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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 • Faith Now • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Anna

    Why is it that when religious people every single Sunday of every year get to voice their opinions about how to live life no one cares? But if ANYONE has a different opinion, then its wrong. If Christians get to go around making laws about their beliefs, even ones that stop two adults who love each other from getting married... then please SHUT UP. Because this is a free country and freedom OF religion also includes freedom FROM religion. I'm sorry that some of you Christians aren't used to hearing anything that disagrees with your beliefs, but you're gonna have to deal. Athiest have to hear it 24/7 and I think you can take it for a few moments. Religion is poisioning the minds of our youth, and I am so happy to hear that she can let her children believe what they want about the world, based on observation and facts, not mythical stories.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Domine

      Thank you for this. You are intelligent to me in my mind.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      "freedom OF religion also includes freedom FROM religion" sorry your wrong. It doesn't include it and it never did include from religion. I certainly don't have any problem listening to anyone else's point of view. I don't push my views on other people either. I am a Christian. So you generalize to much.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Brian

      Personally I would rather be honest and not believe, than pretend to believe and act in unchristian ways that so many Americans do. Compassion and charity must not be at the top of the list of most religions because in this country they have long ago been discarded by so called Christians.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      Rob-Texas – That's axiomatically wrong. The freedom to do or have a thing includes the freedom to not have it. For instance, you have a freedom of speech, but no one can make you actually use it.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam

      Rob, I know that's what folks believe in Texas, but she's not wrong.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Cindy

      HEY ROB ARE ALL-Y'ALL STILL HOPIN TO CEDE FROM THE UNION? PLEASE GIT ER DONE

      January 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      rob: how does freedom OF religion not include freedom FROM religion?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Andy

      Mr Rob – Texas..... We have freedom of CHOICE in this country. This means we can choose for ourselves and not have something chosen for us. If we do not want to believe in something such as religion because it does not make sense to us, or it seems too silly of ideals to take stake in just leave us be and don't force your views onto others. Just because some of us may choose to not believe in religion does not make us bad or unrighteous people.... it just simply means we have a different point of view, which should be protected and respected; just like everyone else.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  2. A_Tinker

    Facts:
    You can't avoid religion.
    To not believe in God is just another religion.
    To believe religion is private and should be kept in certain places, is just another religious position.
    To teach your children what you believe, is sincere, and make sense.
    To believe you should not teach your children anything about God and let them make up their mind is non-sensical. Under the same argument you would not teach them that sharing is better than not sharing, that killing is wrong, that stealing is wrong. Instead, you'd just let them make up their minds about it on their own, when they are ready.
    If you are atheist, teach your children that. If you are religious, teach your children that.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom

      You need to look up the definitions for 'fact' and 'religion'.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Domine

      You see, I want religion to die. It will eventually as well. Give it a few hundred years or so and it will die.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Fact: There is no equivalence between teaching your children the value of sharing and teaching them to believe in a fairy tale.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      Domine – reality check for you. Religion, speicfically Christianity, is rapidly expanding in Africa and the middle east. You may feel it is on the decline in the US, but it will not die. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • blkdoutgsxr

      You need to research what the word religion means, because Atheism is not a religion. There is no deity that we worship. If your going to make up the definition as any one belief then I can say "the belief in gravity is a religion". But that is ridiculous. As for kids, I would say that indoctrinating them is no different then what I hate the church for the most. Forcing beliefs does not lead to a critically thinking mind, it leads to "I believe this because my parents say it is true, so it must be true". Personally I will teach my kids that every situation has several possible actions, each of which has consequences, and you should pick the best action in any case that you can help it. This covers everything in a nutshell that I can think of, and its how people should live their lives.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • factoidlover

      Perhaps you can't avoid religion, but many are advocating replacing religion with better ways of thinking and understanding. All religions, regardless of public appearances, teach a narrow, not universal, path to understanding. And when they do, they teach person's of that faith to subordinate other's outlooks.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • MyOwnSelf

      Absence of religion is not a religion. Only someone that wants to pigeonhole everyone into some "religious" category thinks that way.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  3. virginia

    January 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Saraswati

    I just spent five minutes trying to translate this into readable English and failed. Could you try putting this in Word or something and verifying your grammar? I actually do think there's a point hidden in there, but I don't want to guess incorrectly.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    virginia

    sure let me try again.

    first and formost – I am equating that Religion and emotions are the same thing express in a different action or word. as well as i equate that Science represent reason or logic in the mind of humans....

