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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. AK

    Glad to see someone else notices the unnatural longevity of this thumbnail. Even gun control is becoming old news...but a blonde-mom Texas atheist democrat ("A FIND!" One-in-a-million! For Gaia's sake, preserve her in a jar or something!") has endless Energizer batteries when it exists in a venue where Ted Turner's "There is no god but Me" culture and mindset prevail.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • nojinx

      I know. Days later and people are still clicking on the article and posting comments. It is obviously a very popular subject among CNN's readers.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Thanks for extending the life of this story by commenting on it. Brilliant.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      This is a gag, right? You folks aren't really this clueless. Commenting on a story you think should be ignored? Really?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  2. Answer

    Is it that offensive to your religious freaks to have someone tell you outright that they are perfectly fine and happy to be without your brand of god?

    Oh how it hurts you so much.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Live4Him

      No, but the reverse is apparently true. Why else do atheists post to a religion forum?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Answer

      To educate you clowns.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      L4H
      You ask why? To try to find the reason that you believe what you believe, when there is no logical or rational reason for it. To try to show you that you don't have to believe in fairy tales to be a productive contributing member of society. To try to show you how much there is that is flat out false in the bible, and to get you to the point where you will renounce your religion , and seek real knowledge, without the use of the crutch that is religion.
      Have a nice day.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      @Live4Naught: It is a belief blog. Title is pretty clear. It would include discussion on a lack of beliefs. Or is the painful cognitive dissonance of knowing your life is based on childish notions of fealty to imaginary creatures that is bothering you?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Dictionary

      I don't mind the woman in this article.

      She is respectful.

      "I understand why people need God" she said.

      I believe in God. This is not a fairy tale. And I am a productive member of society.

      I try to give more than I get.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him. So you think that only gun owners can have opinions about guns or that only murderers can have opinions about murder? Your biggest gripe is that you can offer no proof for a god or can provide no reason to choose your god over all the others, so you want silence from the non-sheep.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Dictionary

      > you will renounce your religion

      Not even Hitler and imprisonment in one of his worst concentration camp can get me to deny Jesus Christ. You might as well quit and do something productive with your life, Richard Cranium.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Athy

      Shows how hopelessly indoctrinated some religies can become. Totally beyond reason. Sad.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • soaps

      Why would we want to be educated by someone who calls us "clowns"? We'd much rather be educated by the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Just seems smarter.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • soaps

      It's funny how non-believers keep talking about being reasonable and rational and using their minds. Yet, they pay no mind to the Creator who gave them their brains and minds that they may think and reason. How disrespectful, to claim that gift as your own, when it was lovingly given you, the creation, by your Creator! Your brain is the handiwork of God, and for that, why not be grateful?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  3. Seth

    You can believe unicorns live in your shoes. In fact you can structure your whole life around the belief that unicorns live in your shoes, and that's just fine. But when you start giving me orders on how to wear my shoes to best suit the unicorns, then we have a problem. When you start electing officials whose main platform is to serve the unicorns' agenda, then we have a big problem.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • GigglyPookers

      I have unicorns in my shoes and it tickles soo much it makes me giggle, except when that one unicorn called Ramzar gets in, he stings me with his horn then trys to eat my foot, not fun but a little foot spray in his eye makes him behave

      January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • JFCanton

      I would think that electing a politician who MIGHT fearing that lying, cheating, and stealing would result in him going to h-ll (which I don't believe, btw) is better than electing one with no similar qualms...

      January 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Theo

      JF so you want leaders that think a mystical god is telling them what to do ?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • TheRealGOD

      Religion was made up by atheists to control the mindless sheep of society, because without religion can you imagine a person dumb enough to believe in gods and magic having no beliefs ? They would be going postal 24/7

      January 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • JFCanton

      The complication is that because of crowd behavior it may as well be all of humanity that is "that dumb." You'd never find that Zero Atheist, though... these are ideas that emerged over millennia. Religious belief is not manmade in essential nature.

      Most believers in religion don't think that God is telling them personally what to do, so I'd say it is generally not an issue. But why is "God" less reliable than some individually greedy person or group of people? At least "God" has been tested over many generations.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jeremy

      @JFC. There is lots of evidence that the plenty of religious politicians still do those things when given the power of their office. Since repenting or merely the belief in God ends up forgiving their sins, it stops nothing. This negates any purpose for using religion as a litmus test in my mind.

