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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. Red Dog

    Looks like Obama swore the Oath of Office on a bible and not a koran, as some would have us believe. (I'll bet Donald Trump will say he wants to see the book to make sure that it isn't a koran with a bible cover. Any takers?)

    January 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Todd Ramone

      I doubt Obama, and a great number of other politicians - right and left - believe in a god.

      It'd be considered political suicide to voice your disbelief in god.

      This hopefully will change with time.

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

      It was probably his bathroom book of novels.

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

      If we accept that "a number" is something like 10%, sure. I would think Obama would go to a church other than UCC if he were using it as a beard, though.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  2. ztom

    Why do I never see any articles about Scientology here in the CNN Religion section?

    Is CNN saying it is not a valid religion? Or are they afraid so being sued for writing anything about the CoS?

    Just curious.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Red Dog

      I've actually seen ads for Scientology listed as a CNN sponsor. L. Ron Hubbard's fantasy can be YOUR reality (after they get rid of all those "engrams" and incorrect ideas about where we REALLY came from).

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Could it be because it's a minority religion? Very minority? How much do you see about Buddhism? The different variants of Islam? Hinduism?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Sarkastik1

      Some countries do not consider the CoS a legitimate religion, and in some cases treat it as a non-profit, in others a business. A few consider it a scam and take active measures to discourage it, such as France and Germany. The latter is very sensitive to extreme secretive groups that try to exert influence, as they have had a bit of negative experience with that, as you may recall.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:09 am |
  3. Correctlycenter

    God created the heavens and the earth, not Dawkins, Hitchens, or MSNBC hosts...

    January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Answer

      Yep, Zeus did a fine job.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Michael

      And what created your creator?

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

      My dad also created idiots like you.I tried to talk Him out of it, but...

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

      I heard it was elephants all the way down.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • ztom

      Yes. Praise FSM

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Theo

      "God created the heavens and the earth"

      Simple minds have simple answers

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Red Dog

      Yep, and He did it all in 6 days (He took Sunday off so he could go to church).

      January 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Which god was that, corruptlycenter?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  4. Todd Ramone

    It's really quite simple, folks:

    Many people don't believe in a god because they do not see evidence of a god. People need good reasons - well, apparently not all of them - to believe in god or anything else.

    Simple as that.

    I'm a skeptic as well. Show me good evidence for god and I'd believe god to be true.

    However, till this point... no good evidence has been presented to me.

    I think it's quite interesting that despite all the time, interest and money spent on religion and god that we aren't even close to providing good evidence for a god.

    I think that says something.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  5. texas

    Jesus said" I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through Me.

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

      Stop misquoting me

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • inspiration

      Realy, who cares what some deluded, drug – addicted hippie said 2000 years ago?

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

      Some guy who wrote a story book said some other guy said that

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom

      Douglas Adams said

      'Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?'

      January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • some schmuck

      I said I wanted a Burrito and a fountain drink
      Jesus said that'll be $4.50
      I handed Jesus the money, he handed me my food.
      I said "Thank you."
      Jesus said "De nada."

      January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Theo

      Han Solo Said "I got a bad feeling about this"

      January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Dan

      'I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.'

      Gandhi

      January 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      L. Ron Hubbard said the same thing.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  6. inspiration

    Considering that there are 100 billion stars (most with planets) in each of 100 billion galaxes, god that created it all probably has a major headache now! :-)

    January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Answer

      Get this ... this sole planet was made just for us 'humans'. So funny.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  7. bwebb

    My heart has never hurt more after reading so many of these posts. It's amazing the hatred that is present. Lord, have mercy on us all. Reveal yourself to these people in a mighty way God. It is so sad to me, my heart is so heavy for them. Show them your love and grace.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      No hate, just impatience with those that can't quite grasp the concept that they don't have infinite knowledge, can't possibly claim to prove the existence of a god, and yet insist that everyone should live or think according to their interpretation of Bronze and Iron age mythology.