    I agree that emotion should be left at home or the church where one cannot be critized for them as weakness of the heart...emotions shouldn't be express in public less others see it as an open invitation to harm us...hide emotion when the weaked/evil can see we have them...supress and hide religion cause they openly express the capacity to have and show their emotion openly....Religous people adknowledge the existence of their feeling and the need to find confort to their emotions fears and other feeling like love...athiest are too strong to dare show feeling they see it as a weakness of character...they there for refraind from Religion...but in secret they want to belong( the need to belong is an emotion too) even to the Religion of scientism a share believe they deny they they claim to belong to at scientist where they feel some confor to their anxiaries...it might stil hold even in secret they scientism is their true religion...

    I equate logic reason to scientific believe, and emotion and feeling to the traditional Christian believe in God. Logic and reason tell us that feeling or emotions are weakness and must be supress so the athesit equate that since emotions are weakness Religon must be supress deny or kept secret cause if emotions are weakness then they are harmful to religius people...they mean well even when they dont' undestand why they mean well...

    January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • JWT

      You were wrong sara – it was all meaningless babble. At least the English improved a little.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Still incoherent.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Daniel

      You state that logic views emotion as weakness; this is completely false. Emotion is what makes us human and the two can go hand-in-hand readily. You love and respect the earth simply because it is logical, it provides you with life. Thus a logical thought evoked emotion. Your argument is false.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You really are a loon. You do not make sense whatsoever. You use words like logic and reason, then completely disregard either in your statements.
      Either increase or decrease your dosage. The level you are at now clearly is not working.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Here is how I translated the paragraph for her the other time Virginia posted this. I don't agree with all of it but I actually think she has some well thought out ideas (no, I don't expect a lot of agreement on that). But definitely her ideas are better thought out than her writing. I think with some formal training she could express an argument that might still be controversial, but would at least make interesting debate.

      “I agree that emotion should be left at home lest others see them as a weakness of the heart and try to cause you harm. The atheist means well when he or she says this, because it is true that some are evil toward our open emotions and feeling,. They see emotion as an opportunity to harm others.

      The atheist knows this, so they say to keep religion to yourself. 'We don't want to see you harmed by your open expression of weakness, by showing your religious emotions and feelings. We care for you though we are loners; we don't belong to any group of belief. For this reason we, too, suppress all emotion and feeling so other don't get us and cause us harm. '

      The atheist means well when they say this, yet we too know that showing good faith and emotions can bring good things. As well our openness makes us pray for those who so willingly try to capitalize on our weakness when we say we belong and have emotions."

      January 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Saraswati

      And here were my comments on her own rewrite in looking for clarification.

      I understand you to be saying that religion provides an environment in which one can be more open with one’s emotions. You are arguing that one of the reasons people choose to be atheists is that they don’t like the open expression of emotion that takes place within the context of [many] religions.

      However, you point out that atheists aren’t actually free from normal need and still want to belong, so they create the pseudo-religion of scientism.

      Lastly you argue that when atheists say one should keep religion to oneself it should be understood in terms of the atheist aversion to public emotion. The atheist is saying this not only for religious people, but for all, as it is better in that view for emotions to be kept in a place where one won’t get hurt.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      And just to support the idea that Virginia isn't a total loon, some interesting research:

      "Generally, atheists in this series of studies seemed to experience emotions less intensely and less vividly than religious believers. Religious people were also better at evoking detailed, rich imagery from their emotional memory banks. At the same time, the atheist participants were better at articulating, describing, and thinking about their emotions and emotional memories. The religious participants showed some similar traits to people with alexithymia, although Burris and Petrican stopped short of saying that religious people actually have the condition."

      http://ibcsr.org/index.php/component/content/article/25-news/research-news/344-atheists-and-religious-may-differ-in-emotional-processing

      And for those who don't know me, I'm not religious. But I do think most people have something of worth to say. Of course, I don't think they're always saying it. :)

      January 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The emotional angle is actually quite interesting. The research seems to point to the possibility that religious people may use religion as a way of adopting pre-packaged emotional experiences and responses. This is similar to research on how males and females differ in movie-watching habits, with males (who usually are less adept at expressing emotions) more likely to watch the same movies over and over and to express their emotions through quotes from those movies. Essentially people who participate in religious rituals may be doing something similar.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  4. Selah

