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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. turner1925

    Gawd is Evil is a fool. The fool has said in his heart there is no God...Lets see how tough Gawd is when he knees before God and his tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.. he won,t be using the F bomb for sure....

    January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Ed

      BLASPHEMY!!!!! How dare you speak of Jesus as god! Only the FOOL denies that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true Lord and Master. We will see how smug YOU are when His Noodliness returns to redeem all true Pastafarians! Repent now, unbeliever or you will be whipped for all eternity with His Noodly Appendage!!!!! Ohhhhhhh!!!

      January 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I don't think god would want anyone kneeing him.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      F bombs away!!!!!!!!! There is no "judgement day." These are lies and delusions forced upon you, probably since childhood. I hope you don't have any contact with children. I hope you can keep this mental illness to yourself, behind closed doors. The abused become the abusers. Break the cycle, keep your rants to yourself.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      Religion is indeed the devil's greatest achievement.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  2. Beartoe

    I am so tired of believing I need to be saved. Here's my song about it. http://youtu.be/zcIllqWXMqE

    January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Why tell us about it? We don't want to know. Why not just continue quietly on to hell...

      January 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you were honest, JTF, you wouldn't reply at all. You're a lying ass, so you pretend not to be a proselytizing jerk.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "Tom Tom"... Wow. The devil really comes out in people when you speak the truth, don't it? LOL!... Thanks for letting me know I was talking about you...

      January 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      jtf. Another misnomer, like tbt. Anyway presumably you do not believe in Odin, or Zeus, or Kokopelli, or Amaterasu, or any of the other thousands of gods. Prove they don't exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  3. NERO!!!!

    Speek my brother!! (GIE)

    January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  4. Cindy

    People make comments that they think are so cute and clever, but they are really trite and hackneyed.
    I have heard them all before.
    There's nothing new under the sun.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Answer

      I have heard them all before.
      There's nothing new under the sun.

      ===And you are guilty.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why come here? And why comment? Do you think YOUR comments are original and witty?

      CNN doesn't have a requirement that any comment pass your standard of approval.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      And little do they know they'll have to give an account for those remarks on Judgment Day. I wouldn't want to be them...

      Matthew 12:26 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Just, how will you defend YOUR judgmental comment?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Answer

      The poor little persecuted christian... nothing is right with world unless they say or approve of it.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Cindy

      Yes, yes, and yes.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • NatL

      Can you actually explain why our criticisms of Christianity aren't valid? I'm betting not. I've been a nonbeliever for a very long time, and I've also pretty much heard all the Christian apology that there is and it's all exactly like "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus"; all emotional appeal, but no logical reasoning, or proof. None of it is new under our nearest star either.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      "There is nothing new under the sun" has got to be the most trite and hackneyed of them all.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Natl... They aren't valid because you have no proof to back up your claims and criticisms. None whatsoever. You say God doesn't exist. If that is the case, then show us your proof of that fact (that God doesn't exist). Where is it? We don't want to hear excuses. We don't want evasive answers. We don't want to hear long drawn out explanations as to why you can't show us such proof (such as saying, the burden of proof is on us, or you can't prove a negative, etc). If you have such proof, then show it to us. We want to see it. That's a Yes or No answer. Either you have proof to back up your claims – or you don't. If you have it, then show it to us. If you don't, then everything you say is meaningless and we're wasting our time talking to you...

      January 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Show proof that there isn't a Buick circling Saturn.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  5. ram

    Razor not sure what your talking about, this is the first time I have ever posted anything. No posts from me on any other page.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  6. discouraged bystupidity

    What is so heroic about this woman, because she doesn't believe in god? Who cares....I told my 4 yr old that there wasn't a santa – wow I must be an AMAZING person, (a real honest and thoughtful person) – give me a break,. If you believe in a god great, if you don't great, but don't try to convince me that this woman is anything other than over hyped, and self indulgent. CNN can I have please have the 2 minutes back of my life I wasted on your article, thinking that at some point I would read something interesting...

    January 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Ironic name considering your total lack of reading and comprehension skills.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      What is heroic about her is that she lives in a place where there is substantial biogtry and harassment against non-believers. This is a fact. She's coming out of the closet, in one of the worst places to do so.

