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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. Katy

    Out of 650,000 only "hundreds" expressed a likewise view while thousands expressed either outrage or counterpoint, yet CNN posts a response full of crazy childhood memories and tornados not based on fact for the pure purpose of putting, once again, faith on the side of the fringe lunatic... The bias and intended message is crystal clear. I am renewing my efforts to get my news and views elsewhere even if it requires more effort. Boo to you CNN, not because I am a religious but because you guys are often inaccurate, misleading and most decidedly partial to out stream ideology.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Please do go elsewhere, and take your ignorant superst!tions with you.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Luis Wu

      And to me, it appears that the vast majority of comments here are in favor of her.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Katy

      The articles own writing states these numbers of support – not me. Wishing really hard doesn't make it so Luis. The fact is, people of faith are majority in America despite how angry that makes you. The real question should be about the responsibilities or not or parents to prepare their children for a world that doesn't reflect their views not this lazy deferral of the question for their kids to tackle when they are on their own. But perhaps this is the blessing in disguise...

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Katy, who cares how many nitwits oppose this woman's views? Doesn't make their opinions anything but opinions.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • JWT

      perhaps she is preparing her children for a world where believers outnumber non-believers but that does not need to include a belief in god or the cultural history of such belief.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Earl

      Katy, this lady is a part of a growing segment of the population, as numbers in every Christian denomination are declining in attendence (and therefore relevence). This may upset you, as your faith is obviously what you structure your life on and around. You can go elsewhere to get your news, but this article was presented objectively and eventually this reality will have to be addressed. You can ignor it for as long as you wish, but if it your wish that the population become more faithful, you'd be better served becomeing a better evangelist that is not blind to the realiy of the task in front of them.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Al Russell

      Because being in the majority means that only you should have the right to be heard? That "hundreds" of others shouldn't have that same right? This is why many of us simply stop listening to folks like you. Your hypocrisy is so deafening that it drowns out anything reasonable you might have to say.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  2. blake

    More promotion of atheistic secular humanism by the far left folks at CNN. 20% of America is non-religious, that means that 80% believe in God.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Yes, 80% of Americans don't think.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • GoodWitchPA

      80% believe in a god, not necessarily a Judeo-Christian variety. Those of us who don't shouldn't have it forced on us. Ours is just as valid an opinion as yours. That's all that's being said here, both by the author, and by CNN by publishing it. That's all.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Earl

      While 20% may have some degree of belief in God, you have to agree that a good portion of those do so because of the tradition and/or teachings passed down in their families. It is certainly not that way as a result of God manifesting Himself to anyone or being able to see Him in the works of others. I don't know how old you are, but as the declining numbers continue to slip in every Christian denomination, you will see this segment grow and become more relevant and vocal in the coming years and their voice will have an influence on all social and government policy. I'd be wary to not dismiss this as some liberal infatuation, it will be very realvery soon.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Al Russell

      More hysterical hyperbole from the Christian sector. Are you honestly trying to say that CNN is promoting ATHEISM? They have an entire section on CNN called CNN "FAITH" with Belief Blogs! It's sad that your fear of having your beliefs challenged is so intense that you fail to see reality. Personally, I'd like to see more objective reporting. Where's our Agnostic Daily Report? Yeah, I can just hear the cacophony of panicked screeches from people like you if that were to happen. Why is it that, while you profess so loudly that you will be proven right in the end, you are so threatened by exposure to alternate beliefs? I'm not afraid to listen to your point of view. Why are you so terrified to hear mine?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Gir

      And people wonder why this country is circling the toilet bowl.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • sam stone

      oooh....far left......

      shove your bible up your rectum, blake

      January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Ms. Pink

      Yes, the majority of Americans, 80% believe in God. That leaves 20% of us non-believers. That means that there is about ten times more non-believers than Jewish Americans and almost double non-believers in comparison to African-Americans. Thre are about 25 percent more non-believers than hispanics. None of these groups are marginalized in the way that non-believers are marginalized in the US. It is not acceptable with our social norms to speak out hateful words against one of these groups as a whole, so why is it still accepatable to speak out against non-believers which makes up about 1 out of five persons in the US, and that number climbs to almost 1 out of 3 if we only consider those under the age of 30.

      You cannot contiue to pretend that the voice of 20% of people in this country does not matter.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  3. chentwinks

    I was raised Catholic–it was shoved down my throat and I didn't realize how much I resented that until I became an adult and had a choice. It was a gradual process for me, but I am now atheist.