      In fact, I personally believe that this belief in "forgiveness from the almighty" leads people to do more 'sinful' actions. It's like a get out of jail free card. Logically a true athiest has no more reason to be good, but still, perhaps the promise of forgiveness subconsciously impacts those who believe and encourages them to break the rules more often.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  4. Michele

    OK...religion & politics, 2 of the subjects that I choose not to have too much discussion about...and if you read all of this you can see why. But, here I go with the ability of anonymity via internet. I was raised wth the ability to learn and choose in regards to religion. I married a catholic. He went to catholic school and believes completely in the teachings of that religion and I respect him for that, and to some degree admire him for having that kind of faith. Myself, I can't say 100% that I believe in God or Jesus, or an almighty being that is in control of everything. If there was I don't think there would be so very many people in the world suffering. All forgiving, really? the baby rapists, murderers, and etc... get to be forgiven? but because someone is not baptised or doesn't repent they get to go to hell? really? I believe that without hope there is not faith and without faith there is not hope...are they not the same thing? If you live your life righteously, treat others well, don't lie, cheat, steal, kill etc... doesn't that make you a good person? I think "religion" started for the control of the masses, money and then an excuse to start wars on people that don't believe in the same religion as you, or that are living on the land the "church" wants to own. Look at the true history and see what the Christian church did to people, look at what other religions did to their people. The "priests" sat in their fancy churches eating to their stomachs were full and the "people" suffered daily and never had enough to eat etc...Granted, as time has progressed it is not 'quite' as bad as all that, but interpet the actions to coincide with the times and it is very similar!!! God Bless you, can simply mean I sincerely hope that your life turns out for the best.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Religion started because people felt it necessary to honor their dead. Later it acquired political purposes-but inconsistently.

      Doesn't anyone read Victor Hugo in public schools? That near to an accurate depiction of the pros and cons of religion.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  5. Hannibal

    I do believe in God as many of us do but also as a non-strucured being like region portrays him. This letter although understanding to the beliefs of many lacks considerations to the implications of a non-God culture may be. Fact based truth may not 100% support God. But what are you goingt o replace God with in your mind and thoughts if there was no God? Honey bo bo? War games? To me the alternative is much worse.

    I am not saying that is impossible to raise kids with this approach but its a lot harder. I much rather bet on what works. God like environment may have a higher chance of working specially because its target audience has a simple way to look at things (kids) and the society provides a supporting nvironment as well.

    jus my thoughts.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • karl

      we replace him with logic and understanding. We live good lives and our sundays are free. I don't have to believe in a god to live a good life and treat others with respect and the fact that most religious believe otherwise is pathetic.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • JWT

      We don;t need anything to replace god.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Lanfear

      If religion was the be all, end all of evil, why hasn't it worked yet? Why do religious people lie and cheat? Why are some of them hypocrites? Why do priests abuse boys? There is no point to religion or the bibles teachings because at the end of the day, people pretty much live their lives exactly how they want to anyways.
      My parents always taught me that it feels good to do the right thing, and to treat others how I want to be treated. I've lived by these basic principles and well, if there is a God, he is very generous to me because I am living a happy and successful life.

      Pretty sure the point of life is to live it... why do you need motivation from believing in "God" to live your life with purpose?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Answer

      @Lanfear

      Just wondering – you must be a fan of the WoT series. You've read the last book of the series yet?

      What did you think of it?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Lanfear

      I have not read the most recent WoT :(
      I think I only made it to book 8 or 9? I have some catching up to do there.
      I did however just finish reading The Twelve... awesome series!

      January 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Will

      I read the last WOT the first night it came out. Awesome! I've been waiting 22 years to finish that series :)

      January 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Answer

      To all ya WoT fans..

      IT IS THE BEST BOOK!

      January 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  6. soaps

    Why is this headline still featured front and center on CNN's homepage, after, how many days? The truth is that proclaiming "Godlessness" to be a cool thing is an agenda that CNN should be ashamed to promote. Whatever happened to balanced news? This should be buried on an opinion page with an opposing view, not on the frontpage as if everyone's doing it. To mock God like this is an embarrassment on CNN's part, and no parent should be proud of raising their child without their creator. Raise your child without God, and you leave that child defenseless and open to the falsehoods of all the New Age/self-willed paths that only lead to destruction. I feel sorry for this mother, because she is subjecting her child to a life afflicted by the enemy (and the greatest lie he ever told was that he doesn't exist). May God's Holy Spirit find a way to get through to parents like this, because God loves them still, even though they deny and mock Him. "Godless Mom" is doing no favor to her child. But thankfully the Holy Spirit can touch the life of that child on his/her own anyway.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Yet another Christian who's scared to death of opposing views... Why should CNN 'bury it' on the opinion page?? Their goal is to sell advertising and that's done by promoting the most-read stories... Unless you're an enemy of capitalism, you have no right to tell them what to bury and what to promote... If you don't like it, you have the right to go elsewhere.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Brandon

      That's my problem with CNN these days, after all the the other problems I've had with them in the past. It seems clear to me that they have an anti-religion agenda that is annoying to me, and i'm about as liberal as liberal gets.

