home
RSS
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. Lily

    I had one person who insisted on mailing stuff to my house, talking to me constantly about my soul, telling me that she talked to her congregation about me (and my soul), crying at lunch because I held my ground. Finally told her to STOP. I was in my 20's. I'd never take that now. I'd immediately smack it back where it belongs, which is no where in my life. I feel such pity and understanding for this Mother. The tornado story; I know just that feeling. All of a sudden, every nut in the room wants to save you, pray for you, pity you. It's so absolutely maddening and condescending.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      In short, Lily, its wrong what they do. They are selfish idiots with an insane need to save someone for the sake of saving themselves.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Trust me, you will have a completely different opinion about their efforts once you are in hell...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • tc

      @vocal – becasue you are so enlightened and peace loving correct?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • GodlessAthiest

      And they cry about the War on Christmas every year! I'm tired of the War on Atheism.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Torque

      @Just... so you know for sure that there is a hell.. actually, no matter... it is NOT your decision to make in the first place, now.. is it? Go believe in God, in Jesus... nobody is stopping you... but at the same time, know that everyone has a right to their decisions, their beliefs... thus their consequences if they choose...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Dan

      @JustTheFiction, are you the one mailing the nonsense?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Gawd

      @just, if god doesn't like the way I live then let him tell me not you.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @tc

      I am not deluded like you and yes I am a peaceful person but I will not tolerate or respect idiots such as yourself.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      2000+ years an still no empirical evidence for heaven, god, mircale jesus, satan or hell. Christians seem to be as impotent as their god.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  2. Walter

    I like this lady and think it takes a lot of guts to stand up to the hordes of selfish "faithful" that grant themselves a god in their own image. What I thought was so funny is how so many comments to this woman were Christians informing her that she wont go to heaven but they will. When did being a Christian make you God? I think it would be easier for me to believe if Christians weren't so "out for blood". What we need in this world is more love not more hate, judgement, disdain, and arrogance. As a non believer I very often have to remind people that I cant MAKE myself believe. I am by no means "Anti-God". I in fact feel pity for the possible existance of god when I look at the people who label themselves Christians and then treat their fellow man with judgement and hatred. If you believe so you can go to heaven then your doing it for selfish reasons and if God is/was true that could never have been her/his intent. If gods message is true isnt it to be understanding, not judgemental and loving, not hating. It took a lot of guts for this woman to love her children so much she would rather be honest with them rather than lie to them to make life more comfortable.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Dan

      If we were made in god's image thane we would be invisible (and imaginary).

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      It's going to be a funny thing when that woman dies only to find out the Christians were right. Although, it won't be funny for her because she'll be in hell...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Dan

      Maybe more people would believe in god if religion was more believable and less absurd nonsense.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Dan... The only thing absurd is your own understanding of it...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It would be really funny if "justthefacts" died only to find out that the Egyptians were right. There's just as much chance that this will be the case. Better start sacrificing to Anubis, "justthefacts." Or Hades. Or Kisin. Or Hel. You should get started, because you have a lot of gods to appease before you die.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    This article should be provided to students in schools, (especially xstian schools.) The "believers" here need to at least acknowledge that their "belief" was forced on them when they were young and impressionable. It's abusive, and it involves lots of money, based on lies. When there was less scientific knowledge, they could be forgiven. Now they are just unwilling or unable to break the cycle of abuse. Churches should be charged with fraud, not given tax breaks.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • tc

      Interesting you think religion is forced upon people but you assume your belief was solely your own thought – arrogance a little?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @tc

      Unless you have something to say that makes some sort of sense why don't you go to bed?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • tc

      @vocal – does the angry little troll get mad when someone else has an opinion? The answer would be yes – look at the posts by vocal.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @tc

      If your opinion had any significant merit to it would be different but it doesn't.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  4. Mark

    I was raised as a child in the 1970's, and my parents chose the route of not promoting a religion, and letting me seek the truth for myself. That all went fine until I was born again in 1979, then all the expressions of tolerance went out the window. I guess it was okay if I continued in a sort of agnosticism, but my parents had a hard time dealing with me becoming a Christian. So they decided it was a phase. Finally, when I was still attending church and a devoted Christian after college, they came to realize this was part of my life and started to slowly accept my choices. The fact was, my parents actually had a religion – it was a "leave me alone" religion – which worked until someone in their house didn't agree. So I would have to say I find all sides in this discussion sort of annoying. We have to deal with each other people. That means actually working through this stuff and making compromises, and not coming up with one size fits all solutions like "keep religion out of government" or "home school the kids."