    Religion was not discussed when I was raising my kids (now 14, 17, 19). I never imposed my beliefs (or lack of) on my children, as my parents did to me. The result is that my daughter and I are Atheists. My boys are both non-denominational Christians. My husband is Agnostic. We are happy, GOOD people, and we accept and support one another even though we have various beliefs. I used to feel guilty for not raising my children with religion, but now I'm glad I gave them the choice that I didn't have.

    One of the best things that's come out of my journey is that I am so much more open-minded than I was as a strict Catholic. There are so many fascinating religions and cultures out there that I would never have accepted or learned about, because I was taught that Catholicism is the ONLY true religion. I have a friend who is Hindu. She knows I'm atheist, yet she will happily explain her customs to me, and patiently answer all my questions. I am not against religion. I just think it should be kept personal. Everyone should have something that feeds his or her inner-being and gives a sense of peace and love, whether that is God, Buddha, or nature.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Jack piyatu

      So u have one thing in common with your friend"....
      One one hand we have an atheist...some one who believes that the universe just came into being all by Itself ..
      One the other hand we have your friend..a Hindu who worships cows,chimpanzees,elephants...
      Is this a club of idiots?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • chentwinks

      @jack – I believe everyone has a choice. You can be mean or you can be kind. I choose to be kind, not in the name of any religion, but kind in the name of humanity. I don't care if a friend of mine worships cow dung. If she is a good person, and kind to others, that is what matters.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Al Russell

      Jack: Do you honestly want to get into a discussion about the silly things promoted by religion? Actually, never mind. It's just not worth it...

      January 19, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  4. Tim

    Religion is like underwear...people should be able to 'wear' any size, shape, color or type of underwear they want...or not wear any at all. I just don't want to hear about it or see it flashed about everywhere.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Lemaitre

      I guess you could say that about all beliefs . . .political, social, musical, etc. Why doesn't everyone keep all beliefs and opinions to themselves?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  5. Syd

    If we can worry less about counting on or pleasing an invisible giant in the sky and worry more about actual tangible problems we can see, hear and feel, we'd have a lot fewer problems to see, hear and feel.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  6. scott

    grow up u religious people. the bible is a fairytale.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  7. Eric Hanson

    We each get to pick our own path. My favorite words on the subject:

    "If the Lord is telling you what to do that's fantastic. If the Lord is telling you to tell me what to do then we're going to have a problem." -Cheryl Wheeler

    January 19, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • zeyn2010

      Good one!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Daniel

      Niiiiiice! Pithy.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • It is Called

      Seperation of Church and State
      Creation/ID can't be taught in public schools as fact. CLUE.
      New science standards for 2013 created by 26 states a majority ! Stem standards.

      NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial – PBS
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html
      In this two-hour special, NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in ...

      Thank you to the National Centre For Science Education (NCSE) for providing this information.

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      In this two-hour special, NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" follows the celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District. This program was coproduced with Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions, Inc.
      Category
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      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hTZ5AYzs8o&w=640&h=390]

      January 19, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  8. JJ

    I loved this article and what the author had to say about her thought process in raising her children. I could not agree with her more and appreciate her courage in writing it. I'm sure she knew it would paint a target on her back, and she did it anyway. I salute her. I only wish reason had some small role in in the opposition voiced by others. Too much to ask I suppose, but times are changing. We who are moral, compassionate and kind who do not believe in what most religions teach about "God", live our lives with character, in spite of everything the majority of the world might think of us. Nothing polices us, except that fundamental belief in what feels true to who we are. As Lincoln once said "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion".

    January 19, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Daniel

      Exaclty on point. We are lucky that we are raising our children in a community where no one seems to care that they are being raised without religion. I see that others are not so lucky.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Al Russell

      Very well said JJ. I was going to post much the same thing, but I think you said it better than I would have.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  9. Ivy

    I give this woman respect for her beliefs and how she is raising her children. I'm a mother myself and have been questioned by family why we don't go to church and why I don't baptize my son and to honest I am not raising him make th choice when he is older whether to believe in god or not. And I don't have him believing in Santa either...he knows my husband and I are the gift givers. So good for her for sticking to raising her children as SHE chooses and not how society wants everyone to be. Every religion thinks they are the right one and everyone else in a different religion is wrong. Religion trys to control the world and politics and is down right stupid.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Ivy

