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Godless mom strikes a chord with parents
A CNN iReport essay on raising kids without God draws record-breaking number of comments.
January 18th, 2013
06:32 PM ET

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

Deborah Mitchell remembers the time, when her boys were younger, and another mom asked her about her religious beliefs.

Mitchell was raised Catholic but moved away from religion in her early 20s. She told the other mother that she didn’t go to church and didn’t even really believe in God.

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

“She used to call my house and tell me she was praying for me. She’d leave me messages and leave cards in my mailbox with scripture,” Mitchell says. “I do realize that she meant well, but at the same time, I know my views were seen as wrong. I needed to be ‘saved.’”

Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas who feels “immersed in Christianity,” started a blog about raising her children without religion because she felt frustrated and marginalized. She didn’t want to feel so alone, she says.

This week, she gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she's not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen journalism platform.

It starts:

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.

Mitchell posted the essay detailing her seven reasons for raising her children without God on CNN iReport because she felt there wasn’t anyone else speaking for women or moms like her. As she sees it, children should learn to do the right things because they will feel better about themselves, not because God is watching. She asks questions like: If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?

Lots of people disagreed with her. Tons. They flagged her iReport as inappropriate and criticized CNN for linking to her essay on the CNN.com homepage. But there were plenty of others who wrote thoughtful rebuttals, respectfully disagreeing with Mitchell while not foisting their own beliefs on her. Take, for instance, a Methodist dad, who said faith can be hard to nail down, but “not to avail ourselves of the power of something we don't completely understand is silly.”

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

“Presentations such as these seem to ignore a substantial percentage of believers - well-educated, compassionate, liberal folk, Christian and non-Christian alike - who, I feel, are able to worship without being blind to the realities of the world, or without lying to their children about their understanding of these complexities,” wrote commenter RMooradian. “I'll be raising my children with God, but I understand those who cannot!”

But Mitchell’s essay also struck a chord with hundreds of like-minded parents raising children in a world where lack of belief puts them in the minority, often even in their own family.

“Thank you for writing this. I agree with everything you say, but I’m not brave enough to tell everyone I know this is how I feel,” a woman who called herself an “agnostic mommy of two in Alabama” posted in the comments. “Thank you for your bravery and letting me know I’m not alone.”

It’s a growing group. One in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion, and that number has grown by 25% in the past five years, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of that group, 88% said they were not looking for religion, although 68% of the unaffiliated said they believe in God. 

Brittany Branyon, an American graduate student and substitute teacher living in Germany, was also compelled to express her thanks to Mitchell. Branyon was raised Southern Baptist in Georgia and Alabama. In high school, when she began to question the theory of creation and befriended gay and lesbian students, she says her mother tried to perform an exorcism.

“She opened all the windows and doors in the house, brought me to the door, held my shoulders and shook me while screaming, ‘Satan, get out of this child!’, ‘Satan, leave this child alone!’.”

After moving away from the South, she and her husband “became more comfortable in our secular ways,” but still take criticism from family members. They are now expecting their first child.

“Though we are elated to welcome our child into the world, we can’t help but dread the religious uproar that is to come from our families,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Such an uproar is familiar to Carol Phillips, a stay-at-home mother in northern Virginia. When she gave birth to her first child, she said her family was shocked that the baby wasn’t baptized. She said her mother-in-law cried and told her the little girl’s soul would not go to heaven.

Then there are the comments from strangers. Last year, Phillips said she and her daughter were at a birthday party when a tornado warning sounded.

“We were all in the basement keeping safe. A little girl was saying baby Jesus will keep us safe. My daughter asked who Jesus was. The rest of the time was spent hearing ‘I'll pray for you sweetie, we can take you to church with us if you want,’” Phillips told CNN.

Commenting on Mitchell’s iReport, Phillips said, “To live out loud and to speak freely about my beliefs brings many clucking tongues. I would think it’s easier to come out as gay than atheist.”

Mitchell said she spent years studying the history of religion and does believe it has “an important place in our community.” She has told her children that she’ll be fine if they decide to join a church when they are older.

She ended her essay:

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

After her post ran on CNN, Mitchell said she was encouraged by the number of people who agreed with her, or who disagreed but wanted to have a respectful discussion.

“I’m not saying that everybody should think how I do. I’m saying the people that do should have a place in our society and have acceptance and respect,” she said. “I just want to have children grow up and be able to not be afraid to say ‘I don’t believe that,’ or ‘I’m not part of that.’” 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. NEMO

    Regarding "truth be told" : Atheists may have created the atomic bomb, but it was a christian who ordered its use. Christians have been killing in the name of their god for centuries. I don't think atheists will be able to catch up anytime soon.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • OOO

      Don't grant him that. Most scientists are atheists and scientists created the bomb. They did it because they were scientists, not because they were athiests.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      truth be told is well known for fabricating facts.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Gir

      Funny how the religionist-controlled gov't would only release funds for atomic research if it meant they could k-ill people with it. They can't -kill people with the Mars Rover, so adequate funds for NASA will not be incoming any time soon.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Nuclear Nick

      The creation of the project and it's massive funding came from religious men in government. They were the ones who also controlled it and chose to use it on civilians in cities of virtually no military value, and to do a lot of open air testing.

      All the atheist scientists had was theoretical knowledge. Religious men made it happen, then controlled the use.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • the AnViL

      it's important to note that enrico fermi was extremely conscientious and understood what would happen if nazi germany obtained a bomb first. he had very mixed emotions......

      later – when the time came – he argued against making a fusion bomb...

      it's not funny when ignorant suboid people state that atheists created the bomb... because it's grossly disrespectful to the true genius and goodness of a very great man.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • NEMO

      enrico was brilliant, yet he was only one of many who contributed,no dis intended. But many of the scientists who also contributed were non religious. And many did not want the bombs used on cities and/ or civilians.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • snowmom

      I don;t think its true that "most scientists are atheists".

      January 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • ??

      @snomom.Yup %85.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Laggmonster8

      Two things. One, I doubt most people on Death Row in prisons are all deeply religious and did things expecting to go to hell, so the attempt at defining religion as being a source of violent behavior could be discussed with some prison guards to get a better view of things.

      Second, and this is directed more at one of the replies, Neil deGrasse Tyson was in an eipsode of BigThink where he covers athiests claiming him and as I recall quotes that 40% of scientists are religious. So I'll take his numbers over a random poster on forums.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • GoodLerd

      @NEMO

      January 21, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • ckb_tn

      There has been far more killing from non-believers, in the name of "godlessness"; Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Idi Amin, and more–tens of millions in the 20th century alone. This is not to excuse transgressions of believers, but just to get your facts straight.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  2. WakeUp

    This is the generation raised without prayer in schools that are shooting up schools.... I teach my children about God and Christian values... because I want them to practice these values... treat others as they want to be treated...

    January 18, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • OOO

      You have got to be kidding. Take prayer out of schools and the students will come back and kill everyone.
      Fearmunger!!!

      January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You are right. I am going to take what your are saying and apply God's teaching to my life and the life of my son. He is young enough so I can leave his life and he will not remember me, I will however have my neighbor down the street write a book about me and let my son know I exist. I will return to his life when he is about 40 years old, if at that time he believes I am his father and he loves me I will buy him a car, if he does not I will set him on fire. It all makes sense now, whatever happens he is responsible for the outcome, I will have done everything I can, my conscience will be clean.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • snowboarder

      define christian values. i imagine that they correspond to the majority of human values.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Wakeup, the violent crime rate was rising until state-sponsored prayer was banned, within a decade after it was banned, it started dropping and continues to do so. The same with divorce. Ditto violence in schools. I can go on and on. So, are you going to say that ending school sponsored prayers caused all these good things or are you going to now admit your argument is stupid?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Gir

      @ Blessed Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • joe

      Ah yes, you long for the days where people were hanged for being a different color, or drowned for being witches or not reliious enough... don't you?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • jarhead333

      @Blessed
      Guess you got Christianity all figured out. It is exactly (sarcasm) as you illustrated.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • January

      That's like a 3rd graders understanding of Christianity. I'd be all pis.sed off and hateful too if that is what it was.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Gir

      @ So you're saying he's wrong? Prove it.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry "WakeUp", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • jarhead333

      Ahh yes. Prove it. Nobody is even arguing proof of Christianity, nor can you prove God does not exist. The problem is the perception.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wake Up, you're beyond ridiculous. Do you think forced Christian prayer in schools would cure all ills? How stupid are you? Do you really think that the only thing that has changed in our lives has been the ending of state-sponsored prayer in schools?

      Really? What are you smoking?

