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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. JJ

    Let's now hear the storied about all the innocent Christians who have to live among violent, diseased secularists..

    January 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • austin

      how did your day go today tallulah? I hope it was great!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      I think you put this in the wrong place, but thank you, Austin. It was a long day at work, but it's over now. I hope you had a good day, as well.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • austin

      you all over the place. what is a steam punk? and a musical.. explain that. do you have a desk job?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Bill

      austin, you are getting less and less coherent with each passing post.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • austin

      talullah was talking about a dream. idk where she went. could be a he.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:49 am |
  2. austin

    ya i had a cat come to my house that night i had a demonic dream that there was a demon singing to me, it inverted me and suspended me in the air, and the cat ran underneath me with blood gushing out of it. then i woke up in the morning, and i remembered the evil report , and sure enough, the cat was at the end of my driveway flatter than a pancake. i had seen the cat the one time ever. and thats it. thats the way that went. thats proof of the spiritual world, and if i walked away from that thinkiing that was a coincodence, then i would be the biggest fool on the face of the earth. and i would expect God have a problem with me. know what though, I am NOT DESPERATE to have God be a lie. i still struggle with sin...thats why proof, doesnt matter. we still have a desperate need for faith from God and forgiveness. it is an every day blessing, and mercy.

    I also had a period of time when I was reading through scripture and the Holy spirit was leading me in dreams about what i was going to be reading. i was in jail for a dui. i started telling people about it. guys in my dorm started rubbing feces on my bed and spitting on it when i wasnt around. when what i was willing to do was simply explain some experiences with the spiritual realm. and the venemous hate was as real of a spiritual experience as anything. people in this forum haeve a level of resentment and proclomaitons that are in the evil realm. and others are truly on a demonic realm. the definition of wicked includes "playful mischief". some of the statements are way beyond innocent. totally dedicated to suppression and deceit.

    January 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Zippy D. Doodaa

      Either you are a very talented Poe or a king-hell doozie of a whack job! I don't know whether to laugh or have you institutionalized.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • austin

      wake up buddy, im not playing around. Im not here to play religious for pride. I know exactly what is at stake. your soul.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      So you're saying roadkill exists and some guys in jail can be mean, therefore "Gawd dun it wiff spellz".

      January 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      You Christians do end up in jail far more than we atheists. I have never been in jail.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • austin

      no I am saying that the demonic realm revealed itself. and the dead cat was proof.
      And that the Holy Spirit communicated with me. one of the guys in jail who was big into the evolution argument being proof of no god, lost his money. he had been a big time hater of me. well the day he lost his money i said "keep your eyes on me" and I pulled out the dreams that I wrote down, and thirty days earlier I had a dream that he lost his money. the holy spirit was giving me pictures of things I would read about in my dreams happened about 6 times. He ministered to me.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Wow!

      So you pestered your cellmates with your psychotic demon-dream cats and biblical rants, and you are surprised they smeared crap on your bed?!?!

      A morally superior drunk driver. Wow, just wow!

      January 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • austin

      i know "not demonstratable evidence" . not to you maybe. but i cant lie to myself. thats why i am willing to reach out. even though i know its the last thing people want to think about. it matters. bigtime.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • austin

      all men will always be found as sinners. Is Christ the minister of sin? certainly not. i boast in the Lord Jesus because of His mercy, not my righteousness.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      If you see gos in a flat cat you're obviously willing to see "evidence" in anything. I mean, really, if you take 3 seconds and think it through the average person just can't find your story compelling. Of all the wonderful people in the world, you want us to believe a god cares enough about YOU to try to convince you he exists and he does so by having a cat run over by a car just for you, a convicted criminal who carelessly risks killing other humans by driving drunk?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • End Religion

      gos –> god

      January 24, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • austin

      i have 3 eight foot signs in my front yard with bible verses about the Holy Spirit (with lights cost me 3k), i have business cards with biblle verses i hand out every day, my business emblem is a biblical reference the prophetic word with a cross on it, and like paul who killed christians before he became one and had a dramatic experience on the road to Damascus, i feel like i was called into a personal ministry. i take it as serious as life, I will do anything to further the gospel in love. I love Jesus for giving me faith. He gave it to me. The Holy Spirit is irrestible.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Austin's story translated

      Austin ran over a cat when he got home from a heavy bender, and since he was in a blackout, it came to him as a dream but he did not remember that he actually was the one to flatten poor pussy.

      Austin's demon-dreams coincide with his nights of heavy substance abuse.