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

      Seriously, a bunch of nonsense in a comment section is bumming you out this much? You need more of god's apparent help than anyone.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • edyoucate

      If you could just ask Jesus to come back and walk on water one more time that would be a pretty mighty way to reveal himself. I bet it would be over 1 billion views in no time.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • bwebb

      I am well aware that I do not possess infinite knowledge, just as you are also aware that you also do not posses it. I have also not insisted upon anyone believing my so called "mythology". Not sure where you got that from but it appears that you are placing me into a stereotype that you and many others are accusing other christian of doing. I was merely saying a heartfelt prayer for you. Whether you believe in God you should be able to appreciate a stranger caring for you and others in the way in which I know how. And who ever said that sadness or pity meant that I needed more help from God. Can I not feel or be sad by something without atheists thinking that I have a lack of faith or need help from God? It is extremely interesting your trains of though and what you really think about Christianity. I feel a though most atheists have an extremely distorted view of what we as Christians believe. Again, so very sad.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • CdnJim

      If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. Save your breath. Eventually we stopped believing in Thor and Zeus and Apollo, this one will go away too. Unless the religious fanatics push us into an apocolyptic war, we'll eventually evolve past this stage. Hopefully.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • apstar

      In the song "Superstar" from the rock opera "Jesus Christ, Superstar," I love these Tim Rice lyrics: "If He'd come today He would reached a whole nation / Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication".

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

      Uh...you were saying a heartfelt prayer because you were judging the people in the comments as coming up short. Jesus is going to be mad.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • One one

      Community relations would be helped if Christians stopped preaching non-Christians will burn in hell, then carry on worshiping the guy they believe will send them there.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • ??

      You must be new in these here parts.Atheists know exactly what christians think and/or claim to know.Most were raised in the faith and have grown to refute these beliefs.This is not the place to research atheism.But research it you should as it seems you know very little about it.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Lord Zeus?

      Lord Allah?

      Lord G-d?

      Lord Xenu?

      Lord Odin?

      All of them have hundreds of thousands, millions, billions who believe or believed in them just as devoutly, with just as much reason as you believe in your god.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • bwebb

      Wow, so much hatred. Why are you so angry? Correct me if I'm wrong but I have not preached anything to you, nor have I said you are going to hell. How can you be so angry at things you don't even really understand?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • bwebb

      It seems as though you, atheists, are the ones trying so hard to convert us believers. I am not criticizing your belief or trying to change you. Why are you telling me this is what I am doing when it is exactly what you are doing? I'm sorry you had a bad experience with believers in God, you don't have to take it out on everyone who believes in God though. What is the sense in that? Why are you trying so hard to disprove this? You say I can show you no proof of God and that this is why you don't believe in him yet you have no proof that he does not exist besides your belief that He does not exist. Why criticize me in my beliefs and demand truth while you yourself cannot disprove God?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  8. Riversomme

    It's intriguing how people like her believe that they – as minuscule insignificant organisms on a microscopic planet in an eternal, infinite, profoundly inexplicable Universe – have it all figured out; that the brain they have has been somehow able to comprehend and confirm that there CAN'T be a God. Astounding.
    To dismiss the possibility that a conscious supernatural force exists – and out of pure human obstinacy – just opt to declare themselves and "unbeliever" is, well, unbelievable.
    One question: What if, just what IF, you're wrong?

    January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sarah

      It isn't that amazing, you obviously think you have it figured out too. You just reached a different conclusion than she did but your arrogance is no less than hers.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      By that premise, I can't dismiss the possibility that bigfoot exists, or fairies exist, or gnomes, or elves, or pixies.......

      Doesn't mean I'll respect anyone who claims they exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Tom

      I don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster. That doesn't mean I think I understand the nature of the universe. It means, given what evidence I do have, I made the rational choice.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      No honest Atheist will say there is not a god, they will however admit to not seeing evidence for one.

      What if you're wrong?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      As minuscule insignificant organisms on a microscopic planet in an eternal, infinite, profoundly inexplicable Universe, isn't it the height of arrogance to state with certainty that we are the predilect objects of an anthropocentric Creator and that the rest of the Universe is configured as it is just to enable our existence?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Gir

      "What if, just what IF, you're wrong?"

      That's where a christian comes in and starts weaving tales of burning lakes and sulphur. Because if a god exists, it automatically means he'll sentence everyone to hell who doesn't believe in him. Because those are the only too choices: No god, or a sad-istic, mur-derous one.

      Absolute nonsense.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • JFCanton

      The part of atheism that is a rejection of collected wisdom is arrogant. It might easy to see how individuals now are crazy, deluded, etc., but it's much less justifiable to extend that conclusion to very intelligent/successful people of the past.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • some schmuck

      TruthPrevails "What if you're wrong."

      If I'm wrong, then I will have the courage to stand up to god and tell him that I find him evil. That the stories of his existence paint him to be a malevolent being, not one worthy of worship, and as such, I dismissed them.

      He will either say "Yeah, my editors were some real @#$@." or he will send me to hell.