      Watergate, Vietnam, an impeached president, the rise of women in the workforce, the civil rights movement, social media, terrorism, economic fluctuations. There are a slew of other factors that have changed since the day that forced prayer ended, you ninny.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What part did I get wrong Jarhead?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Scott

      The Sandy Hook shooter went to a Catholic middle school and had plenty of prayer in school. Guess that blows your theory.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • akmac65

      Agreed, values are important whether humanistic or religious. Prayer in schools has NOTHING to do with instilling values in children, that is the parents' responsibility.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • JFThompson

      If anyone wants prayer in school, it would have to be organized so that those children who choose not to pray don't have to. Prayer in school is not a bad thing at all, unless the child was raised by parents who are nonreligious. I spent eight years in a catholic elementary school. It was a private school, but was open to children of all religions. We prayed, we went to mass and we had a catholicism class. Even if the children weren't catholic, they were expected to be present for all of these things. But that was a private catholic school. There should not be prayer time in public schools without taking into consideration the way in which children pray (or don't pray). Too often when the subject of religion is debated, the one side argues that their right to their faith is being taken away, while the other side argues that religion is being forced on them. We have to find a way for all of us to accept the fact that there are many types of religious beliefs, atheism being one of them, and allow everyone the right to their beliefs without criticism.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Mike in Florida

      Adolf Hitler was a Catholic Christian who advocated BOTH prayer in schools and gun control. Look it up. The Germans supported him because he promised to fix the ruined economy- that was the main reason. But they also liked his conservatism and like him, they were also insanely jealous of some really smart, successful people who they believed had "killed Jesus".

      January 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Steve

      The 50's were a generation raised by prayer in schools and they lynched black people. What is your point?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • summersky

      Individuals can pray all they like in schools or anywhere else. They are just not allowed to force it onto others anymore. The last shooter was Catholic, I'm sure he had plenty of praying over his lifetime.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Donna Palermo

      When God was told he wasn't allowed in our schools anymore, that is when the shootings started. So you ask where was God when any awful thing has happened. He was asked to leave, when he was there the abuse and murders were not happening.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Greg

      @Donna Palermo Good point, because there have never been any abuses in churches.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Colin

      Nah ah! This is the age of crazy religion. The reason why there is so much violence is because the religious don't deal with violence properly and instead scapegoat secularism. Maybe if we got rid of the influence of the religionists who do such things, we could address violence for what it actually is and help to stop it.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Shawn

      @Donna Palermo: IF you believe that God didn't stop the shooting because he was "asked to leave" then you might need to check-in to the crazy hospital.

      First off, the innocent children did not make the decision to remove prayer from schools, someone in washington did. So why didn't your god attack washington? Instead, god kills innocent children that have NOTHING to do prayer in school???

      Use your head. How can you possible worship a god that would allow that to happen?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • atty23

      Sure, Wake Up, because we never had crime until prayer was taken out of schools. ;-/

      January 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  3. snowboarder

    one simple fact can not be disputed. that man has invented innumerable deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history. all gods are assumed to be man made unelss otherwise proven.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Has anyone ever noticed that there are no gods created with really long winded names?

      The gods also have short names that the tools can quickly associate with. Simply put – for the simpletons.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Answer,

      Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli

      January 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Why Saraswati, that sounds like someone from Tlactotalpan, near Veracruz.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • JM

      Chalchiuhtlicue!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Comments are disappearing. The book of Revelation predicted that would happen right before the end of the world!

    THE END IS NIGH!

    January 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • January

      I think the posting about killing Christians and supporting Hitler was yanked.

      Nobody spoke out against that.

      Proclaim you love God, get attacked.

      Condone violence, free pass.

      "To the non-believers ... Be careful. Some of your posts show you are in danger of becoming what you profess to dislike. You may well believe religion is so many fairy tales, but many people do not. Calling believers (of any religion) names only shows your disrespect and intolerance.

      To the believers ... Be careful. Some of your posts show you are in danger of becoming what you profess to dislike. You believe in God and your religion (whatever that is for you), but many people do not. Calling non-believers names only shows your disrepect and intolerance."

      – Leigh

      I love that.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Awww January....more persecution....that's too bad.

      Everyone's comments are disappearing you nit.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • January

      Thanks for illustrating Leigh's point.

      I just noticed "truth be tolds" thread was yanked, and it was full of vile and hate. I'm glad it was yanked.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Gir

      I don't respect people who claim Bigfoot is real. Why should I respect you religionists?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • January

      Because, you are mostly harming yourself with that hatred.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • jarhead333

      The outspoken and arrogant atheists on here are exactly what they dislike about Christians. Fact.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Gir

      Hatred? Please. IHumorous derision more like it.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "jarhead333", but your assertions regarding atheists are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • January

      They have become worst than what they profess to take a stand against.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • January

      hal bot is back.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      Jan, your persecution complex is par for the course for cults. Maybe no one commented on the Hitler thread because comments were being deleted, maybe it was because we know it was a troll just being absurd. Same reason some of just dont bother telling "truth be told" he's a jerk on every post.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • January

      I think posting a death threat against a group of people is out of line.
      And supporting Hitler, in reference to his hatred of 'religion' and his solution is out of line.

      > troll just being absurd

      Very true. I'm being sensitive.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • January

      And people WERE commenting on the thread.

      They were upset over a post about God, but ignored the killing Christians and Hitler thing.

      It was bad enough it got pulled. I didn't notice any other threads pulled.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Steve

      fan and favorite!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  5. Chad

    Really tragic that she didnt simply investigate the historical facts surrounding Jesus of Nazareth to see if they were real or not.

    So many, many people who turn to atheism do so out of disenchantment with their church members, or church leaders, or misguided authority figures with bad theology..

    January 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Answer

      What's tragic is you chad.

      Being the tragic liar day in and day out.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Now that is funny Chad because there is no evidence outside of the Bible that Nazerath existed at the time of Jesus.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      unfortunately there are no historical facts regarding the mythical jesus.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Like Chad knows anything. Has he ever done a poll ? Ever sampled a cohort with statistical methodology. Nope Does he even know any real atheists ? Hahaha. He just talks out of his a$$. EVen IF Jebus were real, it proves NOTHING about the made up claims about him.

      Funny. When atheists do it, it's called "militant atheism". When Chritards do it, it's called "preaching the word", or "evangelization". What a crock.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Gadflie

      The problem is determining whether or not they were real. There are no outside sources (outside the gospels themselves that is, and none of those are actually first hand accounts), that give any support at all to any of the supernatural aspects of the account of Jesus.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      A man approaches you with a gun and says, "Tell me you love me or you will be punished."
      While you do have a choice in this situation, it is known as "coercion" and is considered a "no no" in polite society. Some find it immoral.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Chad

      A tiny non-nondescript town (disparaged by the disciples, see John 1), yet there is in fact extra-biblical evidence for it.

      Extrabiblical references to the town of Nazareth</ib


      Ancient mosaic of Nazareth
      The form Nazara is also found in the earliest non-scriptural reference to the town, a citation by S extus Julius Africanus dated about 221 CE[22] (see "Middle Roman to Byzantine Periods" below). The Church Father Origen (c. 185 to 254 AD) knows the forms Nazará and Nazarét.[23] Later, Eusebius in his Onomasticon (translated by St. Jerome) also refers to the settlement as Nazara.[24] The 'nașirutha' of the scriptures of the Mandeans refers to 'priestly craft' not to Nazareth, which they identified with Qom.[25]
      The first non-Christian reference to Nazareth is an inscription on a marble fragment from a synagogue found in Caesarea Maritima in 1962.[26] This fragment gives the town's name in Hebrew as "נצרת" (n-ṣ-r-t). The inscription dates to c. 300 AD and chronicles the a ssignment of priests that took place at some time after the Bar Kokhba revolt, 132-35 AD.[27] (See "Middle Roman to Byzantine Periods" below.) An 8th century AD Hebrew inscription, which was the earliest known Hebrew reference to Nazareth prior to the discovery of the inscription above, uses the same form.[6]

      January 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Sentient Sam

      It is almost certain there was a Jesus, but his actual nature are only known to us based on second and third hand accounts, passed down and repeatedly translated. If a person with modern experience, education, and outlook could somehow be a witness to the events back then, I suspect a different tale and a different interpretation would come out.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, The question was whether Nazareth existed during the life of Jesus. None of your dates meet that criteria.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Er, Chad, the fact that Nazareth existed doesn't exactly qualify as evidence of Jesus, you realize that, don't you?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @Sentient Sam "It is almost certain there was a Jesus"
      @Chad "certainly, yes :-) _

      @Sentient Sam "But his actual nature are only known to us based on second and third hand accounts"
      @Chad "first hand, sorry.. all of the new testament(except for Luke, Acts and Hebrews if Paul didnt write it) were written by first hand, witnesses"

      =======
      @Sentient Sam "passed down and repeatedly translated."
      @Chad 'not sure where you got that misinformation from... What we have now is what was originally written (Greek)

      =======
      @Sentient Sam " If a person with modern experience, education, and outlook could somehow be a witness to the events back then, I suspect a different tale and a different interpretation would come out."
      @Chad "no.. same result. people of modern experience, education, and outlook experience miracles now.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Alas, I was told if I waited a bit here, I might at some point meet every Biblical scholar of antiquity. Well, I will have to check back later.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      jesus never existed [dot] com/nazareth.html

      January 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://www.nazarethmyth.info/

      January 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @In Santa we trust "The question was whether Nazareth existed during the life of Jesus. None of your dates meet that criteria."
      @Chad "the answer is yes, we have multiple independent attestations to that as well as archaeological evidence from within a century after Jesus death.