      I think, to some degree, they have left the story in place for so long becuase it has clearly generated a lot of traffic. But I'm going to stop coming to this site as soon as I can find a new headlines page that's decent. I don't need CNN trying to tell me what to think.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Answer

      ==quote==

      "Godless Mom" is doing no favor to her child. But thankfully the Holy Spirit can touch the life of that child on his/her own anyway."

      ==end==

      In your opinion only. Your opinion of whether this mom is doing her child a favor is strictly what you have been beaten into believing.

      You're like "She can't be happy nor her child is because they don't have my god."

      Well tough sh!t – they are.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      This isn't rocket surgery. They do it to generate traffic and, ultimately, money. Its still on the page because its generating traffic. Your comment is traffic. Its page-clicks. Page-clicks are the currency of the internet. CNN's agenda, as you call it, is to enrich their shareholders by any means necessary.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Madtown

      subjecting her child to a life afflicted by the enemy
      ----
      The enemy? Who's the enemy? Who are you at war with?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • nojinx

      It is still featured because it is, apparently, a very popular subject that continues to cause people like you and me to post. Articles fade to the back pages once people lose interest and stop reading it.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Will

      This sounds more like a statement about yourself. God is not the only way to not leave your "child defenseless and open to the falsehoods of all the New Age/self-willed paths that only lead to destruction". You can do that without any god. However, the truth might be that *you* can't, and that you need to have a "god" because you lack the parenting skills required to teach your child the difference between right and wrong. Maybe *your* kids are better off being guided by fairy tales than they are being guided by *you*.

      Some people need a "god" to fill a hole in themselves.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • billplaney

      All children are born atheists. A fear-based regime of brainwashing is what captures them into a religious faith. And the various faiths know it too, that's why they push so hard for "sunday school" or other mandatory classes, and a constant regime of social events throughout high school – events where all the dogma can be overtly and discreetly re-emphasized, over and over and over and over until the children simply cannot think for themselves, and don't WANT to, as it will damage the SOCIAL bonds they've by then grown accustomed to.

      The religions know that a freethinking child will never be a member of any faith system. Because a freethinker demands evidence, and the religions have none to show. All they have is the argument from popularity (which is itself in decline in the U.S. at least), and that's no argument.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • thoughts

      I'm with "answer" on this one, how dare ANYONE judge this women because she doesn't believe in god...and how dare anyone say that she nor her children will be happy because of this! I do believe in a higher power..whether you want to call it god,fairies,zeus...whatever..my husband is an atheist. I dont go to church nor do i feel comfortable going, and i dont send my children, if they ask me about god or heaven i tell them im not 100% sure that there is such a place or person but i would like to think there is. I would never ever ever judge someone because they don't believe...thats the great thing about America, you can believe whatever in the HELL you want to!

      January 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • soaps

      "scared of opposing views" ... "beaten into belief" ... Funny, but no, actually, I used to be the person with your same opposing views. I changed course and CHOSE the Christian path thanks to my experience, which showed me it is indeed the truth path to God. I didn't make the rules, the Lord your God did.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • soaps

      Will, you sure do appear to enjoy skewering my character when you know not a thing about me. Now who is the one who is judgmental? Yes, it is true that without God, any parent leaves their family defenseless. I'm sure they don't mean to, because they simply don't know any better. I didn't make that little rule up, God did. That's how it works. You and everyone else needs God because everyone, including yourself, has fallen short of the glory of God. I lived most of my life NOT as a Christian, so I am well qualified to know the difference. I'll choose Jesus Christ any day over whatever path you seem to think is good enough, because I have found that only Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Hopefully you won't have to learn this metaphysical fact the hard way.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  7. Think

    Through my years as being raised as a Catholic, I have come to the following conclusions about god and religion:

    Any god is simply a placeholder for misunderstanding or lack or understanding.

    Religion is simply a tradition handed down generation to generation, stemming from these beliefs.

    As you can tell, I am an atheist. I don't criticize people who believe in god or practice a religion. I just think that some of us choose to use a god as a placeholder and some of us don't. That latter strives to find answers and doesn't rest on past tradition to be the truth, whereas the former seem a bit myopic in their view and are afraid to question anything.

    You have to realize...there will never be any advancement if we didn't question tradition and rules/laws based on past intelligence and technology.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Answer

      Traditions are a guise /face for authority.

      You take a look at who wears the the "brightest/best clothing" and your brain places a value of authority onto the person.
      Wear that white collar around your neck and the inference from traditions leads you back to a man of authority.