      Correction: *meant I am allowing my son to make the choice of believing in god or not when he is older.....NOT because I said he has to.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Translation = my husband and I are lazy. We don't really know what we believe or what we don't believe and are too apathetic to find out. One thing we do know for sure, we don't believe in a God that places any demands on our time, money, or moral convictions.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "Translation = my husband and I are lazy"

      Properly put it would be that they are good parents who are doing the right thing by bot indoctrinating and filling their children's developing minds with 2000 year unchanging stories that have very little fact behind them...written only to control the masses.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      bot=not

      January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Oh, their children's brains are being filled with plenty of controlling messages and philosophies, believe me.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Tom LI

      Respect...not something Believers seem to be taught much about. IMO, its that the term FAITH has been changed to mean Factual. Believers, American Xtians in this case, argue from a place they think, rather believe is now FACTUAL in all regards and no longer has anything to do with what FAITH really means.

      Respect...something the Religious demand of others all day and night – but not something they willingly give to others who do not align to their beliefs. Usually they must be forced into a tenuous form of toleration, that they deem Satanic and an agreement they can break when they see fit.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  10. John

    Not only do they reject God, but they stand in the way of others trying to find him, and then laugh at them if they do. What a shock it will be.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • sam stone

      what a shock what will be?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Why would anyone want to find an imaginary, invisible, supernatural fairytale being in the sky? Only dimwits would.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • rini6

      ?? In the article a woman particularly mentioned that she wanted to let people worship in anyway that they wanted to. She just wanted to be left alone. I don't see how any of these women interfered with others' beliefs other than the fact that they didn't lie and were open about their beliefs. Those of us without faith should not feel as if we cannot speak. We are allowed to have an opinion.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  11. joedog

    Interesting posts. God fearing people fear and dismiss Godless folks and Godless folks belittle God fearing folks. I am usually ambivalent about atheists, except when they become unbearable whiners about their supposed intellectual superiority. Believers, who prosteltize can be boring, even pedantically so; but atheists recently are acting more like facisti.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Chris

      it must feel great to be so superior to all of us!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Graham

      Dictionary.com defines a fascist as "a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views". Atheists do not have any political clout and therefore cannot be dictatorial, nor do we have extreme right-wing views. I agree that my fellow atheists can be smug, but c'mon, fascist? That's extreme. You make a good point that is based in reality, don't derail it by using hyperbolic and incorrect name-calling.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • someguy

      Are you kidding? People with no religious beliefs have been inundated by preaching, conversion attempts, exclusion, mockery, and downright violence forever. And now you have the nerve to call those who are finally speaking up for themselves and saying "just leave us alone" fascists? Here's a tip for you: Trying to impose YOUR morals, whatever they may be, onto others is fascist. Trying to get people to accept you for who you are and not persecute you for your beliefs most certainly is not.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • visitor

      A lot of non religious people have a huge hangover from years of listening to frankly very very fact free religious people.

      Try listening to a child telling you that she doesn't need to learn evolution in school, because she doesn't believe in it.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  12. Itsdark4u

    RED VS. BLUE AHGHHHHHHAHHAHAHHAGAGGAGA GET THEM AHAHHAHHA! way to go cnn

    January 19, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  13. Chris T.

    Look at the face of a child when they are sleeping at night. If you can't feel God's love at that moment then your soul is dead.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      That's not definitive of a basic human emotion. As for a soul, no we don't have soul's because they, much like your god, can't be shown to exist outside of the stories told.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Dr Reid Richards

      That may be the creepiest thing I've ever read.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Graham

      Chris, I'm sure it was a honest mistake on your part, but when you tell people who disagree with your views "Your soul is dead", you are unlikely to receive a positive response. I assume you want people to agree with your worldview, so I'd start by being understanding, compassionate, and forgiving. Kind of like Jesus. I'm pretty sure he didn't go around telling people their souls were dead.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Brad

      Can I not just feel love for my child without God having to be a part of it? And if someone does not believe that a god is involved, they probably don't believe in a soul anyway. In that case, you are correct.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Mike

      My goodness....are your serious?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Jesus

      Look at the face of a dead child who starved or was murdered or abused. Do you feel gods love then?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • It is Called

      @Chris T.
      It is Called education
      just one source.
      Best thing to do is take a simple blood test go figure !!!

