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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. lol??

    A&A's have a god known as the "wegod". It's found in mobs everywhere. Ever try and reason with a mob? You will get rolled over by those unholy rollers. Exhibit #1: Sodom and Gomorrah. Demobocracy at its worst.

    January 22, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • snowboarder

      nothing more than a myth.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • mama k

      Meanwhile, lol?? (Lot) is waiting safely outside the cities in a cave, waiting for his daughters to seduce him.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      An Lot got drunk and screwed his daughters...

      January 22, 2013 at 1:09 am |
  2. texas

    its a light in a dark world. supposed to be salty.

    January 22, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  3. AlienShark

    American Atheists, which is a powerful lobby, along with others, pay top dollar for boiler room-type operations around the country to work these forums and basically have the employees get into character and argue the talking points on the scripts they provide. The second half of their job is to write down the names and whatever personal information they can get about the people who disagree with the agenda of the lobby that hired their company.

    http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/

    January 22, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Christo

      bring it on I'm self employed.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Conscious Life News, the site that hosted your anonymously written story, appears to be a site dedicated to conspiracy theories and paranormal research.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      If a worldview can't withstand a few internet posts, then it probably never had much validity to begin with.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • metal beanie

      Hmmm ... seems someone's tin foil hat got screwed on a wee bit too tight.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • AlienShark

      that is just one story of many. A quick internet search will shed light on this little known but thriving business. By the way, it is not a conspiracy theory, it is business. That is like saying bill collectors are a conspiracy theory...don;t be a dummy. Anyway, American Atheist and the Pro-Israel lobby are the best paying for the CNN forum, especially now that the elections are over.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • tallulah13

      So Alien Shark, are you Byers, Frohike or Langly?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Seriously?

      Uh...no, they don't.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • logan5

      What is your point?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • AlienShark

      tallulah, if you wish to remain ignorant, you can just stick your head back in the sand, however, I posted this for the people that would be interested in knowing that some of the "debaters" they come across here are paid shills that practically copy paste whatever agenda their boss hands them and they in turn copy the information of the people that disagree. As I said, now that political season is over, the Pro Israel lobby and American Atheists are the biggest spenders on the forum. Look it up for yourself....OR, stick your head in the sand, either way it doesn't bother me.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      Ohhhh, I see. You think you're Mulder.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • RBN

      @AlienShark – This is a discussion of a mother not forcing religion down her childs throat. Take your anti-semetic crap somewhere else.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • AlienShark

      Ha if I told you about the pharma lobby, would you tell me I am anti-medicine!?! HA! Don't be foolish.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • RBN

      You're the moron that keeps mentioning a "Pro-Isreal Lobby" connection. Or is your memory as bad off as your IQ?

      January 22, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • AlienShark

      so would you prefer if I kept it a secret that the Pro Israel lobby pays top dollar to sway opinions and get info about their opponents on these forums. Listen, I could care less about their politics, but I do think people have a right to know when they are debating against shills.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • RBN

      Yeah, it took me second to make the connection, but you're the idiot that wrote that article you keep telling people to read. And I fell for it. Goodbye AlienShark. We got your number.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • AlienShark

      so would you prefer if I kept it a secret that the Pro Israel lobby pays top dollar to sway opinions and get info about their opponents on these forums. You do realize that I could care less about their politics, but I want people to know that in many instances they are debating against shills.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • AlienShark

      RBN, I am not trying to convince you of anything. You can believe me or disbelieve me and it won't hurt me in the slightest. However, people absolutely have the right to know they are getting duped. Your politics doesn't bother me either. We can talk about it over a falafel.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Alien,

      Even if it were true, don't you think the actual scams of religion is a much bigger issue. You are hilarious.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • AlienShark

      Religious lobbies are doing this too, but if you spend time on this forum it is east to see who is the biggest spenders and after a while you can spot the shills a mile away.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Right on the page of the Article there is an ad on how to become a Holistic Healer and build a client base. Pot....meet kettle.