      Dont forget, Nazareth was a nondescript disparaged, nothing town. Nothing short of astonishing that any archaeological evidence exists at all..

      ========
      @Gadflie "the fact that Nazareth existed doesn't exactly qualify as evidence of Jesus, you realize that, don't you?"
      @CHad "er.. I guess you missed that I posted that info in response to @cheese saying there was no evidence
      Are you claiming that Jesus was not a real historical figure?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • I read the bible and saw the light

      I didn’t really become an atheist until I decide to read the bible. I didn’t get very far. Man there is nasty stuff in those first 5 books. Evil, war, genocide, ince$t, fratricide, adultery, patricide, ra-pe, child mole$tation, slaughter of the entire population in city after city (men, women, children and even animals), god's destruction of almost the entire world including children born and unborn… and that’s the good guys with god's blessing

      January 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion,
      so you're one of those Jesus deniers?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, From the link that End Religion provided
      The Myth of Nazareth shows that the village came into existence not earlier than 70 CE (the climax of the First Jewish War), and most likely in early II CE—the same era in which the canonical gospels were being edited.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Maybe she was looking to YOU, Chard, for any proof that Jesus was divine.

      I guess she was disappointed in the results of her study of your posts.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @saw the light,
      I would encourage you to continue reading. You'll see that all of humanity is deeply flawed, the people that God interacted with were deeply flawed.
      No mythical super heroes there.. Just reality..

      January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      Until I see your extraordinary, tested and peer-reviewed proof of God, proof of every absurd assertion in the bible and proof of Jesus, it is entirely a fraud.

      The abrahamic god does not exist. That, plus zero reliable proof for jeebus means his be-rotten "son" never existed either.

      Religion is nothing but a pathetic, incongruous shell game that exists now only to sustain the power of its top echelon, to keep controlling sheep and to keep reeling in the tithes.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • jarhead333

      It's funny to me that atheists are so quick to discount biblical history and use the tired argument of how the Bible was written generations after events. Research please.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Santa we trust "The Myth of Nazareth shows that the village came into existence not earlier than 70 CE (the climax of the First Jewish War)
      @Chad "it would obviously be a mistake to equate the first archaeological evidence as dating to the establishment, that's just silly. It isnt like they had a "town establishment party" or anything.. Archaeological evidence of a town would come after it had been established, obviously.

      =======
      @Santa we trust "d most likely in early II CE—the same era in which the canonical gospels were being edited."
      @Chad ":-)
      No evidence of any later editing, right?.. let me guess, you just "know they were"?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • January

      Jesus Christ is worth it. It is that simple.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      The leading hypothesis for the origin of life on our planet (thermal vent hypothesis):

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143530.htm

      (note it doesn't involve "gawd dun it wiff spelz")

      January 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Gir

      Look at these religionists bending themselves over backward to justify myths!

      January 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Chad, You DO realize every one of those references was a self-admitted liar, I hope. They wrote chapters in their books on how to use deception, and the correctness of it's use.

      http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Deception-in-the-early-church?highlight=Deception+in+the+Early+Church

      January 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2012/02/14/Jesus-the-Easter-Bunny-and-Other-Delusions-Just-Say-No.aspx

      January 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Billy

      Who wrote those Gospels? No one knows really. Someone in some town knew how to copy a story. Is this the same guy that tried to get us to believe that Noah's ark didn't go very far and dropped the giant turtles off at Gibraltar where they had to swim all the way back to the Galapagos? Right.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • jarhead333

      Call our belief myth, and yours "theory." What ever helps you sleep.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Every day religion is not contained, it spreads, sinking its noisome tentacles into anything it can. The goal of every religion is to convert every person on the planet to their religion, their dogma, their controlled way of living and thinking. Religion often presents itself as a Trojan horse with an outer appearance of love and tolerance that in reality only ever results in hate, intolerance and divisiveness.

      As with any religion's head honcho, "God in heaven" is the celestial Kim Jong-il formerly of North Korea, requiring strict devotion and worship at penalty of torture. That's not love, it's slavery, which some religious will tell you they gladly accept. I do not.

      As for the "debunking," there really isn't much left to debunk. All religions claim to be the "one true path." Nearly every religion is fractured into even tinier branches all claiming to be the only "truth." Since they cannot all be "true" the chance any one is such, on that one point alone, is miniscule. Understanding mankind has a history of creating gods lessens that chance.

      As for Christianity, scholars both religious and not, arguably tend to agree there is some minute evidence a guy named Jesus (and there were likely many) walked around during that time period, likely getting confused with the many other Jesuses (Jesii?). However many also agree there is simply zero evidence of anything supernatural about him. In fact there were *many* deluded dudes running around claiming divinity during this time, much like there are plenty of crazy folks claiming it today.

      We understand what constitutes the bible are fictional stories passed off by the relatively ignorant as the "inerrant word of a god". Some stories are the ravings of zealots the religious refer to loosely as "eyewitnesses" but who never actually witnessed Jesus, some other stories outright polished pre-existing myths which had been watered down word of mouth for decades if not longer before being written in a language no longer spoken, then translated any number of times and again "polished" by other men who got together to vote which "inerrant words of god" they personally liked best and which other "words" were tossed out before foisting this off as the official "word of god."

      The people involved in early religion have barely the body of knowledge an average 10th grade student has today. We're not talking stupidity here, we are simply talking about access to facts of our reality: ignorance.

      Then follow the cult sects and their adherents who base their life upon this book. The truly ludicrous impossibly claim the entire thing is, in its current state, still the inerrant word of god. The more moderate among adherents somehow claim "it's just allegory," leaving it open to interpretation and the inevitable clashes over who's right about a book that is supposed to be the word of a god. The delusion is amazing!

      Savor that for a moment. An all powerful omniscient god, who demands all of mankind's devotion upon pain of eternal torture, supposedly feels some papyrus scrolls (with writing in a language no one speaks and which is also open to further interpretation) is the best way to communicate his childish demands. He doesn't whisper his petulant commandments to us individually (no matter what region of the world we live in)? He doesn't "inpire" the elders to record his selfish needs in more than one language, at least not one he supposedly knows will stop being used? He doesn't clue the elders into using stone instead of papyrus, which even Hammurabi had enough foresight to use before the bible?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Gir, @End Religion, @realbuckyball,
      so all you folks are Jesus deniers?

      you really think that Jesus was not a real historical figure?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There was a location named Nazareth, It was a graveyard only, (proven by archaeology). The reason he is called a Nazorene, is because the Nazorenes, (or Nazorites), were a sub-sect in Judaism. Someone eventually got them mixed up.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't deny Jesus existed, Chard. Prove he was divine. You keep yammering on and on, but you have yet to offer any credible evidence.

      You simply don't have any.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There are too many coincidences with Simon of Peraea. See National Geographic's movie about him. Crucified. Rose from the dead, bla bla bla. He may have been real. No one knows. AT some point his story got conflated with other messiah figures.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Chad

      Note that the bible describes Nazareth in non-glowing terms...

      43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
      44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
      46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • jarhead333

      @End Religion
      Your plagiarized rambling claims that Christian are plagued by a fear of God. It's funny, because it also sounds like people who believe writings like these are imprisonment by fear of religion.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Billy

      Nazareth was glowing? That doesn't make sense. I think you mean Sodomy & Goneria. But why did that get destroyed and then god sends lot into a cave to make whoopie with his daughters???

      January 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Chad

      I cant find any evidence that Simon of Peraea was crucified, or that he was reported to have been resurrected?

      source?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Dont forget, Nazareth was a nondescript disparaged, nothing town. Nothing short of astonishing that any archaeological evidence exists at all.."

