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January 15th, 2013
08:28 AM ET

iReport: Why I Raise My Children Without God

Editor's Note: Deborah Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas, blogs about raising her children without religion. An avid reader of the Belief Blog, she said she shared this essay on CNN iReport because 'I just felt there is not a voice out there for women/moms like me. I think people misunderstand or are fearful of people who don’t believe in God.'

By Deborah Mitchell, Special to CNN

(CNN)–When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.

And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.

Read Mitchell's 7 reasons she's raising her children without God

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (1,688 Responses)
  1. truth be told

    It is a shame that there are no qualifications or education required to be a parent. Denying eternal life to an innocent child is the worst form of child abuse. With all this worlds problems what a pity children are saddled with a lying fool for a parent.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Threatening children with stories of a violent god who promises eternal torture for reasonable doubt is simply abuse. Get over your sick religion already.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If there had been any educational requirements for having a family, TuBeTop, you'd be childless and unmarried. What was that word you didn't know how to spell? Oh, that's right. You mistook "Gaul" for "gall."

      Brilliant.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Please confirm: you believe that a child due to actions of their parents would be denied eternal life by your God?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Jennifer,

      So then, teaching children about the specifics of warring nations and deaths of children in poverty and riddled with deadly diseases are the naturalist ways to enlighten children regarding the humanities trails and trials without any hope but one day dying as all people will one day do? How does a child cope with no hope?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by "lionlylamb" contains multiple instances of the Begging The Question fallacy, and starts from false premises.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ LL

      "Hope" or fear, Lionly. I have yet to encounter a parent who did not use the fear of eternal punishment as a tool or the reason for accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. I have yet to encounter an adult who, as a child, did not encounter God as a god of Justice first....

      One need only attend a Vacation Bible School in the summer months at a local church and listen to the motivation for following Jesus.

      Whatever decoration of a loving God might be added, the base moitvation has been fear.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't you just love it when LL, who's never BEEN a parent and abused a younger sibling gives advice on raising children?

      It's so cute.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Really?

      LionlyLamb admitted to abusing a younger sibling? Sexually? Physically?

      Lionly, is this true?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Gir

      Tales of fictional eternities are only going to encourage the child to cross their arms and do nothing about oppression because some reward is waiting for them in the afterlife. We need members of society who can make a difference, not idle believers in Sugar Candy Mountain.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      LL: No hope? Of what? Eternity with a vindictive petty pr1ck?

      January 16, 2013 at 6:54 am |
  2. Jennifer

    Wonderful to see Christians' feet held to the fire here for their crazy belief in a "loving" god who promises eternal burning torture by fire. And oh, so appropriate, too.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  3. Boring

    Shame on CNN for running this schlock.

    Posting a story written by some random person with a keyboard on a obviously controversial topic so you'll rack up a bunch of page views is pretty low rent, even for CNN.

    Here are some other interesting iReports to look out for:

    "Why I slap my toddler and think you should to"
    "People with European genes aren't as smart as you and me"
    "Short people aren't as happy as tall people"
    "Republicans are stupid"
    "Education is for losers"
    "Everyone should get abortions"

    January 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • sam

      Uh oh, someone is butthurt!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Len

      "Republicans are stupid"
      That really would be a boring discussion because it's a given. ;-)

      January 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    1. Atomic Cosmologies

    2. Celestial Cosmologies

    3.Cellular Cosmologies

    Atomic Cosmologies were and are and will ever be the building blocks of Celestial and Cellular Cosmologies. Without the Atomized Cosmologies there could never have been Celestial nor Cellular Cosmologies. The same can be said that without the Atomized and Celestial Cosmologies, there could be no Cellular Cosmologies. Common mankind is Cellular Cosmologies' finalized living atomic structures of celled designations upon a planetary plain of Celestial Cosmology.

    Our bodies Cellular Cosmologies are as simulations of Celestial Universes, only smaller in scalar standardizations. Celestial Universes are yet of unknowable quantifications due our inabilities to peer into the outer reaches of the vastness of outer space My best guess regarding the vast quantlties of one portion of the Celestial Universes might well be similar to the number of Cellular Cosmologies' living cells within a human body. We can only make a best guess regarding either the numbers of a body's cells or the numbers of Celestial Universes within the grand Cosmos of outer space.

    If one could be standing upon one part of a singular structure regarding being inside the Atomic Cosmos, we could peer outwardly and see with similarity a starry night sky as is the case when we stare out upon our planet's celestial night skies. The same can be said if we were found being placed outwardly upon the furthest reaches of the Cosmos as being nothing more than a ginormous planet whose sky would be just like our celestial skies are. We then and therefore are caught between the Atomic Cosmology and the Celestial Cosmos of vast immensity. One is super small while on the otherness scale the other is ginormous in size.