      Austin was an unbearable twat in jail, and of course he got what comes in jail to unbearable twats who self-righteously shove their psychotic delusions on others and won't shut up.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • austin

      why was Jesus crucified?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Zingo

      irrestible?

      Three lighted eight-foot signs in your front yard with bible verses costing $3,000?

      Austin, you have taken your rightful place here as King Of The Whacks! Lionlylamb and Chad will be so jealous.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Bet

      i have 3 eight foot signs in my front yard with bible verses about the Holy Spirit (with lights cost me 3k),

      There goes the neighborhood.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "why was Jesus crucified?"

      Good question, why would an all powerful god have to scrifice himself to himself to create a loophole for a rule he created in the first place.

      My gues is the Romans had had it with him being a pain in the ass.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • austin

      why would i risk 95 percent of business opportunities for offending people? what matters to me is the Holy Spirit. Jesus was crucified because of evil hatred, and He had to die for us this was His will to fulfill His work and glorify us all in an eternal kingdom. its real i promise you. I am going to retire from this blog. i hope you remember what I am telling you about my personal testimony with the spiritual realm. i beg you to approach the situation as helpless and simply cry out to God in the quietness of your own heart. He is there for you.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect you choose alienate prospective clients because you are a fanatic. Your fanaticism is not proof of god. It is just proof that you are a fanatic.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • austin

      get some sleep there T13

      January 24, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Brilliant

      A zealot in jail for drunk driving. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus would have preferred you DIDN'T DRUNK DRIVE!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • austin

      i learned my lesson, was not happy about it. first offence. not an alcoholic but i have drank once since march after a break up. got tipsy. and it just made me depressed as heck the next few days and i regretted it. dont like alcohol.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your personal testamony is useless to anyone but you.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Zippy D. Doodaa

      Now Cheesey, that's just not true at all. I got great value out of austin's various testamonies. I laughed and laughed and laughed! He's the funniest Jesustani we've had here in a long time.

      Can you imagine him in a jail cell, drunk and howling about Jesus to everyone? And what kind of girl (or was it a shetland pony?) would have him long enough to dump? Can you imagine happening by his house?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Austin, I dare you to tell a competent certified mental health professional your story. I'm certain they will not find you normal.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Zippy,

      I stand corrected.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • End Religion

      I can imagine those signs... I have a few nearby, though not lighted. Signs and huge crosses and some other massive sign rambling about getting out the U.N. – that sign has been there probably 20 years. People and their obsessions are fun for 45 seconds.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  3. Maryann

    "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". seriously? I wouldn't believe in a god who could be equated to a oath rush or shoes either. A god who could be dismissed as a"personal effect" is no god!

    January 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Say wha?

      Oath rush?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Laughing at "Oath rush."

      Who are you to say what a god should be, Maryann?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Zingo

      And on the fifth day, God created oath rushes.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Maryann

      I obviously need to proofread my response but the replies are pretty funny. It should have been tooth brushes. If we could put god away as a personal effect then we are god's god. Since the notion of god is as the highest power the origin, the singularity, the seed of the universe–a power higher than ourselves.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      You know, if it weren't for the complete and total lack of evidence for anything you say, and the pure absurdity of it, I might agree with you Maryann.

      Say hi to Gilligan and the Howells for me.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your god isn't mine, Maryann. If you are comforted by your belief, that's fine with me. I don't care a bit. But when believers start inserting their beliefs into the public square, they violate my right to be free of religion.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • I wonder

      Maryann,
      "Since the notion of god is as the highest power the origin, the singularity, the seed of the universe"

      Maybe... and maybe that seed or singularity just exploded into a giant display. I don't know the current thinking on gnab-gib, but maybe it'll shrink back down sometime too, and explode again, and... There is no reason to believe that it has a personality or cares a whit for or about anything.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      You gave me a worse daydream than that of austin and his bloody cat. rush taking the oath.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  4. cutelyaware

    Let's stop being apologists. The best way to present our non-belief is not to say "I don't have your faith", but simply "There is no God". I'm fine with the fables and rituals that many religious folk practice, but they should confine that stuff to their homes and churches. This is not a philosophical subject, it is a social struggle, and we have as much right to tell them how ludicrous their dogma is than they have to do the same to us.

    I encourage all the agnostics to think deeply about their self-label. Are you leaving room for the possibility that any of those fables are true or are you just afraid to admit what you know in your heart to be true? This is the fundamental struggle of our time. It is a battle that we can no longer avoid, and it is a battle that must be won. Join me by learning to say it with conviction if you can: "There is no God!" Then let's solve the rest of the world's real problems with reason and compassion for all living things.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Zingo

      I still think "There is no God" is weak, and it always falls on deaf ears. So I recommend "You are a total fucking dumbshit!!!"