      Humans gravitate to figures of authority for the betterment of society.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • miller

      "That latter strives to find answers and doesn't rest on past tradition to be the truth, whereas the former seem a bit myopic in their view and are afraid to question anything."

      that's quite presumptive. i wish you'd not be so myopic about this view and actually question whether it is true or not.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Think

      @miller

      I don't believe it is presumptive. It's my actual experience being raised in Catholic schools for 13 years K- high school. Now, I don't mean to generalize as a whole, but many people of the Catholic faith don't seem to ever want to question the teachings. They are actually urged not to and it's considered a sin to. I think it is this kind of teaching that hurts religion. Shouldn't we always be striving to find answers and advance forward?

      If not, on that same note, wouldn't we all be preaching a sun god or moon god? But we don't because we know what the sun is now, we know what the moon is now. I'm not saying it's wrong for someone to believe in any god. I'm simply saying, in my experience, it's a placeholder for something that person (or people) does not understand yet.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Lanfear

      I think you are right about "God" being a placeholder. A lot of people don't believe in themselves and they think they need to look "externally" for "the answer". The person who prays to God, and the person who simply believes in their heart, are going to have the exact same outcome, as long as they each take the necessary steps to achieve their goal. I personally believe that people who "thank God" for their good outcomes are simply just thanking themselves, without knowing it. Our power as humans comes from within. Believe this, and you can achieve anything in life. I can't say that I dont need or believe in God, because I do... but God is inside me. It's not out in the sky.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  8. NavyAirVet

    Why does this make the news? The news has degenerated from facts to social experimentation and social engineering. If this lady has no religion who cares? besides the anti-religionists who hate others who believe in something higher then themselves and their own wants and needs.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Nope... The anti-religious don't hate others for believing in something higher than themselves... We dislike people who force their beliefs on us... Keep it to yourself, and we'll leave you alone.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      I don't have to hate you, or wish you ill will, simply because I don't share your beliefs.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Lanfear

      Why is it in the news? Because for some reason, Christians happen to care so much about her lack of belief.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • naturechaplain

      Your comment shows precisely why this IS news and needs to be reported. People don't want to hear about those of us who do not believe as they believe. Yet, we are Americans too, and if you have served your country (thank you!) then you have served for people of all faiths and no faiths. Thank Goodness (or you can Thank God) for that!

      January 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Chris

      I'll refine the statement. I'm A-O-K with you praying and expressing your beliefs in public. HOWEVER, if you use that bible as grounds to influence public policy, what other choice do I have than to point out that it is fiction?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I don't think you really grasp the internet or CNN specifically. This is not a "news" site. It's CNN. Don't let the name fool you. Much of what is written here is human interest pieces (like this one) or opinion pieces or just gossip. You might want to avoid this site if you're looking for real news and nothing else.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Comeatmebro

      I hate you Navyairvet.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Fnordz

      It's not "news"- if you look at the top of the page, this is a BLOG.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Lareb

      Even more... a 'belief blog". Where we talk about God. A lot.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • yo yo

      Tell me, has an "anti-religionist" ever condemned you to "anti-religionist" hell for disagreeing with him or promised you "anti-religionist" heaven if you agree?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      A great many religionists care, discriminate, and harass people without religion, especially when they dare step out of the closet. She didn't say anything horrible – just gave her reasons for not doing as her neighbors do – and she's trashed by tens of thousands of commenters, while other cowards do all they can to claim her article was inappropriate to have it censored.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • soaps

      Good question. Especially because it's an opinion piece, not news. CNN has been doing a lot of these opinions-disguised-as-news features lately. That's because the mainstream media has an agenda, which is to remove God and the Bill of Rights from American life. Christians are not looking to pick on people who are "Godless" but rather the mainstream media outlets like CNN are looking to promote a Godless agenda. They won't succeed.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  9. Reality

    And again for the new members of this blog and their kids:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    January 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • NavyAirVet

      As long as your happy who cares? You wrote all that to say what? That you hate religion and are smarter than people who believe in religion? Does it make you feel as mighty as God himself?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/ DEITY MESSENGER CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
      "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

      For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

      January 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/ DEITY MESSENGER CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD–>>>>>>>>>>>

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
      "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

      For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

      January 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/ DEITY MESSENGER CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD–>>>>>>>>>>>

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
      "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

      For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      January 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What an ego you have, Wow. And without any justification, too.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Oops, had some computer problems. Please disregard my last two commentaries.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  10. yo yo

    What' I find amusing is the millions of people who are Christian only by CLAIM getting all worked up because someone doesn't fall in line and claims to be one of them. People by nature hate nonconformists.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Theo

      So your saying these free willed people created by a god to test their free will have pack mentality instincts like animals ?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • yo yo

      @ Theo, I was referring to human nature, not animals.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  11. Susan StoHelit

    It's amazing how a religion that has the overwhelming majority of people here following it, where almost no politician has a chance of being elected without vocally proclaiming their allegiance to that religion – can be so very good at playing the victim.

