killing six people and forcing thousands to evacuate.  Seawater flooded city streets and washed away fishing boats.  Landslides blocked roads, knocked out power, damaged an airport and started fires.

Why does God allow such natural disasters?

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Atlanta archbishop apologizes for $2.2M mansion

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, Wilton Gregory celebrates Mass, along with Cardinal Maida, at the 21st Annual Cardinals of America Dinner, held in Atlanta, April 23, 2010 (Credit: Catholic University of America/Edmund Pfueller) Wilton Gregory is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia.  Why is he in the news today?  When his archdiocese received a $15 million gift three years ago, he used $2.2 million to construct a new home for himself.

It's not what it seems.  The local cathedral needed space for its priests, so it purchased his old home.  The archbishop needed a new residence, so he and his advisers designed a nearly 6,400-square-foot estate.  They intended its large meeting spaces and rooms to be used for receptions, meetings, and other ministry purposes.

However, they didn't count on Pope Francis.

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Billboards claim 'Jesus is Muslim'

Jesus is Muslim billboard in north Columbus, Ohio, sponsored by the Omar Mosque of Columbus, Ohio (Credit: newswithviews.com) Billboards in Columbus, Ohio state "Jesus is Muslim," "Mohammed is in the Bible," and "Muslims love Jesus too."  They were paid for by a local Muslim group whose website is "dedicated to educating you about Islam."

Their billboards claim nothing new.  Muslims the world over believe that Jesus was a Muslim, and in fact view him as one of their six key prophets (Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad).  And they believe that Muhammad was prophesied several times in Scripture (especially Deuteronomy 18:18, where God tells Moses he will "raise up for them a prophet like you").

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Church is not important: 51% of U.S. adults say

Americans Divided on the Importance of Church - Sacred Roots: Why the Church Still Matters (Credit: Barna Group) What helps you grow in your faith?  The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, asked American adults that question.  They listed prayer, family, friends, reading the Bible, even having children.  But going to church did not crack the top-10 list.

Half of us (49 percent) say church attendance is "somewhat" or "very" important, but half (51 percent) say it is "not too" or "not at all" important.  The younger we are, the worse the numbers get.  Only two in 10 adults under the age of 30 believe church is important; more than a third take an anti-church stance.

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