    To believe or not to be believable for that is for one to consider. Do I believe in Fractal Cosmologies? Yes I do but only the three dimensions of cosmologies I have made reference to. Any more dimensioned Fractals of Cosmology would not seem favorable to conditioned understanding.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Athy

      Good grief! What mindless babble!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Athy,

      Your speed-reading ability is cunning! Only a minute to read all that! Fascinating!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Athy

      Ther's nothing to read. It's all just disconnected bullshit with no direction.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Athy,

      Whatever, :-(

      January 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt anyone who's been here longer than 15 minutes has any need to read a post by you, LL. Once they've seen one, they've seen them all. Nothing but alphabet soup.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Gir

      Nonsense.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  5. Reasonably

    Give them morals without boogey men – teach them to be good humans, not to live in fear of gods – raise them to be a positive force on this planet.

    Why is that so hard?

    January 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • TR in ATL

      because they end up in he11....

      January 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • sam

      @TR – why do you think they'll end up in Jersey?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, Hell is in Michigan.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      Athy: Been there. Had lunch at the Damn Site Inn

      January 16, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  6. Bob

    There are no gods or monsters underneath your beds. Grow up people. If the only way you can "convert" people to your religion is to brainwash them as children, then your religion is fairly worthless.

    If my kids want to find a religion after they are 18, then that is fine by me. Until then, gods will be treated the same as fairies, trolls, and other imaginary beings.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Most religions win adult converts. I would look more at the quality of converts a religion manages to capture when running in the free market of ideas.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Changing between Islam-Judaism-Christianity-Buddhism does not count. They are all basically the same religion with a few different crazy rules thrown in. Find a man that has never believed in gods and convert him.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How is Buddhism like the 3 Abrahamic religions? I don't really get you on that one.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Bob

      That was a typo. Buddhism is non-theistic (but still nonsense).

      January 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bob, There are tons of atheists who have converted to theistic religions – just take Madalyn O'Hair's sone as an example. It's just fewer (at least at this time) than are converting in the other direction and, on average, involves people in more dire situations and with lower education levels.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Vinny "Pork Chops" Yamamototelli

      "We don't want anyone to die, even lawbreakers, because if they die in their sins they'd go to Hell and we don't wish that on anyone. But given time (as we are in the "age of grace") they might repent and trust in the savior. So no, we're not for killing."

      That is NOT in the Bible! You seem to think Christianity is whatever you want it to be. Many of your assertions have no basis in the Bible at all.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Vinny "Pork Chops" Yamamototelli

      Oooops! Landed that one on the wrong thread.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  7. Topher

    Anyone want to continue the earlier conversation?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Chris Christian

      Why do you claim there is a new covenant and the old ones are void when Jesus clearly says on the Sermon on the Mount :

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. "

      Clearly all has not been accomplished, and the word "fulfilled" is a mistranslation: Context CLEARLY shows he means "making fuller" with even stricter rules on top of the old ones, and NOT that he is ending them. Indeed, that would mean he said "Idid not come here to end the rules, but to end them." Which is nonsense.

      Clear as can be. And yet you and other Christians say the old rules don't apply, except that some do.

      What's your take on that, Topher? Jesus says the old rules are to be followed still.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Topher

      Chris Christian

      "Why do you claim there is a new covenant and the old ones are void when Jesus clearly says on the Sermon on the Mount ..."

      Well ... because the Bible says so.

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets"

      General rule of thumb, when you've got "Law" it means the 10 Commandments. Those are still in play because it's part of moral laws that were continued into the new covenant. I'm guessing you've read my other statements on this, but I'll repeat them. You can take the laws in the OT (or old covenant) and break them up into 3 categories ... moral, priestly and laws given only to those people at that time. The third one kind of speaks for itself ... they're not for us now. The priestly laws were fulfilled by Jesus. So we no longer need to make sacrifices (because He was our sacrifice) and He's now our High Priest. That leaves only the moral laws which were continued into the new covenant.

      "What's your take on that, Topher? Jesus says the old rules are to be followed still."

      True. We should follow the 10 Commandments. The problem is, we've all broken them. For instance, have you ever lied, stolen, used God's name in a low way or looked with lust? That's only 4 of the commandments. But Jesus is the fulfillment of those laws because He kept every one of them and was thus the perfect sacrifice so that our sins can be forgiven.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      And where in the 10 commandments does it condemn homosexual activity?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Topher

      It doesn't. It's in the rest of the moral laws.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Chris

      Your "general rule of thumb" is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. If you can provide Biblical support for you assertion I will listen, but otherwise, that passage means all the rules.