      They still won't listen, but it is cathartic.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • lol??

      How 'bout, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!!!"?? Do you have any idea of the hidden taxes the citizens have paid through inflation since that movie, Network was made?? The people are takin' IT.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Disciple of Jesus

      I don't think you agnostics are doing very well thus far in solving all the worlds problems. God is interested in me solving my problems, which I have many. This is a job enough. I will leave the solving of the worlds problems to you smart,hip,educated folks.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      I'm glad you are leaving the worlds problems to seculars, because when religion tried to deal with them, the result was wars and inquisitions and torture and oppression and ignorance and intolerance and, you know, the Dark Ages.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • SkepticsUnite

      There's a story from mid-January on how astronomers have discovered the largest identified structure in the known universe, which spans 4 Billion light years and defies the modern scientific understanding. I'm pretty sure they didn't expect to find it. I do not believe in unicorns simply because someone wrote them into an ancient text. I don't flatly dismiss the possibility, however remote, that one day evidence may point to their existence. That's why I'm agnostic – not out of fear and not out of shame of atheism.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • What?

      A cluster of galaxy cores = the possibility of unicorns?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  5. Verdada Praxis

    Can somebody tell me why we can't just be honest with our kids. I decided to just tell my son this is what I believe (Christianity) and this is how it has helped me BUT NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE. It totally took the pressure off me and my son. His response was overwhelming positive. I also told him, "Maybe you can help us figure out what is true." He's taken a great interest in faith issues simply because I was honest. It's been quiet liberating and empowering for my 12 year old.

    Come on folks, don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Having a life unifying belief may indeed help us. As much as I don't know that there is a GOD, you don't know that there isn't a GOD. So be honest with your kids and tell them, "Nobody knows for sure. What do you think the answer is." You will be amazed at their maturity in handing the truth.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • lol??

      How smart is dying for a phony story? HHHHmmm, guess you'll have to look at the A&A's.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Polonius

      If you are intent on honesty, then you must not only say "we don't know" but also "no evidence has been found anywhere in the universe, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the expanses of the cosmos, that even hints at the existence of deities."

      I tend to disagree that an illusion is acceptible as a "life-unifying" force, whatever that is. Reality is perfectly fine for we seculars.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • lol??

      poly sayz, "...... then you must not only say "we don't know" ........." Anybody lookin' for da wee "wegod"? She's POPular. Bully.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • lol??

      yeah poly cwacker, ".........fine for we seculars." You should tear that idol down so you can drive.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Polonius

      Are you trying to speak English?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • lol??

      You oughta know, early 1600's.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Disciple of Jesus

      He lives in my heart, those who knew me before dont know me now. Proof enough for me, the peace and contentment I have now. My family, once in a total shamble now a real close family. To Polonius he speaks as if we know everything there is to know in the universe. The arrogance of our people today. We don't know anything. Science has put to rest good debate,along with honest science. Question everything they say, just not the popular stuff that we are all supposed to take as truth.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Kim

      Disciple of Jesus
      What you're describing is just a testament to the power of believing in Jesus. It works just as well whether Jesus is real, or just acting as a placebo, right? Besides, not everyone is a total loser in need of something to turn their life around.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • austin

      kim that was rude.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you for your opinion, Mr. DUI.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I don't know that Shiva isn't true either. I don't know that Satanism isn't the real one true religion either. Heck, I cannot say that any one of a few thousand self destructive cults aren't reality either. If we go with what could be true, there's a few billion possibilities, many of them quite dark – and IMO Christianity is one of the quite dark options.

      I teach my child what I think is most likely true – as do you. Where I'm uncertain, I say so, where there's a chance of error, I say so, but to teach your religion because it is possible – I'd be teaching all kinds of trash if I went that route, and doing my child a huge disservice.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  6. lol??

    "2Cr 5:6 Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:"............."2Cr 5:8 We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

    January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  7. PeterKiryluk

    Poor woman has a brain, and uses it, tries to raise her children without non-sense,without a harry potter story written a long time ago. Before then you had a god of penis and a bunch of other weird non-sense. There is no point in arguing, people know you can't be without religion, because the religious bible thumpers attack, with their twisted views and brainwashed enthusiasm of what is in the bible and not what is actually around then that forms the fabric of reality around them. You never win that argument, so whats the point of arguing, most people my age dont support religion, is a dying thing. Don't get me wrong I think there is a god to us somewhere and when we die there is good evidence the information does not get lost. Ghosts do exist, but concept of religion is just stupid. live your life with your mind, its not 200ad. We have information stuff, and ways to figure anything we choose to if we put the time into it. Religion is an outdated story that tries to answer questions that are just unknown at this time.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • lol??