      Poll after poll shows that people actually are more biased against atheists than they are against muslims, gays, heck, by some polls, more ready to accept a rapist than an atheist. So, yeah, coming out of the closet is a big deal.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Answer

      Another person who says "who cares?" but didn't come out right – you meant to say .. "I care because I was offended."

      January 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • discouraged bystupidity

      Tank – enlighten me...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "discouraged"... Amen, bro!...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • discouraged bystupidity

      I'm sick and tired on commercialism pushing Santa down my 4 yr olds throat – maybe i should write an essay. Hmmmm on second thought, maybe i should just accept the fact that ppl are different and don't think exactly like me.....

      January 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  7. wms4178

    "If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?"

    This is a very easy answer: We Sin and God allows it because he loves us so much. But God hates sin so he sent his Son to save those who believe in Him from their Sins. Also, sometimes bad things happen to good people and we always don't know the answer to why? (Luke Ch 13). If we knew everything then we would be God and we are not. That is a hard lesson sometimes, especially in a world that wants answers. to everything.

    The problem with Deborah Mitchell isn't Deborah Mitchell, It's Us! We have failed. It appears no one has answered here questions with the Truth. Instead she is forming her own opinion and conclusions about God or lack there of. My prayer is that someone comes into her life that share real Truth, not world truth with here.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Answer

      You people seem to know a great deal of your god. How amusing.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Seems to me your answer was that you don't have any answer.

      I have two children. I love both of them. When my 2 year old starts swinging a bat at my 6 year old, I stand between them so neither gets hurt. Apparently I love my kids more than the Christian God loves us, according to the Christian Bible.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Why do these people think quoting from a book of myths supports their arguments? Anybody know a good answer? I could just say they're stupid, but I'm trying to be charitable today.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • mikeaceshadow

      Dumbo if God created us and provided the ingredients where we could sin, then blame god. He sure creates mischief and then send his son Heysoos to help us not sin. Had he (if he exists) created humans without desire to sin, or kill or do child abuse; we would not be having this stupid discussion about something that does not exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "Answer"... And you seem to know a great deal about yours (Lucifer). How equally amusing...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  8. Evenstar13

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
    I pity those who need proof to believe, and when it is not there they cry that it is all fairy tales. Judgement is coming and that right quick. What will you say when you stand before his holy rightousness, "I needed proof"?
    "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29
    Just know this-
    "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
    The word of God is the light of life!

    January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • religion,,

      pure silliness..

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Evenstar13

      religion,,
      Just a question, what if you are wrong.....what then?
      I do not believe "opps!" will cut it.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      L. Ron Hubbard said the same exact thing! What a coincidence! Of course, it was phrased a little differently...

      Then again, so did Mohammed.

      And so did Odin....

      January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      There is no chance the god of the babble exists. There are way too many paradoxes that cancel it out.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • mikeaceshadow

      Did Jesus play with himself?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      http://www.jesusneverexisted.com

      January 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  9. Daniela

    I really wish this stupid story would go away. Can we spread a little bit of love with a good story of good things instead of this garbage as to why a woman does not believe. Who cares!!! Why promote such a negative side...?

    January 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Answer

      You've asked yourself "who cares?"

      Now that is funny. Care to take a wider look at your own words?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Ryan

      Why is it negative? She is not a bad person. She just doesn't believe in God.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Gyrogearloose

      Frankly, I think it's quite positive that someone would stop faking it.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • sam

      Uh...the fact that you see the story as negative should make you have a sit-down with yourself and think about your choices.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  10. tb63

    If heaven is full of bible thumpers who the fk wants to go there?

    January 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • mikeaceshadow

      Well put my friend!

      January 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Gyrogearloose

      Agreed.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      Other buy-bull thumpers, apparently.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Jeff

    I'll tell you what. Both sides stop trying to convert me, and I'll stop playing devils advocate (no pun intended) every time you open your mouth about your life of or lack of faith, and your superior to all others beliefs.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Answer

      Or you could just not read nor post?