      Why would he say "Prophets," plural, when there is only one prophet for the Ten Commandments? He means everything, all the laws, all the words of all the prophets.

      How can you say "they're not for us now" when the Sermon on the Mount clearly says they are? Where in the Bible does it say those are categories, and that they one you stated is no longer valid.

      Gosh, do you really ignore Jesus' words when you quote Jesus? Read the passage I gave you: The word fulfill as you just used it makes utterely no sense in that passage. "I did not come to abolish the laws but to be perfect in them" also means they are still in effect. Including the laws regarding selling your daughter into slavery.

      I really don't understand how Christians can pervert their own scripture so badly and not see the perversity of what they are claiming . . . and how it contradicts what is actually there.

      Oh, if getting angry is a breaking of the law, then Jesus failed to obey the law perfectly: he got angry at a fig tree and killed it. The word used is "angry".

      January 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      And how do you differentiate between the moral, priestly, and laws relative to that time? How about stoning your child if they're unruly? How about killing witches or actually killing the gay people? Would you like to go through all 623 of the laws handed down supposedly by your god and justify your classification of each one?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Chris

      "Your "general rule of thumb" is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. If you can provide Biblical support for you assertion I will listen, but otherwise, that passage means all the rules."

      See below ...

      "Why would he say "Prophets," plural, when there is only one prophet for the Ten Commandments? He means everything, all the laws, all the words of all the prophets. "

      Because the Prophets were talking about Him. Guys like Isaiah, Ezekiel, David ... they specifically spoke of the coming Messiah. Even the "minor prophets" were a type/shadow of the coming King.

      "How can you say "they're not for us now" when the Sermon on the Mount clearly says they are? Where in the Bible does it say those are categories, and that they one you stated is no longer valid."

      Well, for instance, take food for instance. It is often pointed out on this board that we "aren't supposed to eat shellfish." But Peter is given a vision in Acts 10 that says everything is now OK to eat. It's in other places in the NT as well ... what we put in our mouths does not defile us. This shows things like this, what fabrics we can wear, were given to a specific people at a specific time for their own good. They didn't carry over into the new covenant. I think I explained the priestly stuff pretty well, but let me know if you want more explanation. But then you have morals laws which were kept and which are talked about by Jesus and the NT authors.

      "Oh, if getting angry is a breaking of the law, then Jesus failed to obey the law perfectly: he got angry at a fig tree and killed it. The word used is "angry"."

      I don't know what the greek word was. Tell me and I'll look it up.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      "How about stoning your child if they're unruly? How about killing witches or actually killing the gay people?"

      We don't want anyone to die, even lawbreakers, because if they die in their sins they'd go to Hell and we don't wish that on anyone. But given time (as we are in the "age of grace") they might repent and trust in the savior. So no, we're not for killing.

      "Would you like to go through all 623 of the laws handed down supposedly by your god and justify your classification of each one?"

      Sure, but let's do them in order so I can follow along in my Bible.

      Hawaii ... let me ask you this. If I were to prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is true and Jesus Christ is Lord, would you become a Christian?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Al

      I certainly hope none of you people have cooked a goat in it's mother's milk or you will pay dearly for breaking commandment number 10.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      If you were to provide me with the evidence/proof that a god not only exists, but it is the christian god, then I would certainly believe, but I would certainly not worship the god of the bible.

      As to your cop-out on the stoning, weren't those moral laws? Didn't you say earlier that the moral laws were unchanged, and only the other laws didn't apply anymore?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Topher, you have never ever, not once, not even remotely almost, proven anything about your god or The Babble. But if you can, I'll convert! Popcorn! Get your hot buttered popcorn here!!

      January 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Henrik The MooseHearted!

      @T = "Because the Prophets were talking about Him. Guys like Isaiah, Ezekiel, David ... they specifically spoke of the coming Messiah. Even the "minor prophets" were a type/shadow of the coming King." – How does that in any way mean all the laws no longer apply? Jesus said that every pen stroke does. You keep abandoning Jesus' direct quote.

      Two problems with your Peter theory. 1. That means that you are rejecting Jesus' instructions, stated by him to be in force for the rest of eternity, and choosing Peter. 2. Even so, that leaves thousands of other rules still in place. No one had a vision about not executing rebellious children, so that applies?

      @T "They didn't carry over into the new covenant" – everything carried over into the new covenant, and that is the point I am making. That's what Jesus says explicitly in the passage I started with. All of the old stuff still applies.