      Wow you are a complete dou.che canoe.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • AlienShark

      I have no control over the ads on that page, but I would like people to be able to spot and avoid shills on these forums. As I said, I could care less about your politics. But I much prefer straight up over underhanded business tactics. Anyone in the lobby industry or that works in marketing research knows about the shills. It doesn't really matter if you like the article or not.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, AlienMinnow, who are the shills? Come on, name 'em!

      January 22, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  4. Knowledge

    The growth in the number of those non-affiliated or atheist is a reflection I think on the far right religious blatherings in the public forum which deny science and work endlessly to not only convert but to convince other that their views are absolutely correct.

    January 22, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Robert

      It's not a reaction but an active action driven by the maturity of people and the realization that organized religion unfortunately devides more than unite people.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  5. Robert

    I am glad I embraced Buddhism, a non theistic religion, that teaches how to be compassionate with all Humanity without praying to any God. I used to belong to one of the monotheistic religions, which always brought to me the messages such as "them against us", "we're righ, they're wrong", "we'll be saved, they'll be doomed", "God vs. Satan", "fear of punishment",...etc. Now, I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and HAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPY.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Christo

      I'm not a Buddhist but it definitely makes the most sense as far as maximizing your time here on Earth which is the only guaranteed existence you have.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Mayla

      Isn't it nice to be able to LIVE your life and ENJOY it without the extraneous pressure to be perfect? Isn't it wonderful to know that the good that you do here and now is credited to YOU and will translate to going forward on the path to nirvana? Isn't it spectacular that you can exist without having to cower every day in fear of retribution from a loving god?

      And isn't it unfortunate that the passages in the Dhammapada go unheeded by the most self righteous and pious simply because they were stated by a mortal man? Mortal like all the rest of us................

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  6. kch

    Christianity is the stupidest sh** of most religions Christians are the dumbest!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  7. Paul

    I am astounded at the utter lack of acceptance on this message board by both sides here. To Christians: What do you think is the point of quoting gospel or token phrases such as 'God is the truth' to people who do not share your beliefs? Is it simply to make yourselves feel better or do you truly believe that non-believers have not heard that exact phrase uttered a thousand times over and maybe on the 1001st time they will do a 180? To non-believers: What is the point of bringing logic into a discussion of faith? Faith is, after all, the belief in something that is not based on proof, so why would Christians suddenly say 'oh since there is no proof that God exists, I am going to stop believing'? Why can both sides not simply accept that the other side has a completely different way of looking at things (both of which, I might add, have their own set of positive and negative aspects)? Are we really all that insecure about our own views of the world?

    January 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • lol??

      "Luke 12:48 .................For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:................"

      January 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • lol??

      The A&A's think the apostles were lyin' thugs just like they are. They can comprehend going to the grave dirty, just like them.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Christo

      because Christians use LOGIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, RATIONAL THOUGHT, in EVERY other aspect of their lives. When religion is not involved they use science to make their decisions. Which medicine to take, which car to buy, whether or not to vacate during a large storm.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      WE non-believers are very insecure Xstians have been killing us for our lack of belief for eons. Murder keeps religions strong. Murder has helped religion survive, not truth, not the existence of "god"

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • texas

      paul, you dont believe on the word of God without the testimony of the Holy Spirit. the holy spirit bears the truth of Gods word on someones heart. not the way a christian has faith. faith is a gift given from God. They called His name the Word of God. The word is living and powerful. and useful for correction. all scripture is useful, more so than a well worded personal statement of opinion. less you more god.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Susan

      Well, we each understand we shall know in the end. For we all shall know once and for all someday. I for one hope there is an after life. And pray I and others are in that great book of life. For I am looking forward to a wonderful meeting with my Grandparents and others that may already be tthere. :) HOPE FAITH CHARITY and the GREATEST is LOVE.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Paul