      ".................without a harry potter story written a long time ago..............." 1997, warted hog

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Polonius

      Reading comprehension is not one of Lola's fortes.

      Lola, lo-lo-lo-lo-Lola

      January 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  8. Robert

    Looks like the Christians are getting desperate with their pressured approach towards recruiting. I think people are finally waking up to the fact that they are a cult. How can anyone believe in their demigod (Christ and his divine father-human mother). This fairy tale has it's roots in Greco-roman mysticism. I am not an atheist because and I can believe in a 'maker of all things' but I can't seriously think he was this 'animal sacrificing' diety worshipped by some ancient tribe in the middle east. Is that the creator of this wondrous universe? I don't think so.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      Afraid of Idols, Afraid of other Gods?, likes burned flesh ALOT, commands murder on a whim.... plagiarizes other myths and aspects of other cultures (must of had writer's block).

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  9. lol??

    hi-guy sayz, "........think about it by implanting self-loathing (we're all useless, worthless, heathonous sinners who deserve nothing).........." Knot to worry, block head. You will get what you deserve, perfectly.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Gotta love the irony

      "Knot to worry"

      Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love it that the dolt is calling someone else a "blockhead."

      January 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Watch out lol?? god is going to beat you up

      January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  10. kenji

    And Christians attack non-Christian countries just because they disagree. how nice.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  11. Robert

    Let’s do a little math, shall we? The Population Reference Bureau estimates that, since the beginning of time, 108 billion people have lived, or are living on the earth. Now, the Apostle John writes in the Book of Revelations that only 144,000 saved persons will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Since the Book of Timothy says that “All Scripture is God Breathed”, all true believing Christians MUST accept that all words written in the Bible come from God because the words have been ‘breathed’ into the minds of the apostles or scribes who wrote them. Therefore; dividing 108,000,000,000 persons by only 144,000 saved gets you 1.3 saved souls for every 1 million people living or who have lived. So I ask you, do you actually think that out of 1 million people living around you in your city or state, YOU WILL BE THE ONLY PERSON SAVED and the remaining 999,999 will be damned to hell?

    January 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Athy

      Don't use facts on the religies, it confuses them even more.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Robert,

      Read some good bible commentary, the 144,000 are the believing children of Israel that will be preserved through the great tribulation. The church (those saved by faith in Jesus) is /are already gone by the time this happens.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow, Robert Brown. I'm glad you cleared that up for us. It made no logical sense at all until you commented.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your assumptions are without any foundation, Robert. You cannot cite a single person who has died and went to heaven or hell. You have no proof that anyone "goes" anywhere at all after death. There's no evidence there's any such thing as a soul.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • lol??

      R brown is a rapturistica?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Neverstoplearning

      What is God's purpose for the earth? Why do people go to heaven? What will they do there? Did Jesus resurrect people when he was on earth? Were they good people? If they were in heaven, why would he bring them back here? Why did he compare death to sleep? What did Jesus say would be the future, or eternal hope for meek people?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      Yuppers... cracks me up.. the Jehovah's witnesses are out hounding people left and right...and they take that number literally... guess they are commanded to spead the word.... which to me would seem to add competion for one of the parking spaces in heaven...

      perhaps THAT's why they are so bloody annoying.... they can say they tried, it not their fault people didnt bite eh?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Come out, come out, wherever you are!

      144,000 male virgins selected especially for Jesus. Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . kind of a smörgåsbord for Jesus.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Now turn it around robert and sell the people keynesian economics.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      You ever read any of those accounts of people who died, but were brought back?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      oxyegen deprivation RB..

      January 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      oxygen even...bad bad typer

      January 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Neverstoplearning,

      “What is God's purpose for the earth?”
      To rid it of sin

      “ Why do people go to heaven?”
      They accepted Jesus as their savior.

      “What will they do there?”
      Praise God.

      “Did Jesus resurrect people when he was on earth?”
      Yes

      “ Were they good people?”
      Yes

      “If they were in heaven, why would he bring them back here?”
      To demonstrate the power of God.

      “Why did he compare death to sleep?”
      It is like going to sleep and waking up. You don’t know what happens in between.

      “What did Jesus say would be the future, or eternal hope for meek people?”
      Inherit the kingdom

      January 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      hmmm..funny,
      If they believe there will only be that many in heaven, then in my opinion they are deceived.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      I watched pet cemetery.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, Robbie, dear, I've read them. There's no indication from ANY of their accounts that their experiences were the result of some paradise, you dolt.