      @T – "I don't know what the greek word was. Tell me and I'll look it up." Oh Topher, that's a really lame way to weasel out of a legitimate point. If you think there is a translation error, it is your responsibility to prove it. Are you going to cop out, or debate honestly?

      Jesus said the old rules stillapply, and you won't get into heaven if you ignore them. His words. I want to know why Christians don't obey Jesus, why they invent these weird interpretations to say they don't have to obey lots of the Bible, then go to those same parts and say stuff like "gay is evil."

      January 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      "If you were to provide me with the evidence/proof that a god not only exists, but it is the christian god, then I would certainly believe, but I would certainly not worship the god of the bible."

      Why in the world not? If you knew Christ was true and what love and kindness He showed for you ... how could you not worship Him?

      "As to your cop-out on the stoning, weren't those moral laws? Didn't you say earlier that the moral laws were unchanged, and only the other laws didn't apply anymore?"

      They were not moral laws. And yes, the moral laws are still in play. A moral law would be like "don't do this" ... not "hand out a punishment." If you steal from me, you're not being moral. But if I choose to forgive your transgression that's not being immoral.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Topher

      Henrik The MooseHearted!

      Dude, if you don't believe me I'm OK with that. Judge my words on what the Bible says. That's what is important.

      As far as Peter's vision, as I said, that's not the only place in the NT that says it. The other point I'd like to make is that we hold the entire Bible as the word of God ... basically, Jesus wrote it. So when it says Peter had a dream in which God told him he could eat whatever he wanted, then that actually happened.

      "Oh Topher, that's a really lame way to weasel out of a legitimate point. If you think there is a translation error, it is your responsibility to prove it. Are you going to cop out, or debate honestly?"

      It's not weaseling out, I really want to look it up. I have no idea if that was a translation error as I haven't been told what the word was yet. My instinct is that he's wrong about it. But I'd still look it up. I've never taken that passage as Jesus being angry. Usually atheists bring up the whole clearing of the temple to tell me Jesus was angry.

      "... then go to those same parts and say stuff like "gay is evil.""

      Well, it certainly is a sin. But so is surfin the web on your boss' time or illegally downloading music. It's all bad and we shouldn't do it.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Henrik the Moose-Hearted

      Why do I have to believe you? I asked for Biblical support for your position, and you seem to be admitting you don't have any.

      Jesus says the rules are there forever, until heaen and earth perish. Peter changes it. If you believe Peter is true, then you are saying that Jesus was wrong. They are contradictory. Incompatible. And you are choosing Peter over Jesus.

      So far you have failed to show how the old rules are not in place. Direct Biblical quotation of Jesus says they are. Can you provide Biblical reference to show us that the old laws are not valid.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Because a god with a doctrine of "believe or burn for eternity" is not a moral god worthy of worship. A god that would create people (Adam and Eve), with no concept of right or wrong and punish them for doing what they could not know was wrong within their own minds is not a god that cares.
      A god whose big loving act is to give a part of himself for 30 years as a "sacrifice" for his own rules when he's an all-powerful being that could merely say "meh, you're forgiven if you're sorry, no strings, no believe in me and my son to stroke my ego or burn for eternity". That is not a righteous, just, or good god. That is a petulant child.

      Also, where in your bible does it lay out the seperation of moral laws and laws for the time by the statement "thou shalt not"?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Topher

      Henrik the Moose-Hearted

      "Why do I have to believe you? I asked for Biblical support for your position, and you seem to be admitting you don't have any."

      You don't have to believe me. Look it up for yourself if you don't. And I did give you Biblical support. Here ... Jesus speaking in Matthew 10 ... "And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

      and ... "And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, s.exual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

      January 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      "Because a god with a doctrine of "believe or burn for eternity" is not a moral god worthy of worship."

      But you will burn because you deserve it. He DIED so you wouldn't have to burn.

      "A god that would create people (Adam and Eve), with no concept of right or wrong and punish them for doing what they could not know was wrong within their own minds is not a god that cares."

      Where does it say they didn't know right from wrong? They knew it was wrong. God told them not to do it. And not a God that cares?! Again, He DIED for you. For them. He took your punishment. Name one thing in the world that would be more loving than that.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Henrik the Moose-Hearted

      Topher, none of the quotes you just gave has anything to do with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount assertion that all the old rules still apply in every detail.

      Stay on topic. You are copping out to a pretense about understanding as a way of avoiding the fact that you cannot support your position.

      Are you done? Because so far you have failed miserably in your attempts to prove your position, and arrogance and evasions are nothing but cheap (and ineffective) shots.