      Either way, I would rather burn in agony for all eternity with it never ceasing that to surrender that which makes me human (my ability to think) to people who tell me that the being described in the Christian bible should be worshipped.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Riversomme

      Sorry, I didn't mean to hit the "report abuse' button on one of the responses. I meant to 'reply'. Anyway, I feel no militancy or arrogance when I stated my view. I'm just exploring how and why a person, knowing the limitations of our understanding of everything, would choose to think that he/she understands everything. I certainly didn't say I do. But there are so many things that point to a conscious creator linked to everything (and everyone) in eternity through purity and love. Those concepts don't come with a risk of eternal separation from a Creator.
      As for the fairies and gnomes, I reserve comment.
      Peace.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • PushingBack

      We could ask you the exact same questions.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JFCanton
      Not too long ago, the majority of successful, intelligent, educated people believed that the world was flat and that illness was caused by demonic possession.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • kayamar

      first of all, you are doing the exact same thing by having the audacity to say that it is unbelievable for us to not believe in god. Second, the huge, massive, gaping difference between us is that we (atheists) are totally willing to consider and admit that we are wrong, as long as there is EVIDENCE. There has never been a shred of tangible evidence to support the existence of god, yet there are mountains upon mountains of evidence that suggest there is no god and that explain 99.99999% of the things in this universe that had previously been attributed to some sort of supernatural power. We use logic, reason, and rational thought while you cling to a single book written over 1700 years ago.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • ??

      What if a piano fell on my head as I walked to work? WHAT IF? I will always find myself looking skyward for safety

      January 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • FreeThinker

      With all of these religions out there, someone has to be wrong. In fact, according to any religion to which I'm aware, all of the others are wrong. Therefore if there are X religions that have existed at least X-1 is wrong. It makes you wonder how far of a stretch it is to add another one to the wrong list and come to the conclusion that all of them are wrong. It wasn't much of stretch for me personally.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  9. Gabriel

    Ignoring the meaning of life is ignorance.

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

      The meaning of life is one's personal statement. Nothing else.

      You're pretty pathetic if you couldn't even post a truth that everyone recognizes already.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      Inventing one based on ancient mythology is irrational.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Hoss

      How do you know the meaning of life?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • edyoucate

      Not having "God" as the answer to all of life's questions actually makes me ponder the meaning of life quite a bit more.

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

      42.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  10. wendylynwatson

    I, too, am a Texas atheist. I've lived in many states, but so far this has been the hardest. If you tell people you're an atheist or that you don't believe in a god, they do act like you have a disease and need to be saved. Secretly, I believe that people who do pray to a god need a little wake-up call. But you know what? I don't confront my religious neighbors and try to make them accept my belief structure. And to all of you who say, "give faith a chance," could you imagine giving atheism a chance? Faith is like gray hair: you either have it or you don't. Dyes can make you look like your hair is lush auburn, but it's an illusion; your hair is still gray. I don't have faith in a god (as much as I may want to). I can go to church, sing the songs, study the bible ... and that may give the illusion of faith ... but I just don't have it. So please stop trying to talk me into it.

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

      That's mindboggling that you see the concepts of giving faith a chance and giving "atheism" a chance as actual points to consider. You can attain nothing from becoming something just to NOT believe in something.

      Have you considered the question: What if, just what IF, after all, you're wrong?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • sam

      Riversomme, that's the standard BS we get over and over. Don't you have anything new?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      I gave atheism a chance. It had nothing to say about an untimately meaningless existence.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  11. Jake

    In my opinion religion (and peoples different beliefs) are the main reason we have wars and terrorism in our world. Keep your beliefs (and dreams) to yourself and leave us alone! That's all we want! Stop ramming 'god' down our throats! We live life, love others and have dreams just like you do.......without religion.

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

      So why waste your time on a belief blog?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • sam

      @Anglican – it's the belief blog, not the 'religion' blog.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Anglican

      @Sam. What belief? Belief in what? I know, science.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • OTOH

      Anglican
      "So why waste your time on a belief blog?"

      It's where the believers are... and where discussion is permitted, unlike the strictly religious sites where disagreeing posts are deleted and/or banned.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • sam

      Anglican, why are you here? To complain?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Anglican

      Jake was doing the complaining. I was just interested in why he would expose himself to such.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Jake

      Anglican.... I was expressing my opinion on this CNN article. I'm sorry I did not know that this is a 'belief' blog. Never the less, this is my belief and I should be able to express my opinion. You sure have no problem expressing yours.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  12. LB Colorado

    You have made your choice – good luck.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Nice backhanded threat you've got over there.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sam

      Uh oh. She goin ter H – E – dubble hockey sticks.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • JWT

      My choice is the right one – no luck is needed.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  13. Eric

    It is what it is. I'm not going to sugar coat it for those who think otherwise.
    It's not like we can fix what is broken ourselves. Hence the reason for a "path"
    I didn't create the path, I just follow it and I'm glad it was made available for us.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Well there's the path of jumping off a bridge, too, y'know. It's already been well trodden.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • LB Colorado

      Me too.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sam

      There are many paths. Stop pretending yours is the best.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Eric

      Not pretending anything, just living my life to the fullest.
      The choice is yours and for now it seems most of you have made that choice.