      But since you did.. psychologically speaking – you wanted to be heard. Now you're done – correct?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Jeff

      Sorry, the anti-religious people are just as annoying as the pro-religious people. Most just want to be left alone to do what they want.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Gyrogearloose

      I agree, in general. But my experience is that religious zealots are far more aggressive and far more annoying than agnostic zealots.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  12. virginia

    the reason i write this way is to not write in detail every meaning of every word relaying on the capacity of the reader to disifer the message...if i was to go into detail it be to long and boring to read but i will try again to make it a simpler message i do like how Saraswati imterprets my writting....let me try again...

    the reason why only Science will come up with proof to the existence of God is cause reason is the one searching for answer to the question Religion presents to the individual...

    Religon or emotions are not concern with finding answers they can only present question to the individual. why i feel? who can give me confort? and many other question that religion present to individuals it was logic or reason not called science in the past that invented religion to give confort to the people....answers to their emotions feeling and needs....Religon- emotion-have questions. science -logic- reason- provides answers – reason logic and science attempts too give confort to individuals and reafirming Religion belief in this way...answers can be equated to be a belief logic reason or science has provided for the emotional confort of individuals needs...so like them both science or Religion Athiest are no so bad but struggle when they don't have or can't come up wiht the answers needed by people or religius people in need of emotional comfort.

    Saraswati

    Please write “because” instead of “cause”.
    Grammar fix rewrite:
    “It only makes sense that logic, reason, or science will come up with the proof of the existence of God. Emotions and religion don't concern themselves with providing answers, only with demanding answers. Religion can only bring forth in humans the need for answers. Science, or logic, or reason attempts to provide answers to all that is unknown in order to give comfort to our emotions and answers to our questions.”

    January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Athy

      I still can't "disifer" the message.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • mikeaceshadow

      Just because science is not advanced to answer some of the questions; the default answer does not need to be god.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      The reason you write this way is because you lack education and clear thought. You are basically "handicapped" by your "faith" which is what happens to many children who are forced into religion. Spending time in church and prayer is not just 'a waste of time, it's harmful to the intellect. I doubt you can "desifer" this. (It's DECIPHER by the way, does your faith prevent you from using spellcheck?)

      January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Virginia,

      "the reason i write this way is to not write in detail every meaning of every word relaying on the capacity of the reader to disifer the message...if i was to go into detail it be to long and boring to read"

      Unfortunately, as I think you see, writing really doesn't work that way. You actually do have to write out your full meaning and put every word down. Also you do need to use the same grammar and spelling as everyone else. For instance, you need to write out the whole word "because" and not just "cause" as those are different words and not writing it properly slows things down for the reader. You also need to use capitalization and spell words correctly. Every time you do one of these things incorrectly it makes it harder for the reader to understand your sentence. It may be OK to do these in text message where you are answering a quick question from a friend, because everyone has context. But you can’t do it in real writing, especially with total strangers. That’s why you really need to write these things in Word first and check the spelling and grammar before you post.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • ram

      Athy: So you just peruse these posts correcting peoples grammer? Anything intelligent to say on the subject or just like correcting people?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      NOBODY CAN MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DRIVEL BUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      That should tell you something.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Damocles

      @virginia

      Religion is not the thing that makes us question what is around us. Human nature is what makes us question the things we sense. Religion is an attempt to explain why we sense what we do. It offers up exactly one answer for all the complexities of human nature: a deity is responsible. Science offers up a variety of answers such as the complex interaction of brain chemicals. Science may not offer up the touchy-feely answers you are looking for, but its answers do not make love, or the perception of beauty any less spectacular.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Giving people free will is not evil. The evil occurs when people use their free will in an evil way. They could choose not to do so.

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

      What is evil?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      how does the idea of free will jibe with the idea of an omniscient god?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • wms4178

      like

      January 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • NatL

      I consider marching against gay marriage an evil act, and it would be a sin too, if God were just.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Cindy, God gave people free will because he wanted to find out if they were of God, or of the devil. And the best way to do that is to give them free will and then allow them to choose. And they will reap the consequence of their choices on Judgment Day...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or we could all just be worm-food.

      You wanna bet on red; I do not believe in gambling.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      NatL... Not only is gay marriage itself a sin, but having evil thoughts against an eternal God you know nothing about is also a sin. Which means you are in sin. So who cares what you think...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hahahhha! Oh, wait. You were serious, weren't you, JTF?

      Bwahahhhahhhahhaaa!