      Texas, thank you for proving my point

      January 22, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Kim

      We assume that most believers do employ logic and reason elsewhere in their lives, say when they pick a new car based upon professional reviews instead of entirely how much they love how it looks. There are a lot of professionals, and otherwise wealthy people out there who must have had some good judgment despite being believers. We just think that they've firewalled the part of their minds that deals with faith against their reason, that's all.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Christo

      Susan, no actually the only way to know in the end is if there is an afterlife. Athiests believe the light switch goes off when you die and you don't find out anything. So both sides don't understand. But I hope like you there is an afterlife, do I believe there is one based on what I've learned on Earth, heck no.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Kim

      texas
      You say that you need to believe in the Holy Spirit to allow you to accept the Bible as true, but don't you also need to believe in the truth of the Bible in order to believe that the Holy Spirit even exists? Each depends upon the other in a great system of circular logic.

      So, what you're really saying is "I believe that the Bible is true because the Holy Spirit led me to this belief, and I believe that the Holy Spirit led me to this belief because I believe that the Bible is true."

      January 22, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Paul

      Kim, I agree with you that Christians employ logic in their everyday lives the way that everyone does, but I think that they simply employ faith in what they don't understand instead of an assumption that everything that can't be explained is simply undiscovered scientifically and WILL be explained eventually. Either way, one has to base part of one's ideology on some faith and assumption. Are there people who believe in Christianity simply because they have not been exposed to anything else? Sure. But I also think there is another end of the spectrum-people who become educated and convince themselves that they know everything. I certainly wouldn't describe either group as wholly belonging to either of these extremes, which is exactly why I think it is so important to not assume that one knows more than another person simply based on one's chosen answer to the unexplained phenomena of the world.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • sam stone

      "To Christians: What do you think is the point of quoting gospel or token phrases such as 'God is the truth' to people who do not share your beliefs?"

      Because it makes them feel pious?

      January 22, 2013 at 4:06 am |
    • UncleBenny

      @Susan: I for one hope there is an after life. And pray I and others are in that great book of life. For I am looking forward to a wonderful meeting with my Grandparents and others that may already be tthere.

      Would you please identify the Biblical passage that says we will be reunited with loved ones in Heaven? I don't think you will find one. The Bible basically talks about basking in God's presence and singing his praises around his glorious throne (sounds stupefyingly boring). Nothing about joyful reunions with loved ones. That idea doesn't appear until the late 19th century in the USA.

      January 22, 2013 at 6:22 am |
  8. jeff_000

    First off, I am not religious, BUT, I do have a conscience and know the difference between right and wrong...

    I have no problem with religion, just don't preach to me... On the other hand, I have read the old testament back in the day, and some of the new... The old testimate is a very violent book, with a punishing GOD (who according to how it was explained to me was a God of war)...

    Now we have the New Testimat, which is suppoed to be the NEW word of God... So which Bible is the real one, who spoke with God to get the right message to dial down to the New Testimate...

    Also, I have a very high IQ and am educated... I have seen evolution, and it has been proved... Along with a whole lot of others things that contradict the bible... So, considering I have seen proof in the science of thing like fossils that can be seen and touched, All the Bible offers is a supposed belief from a a few thousand years ago, and there is no proof of most of it...

    SO, how do you expect someone who is intelligent and educated to believe in religion from the Bible, when there is no proof and when you have so many different denominations interpreting it so many different ways that one thing is alright in one religion and not in another, when it is the "same book"... Doesn't that mean that different people have different interpretations and BELIEFS and isn't that how it is supposed to be...

    As I said, i have no problem with religious people, I religiously breath air and eat sustance to keep me alive, but as far as religion goes, it is too hard for a person with a good brain to believe when there are so many version and none of them have any proof...