      You use sophistry to reject Jesus' direct instructions.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Mark 7:19 "since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”[a] (Thus he declared all foods clean.)"

      January 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Topher, you are not making any progress. . .

      January 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Topher

      READ the NT. Over and over again Jesus shows which laws are out and which are still in. Specifically read Hebrews. Remember how you had to be "clean" to enter the temple or you couldn't touch lepers or dead bodies? Jesus did all of those things which shows those laws are out. This is all because when He died, the veil in the temple was torn. This shows the sacrificial system was out and we are only made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Al

      Holy shit, Topher, you read that passage as food declared clean? WOW! No wonder you have such a strange interpretation of Christianity! That passage is about speaking badly about people, not the religious cleanliness of food!

      WOW!!! You are WAY out in the trees!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Topher

      What part of "(Thus he declared all foods clean.)" do you not find compelling evidence he was talking about food?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Bob

      Let's look at quotes from both the OT and the NT, since Topher wants us to examine the Christian book of nasty. That's some evil sky fairy that he worships:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Really? Topher, they ate from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Once they ate it, they gained the knowledge, and became ashamed of being naked. If you have no knowledge of good and evil, someone telling you not to do something gives you no real knowledge that disobeying is bad. The entire story centers around "obey or else"!
      As for me deserving to burn for eternity, the fact that you think that I or ANYONE deserves that merely goes to show that you have given up any sense of human decency you've had in favor of blind obedience.
      AND GOD DIDN'T FUCKING DIE! A part of him came down, got a beat down, and the human part stopped but since Jesus was spiritually god he essentially shucked mortality and got to go be co-ruler/ruler of the universe for eternity. THIS IS NOT A SACRIFICE! This isn't even the worse torture that a human has gone through in history! Another thing, how sickening is a god that requires blood sacrifice in order to have a possibility to forgive anyone! It is wholly immoral, illogical, and indicative of a sick barbaric culture!

      January 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Henrik the Moose-Hearted

      Okay, that's it for me. I just can't keep trying to debate with someone who either provides no support, or provides citations that are not even talking about the same thing. I'm sorry, but to go for the lame cop-out of saying "read the Bible, it says what I say it does" is just ridiculous. You are saying that I am supposed to go find your support for you because you can't give any. That's ridiculous.

      I am very unimpressed.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Topher

      I think I might see part of your problem. You don't understand the trinity. Jesus was not just part of God. He was fully God.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • mama k

      At this time, your honor, I'd like to call to the stand Lorraine Voss, who will tell us what the book of Remembrance has to say about the Tree of Life. . .lol

      January 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Topher

      Henrik the Moose-Hearted

      "I just can't keep trying to debate with someone who either provides no support, or provides citations that are not even talking about the same thing."

      So your defense is to lie? I did give you quotes. Pretty blatant ones, I might add. I gave my support. I can't help it if you reject it. And once again, how is "Thus he declared all foods clean." not about food? Please explain it to me.

      "I'm sorry, but to go for the lame cop-out of saying "read the Bible, it says what I say it does" is just ridiculous. You are saying that I am supposed to go find your support for you because you can't give any. That's ridiculous."

      I don't see how it's ridiculous. You claim I don't know what it says even though I give you direct quotes from Jesus Himself. If you don't believe me, go read it. If you choose to continue to reject it, that's up to you. There's nothing I can do to make you change your mind. But dude, if you're going to reject something, at least KNOW what you are rejecting.

      "I am very unimpressed."

      And I'm very OK with that.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • If I were God

      Actually, if I wanted to remove all sin, I would just do it. I wouldn't go bust drama with this staged execution that I planned all along. I certainly wouldn't do it the way it's claimed, where even Christians go right back to the same sins. Kinda pointless.

      I wouldn't have torture in the afterlife either, much less eternal torture. Even human systems of justice reject that as cruel and inhuman. It's sick, too.

      You would think that God would have written his book much direct and short. No ambiguity, no stories where the Tophers of the world can interpret it any way they want, no utterly pointless begats, just keep it clean and easily understood. The confusion and contradiction that has resulted is stunning evidence that it is not true.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • mama k

      Whew, Topher, tell that one to John Adams.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Topher

      Hey, Mama. Got anything you want to talk about?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Really, that's all you have say to that? Really?