    Today is another day you are breathing. Who determined that-GOD did, whether you chose to believe it or not. God is real, the devil is real and choice is real. Free will started back in the Garden of Eden and it still exists today. This women didn't invent freewill- God our Creator did. He will not force any one to believe Him. This is eternal life, that you may now the one true God and Hs Son whom He sent. For all those who know Him, as myself, we are blessed. For those that dont He still loves you. But to say no God doesn't make it true. I hope you enter a beautiful relationship with the living God
    Who sent Jesus to die for all our sins, was buried and rose from death. I was once agnostic not a follower of Jesus Christ
    when He saved me from myself and all my false thinking. PTL

    January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Tom

      Prove it.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Daniel

      Another example of the blind leading the blind. Your faith blinds you from the wonders the real world has to offer...a pity

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • PraynWarrior

      All of the athiest keep saying...prove there is a God. As a Christian, prove to me there is no God!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Tom

      You can't disprove the existence of something that doesn't exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      prayn: how does one go about proving a negative?

      if you feel you can, prove to me that there is not a 1954 mercury orbiting pluto being piloted by a duck singing "your chewing gum loses its flavor on the bedpost overnight"

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  5. Cat

    Maybe one day when one of her children get sick she can speak/pray to no one or to Ted Turner & if her child dies she has no one or Ted Turner to blame!

    January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • James

      Put down the meth and back away from the keyboard.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • ??

      Absolutely brilliant post.Brilliant.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • sam

      Dafuq did we just read...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • JTinKC

      I'm fairly certain you should be on medication.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      If you believe in an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful god, then you must believe that god knows already whether that child will live or die. Are you so arrogant as to believe that you can change the mind of god or beg god out of his "divine" plan?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • isaasix

      Ah, yes... but the funny thing is that as times of anguish and despair come into their lives ( and they always do) they either flock to the churches they so much despised or find solace from words of the same believers they openly vilified. I've seen it so many times. We believers are must keep this quiet since this is the only way God reels these people in.
      –in sorrow and hardship and despair.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  6. Mittow Romaney

    Mankind will eventually evolve and see how people in the 21st century would still brainwash their own children with all this religious crap...

    January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Michael

    Better to be on your hands and knees planting food for your neighbour than some stone statue than a man in Rome or cave for that matter says is god. Believe in yourself...

    January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Christian beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.

    The stories of Christianity are not even original!!!!!

    They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Mittow Romaney

      Same can be said of all religions. Mankind will eventually evolve and see how people in the 21st century would still brainwash their own children with all this religious crap...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  9. creative36

    Teaching children about god is child abuse.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • sam

      Teaching children about god keeps them children for way too long.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Teaching children about god is like teaching them about snakes and other dangerous creatures. Forewarned is forearmed. Leaving a poor innocent child to be victimized by theists is child abuse.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  10. Nandos

    Shes absolutley right. Christianity is pushed so heavily on people in the USA. A friend from Australia once visited me and was taken back by how religion is touted in America. He said people aren't this crazy about "God" in Australia, they don't keep telling people they need to convert or their going to hell. I don't believe our society needs to be lead by the bible. The bible along with the quaran and torah have a lot of backwards ancient beliefs like not associating with women on their period and not doing anything on sunday., and not eating pork, or rabbit , or deer We can't run a modern technological society based on Arab Bedouin beliefs from 2000 years ago. We need to keep religion in its place away from the rule of law.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • creative36

      Really?

      Check out this video:

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  11. creative36

    Teaching Children about God...

    January 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Jason

    For those who prefer thinking for themselves should read the book:

    2000 Years of Disbelief, Famous PeopleThose With The Courage to Doubt by James A Haught.

    A real eye-opener.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  13. Austini

    He came to His own, and His own would not receive Him; but as many as would receive Him, to those who believe in His name:to them he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor or the will of man, but of God.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam

      Are you trying to quote something, or bless the comment section, or what?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • voodoo

      that is just silly..

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • hal 9001

      In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.