    So I will just continue to believe in the "actual facts" instead of the ficticious writings in a book a few thousand years old in witch no one can agree on the actual interpretation of, and the content can't be poved...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Christo

      the domesticated dog PROVES evolution. Google it. The dog and all the breeds came from ONE species, the wolf. Man manipulated its size shape and behavior for its own needs using the same process as adaptation or evolution, just much faster.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • texas

      what fossils high iq? which ones?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • texas

      the dog is still a dog. you couldnt be more wrong. but that micro evolution, or domestication is something everyone understands. it does not say anything about a intertransitional species. nothing ever has. there are none of those fossils none zero.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Christo

      read eveloce.scienceblog.com/10/dogs-prove-evolution/

      January 22, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Susan

      first our God is the almighty. If you say you have read the Bible.If you say you believe in God but don't belive in the word of God (the bible) then you do not believe God. First, if you truely studied with Bible schlars you would understand the old testament better. Go to this web site it will help lots. http://www.biblequestions.org Now, I don't believe there is a question you could ask that couldn't be answered well from these men. Now I once heard a preacher say, think about this, when God spoke the Earth into exitance and at that say a scienitist was also puffed there too. That scienistist would swear the Earth was millions of years old , as God surely made the trees full grown on the earth. (GEN 1"11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so._.....The preacher went on to say other things that made good since. God would not of spoke the earth into exitance and made seed and waited MANY ,MANY YEARS, BEACUSE THE BIBLE SAYS DIFFERENTLY. because Adam and was made IN (GEN 1 :27 So God created mankind in his own image,
      in the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.) Thank you and in christian love I pray each finds their way.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Susan

      first our God is the almighty. If you say you have read the Bible.If you say you believe in God but don't belive in the word of God (the bible) then you do not believe God. First, if you truely studied with Bible schlars you would understand the old testament better. Go to this web site it will help lots. http://www.biblequestions.org Now, I don't believe there is a question you could ask that couldn't be answered well from these men. Now I once heard a preacher say, think about this, when God spoke the Earth into exitance and at that say a scienitist was also puffed there too. That scienistist would swear the Earth was millions of years old , as God surely made the trees full grown on the earth. (GEN 1"11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so._.....The preacher went on to say other things that made good since. God would not of spoke the earth into exitance and made seed and waited MANY ,MANY YEARS, BEACUSE THE BIBLE SAYS DIFFERENTLY. because Adam and eve was made IN (GEN 1 :27 So God created mankind in his own image,
      in the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.) Thank you and in christian love I pray each finds their way.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • metal beanie

      I love the whole micro/macro evolution argument. It's so cute. It's also brainless- kind of like evolution. Evolution is simply a process . A process has no way of determining what arbitrary limits humans have set up to describe varying degrees of that process. You cannot have micro evolution without macro evolution – why would you ever think that the process of evolution would know how to stop after mutating a certain number of genes? Utterly ridiculous. But cute – like how my three year old think that people on the other end of the phone can see him kind of cute.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Athy

      Susan, you write like a typical religie, about fifth-grade level. You people are so predictable.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • sam stone

      "If you say you believe in God but don't belive in the word of God (the bible) then you do not believe God"

      Susan, can you be any more arrogant?

      January 22, 2013 at 6:47 am |
  9. RBN

    It should be illegal to expose children under 18 to religion.

    There are few things in life that one can do to child worse than exposing their fragile, developing minds to the horrors of the things done in the name of God. If religion can stand on it own merits, without brainwashing at an early age, then waiting until they are fully developed adults shouldn't be a problem. Right?

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

      agreed, if the word of god is so powerful and the force so strong and you truly believe it with conviction, let the kids mature to adults with a good education of the world before they decide. If its so convincing you'll have no problem filling churches.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • texas

      you are a useless father. spiritual communion is the reason we were created. have you read the new testament? Jesus loved children. He rebuked his disciples for shunning a group oif children for approaching Jesus.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • texas

      ninety percent of people who arent saved by age 12 never are. so now you understand why marriage was one of three covenants god had with us.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • RBN

      @texas – tsk tsk. Do you think Jesus would approve of your lashing out like a child with name calling? I din't think so.