    What a stupid game. Just because there's this religious quote claiming you'll be the victim doesn't mean you can paint yourself as such when it's an outright lie. Christians are not the victims. They try, and all too often succeed, in writing their religion into the laws – it's been a decades long battle to prevent this, and it's one that continues to need to be fought – over evolution, gay marriage, divorce, birth control, women's rights, religious tests for office, abortion, etc.

    And yet they play the victim just because a few people dare declare openly now that they're not Christian, and give their reasons, as if explaining their reasons is somehow a huge insult, as if Christianity is supposed to be above criticism or even critique. So ridiculous, and so very thin skinned and sensitive to ridicule.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Kal

      There's a better article: "Why I Raise My Children Without CNN."

      January 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Answer

      Yes it is amazing that they can paint themselves as victims all the time.

      It's also pathetic that they continue to see themselves as victims when they aren't.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      "There's a better article: "Why I Raise My Children Without CNN.""

      Because you dislike facts and critical thinking, both enemies of religion... Thanks for being part of the problem.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  12. Ryan

    I consider myself agnostic, which is basically a wimpy athiest because I don't feel like picking fights about the subject matter. I don't believe in God. I don't take my kids to church and we don't talk about it unless they bring it up, usually as a result of talking with other kids at school or with their cousin. If they do, I talk to them about the various world religions. At the end of the day, if they choose to believe in a God after looking at all the evidence and reading the books, more power to them. In the meantime, I will bring them up to be good little people and treat others with respect.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      If you say "I don't believe in god", you're not an agnostic... There's nothing wrong with saying you're an atheist, and saying it doesn't mean you're going to have to pick a fight... If you're not honest with yourself and others, your kids will take after you.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • miller

      why are you indoctrinating them with this idea of being "good"? shouldn't you let them decide that for themselves?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Agnostic atheist is a common stance – you don't believe in god – but you don't believe that anyone can know either way for sure.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ryan

      Yes, Susan. Miller, because I am a responsible parent. I don't have to read the bible to know what is good, although I understand that some of what is considered "good" comes from the bible. See, the ten commandments, which are pretty fundamental goods. I guess your just going to have to trust me.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • yo yo

      Since, according to most polls, the majority of people are either Christian like you or belong to some other religion, it seems to me you have nothing to worry about, so why get all bent out of shape by the handful of atheists?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • miller

      but why should you indoctrinate them to be "good"? aren't you forcing your opinions on them? what if they dont want to be good. on what grounds are to say they are wrong?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chris

      @ Miller, are you really equating moral upbringing as to whether you teach your kids to believe that fairytales are true?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Ryan

      I am not Christian, or bent out of shape. Religion doesn't bother me one way or another. I know plenty of nice/good Christians, and plenty of nice/good agnostic or athiests. (and bad "Christians" and bad agnositics/athiests...for that matter)

      January 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • yo yo

      Sorry, I replied to the wrong comment.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • miller

      im asking why he feels to need to force his belief of being "good" onto his children.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Ryan

      @Miller. I have no problem indoctrinating my kids with what I consider "right" and "wrong". They will listen because I am their father and they respect me (not because they fear the threat of "hell" or "satan", or want to get into "heaven"). Yes, it is subjective but I believe I have ben taught well by my parents and friends and am teaching them what I beleieve to be correct.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • miller

      so you believe in some sort of forces of "right" and "wrong"? do you have evidence that these things exist other than an evolutionary adaptation to aid in survival?
      why should you force this belief on them?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • miller

      so ryan feels its okay to indoctrinate children with unprovable beliefs as long as he agrees with said beliefs.

      classic.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      I am teaching what I believe to be right and wrong based upon what I have learned, part of which I'm sure has religious origins because I don't believe religion in and of itself to be "bad". I cherry pick what is good as do a lot of people that actually believe in a divine spirit. If you are asking me whether I believe whether my belief in "good" comes from god or evolution, I guess my answer is...not God, but it is a product of culture which, of course, has been influenced by Christian religion and, in my world, Judaism, Hunduism, Buddism and the rule of law...and just plan good parenting by my own parents.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • karl

      Hey miller if i stabbed you i guess that would be proof of an evil act would it not. The same could be said for helping a fellow human being. Stop trying to creat something out of nothing....oh wait your religious...