      -American Airlines

      January 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Austin

      the Holy Spirit will bless you. I always want to give.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @hal,

      funny – except for one thing. One quote is babble, the other is literally accurate. Ironically, juxtaposing the two, unintentionally adds credibility to the babble.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  14. Alex

    Well, no surprises here. CNN is against guns and religion.
    Are they Devil's / Satan's advocate then?

    They want to disarm you physically and disarm you of your religious believes, too. What does it all make them then?
    Satanic church of CNN?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam

      LOL Whatever, attention whore.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Gir

      Satanism is a religion too.

      But it's alright to insult them because they're a minority, right? Carry on.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      troll

      January 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • factoidlover

      I see Alex. Isn't in Hezekiah that the Lord said, "And bring to me a tenth of your ammunition, yeah, to make an explosive offering before your god."

      January 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • ali

      It makes you a little paranoid.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Alex, your deity appears to be paranoia.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  15. Michael

    A creator by any number of names is still just as creative.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  16. Michael

    Science is about observation.
    If you look around you and your general environs, you will observe that the Christians of today are not doing what the Christians of yesterday were doing.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • sam

      Too busy eating Chik-fil-A and complaining about darkies and gays.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Austin

      true, wasting, and a sound of a clanging symbol

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  17. JHUNT

    I blame CNN for this. We are giving non-believers to much attention! If you don't believe in something why comment on it? GOD'S finger print is on all of us. It was the Mighty God who gave this women the ability to be a mother! I know who created all of us and where we came from. You don't have to believe now but you will when you take your last breath! It's obvious that this women is frustrated and lost!!! She didn't know how to explain to her kid about our heavenly father. I explained to my kids at a early age and they got it. As a matter of fact Jesus has spoken to my daughter and she is only four. Just like the book: Heaven Is For Real" my Daughter has said some things that has blown my mind. Kids are more resiliant than you think. Jesus gave the perfect illustration when he blessed the kids and told his apostles that they are not bothering him. As believers we must be like children. People are quick to ask why does "GOD" let this or that happen? If you study the bible you will know that evil is not of "GOD". It's all about your relationship with "GOD" that is what he wants and he will guide you. So I will continue to pray for the non-blievers and the world as it "THE WORLD" has gone crazy and is in lawless days! True Christian Nation stand firm stay in the word and fellowship, continue to do good and treat evil with Good! Remember the world hated Jesus when he was here and they continue to do so! I know which GOD that every knee will bow to and every tongue will confess to! I can truly say during these crazy times. "I TRUST YOU LORD". There are things we wont understand until we are face to face! But I TRUST YOU LORD! As our relationship grows stronger my Heart is filled with love and Joy, my mind is clear and my eyes can truly see. Thank you Father for sending your Son! In Jesus name all of these nonbelievers that are confused and disrespectful can start a relationship with you and there sins can be forgiven. Father they no not what they do! OH !GOD I feel like having Church right now. Your word is "TRUE" and every little agenda to discredit our father has come to pass! The evil one's agenda will not ever succeed! I rebuke you devil!!!!! You are defeated, I know your agenda is to seek, kill and destroy! But I will pray for Souls today! You want take all of them...... Glory to Jesus! Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lamb. I Love you Lord! Father please give your children the strenghth and the endurance to get to the finish line. The Battle is yours Father not ours! Help us to be strong and steadfast on our journey as we face many challenges in this life upon awaiting our award in the Next life! In Jesus name Amen!

    January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • sam

      Feel free to blame CNN all you like – but there are more non believers every day, and eventually we'll overrun the evangelical subset of this country. Then, and only then, will we have a chance to be a mature nation.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Colin

      Read this rant and perhaps you Christians will understand why we atheists try to help you out of your silly superst.itions. Can you imaging how scr.ewed up this person's 4 year-old will be, given that he is positively reinforcing such superst.itious nonsense in her.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • the AnViL

      this is another perfect example of xian thought in the united states.

      magnificent stuff

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • JWT

      If I catch your god touching me it's going to lose a hand or two.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Baruch Spinoza

      We're all god or nature. Once universal substance in accordance with Natural Law. God can't be a man with human characteristics. He can't be separate from his creation. If there were a man called God, his characteristics would be too awesome for us to imagine. God is nature. We're all connected. Sorry to burst your bubble, JHUNT.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Cindy

      Nice giant chunk of rambly, right wing text...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      oh what a scary place the real world must be to you JH. Better turn on the religion channel for a few hours of delusion based comfort.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Daniel