      "so now you understand why marriage was one of three covenants god had with us."

      Um... no. Does the word tangent mean anything to you? You might want to take your meds now.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • texas

      useless is not a noun it describes not a name.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • RBN

      I think the word you were looking for was "adjective". So when I call you moronic, you're good with that, right?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Christo

      texas, ever thought of the reason why most kids over 12 aren't saved? It's because they're old enough to figure out what a crock it is bud. Hate to break it to you. God you set yourself up for that one..

      January 22, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • AlienShark

      American Atheists, which is a powerful lobby, along with others, pay top dollar for boiler room-type operations around the country to work these forums and basically have the employees get into character and argue the talking points on the scripts they provide. The second half of their job is to write down the names and whatever personal information they can get about the people who disagree with the agenda of the lobby that hired their company.

      http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/

      January 22, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • RBN

      So if someone agrees with you, they're showing support. When people disagree with you, they're shills? Paranoid much?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • RBN

      Oh, and I used to wash and wax alien space craft for a living. I quit the job because the tips weren't that great.

      Now you have to believe that because you read it on the internet!

      January 22, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • RBN

      Hmm... I guess texas and alienshark took their collective balls and went home! I'll move on and let them have the last word, if they come back.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  10. virginia

    athiest only quote other athiest in their disbelief to show that someone supports their thinking other athiest as themselves and they condisider this education most confuse it with intelligence one thing they don't belief in when logic pays tricks on their minds...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Bink

      ...and who's to blame for your education

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

      yeah like the logic of the Bible..that will play a MAJOR trick on your mind.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And you delusional (mentaly ill) believers quote The Babble for which there is no proof at all that it is anything more than "First Century Tales of Desert Dwelling Goat Herders."

      January 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Speaking of intelligence, google "run-on sentence."

      January 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • texas

      bink, are you educated? name thirty books out of sixty six of the bible

      January 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      You poor dear. I'm going to copy and paste what you wrote, add some punctuation, and TRY to make it make sense. (OK it still won't make sense, but it will give you a goal to shoot for.

      Athiest
      s only quote other athiestS in their disbelief to show that someone supports their thinking, other athiest as themselves, and they condisider this education! Most confuse it with intelligence, one thing they don't belieVE in when logic pLays tricks on their minds...

      January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Kim

      Yes, if you consider logic that actually makes sense "tricky".

      January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, well I think we've wasted enough of your time, virginia. Just do us a favor for the sake of everyone and stay away from escalators, scissors and the division of motor vehicles and you'll be ok.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Athy

      Virginia, have you ever heard of punctuation?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • snowboarder

      momma, we also hope she keeps well away from reproduction

      January 22, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      @mama k, snowboarder:

      Hee!

      January 22, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • logan5

      Most atheists are former Christians, Virginia. Which means they got all the education they needed to criticize and challenge Christianity from their experience as Christians.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • sam stone

      virginia: and christians quote a book written, translated and edited by man. what is your point?

      January 22, 2013 at 4:10 am |
  11. pbuotte

    The article was very fairly written – and more strength to the Mom who is NOT alone. One teaching point for her children: more wars and violence have been caused by religion(s) than science!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Ben Jones

      Yea, the victims in Rowanda were killed because of religion. No, the others thought they were genetically superior. Same as Nazi Germany. Quit quoting George Carlin and read a book.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  12. Ben Jones

    I'm sure that the Christians who have to read and listen to these crazy people can relate to the black people who have to put up with the ignorant people that the news always seem to interview,

    January 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Ben Jones

      The media is crippling this country. The media is the ones that are pinning stereotypes on groups of people.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Right. It's not the lack of education, or the guns, or the limited healthcare, the endless wars and high crime that's crippling America... it's the media.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • logan5

      So to disagree with and challenge Christianity is "crazy." You have a flare for the comedic, you know that?