      Really, are you THAT unhappy with your life here that you have to yearn for and depend upon some better existence after you croak?

      I'm not.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Polonius

      In every case where it has been possible to get data, Robert, people in an NDE state were found to have brain activity roughly akin to REM sleep throughout the period of "death." Basically, your brain is the last thing kept going, and this continues a while after the heart stops, and medical staff base death on heart activity.

      In other words, your claims are ridiculous – NDEs are completely consistent with natural science, and the similarity in experiences points strongly to the brain shutting down the same way in everyone.

      It's just a vivid dream that people have chosen to interpret as something that it isn't.

      Darn that science stuff!

      January 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Pastor Brown. If they believe in heaven they are deceived.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Scroll down just a little bit, we already talked about croaking.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • J.W

      It appeared to me that Robert Brown was just explaining what it meant. He did not say it was proof of anything. Too bad more of you are not willing to have a reasonable discussion.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Polonius,
      Darn, that old flesh just has to die.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you ninny. I can't be bothered to scroll through all your drivel. Either post your response here or be considered a liar.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      lamb of dog,
      Let’s not get carried away, I am just a regular believer, with no official ti.tles.

      I was replying to the poster who said the Jehovas witnesses say that only 144,000 will be in heaven. I believe there will be way more than that in heaven and in my opinion if they think that is all that will be there, they are deceived.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Booby, how many of you pinheads can dance on an angel?

      Don't you get tired of being such a fvcking stooge, Robert?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
      1. Robert Brown
      “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.”

      This shows she has absolutely no understanding of why people need God. The afterlife was the furthest thing from my mind when I was saved.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      It's most likely that by now, if it were true, those 144,000 places have all been taken.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      I understand what you meant Friar Brown. I'm just saying it doesn't matter if they believe only a handful or 108 billion are going to some silly magic land in the sky. They are all deceived.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The afterlife was the furthest thing from my mind when I was saved."

      Mr. Brown,

      What were you "saved" from?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You self-centered moron, SHE doesn't give a ripe fvck why YOU need anything. She figured out that she didn't need such a lie to be happy and fulfilled and made her decisions accordingly. Your mileage may vary; doesn't mean your beliefs are superior. Or even valid, for anyone but you, dumbfvck.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      lamb of dog,
      Ok, my bad, I thought you missed it.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
      sin

      January 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "The idea of an afterlife was the furthest thing from my mind when I was saved." Thus spake Bobby the zealot. Why in the fvcking world would you think YOUR experience has more validity than hers, you little sh!t? Do you really think YOU are the measure for all others as to what "people experience"?

      What a fvcking moron.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Do you feel loved?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apparently not the sin of self-aggrandizement, Booby. You weren't saved from that. You revel in it.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're happy as a pig in slop, Robert.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Polonius

      He was saved from the sin he was born with. It's an entrapment thing – everyone is guilty no matter what.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      She said she understood. I disagree. I don’t think she understands.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mr. Brown,

      Why are you concerned about be saved from sin?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do I feel loved? You bet I do. I am loved, and love others.

      Anything else, sh!t for brains?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • jonathan

      mr sarcasm (1 of many billions since the beginning)

      research 2 flocks please

      January 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
      Would you mind scrolling down a little and reading about it? I posted the reasoning I had at the time.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      YOU 'disagree', you impudent ass? Who do you think you are? You don't have a clue about her or her life, idiot.

      Presumptuous dick.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The reasoning you had "at the time"? So your reasoning is different now? Why? Was it fvcked up then, or is it faulty now, Robby?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      I am glad you feel loved. Why do you seem so angry? What is with all the profanity and name calling? Do you think we are enemies? Do you think communicating like that gives your thoughts superiority?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
      At the time, I thought I needed to not sin before I could be saved. What I have learned since then is that I couldn’t resist the temptation to sin without God, and even with God I am still capable of sin when I yield to the flesh.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You ass. I don't give a crap about your thoughts or whether mine are "superior." What I do not tolerate is some twit like you pontificating his ass off about what he thinks god is or what life is or what faith is.

      You ARE NOT QUALIFIED to define any of the above, you witless wonder.