      The Bible calls Nazareth a city, but there's no evidence of
      a city, so redefine the city down to a town, hamlet, 50-person nomadic
      enclave, cub scout tent or whatever to get around the fact that
      there's no city to be found.

      http://www.vinyl-records.mobi/newsportal/article.php?id=406206&group=rec.music.classical.recordings

      January 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Chad" and "jarhead333", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your repeated assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 18, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Chad, there is little if any evidence that the Gospels were written by the actual witnesses. Most Bible scholars discount this possibility. And, while it is likely that Jesus actually existed, as I said before, there is no actual evidence outside of the hearsay evidence of the gospels, of any supernatural occurrence associated with him.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • End Religion

      buckyball, your link on deception made me sick but thanks for providing. Sometimes the height of religious hypocrisy is overwhelming...

      January 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • jarhead333

      @Gadfile
      You may want to double check that. The Dead Sea Scrolls put the actual writings closer than an writing by Aristotle, Homers Odyseey, and many other writings that are widely recognized.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Your welcome. I write it.
      Religion is all a crock of sh1t cooked up because they cannot stand the idea, that when you die, you're dead. When your brain chemistry stops, your consciousness stops, just like it does when you are injured, or have an illnessor a tumor. They can't handle the truth. There is no Santy Claus. No living organism has ever once, never, come back to life. Jesus never rose. They made that up, in a day when miracles and magic were believed by everyone. It was easy to see that nonsense in that day, in a pre-scientific era.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Gadflie,
      actually, the reality is that virtually all historians place the authorship of the new testament in the first century, so even if you discount the witness of the early church as to the Gospel authors specific identi ty, you still have these docs written well within the lifetimes of eye witnesses.
      As well, most atheist simply dont realize that Peter, James, Jude and John were all eye witnesses, and authored letters that were included in the New Testament.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      oops. "wrote" it.
      Cahdlet, where did you meet all these atheists you know so much about ? Or are you just making things up ?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Chad, you need a class on the New Testament. They were not written in the 1st Century. Prove what you say.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • January

      Maybe death is not the final outcome.

      Maybe we have souls, that man can not destroy.

      Maybe our spirit goes to another realm. One we can not adequately comprehend with our limited earthly knowledge of this universe.

      Maybe there are things you don't understand.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Oh "all historians". So you polled them too ? Where did you get that data ?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      @jarhead: thank you for your service to our country

      ***
      "Your plagiarized rambling claims that Christian are plagued by a fear of God. It's funny, because it also sounds like people who believe writings like these are imprisonment by fear of religion."

      If you're referring to my 10:42 post, while one or 2 of the ideas may be others', I did indeed write that. I do grab other people's stuff however, because a blog is such an informal place that it never occurred to me (until recently) sources needed to be attributed unless I wanted "to be all scholarly and stuff". Honestly, I am 43 and I have been writing on blogs before blogs were blogs, before computers had more than 4 colors. I am trying to get better about at least putting quotes around stuff or posting a link or a name when i grab stuff since others have let me know they don't feel it's kosher even in a relaxed blog environment. I'm working on it even though I still find it a bit silly in this relaxed communication atmosphere to attribute every word to someone. My intent isn't to deceive anyone. Most of my posts are just drive-bys where I post quickly, sometimes I paste in what I have written before, which I do save in a text file since it seems to be the same arguments over and over. But I do actually sometimes sit and write cogently. I understand my posts may seem schizophrenic in the way I sometimes am precise and other times not.

      I see people in fear of god all the time, so my basis for people plagued by fear is personal experience. Irrational fear of hell, fear of clergy, fear to even fully type out the word "god" on this very blog is routinely displayed here.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @realbuckyball " you need a class on the New Testament. They were not written in the 1st Century. Prove what you say."

      @Chad "you seem strangely unaware of reality.. I guess its not surprising, but still.. odd..
      Matthew: 60-70AD
      Mark: 50AD
      Luke: 60-70 AD
      John: 90AD..

      Actually.. do you have ANY historian that dates ANY of the gospels to after 100AD? :-)
      no, you dont.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      Jan, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe you're right. Maybe you're not. No one knows if anything wacky happens after death, though we have lots of evidence about what probably happens. News flash, it probably ain't got nuttin' to do with souls. That doesn't mean it's smart to just make stuff up and attribute it imaginary creatures.

      "I don't know" does not equal "Gawd dun it wiff spellz!" nor is it a wise leap.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Here is a good list for you..
      The latest date of any new testament doc is ~90AD

      http://www.errantskeptics.org/DatingNT-ChronologicalOrder.htm

      January 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • jarhead333

      @End Religion
      My apologies for claiming that your post was palgiarized. It was much more eloquent than most posts on here. I also copy and paste other research. I blame atheists for attacking Christian, but the truth is that I am no better. I am defensive about my faith because there are many misconceptions, as well as bad apples claiming to be Christian. The funny thing is that all of us use research from people who support our same beliefs. As for Christians who fear God, clergy, and religious leaders, I find that sad. That is not what the Bible is about (maybe to those who focus on OT). Faith is not about the "believe in me or else" mentality. Who would want to be a part of that?
      As for serving the country, it was my pleasure. I love America, and ALL of its people.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Chad, no. Actually the most common hypothesis about the Gospels is that of Markian priority along with the "Q" source. This theorizes that the original sources were the gospel of Mark and a hypothesized source called Q.
      And, as to the letters, While Peter was supposedly a witness to Jesus and the author claims to be Peter, there is significant evidence that it wasn't that Peter. For example, the Greek used was that of a very educated man which Peter was not. Also, it was most likely written during the reign of Domitian, which was quite a bit after the death of the actual Peter. The author of the Epistle of Jude didn't claim to actually be Jude. Since James was executed in AD 62, and the epistle pretty obviously speaks of Pauline issues, it couldn't have been written by the James you think. Most feel it was written by James the Just. As to John, while the author does claim to have been a disciple (not necessarily John though), evidence is that it was written after 90 AD and was unlikely to have been written by a contemporary.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      @jarhead: "My apologies for claiming that your post was palgiarized. It was much more eloquent than most posts on here."

      Thanks for the apology. I wasn't offended.

      I used to pretend I was going to be a writer when I was younger. I got really into Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, fantasy and sci-fi (if you're a Lovecraft fan you'll note I love the word 'noisome' especially when combined with 'tentacles'). It only lasted a couple years. I did get published in some mags you never heard of. I also was an illustrator who was published in Dead of Night and other sci-fi/fantasy/horror mags you never heard of. It's my only claim to fame, pitiful as it is. I gave it all up when I discovered I needed to earn about 6000 times more money to afford basic life needs like food and an apartment.

      To be clear, "there are no new ideas" so some in my post are attributable to others, some not that I know of. But I did write it. The concept of "the celestial Kim Jong-il" is obviously Hitchens. The concept of religion as Trojan horse is mine.

      ***
      "... the truth is that I am no better."

      We all have room for improvement.

      ***
      "I am defensive about my faith because there are many misconceptions, as well as bad apples claiming to be Christian. "

      It's unavoidable. There are something like 33,000 sects. We tend to generalize since we can't know the exact rules of every sect. Not to mention each Church in a sect may play the game differently.

      ***
      "The funny thing is that all of us use research from people who support our same beliefs."

      The tricky part is that we have to look into the research and most of us would rather be lazy. We're busy running our lives. We don't have time to read every 100-page paper to see if some research is actually well done, etc. So we catch the summary and cut/paste. The devil is in the details.

      Earlier today a christian touted some research and said it was "peer reviewed" and that meant some other "christian scientists" looked at the research and agreed with it. He even said "that's what peer review means" – he didn't understand that peer-reviewed work means other people actively seek to DISPROVE the research. This is classic apologetic approach though: trot out flawed research, claim it peer reviewed because other "creation scientists" read it and agreed.

      And how are we supposed to know all these gritty details unless we dive in and spend all this time learning when we'd rather go to a movie, play soccer or video games, attend church, or whatever. It takes some commitment to learning.

      ***
      "As for Christians who fear God, clergy, and religious leaders, I find that sad. That is not what the Bible is about (maybe to those who focus on OT). Faith is not about the "believe in me or else" mentality. Who would want to be a part of that?"

      It would be fun if the world ran on love magic. It's an attractive concept. I think the fallback is fear. I find religion first attempts to dazzle with love talk, then bring on the fear if love doesn't work. I mean, the concept of hell which some of the church even abandons, is pretty transparently just a boogeyman. Of course it used to be the fear of actual torture as well.

      ***
      "As for serving the country, it was my pleasure. I love America, and ALL of its people."

      Well good on ya!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • jarhead333

      @End Religion
      And how are we supposed to know all these gritty details unless we dive in and spend all this time learning when we'd rather go to a movie, play soccer or video games, attend church, or whatever. It takes some commitment to learning.
      – Neither side completely researches the other. I understand your example, and I can also pick papers poorly written by atheists out as well. The strength of atheism is that it ONLY believes on things that can be seen, or proven. That discounts everything that we do not currently "know". As a Christian, I find myself often trying to defend the historical evidence of the Bible. I did not grow up in a Christian home, and weighed the evidence for myself. I believe in God now after my own readings, reasearch, and feelings were all considered.