      January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Ryan

      @ miller, don't be mad that I am exercising my free will to logically make decisions about right and wrong. If you believe in God, you are good with this as, according to the good book, he gave me free will. I'm just using it to the best of my ability. Take care my friend. Enjoy your Good and take comfort in him.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Douglas

      I am kinda with you on that. But if you go and look at a 2 hr video llyod pye everything you know is wrong. and cross reffernce with the old testment it becomes very clear that the bible is telling it how it is but WE have decided to change the meanings of words. JUST what is GOD? we have turned that word to mean some magical being thats every where. when in fact if you read the old test. you will see that God did not know everythig could not predict what was going to happen ect... plus we must rember that all the writtings are fact but we just do not know how to read it. many of the words are meant to be a comparision to somtihng that they had no words for. The bible is not a story book it is many idividual accounts that we attempted to put in order.
      From what I have gathered we kinda botched things up well alot. We should note that very very important books were left out!! I wish people would know just what it is they are talking about most really dont. somthing else if you look at how the God in the old test. acts he acts just like a slave owner food for thought. and the God in the new test. has got to be someone else.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  13. SDFrankie

    I remember when my sons were little and I used to pick them up at the babysitter's house after work. The babysitter was a Christian and I had no problem with it until one day when we were pulling into the garage and one of my sons asked me if it were true that we were all going to burn in hell forever as the sitter's daughter had assured them. I could see real fear on their faces. I suddenly lost any urge to be tolerant of others' beliefs. I told them that the Christian religion and the bible it's based on is a pack of lies from start to finish and that they should never trouble themselves about it again because there wasn't a work of truth in it. They never asked about it again. What an evil philosophy!

    January 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • miller

      great job.... the proper reaction to deep questions from your children is to go into an emotional rant. excellent parenting.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think you just admitted that the Christianity you rejected is a second grader's version.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Scaring children and other people with your iron-age ju-ju is not deep and deserves nothing more mentally taxing than simple contempt.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • miller

      so your child asking you what happens when you die isn't deep? wow... you are a terrible parent.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I guess I reject the version that has mankind condemned because a woman was fooled by a talking snake so God has to clone himself as a human sacrifice to himself to square things up. I may be paraphrasing.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Good job. That's where it starts – teaching them to obey through fear – it's a horrible thing to do to a child.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • miller

      not believing in god is no excuse for being a terrible parent. but then again if "right" and "wrong" are just byproducts of evolution...... carry on with said bad parenting....

      January 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I'd have a word with the sitter – even if I were a Christian, this is NOT her role to tell! Let alone her daughter's.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      I agree telling my kids some evil guy who burns people for all eternity exists to make them behave according to some set of rules is BAD parenting in my opinion. Also I understand SDFrankie's response because to explain a fantasy such as Heaven and Hell to a kid who is afraid of the dark, and see's and hears monsters at night is just unfair. I don't think the Evangelicals understand how invasive and unfair the practice of preaching to innocents is. I am like everyone else here, I say believe what you want in your own home and your own church, leave it out of government, and out of our schools.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • hee hee

      quoting miller: "the proper reaction to deep questions from your children is to go into an emotional rant. excellent parenting."

      Umm... you think the question "is there really a hell" is deep? I think it's as deep as "is there really a Valhalla". And, you think it's ok to terrify children with stories of torture? I had the same problem with neighbour's kids, and my wife and I didn't rant. We just calmly ridiculed it.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • (sigh)

      Once again, you inherited your knowledge of Christianity from a child. Let's play, are you smarter than a 2nd grader?!

      January 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • hee hee

      Quoting Bill Deacon: "I think you just admitted that the Christianity you rejected is a second grader's version."

      Still waiting for the grown-up version. I'm not holding my breath.

      Actually, what he rejected was a grown-up trying to terrify second graders. I guarantee the first kid heard it from a grown-up. Nice side-stepping.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • hee hee

      Quoting (sigh) "Once again, you inherited your knowledge of Christianity from a child. Let's play, are you smarter than a 2nd grader?!"

      Look up "inherited". You'll find that you have misused the word. It's cute when you play at being articulate.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Correctlycenter

    " So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2: 10-11...

    January 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Quoting scripture... For those who lack the wherewithal to formulate original ideas and lack the brainpower to truly understand the bible.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
      ― Christopher Hitchens

      January 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Much of the lure of Christianity hangs on vengeance and holy retribution. If a Christian couldn't feel hopeful about others getting what's coming to them the whole scam would lose much of its attraction. It's a religion for the bitter.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • snowboarder

      center, quoting ancient writings of dubious author is meaningless.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Anglican

      @illogical. So what do you quote? Why attack CC. Quote back some science you learned at MIT.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Quote City

      “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

      ― Martin Luther King Jr.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Quote City

      "Much of the lure of Christianity hangs on vengeance and holy retribution. If a Christian couldn't feel hopeful about others getting what's coming to them the whole scam would lose much of its attraction. It's a religion for the bitter."