      You are the kind of zealot that drives everyone further away from ANY belief,

      Just shut up. You'd do Christianity a huge favor if you zipped your fat lip and disappeared.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • David

      Some aspects of speech/written word are not meant to be taken at literal face value. This is no less true for the bible. For example, when Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sins against him, 'as many as seven times?', Jesus replies 'not seven times, but seventy-seven times'. This is taken to mean an infinite number, that you should not stop loving and forgiving your brother no matter how many times he sins against you (not that you're free to love him until then 77th time and can then hate him afterwards). Likewise, when the bible refers to the 144,000 who will be saved, it is referring to 12 x 12 (a special number for the Israelites because of the 12 tribes). It is a number that cannot be physically counted and who can only be known to God alone, who is able to view the entirety of our lives in all its nuances and who accounts for our every word and even our every hair.

      Nobody should ever be forced or shamed into following Christianity. It quite defeats the purpose, which is to open ourselves to God and our neighbor, placing trust where it is needed and valuing those who are ignored, forgotten, and even our enemy. We are called out of ourselves, to trust and receive strength from someone stronger than ourselves who has suffered as we have. And most importantly, He asks us to pray, since it is a real relationship that requires communication. The closer we grow to him, the more easily we can give of ourselves. Christianity invites us to be better people are forgives us when we aren't, so long as we resume the road.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mr, Brown,

      I am glad you were able to find peace in your life.

      I am truly not trying to downplay you experience, but I know someone who's "higher power" was his lamp. A belief in god is not necessary for the type of change you describe, I am glad it worked for you.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't get it, you boob. Your "experience" is meaningless to anyone else and your beliefs are irrelevant. Your proselytizing is not effective; it is, instead, counterproductive. People like you do NOT appeal to the vast majority. You're a turn-off, Robert. You do no favors for your cause by posting your nonsensical blather.

      All you do is alienate the very people who might be amenable to belief but for zealots like you.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Pot : Kettle

      Tom, Tom the Piper's Son,

      I disagree overwhelmingly with Robert's fantasies, but he is always nonassaultive. On the other hand...

      "You are the kind of zealot that drives everyone further away from ANY belief,
      Just shut up. You'd do Christianity a huge favor if you zipped your fat lip and disappeared."

      ... does no favors for us non-believers.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      I think you have cured me of my insomnia, thanks.

      Your opinion of me means about as much to me as I am sure mine means to you.

      I don’t know why I bother you so, perhaps it is the message rather than the messenger. God might be dealing with you and you are lashing out, or maybe your just drunk, or a natural grump. Either way, have a good evening and God bless and I will take your advice and disappear.

      I might check back to tomorrow and see how good you cussed me out.

      Peace.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fvckwit, you bother me because you are the epitome of the zealot I abhor. The one who is just absolutely CERTAIN that his way is the right path and the only path for everyone. That he has found "THE answer" and all who seek need only consult with him to know the correct way. You are just another iteration of HeavenSent and others like it. You think you have some corner on truth and salvation and all who don't agree are doomed.

      You are disgusting. I don't have a quarrel with your belief in god. If it brings you peace, great. I DO take issue with you inane insistence that YOU know what is right for everyone else.

      You don't. You don't know a thing about anyone else's private life at all. It is the height of hubris for you to assume you know what ANYONE else needs, wants, fears, or seeks.

      Listen more and yap less, you little poodle. You're obnoxious.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And to Pot: Kettle: Fvck you and the horse you road in on. I don't represent you or anyone else. I will say what I think and if you don't like it you can cram it up your ass.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • austin

      tom tom, why were you mean to that guy? he was nice.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • lol??

      poly sayz, "........... Basically, your brain is the last thing kept going, and this continues a while after the heart stops,......." So he just claimed that when the A&A's chop off a Christian's head, the chopee can look up and see the blood gushing out of his own neck. Beats the needle, especially when they run out of the right drugs.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      austin, get a clue. Hitler was "nice" to dogs.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Disclaimer

      Tom, Tom the Piper's Son speaks only for herself, often gets overwrought, and does not represent atheists/agnostics.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Franz Liebkind

      Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • That was funny

      My gosh you all got poor Tom fired up. It was an enjoyable read to see her completely lose it. Thank you. :)

      January 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  12. Andy

    Why would a kid ask his parents about God? Duh, because He knows the universe is bigger than his mom and dad. I sure wouldn't want to be a godless parent, who when that moment comes, they quench and stumble the poor child in his tracks. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!" Jesus Mathew 18:6-7

    January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Athy

      Nothing beats the truth, Andy. And the plain truth is, there ain't no god. Live with it.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      ut ter crap....

      Get em while they re young eh? – if your fail rate is such that your message cant get past an adult's bullsheet meter, then maybe you shouldnt be trying to sell it to kids.....especially other peoples' kids.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      You have no idea whatsoever why someone's child might ask them about the concept of god. None. It might be because some of their friends were talking about it, they might have heard about it on TV or saw a billboard. It's not as if it's exactly hidden in this country.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Andy, you're either a liar or an idiot.