      It would be fun if the world ran on love magic. It's an attractive concept. I think the fallback is fear. I find religion first attempts to dazzle with love talk, then bring on the fear if love doesn't work. I mean, the concept of hell which some of the church even abandons, is pretty transparently just a boogeyman. Of course it used to be the fear of actual torture as well.
      – If you believe that God is the "boogy man" than that is the perception issue that I have an issue with. It seems like all atheists focus on is doom and gloom. I can see how that perception may occure from a distant standpoint, but not if someone personally attempted to experience God. I know that may sound strange. The truth is I cannot show anyone God nor do I have his autograph. I saw some strange things during my tours in Iraq, which made me look into God. Along with reasearch I actually decided to commit myself to Christianity to see if it was real. My experiences, while unmeasurable by scientific standards, were what helped me decide for myself what was real. Thank you for the honest and open dialogue.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Chad. They were written long after the eyewitnesses were dead. Late in the 1st Century, tey were all dead. You just lied again. And if Pious Fraud was the acceptable methodology, there is no reason to believe any of them. You DO know the original Mark had no resurrection. it was added later. They all developed over long periods, and not one is "historical". They are all proclamations of faith, not factual. It was a day of "magical thinking". You need to learn about the histporians fallacy. Go to school, before it's too late.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • akmac65

      Christians are welcome to their beliefs as are any other religion. However, they should be aware of the true history of their religion, including the points that Jesus was reportedly a devout Jew, the early Christians were primarily Jewish, there were many different gospels until the Roman emperor convened a committee of appointees to select and edit the gospels into the New Testament, about 300 years after the reported time of Jesus. The early church was hijacked by the Empire for political purposes, not for the glory of any god.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:55 am |
    • Canada

      I laugh when they ask for evidence.
      Blessed are those that do not see yet still believe.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • drumprof

      Chad...."Bad Theology"? Please point us to some "Good Theology".
      The best definition of "Theology" I have heard is this: "Theology is the act of looking in a dark cave, at midnight, for a black cat, that isn't there".
      How is it possible that an entire subject of study could be based on all the made up assumptions found in a single bronze age book that was assembled to do nothing but solidify the power base of a 4th century Roman emperor?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  6. Boom!

    "More people were killed by secularist regimes in the twentieth century than in all the religious persecutions in Western history, and perhaps in all history. More than one hundred million human beings were killed by secularist regimes and ideologies in the last century" (Guinness).

    January 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Religious people hate to think.

      What motivates a crowd to kill? Bring them along with an ideology.. one that they accept. A religion is a fine tool to kill other people with.

      You religious freaks are a bore with your petty delusions.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The decrease in the worlds pirate population directly corresponds to the rise in global tempature. Lack of pirates cause global warming.

      In other news you argument is moronic.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      that there is even a comparison needed between Totalitarian murderers versus your "loving" religion's butchery, and that you feel compelled to claim some victory in the comparison, is astounding to me.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Gadflie

      What a totally bogus statistic. If you were comparing apples to apples, you would compare those that were killed specifically to spread secularism to those killed specifically to spread religion. Instead they compare ALL killed by secularist governments to ONLY those killed specifically for religious purposes.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • CounterBoom

      Hitler, a Christian started WW2. Boom.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Boom!

      The persistent inclination to blame religion is rooted in "…an unexamined Enlightenment prejudice that simultaneously reduces faith to its functions and recognizes only the worst contributions of faith, not the best-such as the rise of the universities, the development of modern science, the abolition of slavery, and the promotion of human rights" (Guinness).

      January 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      This endearing passage indoctrinates christian cultists into accepting slavery because their slaves are supposed to "serve them as they would christ." Sounds like slavery is a pretty sweet deal for cultists, eh? If god didn't think it was good and proper, why would he instruct the slave on how to behave for the cultist?

      "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

      -
      There are several helpful passages which instruct christian cultists in the proper way to handle their slaves – even their own daughters! Why give instructions unless a cultist is expected to own slaves? God wants to be sure you're fully prepped for human subjugation. How thoughtful of him!

      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment." (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      January 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      I LOLed at "the development of modern science" – you're still fighting it at this very moment!

      January 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      I might trust Guiness to make my next mug of stout pleasing to the palate, but that's as far as I would go.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Boom! as in Big Bang - credit a man of God

      Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître was a Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain. He was the first person to propose the theory of the expansion of the Universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble. He was also the first to derive what is now known as the Hubble's law and made the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, which he published in 1927, two years before Hubble's article. Lemaître also proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe, which he called his 'hypothesis of the primeval atom'.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Boom!

      EndReligion
      "Contrary to what is commonly argued," Guinness concludes, "our problem in the public square is not 'religious totalitarianism,' and the solution is not a 'multilingual relativism' that bans all absolute and exclusive claims. In a day of exploding diversity, the real question is: how do we live with our deepest differences when many of those differences are absolute, including those of secularism?"

      EndReligion you are part of the problem. not the solution, go away!

      January 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Gir

      Ironic how a priest was responsible for destroying the last sanctuary the God-of-the-Gaps folks could hide in. You can't make this stuff up.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • End Religion

      DocV says...

      The doubter says:
      "I could never follow Stalin. He sends people to the Gulag"
      The truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag. It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgeois attitudes and counter-revolutionary thinking. This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise. It grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes. He respects their free will.
      So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Gir

      Attempting to live with s.tupidity (especially that of the religionist variety) is a fast track to total societal breakdown. There is no reasoning with anyone who thinks his idiosyncrasies are endorsed by god, and should therefore be adopted by everyone else at all cost. The only way to handle intolerance is to be intolerant of it.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Boom!", but your assertions regarding secularism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Gir

      Who is this Guinness? The only Guinness I know of is a Scottish beer. Have you been holding conversations with a bottle of beer in the last few hours?

      January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Gir,

      Guiness is an Irish beer. Perhaps @Boom! gets his 'facts' from beer mats or under the caps from beer bottles.

      Actually this post sounds a bit like our friend @tbt, though it is slightly more rationally written this time. @tbt's bilious post disappears, and then @Boom posts.

      Kinda makes you wonder.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • End Religion

      The Christian god has the same traits as an abusive partner:
      • you have to fear him to receive his love
      • you are unworthy of his love
      • you are nothing without him
      • if you do not love him he will hurt you
      • he doesn't want to punish you – it's really your fault
      • he threatens you if he thinks you might break things off
      • at all times he needs to know where you are, what you're doing and thinking so he can control your thoughts and behavior
      • doesn't want you to get an education because you'll realize you don't need him anymore and break up
      • worst of all, you have to bring him beer and a sammich

      January 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • My goodness but you're stupid

      Hitler and all of his army were christian. Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were communists and communism is just another kind of religion. All most all of those 100,000,000 deaths belong to religion, not to atheism.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Why Christians are like communists

      In North Korea :
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of Communisum is bad and non communists are evil in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a CRIME AGAINST THE STATE!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of your life if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      I Christianity:
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of christianity is bad and non christians are evil in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a SIN AGAINST GOD!!!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      January 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Boom!

      Stupid is as stupid does.

      Add to this Hitler and the extermination of millions of Jews. Guinness rightly notes, "Hitler and the Nazis are something of a special case. Hitler was implacably hostile to the Christian faith, but not an advocate of atheism. Almost to a person, as the history of Nazism and the record of the Nuremberg trials attest, the Nazi leaders were ex-Christians and ex-Catholics. Those, including Hitler, who had Christian backgrounds vehemently rejected them.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Boom!

      The point must not be missed: The dictators behind the most horrific carnage of human history were not motivated by religion. These atrocities were inflicted by secular regimes for secular reasons. "The full story of the evils of Stalin and Mao is yet to be unearthed and told with anything like the completeness accorded to Hitler and the Nazis, but the secularist commitments are clear beyond dispute" (Guinness).

      January 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Boom!

      We must recognize that, "Secularist philosophies such as atheism are just as 'totalitarian' as the three 'religions of the Book.' What secularists believe is so total, or all-encompassing, that it excludes what the religious believer believes." The most notable recent example of this was Communism. Guinness correctly identifies Communism as, "…the most dangerous delusion in history so far." The era of Communism has been accurately described as "an atheistic millennialism."