      TOTAL BS.

      You sound bitter.

      Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Turn the other cheek. Walk the extra mile.

      It is all about loving God and others.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Is Paul dubious? Compared to what? I agree that the quote is a non sequitur here, since it doesn't really have meaning for anyone who is not a Christian.

      On the other hand, Hitchens is a poor response because "can" does not imply necessity. All he is saying is that people can easily talk past each other, which happens to be something that he was very good at doing.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  15. Red Dog

    Here's the deal: Believe whatever you want, or whoever you want to believe in, concerning the afterlife, heaven or hell, black void, 57 virgins or even Candy Land after your dead. Just leave me and my kids the hell out of it. If you are looking for converts, look elsewhere.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • miller

      where are you people living that religious people are constantly showing up at your house with pitchforks??

      what a whiny bunch this nation is.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      "where are you people living that religious people are constantly showing up at your house with pitchforks??"

      The South, the Midwest... pretty much any red state.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Which is hard to understand from the Northeast...

      But if one is actively involved in some sort of publicly obvious and recurring replacement, like volunteering for Habitat, I'd find it hard to believe that people are going to spend a lot of effort on bothering you.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • CT

      @ miller, try five a weekend at least, i once bough a whole box of cliff notes on "the origin of species" at a garage sale just so i could hand them out to these people when they knoocked on my door. most of them are very nice and we have good conversations the ones that get ugly and try and "save" you at all costs are usually the Catholics and the chritians that go to church everday and look like their doing the Heil Hitler when their listening to church music.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      CT, where do you live? I'm in my mid-forties and have lived all around the country and since childhood maybe had 5-10 religious people knock on my door.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Brian

    I know that abstract nouns exist.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  17. virginia

    beatiful very well said thank you...

    Saraswati

    Translation:

    "The emotions of the true believer tells the truth, while reason, logic or science many times are deceptive or at least not yet well understood. Despite this, science must pretend to have all the answers, because what would logic reason or science be without answers? Nothing."

    Not commenting, just translating.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Todd

      "Not commenting, just translating."

      No, you're just a coward – troll.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Cool – sorry I got snippy on one of your other posts. You do need to try doing the grammar yourself, though, because you aren't communicating what you want to communicate and I hate to see that.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "No, you're just a coward – troll."

      ?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Anyone who really thinks science would be nothing without answers knows very little about science and even less about logic.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • NickZadick

      true believers?? of bronze age fairy tales? indeed!

      men wrote those fables...and you swallow them and think you're enlightened?

      If I tell you to praise the gnomes and leprochauns at the end of the rainbow...does that make me sound pious?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • EvidenceBased4

      "science must pretend to have all the answers"

      spoken like someone who has never, ever read any science.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Chris

      Kind of like how kids REALLY believe with all their heart that there is a santa clause / easter bunny. How can you not see that this is all Christianity is? The reason religious folk browbeat on belief so much is because it all falls when logic and reason come into the equation.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Todd

      ""No, you're just a coward – troll."

      ?"

      aka "truth be told" aka "lol?'" aka "just sayin" aka etc..etc...

      January 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • whoa

      Wow, that translation by/from Saraswati is complete bunk. If you want facts, go with science that backs everything up with data all readers may examine. Otherwise, you're left with: "...I swear TO GOD, your honor! I didn't kill that person/rob that store/ graffiti that car..." Thank goodness we have security cameras instead of "pure" emotional testimony.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You guys do realize that I was just fixing grammar and spelling errors in someone else's post, right?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  18. SurelyUjest

    I think folks that believe in the Bible, Torah, Koran would have a hard time understanding just how often their beliefs are constantly pushed on our families in every day life. Mostly they feel it is innocent and "cant hurt" but in reality it is an overstep of family values and a disrespect for your neighbor, sibling, parent, friend, coworker, classmate etc. My example is this: My wife and I take our youngest to a day care, we check the lady out, she has good credentials, seems organized and nice. She say's she has a Christian home but makes no reference to it being a "Christian day care" or anything remotely identifying this aspect. After a month of our kid going to this place I find out he is being forced to pray "thanks" for breakfast because that is how they do it. I ask the woman to stop this practice because my family is NOT Christian and we have no problem with them believing what they want. She refuses the practice and we remove our child from day care and have to find a new one. If this person had advertised or even mentioned she would make my son pray or look at false idols such as jesus, mohamed, etc.......I would never have enrolled my son. The point is she felt is was okay because it was her house, but I felt I am paying you money to watch my kid, feed my kid, entertain and yes educate my son. No where in our agreement was their any mention of forcing a belief on my child. The thing is many folks believe it is their right and their duty to do this to innocent children. I wish they could understand how violated I felt, how I felt they were trying to come in to my family and teach something we do not believe in to our kids. I frankly don't care that they think what they belief is right, keep it in there own home with their own kids. Do not sneak it in un-suspecting parents just looking for day care.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • miller