      January 15, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      I must admit, Gopher, for all the times you've had your a$$ handed to you, it takes guts to come back with the same drivel

      January 16, 2013 at 7:15 am |
  8. lalala

    Child: "Is there a god?"
    Parent: "No one knows, but you don't have a soul and you are just your brain, so its not important"

    January 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why would a child ask that question unless someone had said there was a god.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  9. RocketSauce

    This seems to be a very lazy set of arguments from the author. The majority of her "arguments" seem to boil down to "why do bad things happen to good people?" That is certainly a fine question, but doesn't prove or even suggest the lack of existence of God. The issue with making any sort of logic based argument against religion is that religion is based on faith... and more to the point, blind or biased faith. And here is the kicker... religious believers are OK not seeing evidence... that's why it's called faith in the first place. You aren't going to win anyone over by saying "you're wrong" just like the religious people replying here aren't going to convert any atheists by saying "you're wrong."

    I'm 100% in support of being Atheist, Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Zen or whatever. It's just always humorous to watch people try to win people to their side with arguments that are dead on arrival to the person on the other side. All the people getting huffy and defensive on these comments are wasting their collective key strokes. Faith is about believing. Whether it's science, god, buddha, allah or in nothing at all... if you truly believe, you can't be dissuaded by an argument that starts with "what you believe is wrong... so now that you agree with me on that, let's dig into why"

    January 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @RocketSauce,
      If the claim was simply "I believe God exists", then your point would be valid, I think.
      The debate begins when someone says "I have reason to believe and you should believe too."

      January 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • HA....

      Rocket,

      Taking the middle ground isnt the answer either.... not in our world. The Question of God turned on 9/11.. and the fight will get ever more intense as we get more people packed into a tighter space. religions now can only grow at the expense of other belief systems. Think Islam will cave? will Christianity? ....we are to a point to where we ALL need to either fix the damage we have done to the earth or get off this rock and buy some time.....to do that science needs to progress.... science is krytonite to religion..... Mathematics, chemistry, biology these work for everyone, no matter who or where they are.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Jonathan

      I understand why atheists would try to keep this conversation going. It's because there are no true believers & admitted non-believers have tired of those professed believers who do nothing but use their profession of faith for personal gain. If you truly believe in an after-life, then you would remove yourself from this life with the sincere intention of allowing someone else to access the resources you are consuming (air, food, water). God would certainly know your intention and realize it's sincerity, so special rewards would await you, I'm sure. But since you don't really believe this, your hypocracy is troubling at best. So called believers are really filled with fear & don't truly have the faith they profess to have. My father (a catholic) said on his death bed " I see now it doesn't matter one bit what you believe – the only thing that matters is how you behave". Atheists theoretically behave in a manner that reflects their knowledge that this is it – this is all you get and relationships with each other are the only thing of value in anyone's life.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Science is not a belief. It's an activity.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • RocketSauce

      "The debate begins when someone says "I have reason to believe and you should believe too.""

      It's exactly the same argument both ways... The author is presenting her reasons not to believe and in doing so it trying to persuade others to join her in her beliefs (or lack thereof).

      Faith is a funny thing. The author believes there is no God with all the same fervor and confidence as a religious person believes in their God. She feels strongly about it and would likely speak up to try to persuade someone who disagrees with her to come to her side of the argument.

      People on both sides of the argument will look at the same fact, action, experience, story and use it to solidify their argument. Atheists might say "Science proves natural selection is how we evolved. It's proof God does not exist." Christians could say "Thank God for establishing a framework where natural selection can create all the beautiful variety on Earth. It's proof He exists and is good."

      Who's right? Who's wrong? Who cares? God isn't going to punish you if you can't make a crisp counter argument against some atheist on a CNN comments page and if you don't believe in God, why do you care if others do? If you want to have a discussion about organized religion and weigh the benefits against the harm, that's a whole different topic, but this article is about the existence of God and I just can't see the point in arguing about it.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • HA....

      @ rocket

      Atheists care what the religious do because believers still burn people at the stake and behead them for blaspheme (islam),
      think the path to heaven track right through buildings via a jetliner. We care what others do because they can set back medical progress several years (stem cell research) , change what our children are taught in schools.....

      Ignore the bs at your own peril...

      January 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • HA....

      Better said... The religious are headed for a war.... Islam vs everyone, definitely between Christianity and Islam, the Hindus and Bhuddists wont stand by quietly..... But what if reason could take hold before it all falls apart? What if we can defuse the whole mess before it all hits the fan? These debates cause people to think. We can ill afford more lunacy from the religious ( the Pope railing against condoms while in Africa?) ....

      January 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • RocketSauce

      So HA! you think that this collegial debate over the comments section on CNN is going to "make people think" and help to head off an impending religious war between Islamists and everyone else? You're joking, right? If a person is sick enough to take a person's life because that person believes in a different theology, I can't imagine a well typed zinger is going to make a difference.

