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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. Nietodarwin

    It is very difficult to reason someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into.
    Rich Rodriguez

    Who are the bigger fool's, those who are born stupid or those who choose stupidity?
    John Kelly

    January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  2. virginia

    atheist answer this! if God doesn't exist how come we do????now your own ingnorance should be proof that you exist right that is not the arguement here....why do we exist???? and how we came to be on this earth???? you have no answers then why should your denial of God have any credibility...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why do you think the only possible cause for our existence is some imaginary sky fairy, janey? Why are you so hot to have an answer as to the origin of the universe? Doesn't it ever occur to you that we don't know yet, and may not know anytime soon how the universe began, and that not knowing doesn't mean it "musta been gawd"?

      Why do you assume that some supernatural cause is the only possible conclusion?

      Let me guess. You don't have much imagination, do you?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Athy

      I used to think like that too, until I was about 11. Then the truth dawned on me. We're just here because we're here. It's as simple as that. No god needed. How old are you, Virginia?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      Where did you learn such respect that you call others ignorant? If you are Christian, I'd think you would be more respectful of others – I thought it was part of the teachings of Jesus but I could be mistaken.

      Your position demonstrates a common misunderstanding about atheism or, more accurately, a misunderstanding of logic.

      If we cannot fully explain the origin of man, that simply means that man doesn't have all the answers.

      To come up with a default answer of "well, must be God" has no logical basis – or no more so than to assert if you do not know why it's light during the day, then it must be a supernatural in origin.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      A good education would probably clear up some of your questions, Virginia. It's amazing how far and quickly science and knowledge have come, now that they're free from the confining shadow of religion.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      Virginia,
      There are thousands of creation stories. In fact, the bible has two seperate versions. Why do you beleive the bible is the correct strory and which biblical version do you beleive?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • mama k

      virginia, do you know how to identify spam email when it comes in? Even if your email program does it for you, can you tell by the subject and body of the email if it's spam or not?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own? Robert G. Ingersoll

    January 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • texas

      this is spiritual war. when you are victor in war you celebrate. God is Holy, sin is not in his presence in heaven. and he burns the chaff. do you have any fruit trees? have you seen how when you cut off a dead branch the fruit gets heartier.? God will prune dead branches. people condemn themselves by rejecting and hating the creator of their soul. dont get deceived by a physical argument about origin.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  4. pachel

    Wow. Based on the comments alone, it seems to me that evil is prevailing.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Bink

      you would know

      January 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Christians are a hateful bunch, but I wouldn't go so far as to call them evil. Just misguided.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  5. satanisaliar

    three wills in universe-God's, Satan's, man's. God's will is that Satan be defeated and God's kingdom be ushered to earth. but God does not force man. Man must choose God. god wants to defeat Satan through man. First that man must be headed up in Christ, fully under His reign. Then the Lord will have a way to come back and clear up the problems in the universe. So the responsibility lies with Christians to be growing in life everyday, dealing with their sins, allowing Christ to make His home in their hearts.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I bet this person and Virginia could have some really amazing conversations.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Mayla

      I hate being used...............

      January 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Athy

      How about a conversation between Virginia and LionlyLamb?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @athy:

      I think that would shut down the internet.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The hell with the internet-it might cause the end of the world as we know it.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  6. Nietodarwin

    We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart H. L. Mencken

    January 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  7. Ron

    1word
    Ron
    Is it a fantasy that we are real?'

    No, it is a fantasy that you conflate with reality.
    I understand that god-talkers are not the most rational of humans, so it's not surprising you would ask a non-sequitur. Religionists are famous for doing so; they're not real bright.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • nadine

      Trying to sound smart you idiotic atheist. That is the problem with believers in nothing.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  8. JC

    I am teaching my children about God and how wonderful He is ! I would only being doing half my job as a parent if I didn't tell them about God or Jesus. Its not just simply teaching right from wrong, its so much more than that. I feel sad for those who don't know Gods love or turn from it, it must be a lonely place to be. But God is there for everyone!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Lisa

      You feel sad for those who do not share your beliefs? Is that genuine sadness or disrespect for others who do not believe as you do?