      January 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Boom, actually, the estimates of the death toll from the "Christianism" of the new world range from 40 million to almost 100 million. And that was religiously motivated. If you take into account the significantly lower worldwide population then compared to now, the secularists seem downright amateurish when it comes to mass murder.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      just grab Boom's entire post, google it and you'll find the site and author where he got it.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • End Religion

      Debunked and refuted about 10 times a day... we know you wanted to add Hitler, but it isn't just Hitler that makes you look silly. Hitler was a Christian who felt his actions honoured god.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      The actions of Mao and Stalin (who attended seminary) were totalitarian. They sought total authority, which means getting rid of religions which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of atheism was not the cause for the bloodshed; it was the pursuit of control over a people.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

      Hitler was raised Catholic. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches he made statements affirming a belief in Christianity. He called the purge of Jews "positive Christianity." While there is debate over his actual private feelings about the faith, he was a publicly practicing Christian. There exists no known evidence that Hitler was an atheist or agnostic. Again: evidence he was Christian; no evidence he was otherwise.

      Hitler said: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

      The Reichskonkordat was a treaty signed on 20 July 1933 between the Holy See (Catholic Church) and Nazi Germany, guaranteeing the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired dictatorial powers, and placing constraints on Catholic critics of the regime, leading to a muted response by the Church to Nazi policies. Yes, the Catholic Church colluded with Nazis.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      say it with a wretched feeling in the tummy: Christian Apologist...

      http://theocca.org/bios/os-guinness

      January 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  7. Pete

    Ha. The ones who marked her post as inappropriate made me laugh. To some people, disagreeing with them is inappropriate :)

    January 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • summersky

      I am sure that the mere existence of this op-ed means that some people are now complaining about "persecution".

      January 21, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  8. Answer

    Hey CNN ...

    Well you guys finally decided to be forceful and started to delete some junk posts. I can honestly say – it's about time you had a human behind the computer.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  9. Leigh

    To the non-believers ... Be careful. Some of your posts show you are in danger of becoming what you profess to dislike. You may well believe religion is so many fairy tales, but many people do not. Calling believers (of any religion) names only shows your disrespect and intolerance.

    To the believers ... Be careful. Some of your posts show you are in danger of becoming what you profess to dislike. You believe in God and your religion (whatever that is for you), but many people do not. Calling non-believers names only shows your disrepect and intolerance.

    See? The disrespect and intolerance marches down both sides of the street here. I happen to be a non-believer, but whatever my private thoughts on religion, I understand others have the right to think differently.

    I will say this to the believers: We probably have a lot more in common than you think. I believe in keeping my hands off others' belongings, not committing violent acts (physical or verbal) against others, treating others as I'd like them to treat me. Judeo-Christian ethics? Sure. But also plain old human decency that applies to everyone regardless of their belief or non-belief. Like I said, we might have our differences, but I bet we also have a lot in common.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Answer

      Be careful?

      Really? Surely?

      It takes the same extreme methodology and giving it back to your kind 10 fold to even make CNN realize that the religious tools are behind the initial hate. So look at yourself in the mirror.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Leigh,

      Just where does 'good old human decencies' find them their roots from? Patriarchal or Matriarchal sovereignty? Motherly or Fatherly? Both sides of the equations, I'd dare say parents are to be equally measured by their child but alas, childhoods of today have Tv and internet and video game sitters to attend to their hours and hours of free time! So much for family life! :-(

      January 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • snowboarder

      chad, so there is evidence that the town existed hundreds of years afrer the mythical jesus? that was anti-climactic.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Steve

      God and Religion are two totally different animals

      January 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Greg

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  10. empresstrudy

    Why do so many atheist heathen liberals obsess endlessly that YOU know they're atheists? If I wanted to hear that kind of pushiness I'd invite the Jehovah's Witnesses in.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Leigh

      You have a valid point. I sometimes feel the same when I'm cornered by believers.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I think it's funny Christians wants everyone to pay attention to their religion, they want it included in laws and gov't and public school, they put up billboards and have TV channels dedicated to it. And then when atheists pay attention they say "you shouldn't even care, why not just ignore us".

      January 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Odds

      Right, because it's not like we're constantly having God rammed down our throats in this country, is it? Not a church on every corner, a cross hanging from every throat, holidays, right on down to labeling the money we use and what we teach our children. Yes, condemn the atheists for telling the world that they exist. They should just convert and get it over with.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    Adolescents pubescent rationalisms need sock puppets to do the dirty deeds. Married folks should as well because one can never know what well the other has in pleasures visited,,,, :-(

    And yes my brother and I have been living together ever since our parents passed on. We are of one blood brother and I. My income keeps us above the social waters. Brother has not had a job for quite a few years. Still, I love him and he loves me for my making sure the bills are all paid. I will do anything short being illegal to help my blood-brother and I to remain afloat in these trying times. Who among you dare makes the same claims in these trying time?

    January 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Akira

      I do.
      I dare.
      Because it's true, and I don't have to shout it off the rooftops in recognition of what every decent human being does in times of trial.
      Grow up.
      It's time.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Akira,

      Only one response from a myriad of possibilities,,,,

      Seems the markup of bloodlines run in scarcities nowadays,,,,

      No matter how old one becomes it is just a blip when compared to the celestial ages of atomized cosmologies. I will ever be as a child Akira, albeit an adult child of the powers that be and did create me!

      January 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Whatever, ll.
      People take care of their families every day without expectation of praise for doing the right thing.
      You're not unique.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  12. lol??

    "Tts 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." .Women need to be taught how to love as stated.

    January 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • The Truth

      Just another decade or so and chauvinistic bigots like lol?? will completely fade into the background or have passed away. Good riddance.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol. Yeah, okay.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Progreeeesives are always runnin' around singin', Bigot, bigot, bigot. Notice the dialectic in bi-got. commie socialists. They love ye ol' agree to disagree hype tripe.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      lol??

      Married life today among all the commoners needs to have both parents working in order to stay socially afloat it these trying times. The equalities of today's married couples is more to be a shared commonality than a patriarchal one or even a matriarchal marriage. The verbalizations of thought-felt ideologies in many attentive marriages may well know the ins and the outs of the wholesomeness of a committed marriage but there are just way too many marriages unable to fathom outright verbalized meanings between the man and the woman of a legalized marriage.

      I am twice divorced and can be grateful to the powers that be that I was not given children in either marriage. I was married for wanting to please my two wives desires to tie the knot. If I knew then what I now know, I would not have even thought of getting married to either woman. I was my 1st wife's 3rd husband. I was my 2nd wife's 2nd husband. If only I had the clarity I now have! I would never have married either one!

      January 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      " . . and can be grateful to the powers that be that I was not given children in either marriage. "

      we are too.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III,

      Spoken like a true anarchist! Bravo!

      January 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "If only I had the clarity I now have! I would never have married either one!"

      The clarity you now have? As opposed to what? If what YOU have now is clarity, you must have been immersed in a pit of excrement then. Only by contrast is any of what you have "clarity."

      January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Greg

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Santi Clause

    Do amputated Christians pray to get their limbs back?

    January 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • January

      I know one.

      He prays for medical advancements in prosthetics.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • The Truth

      "He prays for medical advancements in prosthetics." So he knows Gods limitations...?

      January 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Depends....."Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. "

      January 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Akira

      January, please answer the question I asked of you:
      "Admirable that your church is so accepting; do they marry gay couples there too?"

      January 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • January

      Do you think you are better than him because you have 2 arms and he has one?

      He is not mad at God about it. He doesn't pray for a new limb, he prays that he treats his neighbor well. Or so he says.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Aki Ra, churches don't do any marryin'. God does.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Akira

      My name is Akira, lol??, and I didn't ask you.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Akira

      Okay, I see January answered my question below after I posted it a second time here.
      Ignore.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • The Truth

      I think the point being made is:

      If prayer can grant you some divine intervention and that divine being that is capable of intervening can do anything, then why would there be a limit placed upon the hope asked within the prayer? Are only small prayers answered? The more achievable ones like praying for more patience or wisdom? Those will be magically answered but a new leg is just to hard for God? Or is it that no prayers are really answered accept in their placebo effect which is when you pray for patience you tend to slow down and stop for a few minutes and breathe and relax which is common for people who think they are approaching their God in prayer. When you pray for wisdom you also tend to reflect more and have the needed conversation with yourself as to how to proceed, you ask yourself WWJD which is really "What would the hero version of me do in this situation?" I think the answer to these questions are rather self evident. And ultimately the thought of no God, or at least no divinely answered prayers, is more comforting then a weak God.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • January

      Sometimes God's answer is no.

      We don't pray for God to do our will.

      We pray that we carry out God's will.

      You got it all backwards.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Answer

      Pure BS.

      -
      Sometimes God's answer is no. <<– you know crap.

      We don't pray for God to do our will. <<– non-existence mumbo jumbo

      We pray that we carry out God's will. <<– again you know crap

      You got it all backwards. <<– describes all the religious tools.