      January 22, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  13. virginia

    We exist because the two forces of positive and negative exist positive representing God of the universe as we know it and negative representing the one who don't want nothing to exist evil...

    We exist because God allows it to be...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you six years old?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • ironman59

      NO

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

      And how do you know this? A feeling, perhaps?

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

      wanting nothing to exist is evil? have another drink then explain it to me.

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

      "and negative representing the one who don't want nothing to exist evil..."

      So, that would be the one who doesn't want anything evil to exist, which would make it the good one of the two, right?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • metal beanie

      But wait – god created evil. He says so right there in his book. So, god is both good and evil. So, when you worship god, you worship that which is evil. Devil worshiper.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • logan5

      Poor poor Virginia, you wouldn't know intellectual honesty if it came up and bit you.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  14. Mohammud Al Abeckim

    God hates America!
    America is pigdog swinelovers

    January 21, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Christo

      your God doesn't exist either fool

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

      why is it always about the pig?

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

      I think it's the bacon factor. Bacon is the temptation no man can resist.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  15. Nietodarwin

    No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.
    Annie Besant

    January 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  16. Nietodarwin

    The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.
    Terry Pratchett

    January 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  17. Mayla

    Wouldn't it be funny.................if this geezus was actually manipulated by this devil and everyone whom this devil has convinced to follow this geezus were the only ones who went to swim in that lake, and the ones who resisted following this devil's geezus were never condemned?

    As Shakespeare once said, the devil himself can quote scripture to serve his own purposes.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  18. Nietodarwin

    “We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher answer’– but none exists”
    _ Stephen Jay Gould

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

      our brains are very large due to scarcity of food as intelligence became a survival adaptation. One of its perks was the ability to concieve time, origin of the universe, past, present and future. Just because we can do this doesn't mean the story was written for us.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  19. Christo

    I need some answers on heaven:
    1. What happens to miscarraiges/abortions? Given a memory of who they would have been?
    2. Wouldn't everyone be around 28 years old considering everyone had their own existence and wouldn't want to be too old or too young in heaven.
    3. Divorcees where one of the spouses didn't want a divorce and the other remarried.
    4. Widowed folks who remarried but still claim the original spouse as "the one".
    5. Gay people. Are they straight in heaven?
    6. Lifelong mental disabilities, deaf, blind. Do they heal them and is there resentment as to why they didn't get that on Earth?
    Will one of you Christians help me with this?

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

      anyone....Buehler?

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

      age of innocence, young sounds good, no marriage, no marriage, they are straight, the disabled probalby have elevated statushin heaven, as there are different rewards, sin has consequences. there is still death, yet forgiveness.

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

      Not a Christian anymore, but I'll give it a shot:
      1. Two schools of thought: on the one hand, they don't get in, and on the other, souls have inherent personalities that are expressed in the ageless afterlife.
      2. Again, ageless souls.
      3. No marriage. The souls aren't there to continue their life, but to begin a new one.
      4. Again, no marriage.
      5. LOL, gay people in heaven?
      6. Yep. All better.

      At least, this is how my uber-religious upbringing would lead me to answer. You mileage may vary based upon denomination and interpretation. Sort of silly questions, though.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • metal beanie

      I'll go with a Catholic 17-18th century interpretation:

      1) They're burning in hell
      2) sounds about right. Maybe 25.
      3) They're both charred.
      4) Polygamy in heaven is all good – you just have to get there first.
      5) No. They're feelin' the heat.
      6) They're probably in hell as well.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • james

      seriously want to know what the Bible really teaches? go to jw.org to find the truth of the bible and what the future holds for the righteous and the unrighteous in heaven or on the earth.

      January 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    @HUH: If you've got convincing evidence that there is a god, why not show it? After all, aren't people like you always insisting that you love everyone and only want to see everyone "saved"?

    If that's not true, I guess that makes you liars. If it's true, then post the proof you keep claiming you have. Put up or shut up.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:25 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.