      I feel happy for you if belief works for you. But to each his own!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      How sad. Too bad you couldn't teach them about personal responsibility and how to question and think for themselves. Teaching kids to be adults serves them better than teaching them how to depend on a supernatural father figure.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Ron

      JC
      I am teaching my children about God and how wonderful He is !
      He who allows kids to die at, oh, age 1? That "wonderful"?
      Some god you go there.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • james

      Ron; do you really want answers to your questions? go to jw.org and ask all you want and find out what the bible really teaches. do not be misled, the truth is there and our creator feels as bad for those children or more so than anyone but he has answers for the future and a serious solution. check it out and ask as much as you want, the answers are there.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Lisa

      Nothing lonely about it. We are a species who inhabit a planet together, we have families, pets, jobs, and plenty of fantastic experiences in our lives. We simply don't attribute it to a supernatural deity.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      it's sad that you would be lonely without "god".

      January 22, 2013 at 4:19 am |
  9. texas

    Ithe devil is real........ this cat came to my porch, and that night i had a dream that i was in a cabin and a demonic voice was singing to me, and my body inverted upside down, and the cat that was at my potrch( which i had never seen before), ran underneath me with blood gushing out of it . i woke up knowing i had received an evil report, and went out side and it was flat as a pancake at the end of the driveway on the highway. that is demonic activity an proof for anyone.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I was once singing a song, then I turned on the radio and the exact song was on. I must be a prophet.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      texas: i think you are either delusional

      January 22, 2013 at 4:23 am |
  10. resurrected

    you all beg for a sign of something supernatural......google Isaiah ch 53 this is a pinpointed messianic prophecy from 700 BC
    the book of Daniel is another prophetic wonder beyond all imagination..The old testament pointed to a messiah and He came and was crucfified, the Lamb of God, on the passover when Israel was sacrificing their unblemished lambs, since 1400 BC.
    God is a prophetic mastermind. look up the city nineveh another proven reality only through the bible.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And do tell, dear. What's your god done lately?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Pastor Rasaun O. Sheet

      You can give me a pile of ancient scolls and i with Fill them with 'true prophecy' and then put them all together to form a book.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The biblical stories surrounding Christ's birth greatly contradict the recorded history of that time. There is no reason to think these stories are anything more than fabrications intended to "prove" that Christ fulfilled jewish prophecy.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • HUH!

      Resurrected, you're talking to people with seared consciences. They don't want to know the truth. God has turned them over to believe a lie. Sure, there is hope for everyone so long they're alive. But some are already dead.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • texas

      I was reading through Jeremiah for the first time, and the holy spirit revealed a part of it in a dream to me the night before i read it. The holy spirit revealed the truth of Gods word directly within my soul. it was incredible. it lit me up.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • mama k

      The problem is, resurrected, that not everyone has ever agreed on that Isaiah translation. Some might even say it leaves a tell-tale sign of where Christianity "tweaked" Isaiah to give more credibility for supernatural Jesus.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • texas

      I happen to know for a fact that the Holy spirit communicates, or angels on a subconscious level, and for me I have experienced it in a supernatural internal revelation. I am not lying to you. I dont have a personal stake in religion. sometimes i wish it was all a lie. but like paul on the road to domasucs , i received numerous revelations about scripture that i was about to read the next day. I was having dreams that were proverbs . the holy spirit has a genius way of communication. and i also experienced demonic revelaton, medium like. i have also received revelation called "word of knowledge" where i received trivial information. I am not a prophet. but do have some sort of spiritual gift. and it is to give me courage to proclaim salvation through the blood of Christ. this is your calling and future... you can not escape reality. none of you can. you must get on your face and knees and repent, and beg for faith and forgiveness. and get in the Word.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Pastor Rasaun O. Sheet

      HUH! your religion burned people at the stake for daring to say the world was round.

      Your religion hatched ID to try and appear relevant as the evidence continues to mount against creationism. ID was hilarious until disclaimers started popping up in Science books in schools in the South.. You people have played a huge role in the US continuing to spiral down in science test scores compared to the rest of the world. Whose the liar? ...:))

      January 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's funny how people seem to think that their "revelations" are from god and not from a chemical imbalance. I guess chemical imbalances just aren't as glamorous.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Simran

      @ tallulah,
      Moreover, when people have to admit they have chemical imbalance, they will have to admit that they are not blessed, but rather diseased. Denial works for people.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Mayla

      Mike's Classic Margaritas make me reveal my underwear, thus I worship glass bottles for they hold the liquid truth.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  11. Theta.459

    There are things in this world like murder, child abuse, torture, and worse because this isn't heaven yet. This world isn't perfect, and until Jesus comes back, it won't be. Satan will continue to work in the world, wreaking havoc. Where you spend eternity comes down to just one decision, whether you follow Jesus of the Bible, or Satan. There is no middle ground. Sorry to sound like a preacher, but that is what I believe.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • I Am God.