    January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • burnz

      I feel sorry for peopel who aren't raised as children.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      It would be terribly disappointing to have done one's best to equip one's child with critical thinking skills only to have them grow up still believing in the Tooth Fairy. Give them credit if they don't belittle your childish notions every time they see you. I mean, you had someone dump some water on you, read a magic spell, and now you think an imaginary sky fairy runs the universe. How embarrassing for them...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      There is no compromise to keeping religion out of government. It's either in, or it's not.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  5. virginia

    Scientist=Athiest tell Religius believers stop your believes i am trying to figure out the answer as to what you should belief in so i don't have to hear what you believe in again.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      look up "false dichotomy"

      January 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      And I thought my spelling and diction was off, man!

      January 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Athy

      Huh?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      believe whatever you want. just don't try to teach it in schools or legislate it

      January 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Don't even try to figure out what virginia is talking about. It can't be done.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  6. pbrain72

    Brave and smart woman.
    Hard to do that in one of the most fundamental christian societies
    on Earth.But the world is changing and people are breaking the shackles
    of learned supposed truths and thinking for themselves.
    It's still going totake a while,your ministers have too much money to lose...
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"-C.Hitchens

    January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  7. Julie

    Mathematicians have calculated that the religious in America will be a small minority in the next 100 years and nonexistent in many European countries. Can any of the Christians who are posting here explain why mathematicians have made this calculation?

    January 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • virginia

      Scientist or Athiest will come up with other religious belief for Christian to transfer into, like the new OMNISCIENCE RELIGION or the scientism religon saintology isn't cutting it...talk about evolution even Religon has its evolution phaces thanks to the logic and reason of the great thinkers of our time right the scientist.... science by any other name in the past did and have and will alway create the next religion of mankind...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      One thing mathematics haven't calculated is that, as soon as Jesus returns for the Rapture (which could happen any day now) all us believers will be gone and the whole world will be entirely left to the unbelievers, for them to continue quietly on to hell. I bet mathematics didn't calculate that...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow. All this is getting way over my head!

      January 21, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  8. Susan StoHelit

    I know a great many atheists who were devout believers once, religion a major support in their lives. They wanted religion to be true, were sad when they realized their doubts could not be answered, desperate to believe, turned to the Bible, to pastors, to church – and believed less and less – and finally had to face the truth – they did not believe there was any God.

    Atheists are not people who did not wish to believe – we're varied – and most of us once believed, some of us were once strong believers. Not me – I never did believe, and when I gave religion a chance, it still made no sense – but I have friends who once would have been vocal and pushy on the other side of this discussion, certain that they were saving souls.

    Atheists have lost their marriages, their kids, their jobs, their careers (many ministers and pastors have realized later they did not believe) as they realized they did not believe, and they could not believe, and they could not pretend. It would be so much easier for them to have pretended, so much easier for them to have just gone back to being Christian.

    Atheism isn't the easy path – people follow it because they believe it to be true. If you believe there to be a god – you of course have to live your life with that knowledge – how can you not? But if you believe there is none, to live otherwise is also ridiculous, to waste your one life, to waste this world, to waste relationships with others, helping others, condemning and judging others, based on a second life that isn't real, a judging god that isn't real.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      I disagree with you. As a born-again believer who presents the gospel to those in prison, I sense that the vast majority of these individuals were not raised in a Christian home, most likely, in a single parent home (mom) who is lost herself or the kids disregarded their taught Christian beliefs. Either way, they are lost because they REFUSE or do not know JESUS CHRIST...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • End Religion

      CC, you seem to be out of touch within your own career, or you're aware of these stats and are lying:

      http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm

      http://current.com/community/92831935_atheists-supply-less-than-1-of-prison-populations-while-christians-make-up-75.htm

      January 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, you are wrong if you're basing your crappy opinion on my sample, you ass hole. I was raised in the church. Went to Sunday school, was confirmed, continued to attend through my early adulthood. Married in the church and continued to believe for years. My grandfather was a minister. I left religion years ago, yet I'm happily married, a productive citizen, never had or sought an abortion, never had an affair, pay my taxes, give to charity, donate blood regularly, provide meals for a colleague with a debilitating progressive disease, etc.