      Also, what sort of apocalypse do you think we're headed for? 9/11 was an instance of organize terrorism that was not sponsored by a specific religion. It was a relatively small group of extremists acting out a horrific attack on American soil. I can't imagine how that condemns all believers of Islam to take sides in some global religious war.

      Get a grip, watch a comedy and relax.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • HA....

      It cant hurt... what do you suggest? saying nothing? if so- then why are YOU here..this is a waste of your time and achieves nothing...as saying ANYTHING in a blog is meaningless..... including your message.

      as for the coming conflict... do the freakin math..... you ve got two religions in particular that REALLY have a problem with compromise... they have been at each others throats for centuries and the Islamic Fundamentalists are trying like hell to get a nuclear weapon so they can hit Israel, who wil strike back...hense drawing all the major players in ,,,is only a matter of time.... but you dont thinks so? gee can i come live in your world please?... please?! my mommy says its ok!

      January 16, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • HA....

      As for 9/11 where the hell have you been for the last 11 years? that attack sparked two wars and changed the global program quite effectively..... not bad for a handful of extremists eh? Gave us the Dept of Homeland security...the Patriot act.. the national security act....connect the dots RocketSauce... Do you really want to see whats comming next?

      better attempt a few words in a blog.... get the thought process fuctioning in a head or two...that who knows?, may have influence in one form or another down the road.

      January 16, 2013 at 4:31 am |
  10. What IF

    It's much better not to tell children all of that god stuff. If 'he' exists, 'he'll' let 'em know.

    Reminds me of the old story:

    “Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"
    Priest: "No, not if you did not know."
    Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"”

    January 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Topher

      But that's theologically wrong.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      I agree, because either way Sedna would be angry at the Eskimo for denying her.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Pele

      The Eskimo was a virgin, so I got the other Eskimos to toss her into a volcano for me.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  11. Apes

    Planet of the _________ ?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Wait a minute. Statue of Liberty? That was our planet! You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Goin' ape-y over that new old-timey song!

      Atheists are primates!!!!

      Christians are primates in denial!!!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Matt

    God – it appears your follower Grimble is a little slow.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Athy

      Most religies are a little slower than average.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  13. Grimble Grumble the gnome

    Atheists view Richard Dawkins, and that chain smoking drunk Christopher Hitchens as their gods. Each atheist views themselves as gods as well

    January 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      Don't feed the troll.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • ME II

      No atheist thinks of anyone as a god, hence the name atheist.

      ... and yes Hitchens smoked and drank, what of it?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • ME II

      @TrollAlert,
      You're right, my apologies.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • God

      Again you violated:

      Ninth Commandment, "Thou shall not bear false witness"

      "Judge not, lest thou be judged"

      "Turn the other cheek"

      "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"

      and many others. I have a special hot tub in hell for hypocrites who claim they follow me but ignore my instructions.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Iron bedsheets are slowly interned, bustling over farty news. Scrimpton is cromulent says Ed, it embiggens our flat feet. Never on Sunday does post eat moss, though it does drown ovens. Steam is cabbage on Thursday while Larry smokes engagement rings.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • lalala

      a follower who thinks all people most be a sheep too

      January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  14. Wondering

    Can anyone explain how all-mighty omnipotent God can lose a wrestling contest with a human? Did Jacob do a reverse frankensteiner and catch God off guarg?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Buddha

      To lose is to win

      January 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No it isn't tubby. Lay off the weed too.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Buddha

      @Rational Libertarian,
      You are right, of course.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Of course.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  15. Science

    Chad Topher L4H Rover Just called from Mars they found the ARC no it is the Go-d Dame talking snake.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  16. Answer

    For your religious tools... look at this statement made by Uncouth:

    ====quote===
    "One glaring fail on your part. The "Bible" isn't one book. It's a collection of books. You should look at it from that stance."
    ====end===

    Do you still not get it?

    Ask yourself which parts of each book was good enough to make it into your holy book?

    Now ask yourself which parts didn't?