      I don't remember asking about ANYTHING concerning "the universe" when I was a kid. Ever.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Floyd the Barber

      Ohhh Annnddy,

      That's some goood cult logic..

      January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Why would a kid ask about god? Because one of his or her friends mentioned it at school. Kids are curious. Kids parrot what they hear. This is not proof of god. It is merely proof of curiosity.

      I would tell any child of my own that people believe in god for their own reasons, but there isn't any proof to show that god exists. Wow. That was simple.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  13. M McL

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/01/23/54197.htm

    January 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      FFRF for the win!

      January 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Val D

    I too feel isolated by all the irrational people about me subscribing to "comforting lies". I'm posting to voice my support and delight in seeing such an article posted on CNN.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  15. AMSL 2003

    If you seek Him, you will find Him. There is no reason to bury our heads in the shifting sands of secularity, which provide no foundation for living for more than the here and now. I would encourage Ms. Phillips to consider the many self-professed atheists who have come to be believers by their own free will and reason. In asking why they changed, she may discover something life-changing for herself. God's imprint on humanity cannot be reasonably ignored or dismissed.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      One can be devoutly religious and completely supportive of secularism.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Then Again . . .

      Aside from the total lack of evidence for anything you said and the fact that you can make exactly the same case for Zeus and Quetzlcoatl, that was a good point.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      While I applaud your calm reasoning, AMSL, I don't see that this mother is seeking meaning. She's already found it. If she's happy and her children are happy, what more does she need?

      This obsession so many believers have with finding "meaning" in life is amusing. What makes you think you've found anything more "meaningful" than she has?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      You can always ignore and dismiss anything for which there is absolutely no evidence. Indeed, only a fool looks at the naked emperor and admires his new clothes.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Chris S

      Why so sure, perhaps God is whoever we define her to be.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Sam

      I guess you didn't understand the article by your response.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      This is one of the more arrogant tendencies of some theists, which is to assert that those that don't believe simply must not have looked long enough, or prayed sincerely, or any number of other nonsensical reasons why we just don't share their beliefs. I often wonder if it's because they are so intellectually dishonest as to assume that if anyone actually examined the same information they have then they must arrive at the same conclusion they did. Ergo, if they don't, they must have just not really tried. A pathetic way to look at it, in my opinion.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  16. Robert Brown

    “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.”

    This shows she has absolutely no understanding of why people need God. The afterlife was the furthest thing from my mind when I was saved.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I call complete bullshit.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      It is the truth. I was a young man with no fear of danger or death, just as many young men. I don’t know your gender, but if you are male, think back to your teens and early twenties, if not, ask one you trust, lots of young men have little if any fear.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Bullshit. Most people don't go around thinking about death period, but christianity forces you to think about it by implanting self-loathing (we're all useless, worthless, heathonous sinners who deserve nothing), toss in an afterlife filled with torture if you don't accept it, then finish up with the ultimatum of obey or else the bad thing happens. The entire thing is predicated on a fear tactic.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • austin

      @ hawaii did you catch my last post scroll down , dont comment.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      Thinking back I was more interested in pleasing God, making myself acceptable to him. I desired his love and acceptance.

      I don’t disagree that you will hear the fire and brimstone sermons, but that isn’t what got me to thinking.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I've been completely afraid of death for as far back as I can remember.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rational Libertarian,

      You were obviously a smarter young person than me. When I got a little older and loved ones past on, it dawned on me that I was headed that way too. In the flesh it isn’t pleasant to think about it, Christian or not.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Marvin McConoughey

      I and my siblings were all raised by deeply religious parents. My father once said that a man did not need any book but the bible. As a powerless child I tried with all my ability to believe. I couldn't even force myself to believe in Santa Claus., let alone the more challenging notion of a male personage who had time to count every hair on every person's head.

      Children who are indoctrinated to fanatically believe in this or that religion are part of our culture. We give parents that dictatorial power and it is difficult to combat. Those of us who improved our thinking usually did so in the face of opprobrium, prejudice, and overtly acted-out bias.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Robert Brown

      But in your mind you're not heading there. I assume you believe in the afterlife. I don't, I believe in eternal nothingness, which is a scary prospect.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rational Libertarian,

      Yes, that is a scary prospect. I do believe in an afterlife, but I still have fear, more of the process than what happens next.