      I don't believe. Explain that with your little formula, ass wipe.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, and as for your ridiculous supposition that I was raised in a single parent home, you had best not play the lottery, you idiot. My parents were married, and happily so, for 49 years, right up until my father passed away after suffering from a degenerative illness for 18 years, during which time my mother cared for him 24/7.

      You can apologize any time now.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  9. histrtchr

    I believe that religion should be personal and private. I believe that the First Amendment guarantees both freedon of religion and freedon from religion.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  10. Correctlycenter

    Godlessness breeds: Self-centerdness, drug/alcohol abuse, dropping out of school, crime, defiance, rebellion, prison, heroin, meth, gangs, goth kids, out-of-control juveniles, kids having kids and abortions, suicide, depression, anxiety. Thanks godless moms...

    January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      No matter how many times you post it – it's still a lie. The more religious an area – the higher the crime rate, the teen pregnancy rate, the divorce rate. Sorry, it's the truth.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      Wait... you just made all that up, didn't you?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can claim that green is yellow, you dumbfvck. That won't make it true. My family was pretty religious. Yet my brother dropped out of school, impregnated his girlfriend, abused alcohol and drugs.

      Where are your sources for your crap? Cite them, or you're a lying sack of excrement.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      In short, "Godlessness" breeds the "devil". Which is exactly what Lucifer wants...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      This ass wipe has to be TBT.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Walter

      Typical. Not 1 shred of evidence to back up your lunacy. Many christian parents alienate their children so bad for having their own beliefes that their children feel abandonded and never forgive their parents for it. Believe in whatever you want but just to spout something like what you just spouted was the exact sort of judgemental stupidity that a loot of these people are tallking about. No father wants blind children. If God is true he/she wants your challenges and wants your open mind. If he had wanted robots we would all look and act exactly the same. That being said those of us that still question gods existance dont "hate" god but instaed question the existance, what we cant stand though is foolish robots that make statements without facts.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Susan StoHelit... You sated... "No matter how many times you post it – it's still a lie. The more religious an area – the higher the crime rate, the teen pregnancy rate, the divorce rate. Sorry, it's the truth."...

      You must be thinking of Islam, or some other false religion. That doesn't happen if you're in the right religion...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  11. AL

    If you do not seek God, I doubt you will find God.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      Could be. Interestingly, even the humans in primitive tribal communities seek God, and also come up with answers they deem to be correct. But, their answers don't align with yours. Are they wrong?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      However, one could also seek your god and not find it, right? I mean, it is possible for your god not to exist, correct?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      I believe that "my" God is just God. And, that he is your God as well. I just personally don't believe in religion.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  12. tc

    LIve and let live – you believe in your imaginary "just happens to be here" univerese and I will believe in my imaginary Creator – can't prove either so just get over it

    January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      That's all the atheists are looking for.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • O.o

      It is hard to allow something that influences so many peoples lives (an idea) exist. That is all it is. This idea allows for psychological weakness. Not allowing for one to think and take responsibility on their own mind, instead casting all hope on the shoulders of their divine deity in the false understanding that it will make everything better. It is ridiculous and unfortunately for the young. As adults we need to leave our childish wishes behind and understand that everything we do has consequences, life is not merciful. Once you take and except the worst outcome scenario and accept it, you can start to free your mind from all the "what ifs".

      January 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Mike

      While you are right that scientists will not be proving god in my lifetime, there is a very good likelihood that advances in physics will mathematically explain the appearance of the universe from nothing in my lifetime. They are already down to the last fraction of a second after the Big Bang. There are also observations of quantum particles coming "in and out of existence" all the time, completely naturally, with no god required. As you would expect of a theory of the fundamentals of the universe and everything, these ideas are not particularly easy to understand, and require a real commitment to science to comprehend. It will always be easier to say "God did it", and I suspect that's why gods will persist.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  13. Godless mom clueless

    By telling yourself that an all knowing God will not allow murders, child abuse and torture, did you finally find the answer to why there are murders/child abuse and torture???

    January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • tc

      atheist love to equate chaos as a reason for no God – they never think about the humans that have free will to do whatever they want

      January 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      tc,

      free would not explain chaos.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • tc

      Chaos is caused by people of freewill, not automatons.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I've got two kids – they've sure got free will – and they sure create chaos. And – since I'm in charge, I allow free will – but I stop them from hurting each other. There's all the difference in the world between how life is if they're playing in a room together – and I'm there and they're playing – and no adult is anywhere around.