      wow

      January 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Lanfear

      Well then it is your right to take your child out of the day-care, just as it is the sitters right to have the children give thanks for their meal. But you know, instead of taking your child away (as if being thankful for a meal is damaging), why can't you educate he/she instead and explain that this is custom in some households to say grace and to respect each households beliefs. I was brought up without religion and have no use for it myself, and I HATE when people try to force their beliefs on me, trust me I am on your side. But there is nothing wrong with being open minded and allowing your child to experience a different culture either.
      As a child, I had a couple religious friends, and we would always say grace when I went there for dinner. This wasn't harmful, and I knew it wasn't normal in MY family... but it opened me up and taught me about respecting others beliefs. It's not like they were forcing me to read the bible or anything. I believe there is certainly a line to be drawn, but with saying grace? That's just silly to me.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  19. Mark

    We've encountered some bigotry in raising our son a-religious, which is disheartening because my wife and I work hard to raise our son to be tolerant of others' beliefs. It's always surprising to me how threatened some people who call themselves Christians seem to feel by folks who don't share their beliefs - like our choice somehow threatens their faith. I don't really get that - I wish religious people well and hope that their lives work out the way they want. The fact that I don't see any reason to believe in god doesn't mean they shouldn't nor is it an indictment of their faith - I just see no evidence for a god that is convincing to me.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Avery

      You know what bother me more than anything is the fact day in day out being a christian is some how a bad thing. Im tried of being marginalized by the so call "minority" of country. Face the fact that this country is the far from christian so please spare me bs. Im going into hiding because me have hope makes you feel. Im standing up for my right to believe in God and your not taking that away from me ever. This nonsense that atheist try to pull with the christian community trying hurt them is complete and absolute nonsense. If you don't like it leave the area. I love God and if you don't thats fine but don't every try to make go in the closet about who I am.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  20. Rochelle

    No matter what or how we say it as Christians, people of no faith will reject it. If we don't profess our faith, the atheists mock us for not standing up for our supposed "wonderful" religion. If we do profess our faith, we are told we are ramming it down their throats. I, too get tired of the bickering though. So let me tell you what.....thank you for letting me pray. It's ok if you don't wish to. Thank you for letting me have my Lord. It's ok if you don't want to share Him with me. I promise it's ok. You and I are still good people. Someday, if you ever want to talk about it, let me know. I'm a good listener and pretty open minded. I like my coffee black. How can I get yours?

    January 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You realize what you're saying is untrue, don't you? You're talking in extremes, predicting failure in such a way as to ensure it will happen, lumping atheists into one pile as if we're all one person, so if any one atheist – or internet troll playing atheist – mocks you – your prediction is true – if any one atheist has a bad interaction with any one christian and talks of religion being rammed down their throat (let me tell you this seriously – this does happen, and a LOT – in reality – and not with normal friendly discussion of religion) – then your other prediction is true to you.

      Everyone is an individual. Stop grouping people as if they aren't unless you want to be considered as if you're the same as Westboro. Atheists are a bit more individual, since there is only one belief, and no book – it's just a term meaning absolutely no more than this: "lacking a belief in god." The end. No 10 commandments, no Bible, nothing – atheists may believe in ghosts, afterlives, anything. Some are all about science, others not so much.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • NickZadick

      You believe in the writings of several authors, written 2000 years ago, of whom you know nothing about. I would be very happy to have a coffee with you to explain why these authors had no more clue than you. Thinking you will get to go to disneyland in the sky forever for joining their "club" and me rotting in hell foever for beign logical...is insulting, and a good reason atheists come here to try to make you realise it!

      January 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • yo yo

      Since, according to most polls, the majority of people are either Christian like you or belong to some other religion, it seems to me you have nothing to worry about, so why get all bent out of shape by the handful of atheists?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Anglican

      Well written. In vain, but well written. If you can not put it in a test tube and burn with a flame no one will listen. So many put their faith in science, but few have hung out in a laboratory.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Jeremy

      @Rochelle, Some athiests are jerks, just like some christians are. Ignore the trolls who pick on you for not feeding them, which is exactly why they want you to explain why you defend your faith. Hopefully this is only an internet problem, and not in real life.

      Having said all this, if you don't want to have a sparring match with people who disagree with you, this blog post and the commentary are probably not where you should be hanging out. If some of us non-believers are attacking you in places that should really only be the believers territory, ignore them. Trust me, I've seen plenty of this going on in other blog entries and you just have to ignore them, as they really are just trolls.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:13 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.