    You still want to argue that everything /every word came from your god? The parts that didn't make it into your bible – the words of god – how neat is that logic?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      One of the theists, Chad (?), finally did admit that the bible was a fabricated thing.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • JWT

      I know of a christian minister who in his studies determioned that the bible stories are made up stories with a point like fables.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Generally their argument is that god guided the humans in selecting the appropriate texts.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  17. Grimble Grumble the gnome

    Here is how you define an atheist – immoral, communist, liberal, stupid, idiot, jerk, selfish, dogmatic, wrong and etc.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Unencumbered works for me.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • OneInChrist

      Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar; and the truth is not in him. Seek repentance for your constant lying.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Len

      Grimble
      Actually, I think you did a pretty good job of defining just the kind of people who are biased against atheists.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Here is how poop carpet from fisherman's friend. No said Octopus, I do share stoutly eys as long as Mars and Jupiter share sausage. Foes fiddle on ice but only under a downsized porcupine. It started on Tuesday and finished on the piano. Aye did eat dinner on air but only through Il Postino. Commies spare chuckles for Arkansas.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Grimble Grumble the gnome

      It's so easy to see that all the idiot atheists on here have been reading to much of that idiot Richard Dawkins. Think for yourselves you brain washed idiots!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • God

      You violated:

      Ninth Commandment, "Thou shall not bear false witness"

      "Judge not, lest thou be judged"

      "Turn the other cheek"

      "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"

      and many others. I have a special hot tub in hell for hypocrites who claim they follow me but ignore my instructions.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Matt

      Grimble Grumble the gnome –

      I think the Above statement made by "God" has completely refuted your logic...or lack of it should I say...

      If these are the true words spoken by God...you are simply a hypocrite..

      January 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • lalala

      Cognitive dissonance much?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Why raise children without God? It's our responsibility to help make a world in which theists can be safe and, hopefully, with the right encouragement, get well.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Matt

      I agree...better education and less indoctrination..

      January 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Science

      2nd the motion They ( theists) should know better. But common sense does'nt work.

      Like reasoning with a five year old.

      They always have to get the last word in.

      Chad

      January 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Heard that one before. It's called the spirit of love, the spirit of loving Siberia. Any other tools in your chest?

      January 16, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  19. Reality

    Again, for this "tough-love", honest Mom, a modern-day prayer/creed:

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    January 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      Got to love the opinions of haters.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Len

      Where do you see "hate" in this? Honestly, you people can't take even a little bit of criticism when it comes to this at all, can you?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Matt

      Where is the hate?...It is pure common sense

      Is it not more plausible to think that man made up stories and exaggerated them than OR to think that the laws of physics were some how miraculous interrupted?

      I beg the question!!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      So you think this copy/paste was done in love?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Len

      TrollAlert
      When your math teachers showed you the proper way to add fraction did you see that as "hate"?

      January 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
  20. Live4Him

    Fallacy Spotting 101 : contains multiple instances of the Begging The Question fallacy

    This is an example of the fallacy called Biased Sample. Fallacy Spotting 101 only identifies those posts that opposes his/her apriori conclusions, while giving the illusion that his/her call-outs are unbiased. Calling out fallacies is only legit by an unbaised observer or the opponent to which the posit was presented.

    Grade: Failed!

    January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I responded to your list, why did you not respond to it?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actually a fair point. atheists type fallacies all the time, myself included. mostly ad hominem. but when pressed, we present concrete examples and evidence - the opposite is true of religion. there is no evidence to present. you can't call something a fallacy because you disagree with it, though. of course this doesn't take away from the fact that Fallacy Spotting is correct in the fallacies he points out.

      perhaps the religious side should look for a logic advocate for their side. i suspect he won't have nearly the amount of work though...

      January 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Another fail for Livey

      Fallacies may be pointed out by anyone. This is not a formal debate.

      Spotter's form of debate is to reaffirm that religious people argue by fallacy and not by logic and evidence, which discredits religion. He/she is part of the debate. Why are you trying to exclude him/her when you should argue more honestly instead?

      You are just inventing your own rules as you go along to distract attention from your errors.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Another fail for Livey : Fallacies may be pointed out by anyone. This is not a formal debate.

      So, atheists depend upon mobbing action, rather than logic, to get their point across? I thought so.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Live4Him' is an instance of the Begging The Question fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Another Fail for Livey

      Help me out, Spotter: is that ad hominem, straw man, or both?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • the AnViL

      anything you post can and will be used against you.

      if you make a mistake – and 10 people pop up and point out your mistake... do not cry about it.

      you are now guilty of using a straw man fallacy... implying that anyone pointing out your fallacies has applied any bias in their sampling plan.

      no one here has to sample all posts.

      if you post 1+1=3 and 10 people pop up and say – "nuh uh! it's 2!" – don't accuse them of not looking at the mistakes everyone else makes.

      there's no test here... no design of experiment... your posts stand or fall on their own merit.

      deal with it.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Pete

      "So, atheists depend upon mobbing action, rather than logic, to get their point across?"

      More lies from the xtians – 108!

      January 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Len

      the AnViL's right. Would you really want to be a part of a discussion where people wouldn't point out your errors?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • lol??

      debate, debate, and the A&A's assume the moderator "role", suitable for dustballs.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:27 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.