      The reason there is evil in the world is because some people are evil. It's not a hard question why there is evil if there is no all powerful and supposedly good being sitting there watching it, just as it's not a hard question why my little boy is hitting his little sister if I'm not there in the room. But if I am in the room, watching, able to stop it, as my little strong 2 year old has gotten his hands on a bat, and is hitting and hurting his sister – then yes, there is a problem – you have to presume either I am unable to reach them (God is not all powerful) or that I am indifferent to the children (God is not loving).

      If I'm not in the room (There is no God) then the answer is easy. If I am – then you do have to answer the question, especially if you're claiming these attributes for God, but then God does not act that way.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      tc,

      Free will causes hurricans, disease, ect.? News to me.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  14. virginia

    @Saraswati

    God exist even if you are anable to perceive it or understand how is posible for his existence...its real and real as existence itself nothing i say can prove this to you...for you'd need an open mind to adknowledge him....but give you my word God exist.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Bob

      Which god? Humans have invented thousands of them.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      virginia, if you really care to make a point, go back to school and learn to write. If you are illiterate, you can't make your point with the written word, no matter how fervently you believe.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • tc

      I think its is comical how everyone is trying to prove their point to another and the other could care less. No different than trying to tell me your repub or dem is a good guy – unprovable.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Arnaud

      If you say so......

      January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Bigfoot exist even if you are anable to perceive it or understand how is posible for his existence...its real and real as existence itself nothing i say can prove this to you...for you'd need an open mind to adknowledge him....but give you my word Bigfoot exist."

      Just as valid

      January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thank you for you word, but I'm afraid I would need more thanthat. I have actually experimented with extreme openmindedness to several religions and none has grabbed me.

      Could you pleae do me a favor and try to write without using ellipses (the ...). Instead use a period where you would put the "..." and then capitalize the sentence which follows the period.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  15. bygracethroughfaith

    If you dont believe in the words of moses the prophet, you wont believe in the Son of God. that is why God will not send a ghost to to prove himself. He has revealed Himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ, the loving sacrifice for your sin. Amen

    January 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Please shut the fu*ck up.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Madtown

      Why would the creator of this incomprehensibly vast and complex universe only be able to have 1 son? That seems a little silly, doesn't it?

      January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      So you claim – but you didn't see it, and without a time machine, that's not going to happen – so nice little con going there.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • tc

      @ vocal – how tolerant. Communist atheist I assume?

      January 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @tc

      Nope, just realistic. I am not going to tolerate harmful ideologies and all of you that believe it them can get on a bus driven by a blind man.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "bygracethroughfaith"... You must be hitting truth when you see atheists having mental "meltdowns" and violently cursing all over the place. LOL! Keep the faith and don't let nothing deter you...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "mental "meltdowns"

      No, you are the mentally ill one not I.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • tc

      @vocal – so your just a know it all that doesn't respect others. So much better than the crazy evangelists boycotting funerals

      January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "VocalAtheist"... You mean you want us to get "off" the bus we're on, only to get "on" the bus driven by you. No thanks...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      To "VocalAtheist".... That's because you're too dumb to realize that fact...

      January 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Brays JTF, who can't figure out the fact that belief isn't fact.

      You're the one who's stupid, JTF.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  16. Christo

    so your God only targets the middle east and relies on missionary and people to spread the word of God while MILLIONS who never had a chance to find out about the Christian God burn in hell forever. Hmmm, your God stinks. What a inefficient marketing plan. So many souls lost.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Truth1117

      God handled that with his amazing creation. It's no coincidence that people in the most remote reaches of the world, that are extremely difficult for people to get to, are exposed to the most breathtaking scenery which proclaims who He is.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Christo

      but Truth, those people in those remote places of Earth created their OWN gods as all societies do. Hello? The Nigerians had their own gods before our great missionary work made them want to put gays in prison for life.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Truth1117

      Yes. The Bible describes how people from every nation will create false gods. There are churches on every street in the U.S., yet people still have their own gods here. You asked how people in those remote places will know about the God of the Bible. I explained it. Doesn't mean that ALL will follow.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Christo

      but HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people have existed throughout history and exist today who will never know the "God of the Bible". Are they all going to hell or are currently in hell? Let me ask you this. What about the Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc. who will never know or want to know the "God of the Bible"? Even if they are really good people are they going to hell?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  17. Truth1117

    So much insecurity among people from both sides of the issue.