      There it is corrected.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      What happened that made you so bitter TT? Did you pray for something once?

      January 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • The Truth

      "We pray that we carry out God's will."

      So it wouldn't get done without you?

      January 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • January

      I don't think God can make me forgive my enemy.

      I have to do that myself.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Answer

      An all powerful god can't make you forgive your enemies..

      Too funny.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Santi Clause

      @January –
      I'm not too interested if God's granting an amputated Christian's wish. I'm just wondering, out of billion Christians, how many of the amputated Christians, after praying for world peace and moral guidance, sneaked in a prayer for their missing limbs so they can play catch or race with their children? If not, why not?

      January 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • January

      I would pray for my arm to grow back.

      I have a crummy disease. I don't want it. I've asked God to heal me.

      I've also accepted my condition. And can use it to be mad at the world, or find a way to use my experience with it for good.

      I think that has made me a better person. If God had just healed me and then granted more wishes and made me perfect – I wouldn't need Jesus.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • The Truth

      "I think that has made me a better person. If God had just healed me and then granted more wishes and made me perfect – I wouldn't need Jesus." So why doesn't he just inflict us all with your malady so we all can be better people?

      January 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • January

      I think we all have our shortcomings and struggles we deal with. God can help us with them.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Answer

      Some people are so weak minded that they need and/or want their delusions to be manifested into reality.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • January

      You probably are stronger-minded than me. Good for you.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Answer

      It's called confidence!

      January 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • January

      Smugness.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  14. End Religion

    Godless Mom Gets Record Comments: Unavoidable Piggyback Story To Follow

    January 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    i look forward to a day when parents don't frighten their children with stories of an invisible sky-fairy that watches your every move and will send you to be tortured forever and ever... but he loves you. i look forward to a day when parents can tell their children there is no imaginary boogie man in the closet to be afraid of. tell your children to have faith in humanity, in empathy, in love, kindness, compassion, in logic and reason. tell them they don't need to believe in myths to be a good person. tell them to be a good person, not because of the threat of hell or the reward of heaven - but because it's the right thing to do. tell them to help their brothers and sisters whenever they can. tell them to be good people. tell them to think for themselves. tell them to ask questions. tell them not to believe in something without thinking it through and considering the evidence. tell them they should look into a garden and think it beautiful without believing there are fairies living at the bottom.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • January

      "i look forward to a day when parents don't frighten their children with stories of an invisible sky-fairy that watches your every move and will send you to be tortured forever and ever... "

      We don't teach that at my church, thank God. We teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is actually helpful for some kids. Jesus loves children.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you don't teach about god? cause that's the sky fairy i was referring to. you teach about jesus, a myth plagiarized from other myths before it. the jesus myth is based on mitra, osirus, dionysus and other gods. they had the same story - only before the bible did. and have you read revalation? jesus comes down and opens his daddy's seven seals: death, famine, pestilence, war, etc. he kills 2/3 of the population of earth, including children. so yeah, jesus loves children? you mean when he's not killing them?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • January

      Yea, that is not our viewpoint on it. Sorry.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      January.. so your gospels are just view points? not really based on reality .

      January 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • January

      Nope.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      January, I'm not sure how Bootyfunk's assessment isn't your viewpoint. This is what is described in the Book of Revelations, which is a book recognized by most Christian denominations. Christians tell us there is only one viewpoint: theirs. But when what is taught isn't warm and fuzzy, then it suddenly "not our viewpoint?" How convenient. I guess everyone makes it up as they go along.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • January

      Feekoningi

      Sorry, that is not correct.

      You are wrong.

      I don't let people who don't understand where I'm coming from dictate what I'm supposed to believe. I've heard enough crappy preachers trying to do that.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  16. the AnViL

    those who believe in imaginary men in the sky are delusional.

    there are no gods, and those of you who persist in perpetuating the ancient mythologies of middle-eastern peasants are retarding the progress of humanity.

    tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

    enough is enough.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • January

      I'll stick to the teachings of my church that promote tolerance and acceptance of others. I strive to not be small minded, Lord willing.

      I've also learned to tune out messages of hate and intolerance. Peace to you.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      tolerance and acceptance of others? LOL. what a joke. your rule book commands you to murder g.ays. the church tolerant? hahaha. the church is the only thing keeping g.ays from getting married, from keeping two loving people from being legally recognized. the church is awful and about the least tolerant organization in the world.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • January

      Bootyfunk

      Nope. You are wrong. I don't know what you define as "The Church". But I don't have "The Church" dictating what I can and can't do or believe in.

      People in my church are very tolerant to others, they actually help ho.mose.xuals. This church actively pushes for equal work rights.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      While you're tuning out messages of hate and intolerance, don't forget to tune out these:

      Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

      Deuteronomy 21:18-21
      18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

      Exodus 31:15
      'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How does your church "help hom0s3xuals"?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • January

      Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Exodus 31:15

      These laws were for another group of people. We study them, but they are not for us to follow.

      We can't uphold them. We are guilty.

      Jesus fulfilled these laws. Jesus is our sabath. And yours, too.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you "help hom0s3xuals?"

      January 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • the AnViL

      january – you don't speak for all xians...

      the ire is deserved and well earned.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • January

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We allow them to join our community. We oppose legislation that discriminates against se..xual origin. .

      January 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • January

      the AnViL

      Good luck with your intolerance.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "S#xual origin"? Did you mean "s3xual orientation", perhaps?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • the AnViL

      january – although i know you suffer from cognitive bias due to your delusional thinking... i'm here to tell you intolerance of religious idiocy is a virtue.

      intolerance of bigotry.. intolerance of racism... intolerance of ignorance.... intolerance of division..... intolerance of hate....

      these are all good things to be intolerant of... and they're also the exact qualities embodied in all monotheistic religions that everyone needs to eschew.

      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      snap

      January 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      January you're willfully ignoring the commandments of your god? Naughty, naughty.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • January

      > "S#xual origin"? Did you mean "s3xual orientation", perhaps?
      Yea, sorry.

      > intolerance of bigotry.. intolerance of racism... intolerance of ignorance.... intolerance of division..... intolerance of hate....

      We renounce those things, too.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Does your church recognize that gays and hom0s3xual behaviors are not "abominations?"

      January 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Akira

      This church actively pushes for equal work rights.
      Among gay people, or among people in general?
      Every one should have egual rights, I should think...period.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • January

      > January you're willfully ignoring the commandments of your god? Naughty, naughty.

      Love God. And love others as you love yourself.

      Whenever I draw a line... such as Me (Christian) versus atheists (others)... I have to look at that.

      God wants me to love and serve the atheists. If I can do that, I am loving him, too.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "We renounce those things, too."

      you may... your particular church may... to some extent. i really don't know – i'm not there to evaluate.

      but don't be naive... monotheistic religions are predicate on ignorance, racism, bigotry, hate, and division.

      you can't change the facts, cupcake.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • January

      > Among gay people, or among people in general?..

      In my community gay people are discriminated against more. There are laws for equal rights for race and se.x, but not orientation.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • January

      > you can't change the facts, cupcake.

      You probably haven't been to enough churches to make a fair analysis. We actually carry out a lot of good. There is some bad going on. But not all bad.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • January

      > ignorance, racism, bigotry, hate, and division.

      That is a human problem. Not just a religion problem. Even it totally secular environments these horrible traits pop up.

      ignorance, racism, bigotry, hate, and division = sin, basically.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Akira

      January,
      "This church actively pushes for equal work rights."
      This is worded, to me, rather strangly.
      This is why I wanted to know what you meant.
      Work rights are completely different than gay rights; hence my question.
      Admirable that your church is so accepting; do they marry gay couples there, too?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "You probably haven't been to enough churches to make a fair analysis. We actually carry out a lot of good. There is some bad going on. But not all bad."

      ok – now you're just being ridiculously ignorant.

      the "some bad" has been enough to nullify equal rights in a demographic of americans who are thought to be immoral by xian standards.

      the "some bad" work hard to twist creation into public schools beside evolution....

      while you, personally may not be a part of the "some bad" subset... that subset exists and is large enough to have a dramatic effect.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Akira

      "> intolerance of bigotry.. intolerance of racism… intolerance of ignorance…. intolerance of division….. intolerance of hate….

      We renounce those things, too."
      To renounce them would mean your church is tolerant of bigotry, racism, ignorance, division and hate...that isn't what you meant, is it?

      January 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • January

      > Admirable that your church is so accepting; do they marry gay couples there, too?

      I don't know. Probably.

      > "the "some bad" has been enough to nullify equal rights in a demographic of americans who are thought to be immoral by xian standards.

      I can't blame a majority of social ills on religion, while ignoring the good that also happens. Many other factors lead to unequal rights. Including race and money.. I'm not going to blame all white people for slavery. All property owners for wars.