      The flesh doesn’t want to die. I have heard Christians say that they do not fear death, well more power to them. I could say the same thing in the spirit, but not in the flesh.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Marvin McConoughey,

      I am sorry you feel wronged for your unbelief. Do you think God is a possibility or are you convinced there is no such thing?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @austin

      I did. And what's your point. You had a crazy dream, and attribute it to something for which you cannot demonstrate.

      @Robert

      And you wanted to please god why? According to your own doctrine you don't have to earn your gods love, you have to earn salvation. According to your own doctrine, you cannot "prove yourself" to your god through actions, only through faith, and the penalty for lack of faith is, guess what.
      Even within the paradigm you stated, you wanted to be "acceptable" to your god. And what would have been the recourse in your mind of not being acceptable? Oh wait that's right, eternal torture.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      I don’t know if you read it, but I did share my personal testimony with you a while back, so I won’t go into all of that. But, I didn’t understand the doctrine when I was saved.

      God was dealing with my heart about sin. I was under conviction. I mistakenly thought if I could reform myself then I would accept his free gift. What I didn’t understand was that I couldn’t resist temptation to sin without the power of God on my side and even with it, I would still yield to the flesh instead of the spirit at times and mess up anyway.

      I didn’t understand all of that before I was saved. I wasn’t as concerned about the penalty for sin as I was just trying not to do it to please God. I didn’t understand, but I am glad I gave up trying and surrendered to him.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I highly doubt you didn't understand it. It doesn't take much cognitive ability to understand "obey or else".

      January 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  17. Dale

    Where are all the bloggers?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  18. roman2819

    “Understanding Prayer, Faith and God's Will” is a book for all who believe, and for all who haven't. http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431
    There are 12 chapters:
    1. Inner Doubts
    2. What does the Bible mean?
    3. Prayer: What did Jesus Intend to tell us?
    4. "Why doesn't God answer more prayers?"
    5. To Pray Again
    6. Does Sin impede prayer?
    7. Faith in God
    8. How does God call people?
    9. Understanding God's Will
    10 Being in God's will
    11 Journey of the Bible
    12 Reading the Scripture Fruitfully

    January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Don't forget chapter 13. Why god is a make believe being.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And number 14: Why adding a female prost.itute to one's circle of friends can nip those gay rumors in the bud.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      15. Soft dinosaur tissue and how it proves the earth is 6000 years old.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      16. Soft toilet paper is the only proof of a loving god.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      17. Is Uncle Sam Really Satan?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      18 How to justify any random argument using Biblical references (with special focus on justifying contradictory positions)

      January 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • RandomChadness

      re: cheese

      ...The Gospel according to Chad. Praise be the Lord...Amen.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  19. austin

    ya i had a cat come to my house that night i had a demonic dream that there was a demon singing to me, it inverted me and suspended me in the air, and the cat ran underneath me with blood gushing out of it. then i woke up in the morning, and i remembered the evil report , and sure enough, the cat was at the end of my driveway flatter than a pancake. i had seen the cat the one time ever. and thats it. thats the way that went. thats proof of the spiritual world, and if i walked away from that thinkiing that was a coincodence, then i would be the biggest fool on the face of the earth. and i would expect God have a problem with me. know what though, I am NOT DESPERATE to have God be a lie. i still struggle with sin...thats why proof, doesnt matter. we still have a desperate need for faith from God and forgiveness. it is an every day blessing, and mercy.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      dafuq?!?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Do you know you're crazy?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • austin

      you will not take my word for it for anything will you? i would never lie to you.

      proof like that is not the substance of faith. i was on a spiritual high for a while, and then I began the same worldy lust driven mode of a selfish life. and I still have normal struggles. and I know that by Gods grace, he forgives, and i ask for faith and more faith, every day. I need him to sustain my faith. John the baptist was in jail and he sent his buddies to ask Jesus if he should look for another messiah because he was unhappy with being in Jail.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Al

      I had a dream that I was having s ex with a stranger. Is God.telling me I should be a male prosti tute or a por n star? That's what I'm thinking, but I thought I should run it by you.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • austin

      sounds frustrating!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • austin

      in my opinion that sounds frustrating!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I had a weird dream the other night that started as a Steam Punk bomb plot and ended as a musical based in a high school, with about 3 other unrelated segments in between. And I wasn't even in the last part. I think it was the TheraFlu I had before going to bed.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  20. Rain Man

    Jesus was an excellent driver. Dad lets Jesus drive slow on the driveway. But not on Monday, definitely not on Monday.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Jesus gets his underwear at kmart.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Bet

      Ten minutes to Wapner!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Bring me Peter Pan!!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
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About this blog

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