      Hope your lives are filled with much love and many joys.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • America is Lost

      well put Eric!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • sam

      @America Is Lost – the only people who are lost are the idiots we keep raising that can't find America on a map.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • America is Lost

      To Sam, i agree with you on that. Good one. But there truly is only one path, man created all the others :)

      January 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  14. Michael

    You can't measure something that is out of reach.
    Just because it is out of reach doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      If it's out of reach...what good is it to you?

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

      That invisible magical teapot floating around the sun is also out of reach.

      You religious fruitcakes go chase after that.. good luck to ya.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Thoth

      Just because soemthing is out of reach doesn't make it divine, or supernatural either.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • linda

      What I keep seeing and reading is that because something is "out of reach" or cannot be seen does not mean it doesn't exist. Agreed however nor does it mean it DOES exist either. Like Mitchell I am an atheist. I was raised in a strict Baptist home but from the time I was very young none of the teachings resonanted with me faith is what someone believes without a basis in fact. Atheist are no less moral, valued or principled than believers moreover we can act & think with more freedom not being hampered by what we're SUPPOSED to do or think. We are deserving of respect and tolerance, and freedom from the persecution once visited upon those who strove to worship unabated.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  15. Dusty2701

    I find it odd that non-believers think and talk about God so much. It must be awful to have all that hate inside an empty heart and not even bother to get to know the one you hate.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      Ooh, look – now non-belief = hate. How christian of you!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      We'll stop when theists stop talking incessantly about it, and insisting that everyone live according to what they think their personal deity wants. And for the I don't know how many times, you can't hate something you don't believe exists.

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

      Who said anything about hate. Oh that's right you did obviously that comes from within you.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Dan

      atheists don't hate God. but some hate the idea that saying you don't believe makes you hateful. That is unfair, mean, and flagrantly unChristian. I'm an Anglo-Catholic Christian and have been a Christian my entire life, but the best argument against Christianity is the amazing way that Christianity has so little to do with the teachings of it's founder. Even Richard Dawkins used to wear an "atheists for Jesus T shirt. How many Christians would ever wear a "Christians for Darwin" T shirt. The sad fact is, in most religious debates, the atheists and agnostics are the ones taking the high road while the Christians are the one's preaching intolerant and judgmental hatred. Jesus forbade hatred and ordered you to stop judging others. Look to the beam in your own eye instead

      January 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I don't have an empty heart at all. In fact since realizing how crazy the buybull truly is and letting go I am happier and live a much more fulfilling life...I see beauty in things that was never seen before and I place a tremendous amount more value on the one life I am guaranteed of, so if that to you is empty hearted I feel for your wasted life.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  16. Red Dog

    It's really getting difficult convincing children that God exists after lying to them about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...not to mention telling them that Mommy and Daddy never smoked pot. What's a parent to do??

    January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah, exactly. Ok, all those other folks were imaginary, but this ONE isn't....

      January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Michael

    1 Corinthians Chapter 2 really explains the difference between believers and non-believers. Believers should not be surprised by this. It's like trying to speak a language to someone who does not understand the language. Just because you try and talk louder doesn't mean they will understand.
    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam

      Oh BS. Stop pretending you need a secret handshake to join the club. Some people don't speak crazycakes, that's all.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Atheist Mike

      You are quoting from a book of mythology to support your point, very odd.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Stay insulated by your stupidity and your mindless religious babble. Please do.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • The real Cindy

      Thank you Michael for proving they still don't get it. Their posts spoke volumes.

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

      "They just don't understand. They have not partaken of the magic juice and learned the secret handshake. Their hearts are hard. In the rest of the world it's called having common sense, but that's less fun to say."