    Atheists, you're demanding that others don't live what they believe in public simply because it makes you a bit uncomfortable? You want everyone else to conform to the way you want them to act. That's called intolerance. Sorry, this is America.

    Religious folks, settle down. You have the freedom to believe what you want wherever you are.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Bob

      What people without religion want is a government that does not give preferential treatment to those that believe a particular fairy tale. Private citizens can do whatever they want. It is when public officials shove their faith into our publicly held space that we get upset.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Truth1117

      Ok. You're already covered in public schools and public workplaces In public office, individuals are still free to be who they are in public...if you vote them in, allow them to be who they are. Stop demanding they conform to YOUR beliefs.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      We're not demanding that – we're just asking for no discrimination, and to be allowed our own beliefs. Nothing more. Since when has there been any problem with anything else?

      Nice strawman to attack – but atheists are not demanding people take down their personal religious stuff. Just don't force this on my kids in school (yes, this does happen), don't force me to follow your religious beliefs in laws (yes, this does happen), don't expect me to pay for your religious displays in my taxes (no problem if it's displays for all religions), etc.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Truth1117

      Please explain how your beliefs are discriminated against. And yes, the atheist that this CNN story is about is demanding that people keep who they are at home and compared their beliefs to a toothbrush, which apparently should also remain in the home.

      THAT'S discrimination, and it's demanding that people conform to HER beliefs when they're in public. Laws are forbid religious activity in public schools and workplaces and the textbooks cater MUCH more to atheist beliefs than any religion. People still have the liberty to be who they are in public, including you.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      In my life I tolerate a lot of christian nonsense: Street preachers, religious billboards, religious content in TV shows and commercials, athletes crediting god for sports victories, christian literature left at my door, even smiling young men with nametags that proclaim them "elder" knocking on my door.

      I do no welcome these things, but I tolerate them because we are free to worship as we choose in this country. But when you try to use your religion as an excuse to harm or discriminate against others, then I will complain. When you try to influence children or their schools with your belief, then I will complain. And when you try to deny me MY voice, I will most definitely complain.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  18. Nietodarwin

    The reason there are SO MANY atheists posting on here is because for the first time in history we can express our reason, (lack of "faith") without fear of being MURDERED. That's what has kept religion so strong for centuries, the murder of non-believers. (Note how many "believers" on here threaten the rest of us with "hell" on "judgement day." They've always done the same, but now they can't shoot a gun or burn us or behead us through the internet. So great to see atheism growing and growing in our country. I feel so sorry for kids being brainwashed by religion at such a vulnerable age. We need laws to protect them from this insanity.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  19. bygracethroughfaith

    Jesus would take someone to a secluded place to perform a miracle, away from the unbelief of the crowd. God has proven himself to me, and I could tell you example after example, fact is, this would never amount to the substance of your faith. If you refuse to believe in the resurrection, and the Word of God, the Bible, Gods direct revelation, you choose to reject God. You simply put God to the test, as the people mocked him and said, come down off the cross if you are God.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Madtown

      Fact is, if you were born in Saudi Arabia, you'd be a muslim. You'd then also think that christians followed a false God.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • edyoucate

      Please tell us example after example.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Torque

      Is that the same Jesus who is white, blond, and was born in the MIDDLE EAST? How convenient, just like declaring to everyone that Atheists know not what they do because they have not found god.... Keep hiding behind that bible for your answers, keep quoting those scriptures for your own convenience..... if that's what makes you feel whole, I am not going to argue with you.. but know that in your own bible, your white jesus calls for tolerance, not judgement, which is exactly what you are doing in this forum.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The problem with personal anecdotes is that they are filtered through the beliefs of those who claim to have had the experiences. You credit god, but we have no reason to believe that, because you actively want to credit god.

      On this site, many people have claimed extraordinary experiences but when asked, have failed to provide any corroborating information. I'm sorry. Claims unsupported by evidence fail under clear-eyed scrutiny.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  20. Bob

    Kid should not be mentally abused by being forced to pray to imaginary deities. If they want delude themselves into believing that nonsense when they are over 18, then they can. Until they are 18, there will be worshiping in my house.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147
Advertisement
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.