      Why are you spamming?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Theta.459

      he he oops :P I posted almost the same thing twice. Oh well, I guess it cant be said too many times :)

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect it's because religion has left this person without the ability to form other thoughts. Sad, really.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Any being that would base ultimate reward or punishment is neither moral or worthy of worship.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Theta.459

      You said, "Oh well, I guess it cant be said too many time"
      Once is once too many.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      **on belief**

      January 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Lisa

      Having beliefs is not what makes one sound like a preacher. Have all the beliefs you want, just keep them to yourselves and don't judge others based on them.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  12. LVguest

    Great information is available for free thinkers from organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Humanist Association, and Student Secular Societies at many colleges.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      LVguest wrote –

      Great information is available for free thinkers from organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Humanist Association, and Student Secular Societies at many colleges.

      Thanks! There is also a foundation called Freedom From Religion. They have some great literature for free thinkers.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
  13. whatever

    People, if you believe, then you should have no problem with nonbelievers because they will be reached or not reached according to God's will. Just leave the nonbelievers alone. They get a lot more pressure from society than believers do, BELIEVE me.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  14. Theta.459

    There are things in this world like murder, child abuse, torture, and worse because this isn't heaven yet. This world isn't perfect, and until Jesus comes back, it won't be. Satan will continue to work in the world, wreaking havoc. Heaven is very real, and I wish that everyone could go there, however not everyone makes that choice. Because really it comes down to just one decision, whether you follow Jesus of the Bible, or Satan. There is no middle ground. Sorry to sound like a preacher, but that is what I believe.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  15. JC

    I would be lying to my children and denying them the truth and guidance if I didn't tell them about God. Which would never happen. Teaching right from wrong is only half the job of being a parent. But that is a whole other subject.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      You are correct – it is good to tell all children that all gods, and the jesus myth, are bullsh!t.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  16. HUH!

    Came in to see, and what do I find?
    Bunch of idiots trying to convince themselves that life is just one big party and then – Nothingness. But, oh, what a jolt of a shock you poor fools will receive! Just wait and see.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • James

      Ooooh... Scary!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, gosh, I guess you've died and come back, have you? Got any evidence of your little trip?

      Really, dude. Do you think your threats are going to make someone suddenly believe in your sky-daddy? Why?

      Are you that good at sales?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • HUH!

      Piper's Son, this dude knows what he's talking about..... You just go on, keep guessing!
      Cheers!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • waterthrush

      Pity the fool whose search for meaning has led to little more than cult fiction (virgin birth and other miracles, a god who tolerates all manner of worldly horrors and injustice, augmented by a basic denial of reality).

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should I have to "guess", HUH? If you have the proof, why not show it to everyone? Why pretend it's some big mystery and that only you have the answer?

      If you are a Christian, why not present convincing evidence of the existence of your god? After all, aren't you all about saving souls? What better way to save them than to produce incontrovertible evidence that your god exists?

      Come on, dude. Ante up or fold.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Paul

      HUH, it seems that you are being quite spiteful and exerting a fair amount of wrath in your 'wait and see' comment. I believe that Wrath is one of the 7 deadly sins, yes? If non-believers are truly destined for a worse place than believers after death, then I suppose that is something we will all eventually find out. However, the vindictive nature that you exude in asserting your own beliefs in truly frightening and decidedly un-Christian.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sorry, Huh. Threats based on mythological stores just don't pack the same punch as they did back when people had no idea what caused the natural phenomena that surrounded them.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      (argh. Stories, not stores.)

      January 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, HUH!, how convincing

      January 22, 2013 at 4:25 am |
    • sam stone

      paul: it is because huh! is a vindictive petty pr1ck, and he therefore sees god as a vindictive petty pr1ck. it comforts him/her that god is as much a pr1ck as they are

      January 22, 2013 at 4:29 am |
  17. Guest

    This woman, is doing a great diservice to her children. God is very real, and running away from Him, is not going to help. He knows everything!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • LinCA

      Your god is no more likely to exist than the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • HUH!