      January 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • sam

      JustTheFacts: you're either a poor troll, or a horrorshow of a person.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  14. Nietodarwin

    it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.
    Richard Dawkins

    January 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  15. Cindy

    For all the talk they talk about rationality, why are they so hell-bent gainst believing in God? Why not hedge their bets? That's what a rational gambler would do. What's it to me, you might ask? Just someone who's curious about what makes people tick, from a social psychology perspective, that's all.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Google Pascal's Wager and read why this is a faulty argument.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Answer

      "Why not hedge their bets?"

      ===Really? Are you going to hedge your bets on all the other gods? Go practice each and every one of their traditions to play it safe?

      You sound nuts. By the way what you have just said is called 'Pascal's Wager".

      January 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cindy, can you even imagine what your god or jesus would say about your "gambling'? Because that's what you're doing. You either believe or you don't. You don't pretend to believe "just in case there's REALLY a god."

      January 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      Just tossing this out, but as most Christianity groups holds the only way to heaven is through true faith, I don't think you can actually hedge your bet...

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • NatL

      Are you hedging your bets by praying to Allah, circu_mcising your boys, and making offerings to the Hindu and the rest of the thousands of gods people have ever believed in? Any of them could be as real as God, and judging you as well, right? If you can explain why you aren't worried that Zeus is going to subject you to some ironic torture in Hades once you die for not sacrificing to him then you'll understand why I don't bother with covering my bases with God, OK?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am not hell bent against believing in god any more than i am hell bent against believing in a thor, zeus, the flying spaghetti monster

      in terms of hedging bets, would an omniscient god not see through that?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • stirfry213

      Do you "hedge your bets" against all the other available gods that are possible to worship? When you understand why you don't believe any of the other gods, you'll understand why we don't believe in yours.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Larry L

      How far are you willing to go to "hedge your bets"? Would you go to the arena to face the lions rather than reject your "hedged bet"? Blow yourself up or set yourself on fire if your faith's leaders asked for that sacrifice? We're not talking about an orgasm here... Wouldn't your omnipotent god detect a lack of sincerity?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • OTOH

      Cindy,

      Allah, Ra, Zeus, or Vishnu
      Whatcha' gonna do when they come for you?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  16. Ellen Smithee

    Oh, thank the stars someone said it!
    When will this world give up its desperate addiction to religion? And forcing one's beliefs on another? That's person who deserves to be punched his nose for assaulting me with his freaky addiction. Religious people ruin their own belief systems. Lord, protect me from your followers. Your bigoted, racist, ugly, horrible, disrespectful, stupid puppet-followers.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • teo

      You bet sister. The silliness that is believed is shocking. Only the Europeans are sane it seems. Let's have a real debate about whether we want to give tax breaks to this.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  17. religion,,

    tax religions as businesses.. They are leaches who own property while the rest of us pay their taxes for them. They use our cops, fireman, water system, roads,.. they accu-mulate wealth off tax free property. PAY TAXES, YOU LEACHES!

    January 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Yes yes yes. With all the crimes the religious mentally ill commit, they use up quite a lot of police resources. The free ride needs to end.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • *

      *leeches

      January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I'd let them run any charitable part tax free, but they'd have to establish it separately and pay for any prostletizing through a separate fund. For property taxes if they church used an office for their charities, they could write that off just like a home office, but pay property tax on the rest.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Nietodarwin

    “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”
    _ William Harwood, Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology

    January 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  19. SpaceTimeWicket

    I personally think it is a bit arrogant to assume that there is nothing greater, simply because you find the teachings of only a few religions to not feel quite ducky. However, I am not about to force my beliefs on anybody else. I am not an Atheist, but nor do I subscribe to any one religion. I prefer the term "universalist-agnostic." I believe in something greater than humanity, but I don't believe any of the exisitng religions have gotten it right.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • religion,,

      I agree,, there are likely other planets with more evolved people than we are.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Biskt

      dont think anyone has said it better!!!!!

      January 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  20. Gawd is Evil

    If this god creature is real, he is without question, a self-centered sadistic monster, who allows awful humans to kill and take advantage of the innocent, leaves countless children to suffer and die agonizing deaths, etc. If he is all-powerful and allows all of this stuff, and actually exists, the F HIM.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:29 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.