      It appears you are looking for a scapegoat. These ills are human made.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • January

      Yes, we oppose bigotry, racism, etc. I misread.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • The Truth

      "ignorance, racism, bigotry, hate, and division. That is a human problem. Not just a religion problem. Even it totally secular environments these horrible traits pop up."

      Except that religion is the organized establishment of those traits, the excuse that's been used to behave badly thousands of years. And to even challenge it's authenticity was a death sentence. That is what makes it so much more vile than just those traits occasionally rising to the surface in individual people as they live their daily lives.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • January

      Secular governments face those same problems.

      Look at North Korea.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "I can't blame a majority of social ills on religion,"

      no one is saying that a majority of social ills are caused by religion.

      what i am stating is that religious idiocy contributes to many social ills in a very significant way. you can deny this... you can point your finger towards other individuals or churches... you can say "oh no not me!" or "not my church!".... but the fact remains...

      all monotheistic religions are predicate on ignorance and division - and tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "Secular governments face those same problems.

      Look at North Korea."

      strawman argument: rejected

      January 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • January

      > all monotheistic religions are predicate on ignorance and division – and tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

      False.

      In my experience, followers of Jesus Christ are a positive in society. They are truly helping out in communities. That is what he asks of us. And we unite into a community to carry that out.

      And I am involved in religious and secular charities, so I know help comes from all areas. But there is a lot of good things being done by lovers of Jesus Christ.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • the AnViL

      january: there is no substantial evidence supporting the biblical claim that gods exist.

      your bible is rife with inconsistencies, contradictions and a very long list of failed prophecies.

      every account of your jebus is hearsay, and there literally isn't anything attributed to having been said or taught by the alleged jebus that wasn't already posited thousands of years before he was said to have lived.

      to base your beliefs on all of this is ignorant.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • January

      Well, that is your opinion. And I'm not too worried about that. The Bible, whether you think it is just fiction or fact, is helpful to many.

      The Bible does make clear to me, that by wordly standards, the way of God seem foolish. Loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. Those things can seem silly from an outside perspective.

      You really do seem to scapegoat "religion" for the world's problems. But secular movements have been just as horrible. And recently, actually worst.

      We need more acceptance and tolerance in this world. I strive to understand, not belittle those with different viewpoints than me.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • the AnViL

      all monotheistic religions are violent, bigoted and racist by nature

      it's ridiculously ignorant to claim they aren't - or that the assertion is false.

      the bible is story after story of the imaginary man in the sky, his people, and the wars between his people and the other guys who weren't his people. do they have a sunday school in your church?

      i'd suggest you actually read your bible without the glitter glasses on, kid.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • January

      Some human beings are violent, bigoted and racist by nature. With or without religion.

      That is why I follow Jesus Christ. I'm going to continue to trust in him and not worry about your hatred.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "Some human beings are violent, bigoted and racist by nature. With or without religion." you're fondness for strawmen, although quite fashionable on cnn belief blogs – doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

      you can embrace xianity – and i think that's actually ok. people should be allowed to believe in whatever imaginary men in the sky they choose. but there's always a problem with people who base their beliefs on the unsubstantiated, ancient, tribal-minded, mythologies of middle-eastern peasantry.... and that is – they work overtime to nullify equality in those they feel morally superior to.

      there are a number of states where atheists are prohibited from running for public office – or even serving on a jury.
      american citizens are denied their consti tutionally guaranteed equal rights – because of religious ideology.
      our public school systems have to fight to keep religious ignorance from infecting our science classes....

      maybe the intolerance of delusional people who believe in imaginary men in the sky is justified in your eyes – or easy to ignore – but it doesn't get by everyone.

      i applaud non-delusional people who raise children to use their critical thinking skills. this 'godless' mom should become a beacon for reason in this nation... because tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

      it's retarding all of humanity.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • the AnViL

      *edit: your fondness for strawmen, although quite fashionable on cnn belief blogs – doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

      also

      cha cha cha

      January 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • January

      I have a lot of respect for the godless woman. She is respectful.

      She said 'I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs."

      I know all people can't be like this Godless woman.

      She also said "I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven."

      Hatred retards all of humanity. Let it go.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • the AnViL

      i have no more hate for religion than a surgeon might have for a cancerous tumor... or a gardener might have for weeds.

      i do, however – have a particularly strong distaste for ignorance.... as it is the source of most human suffering. i've no respect for it.

      ~

      January 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • January

      Yea, we should probably both re-read this article.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yeah – i'd suggest you re-read everything – because you seem really ignorant.

      my reading comprehension is fine – i got it the first time i read it.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • January
      January 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yeah that julia gillard smugness meme is funny because she delivered a scathing appraisal of a particularly ignorant person not too terribly long ago...

      her smugness is rather righteous.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • January

      The lilnk with the pic of the ref holding a red card with "smug" on it wouldn't post.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • the AnViL

      XD

      January 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  17. It is Called

    It is Called no god(s) required for principles

    It is Called Principles not theory

    Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

    Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

    00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
    02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
    09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
    17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
    29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
    42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
    46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
    Category
    Education
    No repy needed take it up with YALE
    Peace

    January 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  18. MrHighMighty

    If they keep their backs turned from their Creator, Ms Mitchell and her children will have plenty of time to ponder their logical situation of being "not part of that."

    January 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if you persist in the delusion that there is a creator, you are rejecting reality. there is no sky-fairy. grow up. you're talking about her and her children spending time in hell being tortured for eternity because they didn't bow down to your 'loving' god. the chrstian god is disgusting. he drowned millions in his great flood. he drowned babies, pregnant women, the elderly, the infirm, physically disabled, mentally challenged, etc. how can you worship such a maniac with reverence? he's a baby killer. the bible says so.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Your name is apropos.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What makes you imagine that you "know" what fate awaits anyone, MrHighandTight?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Ira Radnick

      Oooooooo, you are really scaring me SrHiMighty. So if we choose to not believe your fables we are damned to everlasting suffering by your excuse for a god? Yeah, that is a real incentive to come over to your side (the dark side).

      January 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  19. Saraswati

    Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia...

    Living abroad people often ask me what would be a good place to live if they want to work in or move to the US. This article is almost a guidebook for where not to live.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Penny

      Saraswati, are you, or your friends, under the impression that someone in the southern US wants you over here? If you are, go get some meds; you are delusional. Please add Louisiana to your "list."
      Southern Baptist do not believe in exorcism, nor do they perform them. It also seems the person writing this assumed all Christian churches believe in the baptism of infants; they do not; the majority of Southern, Christian denominations do not baptize infants; the ones that do, do it to "dedicate" their child to Christ. very few Christian churches other than Catholic believe a child will go to Hell should they die un-baptized.
      While I believe the woman in this article is probably an atheist; I believe the rest of the author's "examples" are figments of the author's imagination; an imagination that is unfamiliar with the doctrine of Southern, Christian Churches.....
      Sell stupid elsewhere, Daphne; this Southern Christian is not buying this crock of ...
      My email is eveeve1@hotmail.com
      I welcome any challenge anyone has to offer; it is not hard to debate with a liar. It's very easy to trip them up.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      Penny, has anyone ever accused you of being a witless boob?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Saraswati

      Penny, I'm a US citizen and used to live in North Carolina. I have travelled widely in the south and am well aware of the denominational variations.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • atty23

      Saraswati, that's very rude for you to judge an entire state based on a few people. I live in one of the largest cities in Texas, and, for the most part, it is secular. I was not raised as a Christian, and the subject of religion comes up very rarely because people are usually to polite to ask, or simply accept my answer when I say, "I"m not religious." However, feel free to refer your acquaintances to other states. We're facing a huge influx of people from other states because of our booming economy. The traffic is worse, rents are more expensive, and it's much more crowded here than it once was.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • atty23

      Saraswati, that's very rude for you to judge an entire state based on a few people. I live in one of the largest cities in Texas, and, for the most part, it is secular. I was not raised as a Christian, and the subject of religion comes up very rarely because people are usually too polite to ask, or simply accept my answer when I say, "I"m not religious." However, feel free to refer your acquaintances to other states. We're facing a huge influx of people from other states because of our booming economy. The traffic is worse, rents are more expensive, and it's much more crowded here than it once was.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  20. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    More power to her......let her kids decide what they want to believe in when they come of age.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Rather than inflicting mental illness on a child such as christianity, let them freely choose when they are adults if they wish to have such a mental illness

      January 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians love to convert the little ones, get their hooks in them early. they know the guilt, fear and ignorance they use to brainwash that child makes it unlikely the kid will ever break the mental shackles of religion.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      She's not really letting them decide , now is she? She's telling them that there is no God, by her very example and her words, so she is "brainwashing" them into being atheists.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.