      LinCA – U wanna bet?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • James

      If he exists, he may think that he knows everything, but how could he be absolutely certain? If something is unknown to him then he obviously isn't aware of it, after all.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @HUH!

      You said, "LinCA – U wanna bet?"
      Bring it. Show me your evidence of your god. Prove it exists and you can name your price. Anything.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So this is just one big gamble for you, Huh?

      And you think betting on the 'sure thing' will get you a spot in Valhalla? Do you really think your Jesus wants you to believe only if you think you're going to win a spot in heaven?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • HUH!

      Hey, Piper's son, it is not me who gambles. know the outcome, so my "u wanna bet" is to challenge you. You're the ones who gamble, not really knowing what's ahead. Pretty stupid to live this way, especially for those who think they're so smart.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • HUH!

      Hey, Piper's son, it is not me who gambles. I know the outcome, so my "u wanna bet" is to challenge you. You're the ones who gamble, not really knowing what's ahead. Pretty stupid to live this way, especially for those who think they're so smart.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      HUH! When it comes to god and jesus, you *know* nothing – you think you know, you are prentending to know, you are mentally ill or your are a liar. Unless you have some undisputed evidence. . .

      January 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you really think your Jesus values your gamble, HUH? Do you think he sees you as a true believer when in reality you only believe because it's a 'safe bet'? That you just wanna make sure you get into heaven "just in case" there really IS a a god? Is that what you think "belief" is?

      You really ARE that dumb, aren't ya?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apparently, HUH likes to hedge his bets. He couldn't be absolutely certain that his post went through the first time, so he had to make sure by posting again.

      Yeah, I'm sure that "In God HUH trusts."

      January 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Athy

      We'll have to cut him some slack ths time, Tom, Tom. He did make a minor correction in the second post.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      Which god is very real, Guest? There have been thousands man has worshipped

      January 22, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • sam stone

      HUH!: if you KNOW the outcome, put your sidearm where your mouth is. jesus is waiting.....

      January 22, 2013 at 4:36 am |
  18. vmanc

    Believe me, everyone believes in a higher calling and it may not manifest itself until you are in a time of need. I recently returned from Afghanistan and had to patrol on roads full of IED's. Two members of my team professed to not believe in God and would not take part in prayer as we practiced to get ready to go outside the wire. Once we recieved our first official mission and we stood a chance of getting hit by a road side bomb, or sniper attack, both of those guys prayed just as hard as the rest of us. And what was interesting is no one on the team ever said anything to them about it. We all understood.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So in other words, fear makes people irrational.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • James

      Lots of people in dangerous and high tension professions have good luck charms too. People are superst_itous, that's all.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • joe

      Drill sergeants told me, "there are no Atheists in foxholes", Sergeant airborne said "Atheists don't jump out of planes". Went to Kosovo and got shot at a bit. Still an Atheist.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      joe: atheist and recreational skydiver here.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:34 am |
  19. virginia

    To you all athiest is OK to feel emotions i give you permission to do so...God is withing your emotions even the bad one...like crying....

    January 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And I give you permission to seek help from a mental health professional to get out of the cult you are in. Azzhole!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      God is withing? Huh?

      Virginia, did you do a lot of drugs back in the day?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  20. Theta459

    There are things in this world like murder, child abuse, torture, and worse because this isn't heaven yet. This world isn't perfect, and until Jesus comes back, it won't be. Satan will continue to work in the world, wreaking havoc. Heaven is very real, and I wish that everyone could go there, however not everyone makes that choice. Because really it comes down to just one decision, whether you follow Jesus of the Bible, or Satan. There is no middle ground. It is unfortunate how the majority of "Christians" act nowadays, and what they profess to believe. No wonder people tend to look on religion with hostility. Sorry to sound like a preacher, but that is what I believe.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • I Am God.

      If there is a God he isn't going to punish those that don't believe in him, unless those individuals (including Christian) are committing heinous acts like murder and such.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Theta459

      You said, "Because really it comes down to just one decision, whether you follow Jesus of the Bible, or Satan."
      Satan is equally imaginary.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      As there is no real evidence to support the existence of god, satan, heaven or hell, I see no reason to worry about religious threats. Sorry.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.