      Agreed Sam, this person is clearly feeling quite defensive because us non-believers are growing in numbers.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam

      It's going to feel scary for the evangelicals when they start realizing they can't sway any but the most close-minded as the years pass.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Mittow Romaney

      Why should belief on mythological creatures deserve more space than logic or science? I love to see all the rage coming from all these "god loving" religious nuts...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • blkdoutgsxr

      I can not tell if you are trolling this thread or not TBH, It's hard for me to think that someone is THIS delusional about reality. You should do some honest research about all of the things you believe in and 'see the light' of reality. Sorry God is not reality, he is Fiction.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      This country is finished. With people like JHUNT in the majority, there is no future for America.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Me

      JHUNTS

      January 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • JTinKC

      You don't "know" anything when it comes to god. That is why it is called faith.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • on the other hand, facts

      @JHunt: Good points can be organized into sentences and paragraphs. You should consider trying that in your next post.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "JHUNT", but "GOD", "Mighty God", "heavenly father", "Heaven", "LORD", "Father", "your Son", "devil", "Souls", "Glor", "Holy", "the Lamb", and "the Next life!" are all elements 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: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yeah, CNN is sooo out of line exercising that first amendment thingie again.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • on the other hand, facts

      @JHunt: one more thing. If I were a demagogue, you would be a great follower to have. I could convince you to do *anything*, and you would do it with passion and enthusiasm.

      By the way, in the old testament they used to sacrifice goats. That seems up your alley. Carry on!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Not only are you a rabid christard, you are a CRAZY rabid christard. Although I realize that crazy, rabid and christard are synonyms.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • ??

      So Jesus spoke to your 4 year old and you don't think that's a little weird?Santa spoke to my 4 year old and I have a photograph.What evidence do you have or maybe,just maybe,she was trying to please her daddy and told a little fib.Now,would she fear her daddy's wrath if she told a fib?Give me a break.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Well jhunt, reality will win in the end; it always does. Whether you are here to see it is the only question. When the lights go out and there is nothing there, you won't know it.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  18. Illeagal in 51 countries

    "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    Matthew 7:6

    January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • sam

      Wow, you can quote the bible! And so....?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • hal 9001

      In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.

      -American Airlines

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      whay does quoting a bronze age story book make you feel correct?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • sam

      LOL, hal...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      there is only i "a" in illegal

      and you do not offer pearls, only rat droppings

      January 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Nandos

      What does that have to do with anything? what are you saying here?..This has pertinence to this article at all..

      January 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Calgon

      Illeagal in 51 countries
      "... do not throw your pearls to pigs."

      Problem is that you don't have "pearls" - you have those opalescent, sweet-smelling, oily bath beads that dissolve in hot water.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      sam stone, he's referring to a sick bird, vomiting nonsense in 51 countries.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    there was no Honey BooBoo or the Kardashians to watch 2,000 years ago, so people had to make stuff up to entertain themselves. The Bible is just a collection of the best of those stories. It's like America's Funniest Home Videos from the bronze age. :-)

    January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • I wonder

      I wonder if there is something in the DNA of Jews that makes them such good, imaginative, fantasy storytellers and drama-queens?!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  20. Mark Leary

    This mother's post is among the most important things to appear on the CNN web site in a long time. She gave a voice to what many loving, rational parents have been thinking for a long time. If she starts a foundation to support rational, nonreligious parenting, I'll donate!

    January 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Mike

      Mark, do you tell your children "if it feels good, do it?" That's her moral compass, her value system. I'm not religious myself, but if given the choice between her and someone who has an ethnical center that extends beyond themselves, I think I'd rather the later.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      Mike, seriously. People do not need religion to have morals, and do the right thing. You're being ridiculous and unimaginitive.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      Also, Mike, 'ethnical center'? LOL You're a frickin' genius.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Mark

      It's possible to show children that stealing or hurting others is wrong without bringing a god into it. Sure, you don't have the threat of eternal punishment to hold over them, but in my opinion, using god to get a child to behave is just lazy parenting.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bet

      That was meant for @ Mike, not @ Mark.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • ali

      @ Mike, how do you know what her moral compass is? If you actually read and understood what she was saying it was that you do what is right because it is right not because you are afraid of the consequences.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Mike, where did you see her say that? Except in your haunted mimd.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.