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • PJ

      What about all the other "books" of the bible that were simply removed or excluded because they contradicted each other. I wonder what those say? And what about the fact that the bible is translated, so it could be doubtful you're even getting the correct translation. I had a jewish friend that often cited this fact. He mentioned a simple difference in the 10 commandments: "Thou shall not kill" actually reads in hewbrew "Thou shall not murder", and the point is that murder and killing have a sublte yet important difference.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Atheist Mike

    Nice to see more people accepting reality, and our mortality, and then moving on to take care of business in life. We do NOT need an imaginary friend to get through life.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • PushingBack

      And there are far more of us atheists out here than people know. There are a lot of folks out there afraid to admit they are atheist in their views for the same fears as pointed to in the article. One great thing about social networks like FB, these people can see they are not alone!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • The real Cindy

      In life, when someone announces they are an atheist I shake my head and know they are doomed after leaving this world.

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

      cindy, you know nothing of the kind. someone has simply told you that story and you believe them even though there is no logical reason to believe it.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • sam

      Cindy, does Jesus know you're running around being smug?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • PushingBack

      Hey Cindy – so this compassionate and loving God of yours torments a soul for all eternity because of a flawed finite existence on Earth? That sounds fair. Oh that"s right, God makes the rules! Kind of like a huge bully on the playground, doesn't matter whats fair – it's his way or get punched in the head. Here's the best part though, as an atheist I live a decent life, trying to be fair and kind to those that I come across in life. When I die, I'll die happy for my own merits, not some imaginary power. You on the other hand will have lived a life in fear of punishment. You will assume you are going to be rewarded but won't know for sure. You trust you are believing the correct faith but BILLIONS of others believe the same thing about their DIFFERENT faith. So good luck with that gamble!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  19. Correctlycenter

    Ask an atheist Who created the heavens and the earth and see what silly and non-scientific answers they will post...

    January 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • gager

      It is not a "who", it's a how. My answer...I don't know how it was started. That is called "first cause" which will probably never be answered.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ask a believe who created the Creator and see what silly non-biblical answers they will post.

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

      Your mom has a wooden leg with a kickstand.

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

      Your question assumes that there was a creator, hence the "Who", but your complete lack of evidence speaks for itself.

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

      Oh do explain to me the rational way you believe it happened...

      January 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Atheist Mike

      I would tell you to sit down, and look at modern quantum physics, what the cutting edge people in this field will tell you. Basically, there are elements we are just beginning to see like dark matter and dark energy, and we we are just understanding anti-matter, alternate planes, etc. What we DO know is that many in the field agree that there is no imaginary spirit required for the beginning of the current expansion of what we know as the universe. There are sound theories as the the origin of the big bang, and they make a heck of a lot more sense than some imaginary sky fairy living in an imaginary sky city, and the evil red horned devil creature living in an invisible fire pit.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • some schmuck

      The Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are far and away better explanations than "I don't know, I don't understand, therefore god."

      January 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • PushingBack

      Yes, silly little pesky scientific facts. I for one know that the Lord Voldemort created the sky and Dumbledore created the Earth! Hocus-Pocus!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • snowboarder

      what reason do you have assume a "who"?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • The real Cindy

      Excuses, excuses. Science can never answer that question and never will. Glad you atheist finally tuned in.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Ron Aitken

      I have faith that it was my Grandpa, therefore it must be true.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dan

      have you ever asked one? I'm not an atheist, but every atheist I have ever met has been able to answer that question very easily: NO ONE. So where did it come from? The answer to THAT question is EXACTLY the same as your answer to the question where did God come from? It has always been. If YOU can give that answer for God, it's at least as valid to give it in answer to where did the heavens and the earth come from. Humility is a virtue, I hope you just learned some. I had the same lesson taught to me years ago by a person that hated me, and it was unpleasant. I don't have any ill will towards you, and I hope this was not unpleasant.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • texas atheist

      @some schmuck ****knock knock Penny* ***knock Knock Penny**** knock knock Penny* ***knock Knock Penny****knock knock Penny* ***knock Knock Penny****
      Sorry one of my favorite shows

      January 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  20. AnnaMal

    I'm guessing she also ruins the magic for her children by telling them not to believe in the Toothfairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. After all, they are imaginary too!

    January 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • snowboarder

      what magic is brought about by believing in god?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      Are you asserting that they're not imaginary?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Natalie

      Do you think it is possible that lying to your kids about the toothfairy, easter bunny, and santa may be harming them. There is plenty of awesome real stuff happening in the world that you could tell your children about that could actually broaden a child's mind rather than repeating the same old B.S. stories.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • PushingBack

      Yes, because small children are far better off thinking an eccentric old man, living in a remote part of the Earth, who watches them when they are sleeping, breaks into their house to eat cookies and bring them gifts that have "Made in China" stamped on the boxes. It's soooooooo MAGICAL!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
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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.