      Published on Jan 15, 2013

      Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome—an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago—but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In "Decoding Neanderthals," NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. In the traditional view, Neanderthals differed from "us" in behavior and capabilities as well as anatomy. But were they really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Ron

      Better yet, try looking at the faces of the thousands of innocent children all over the world who are abused, abandoned, or starving. I guess god doesn't love them quite as much.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Luis Wu

      @It is called – White slave owners bred with slave women too.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • visitor

      Apparently you need a Male God Figure to tell you love is OK and feel love. You really ought to get in touch with your feminine side. Try it, you don't need permission from a Male God Figure to love. You can do it, all on your own!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Alicia

      Are you kidding me? I have never once felt that. I look at my beautiful sleeping children every night and sigh with happiness that my husband and I brought these beautiful children into the world and are raising them with so much love. The are my world and heart and soul, and everything good about them comes from me and their father, not a god of any sort.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  14. LC

    Now that makes sense...Catholicism and Christianity or VERY different. I'm Christian, and knowing what I do about Catholics I can understand where her disbelief comes from, but she probably shouldn't lump us all together....

    January 19, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Lemaitre

      What do you know about Catholicism? Name three central dogmas?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Mike

      It is all from the same book that was written and re-written many many times........in the end they all have a central premise which has been perverted over many years.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Chris

      As an atheist, I've found protestants like you to be far more annoying and likely to prosletyze than Catholics

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am |
      • LC

        As a Christian, I find atheist like you to be far more annoying that the ones who just look at my comment, disagree, and keep it moving with their lives....

        January 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • TF

      There's only one dogma he needs to know. If you're a Catholic priest and you molest children, you will get shuffled around to another diocese indefinitely until the media, a parent, or the victim comes forward.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Ancient mythology is still ancient mythology no matter what label you put on it.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • LC

        Unless you can prove that it's only a myth, that statement is strictly opinion and not fact.

        January 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • visitor

      Catholicism IS Christianity.

      What a self-centered person you are.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • LC

        There's no way for you to jump to a conclusions, such as me being self-centered, based off of one comment. Catholicism is as close to Christianity as Mormonism...They are still very different in many ways. Do your research. Thanks.

        January 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • johnsullivanmusic

      When I read this I wonder, Have you read the Bible? When confronted with the grave violence and depravity of the Bible distinctions like Catholic (who were the first xtians) or protestant make no rational sense. Westboro Baptist Church are Christians who probably literally fllow scripture more than you do, does that make them right? We will get a grip but it will take time. When I say we, i mean me!

      January 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  15. SAM

    It's interesting how parents speak of the questions their little children have, and because the reality is parents often don't know how to answer those questions of eternal value, the parents either dream up stories that sound good or, in this case, deny that there is a God. Where do you think the questions your little child is asking have come from? Children instinctively know at a very early age about God....until we convince or teach it out of them. The faith of a child.......

    January 19, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Andrew

      I always find it amusing how zealots and religion have such a disatrous effect on mankind. Death, hatred and deceit always seem to follow religion and its believers. God ( should he/her/it exist must surely question the outcome of lives and death 'all in the name of God'...Why would love acceptance, forgiveness be replaced by all its opposites? No..sorry folks..all you have done is make God a commodity to be bought and sold to your price and specifications. Mom...just 'teach your children well'..

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • JWT

      My parents were religious and we all did the church thing but I always knew there was no god.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • JB

      Well Said are122!!! Couldn't agree more! As a Christian myself, it is not my place to judge others, but I can't help but feel saddened when I hear stories like this one. I don't judge, I just feel sad.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • JB

      JWT...How do you know with 100% certaintly there is no God? I think the main issue isn't God...it's religion. Religion isn't what is important ... it's Relationship with God...that doesn't have to take place in a pew in a church.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • JWT

      I know internally I have no god. Not being a neurologist or shrink I don;t know how the mind works to come to it's conclusions.You may have one as I have no idea about that.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  16. JD

    Only thing I'll say is when you find yourself in a lake of burning sulphur, it's too late to change your beliefs. Read the bible and if you can't understand it, get a different version so you can. All the NIV bibles have a clear interpretation on each scripture. I will pray for you also.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Lemaitre

      How do you know the NIV is the best, or even an accurate translation?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • DJensen

      Amen JD, Amen.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • SAM

      JD – Jesus never spoke like this to anyone while he was on earth. Let's love people. I don't think you intend it but, this post is quite hurtful.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Morris

      A lake of burning sulfur......right....will the easter bunny and santa clause be there with me?

      hocus pocus....

      January 19, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Chris

      Yes, fear of a bullying, sadistic god figure is always the best motivation for worship.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone

      Get off your knees and try not to be such a whiny little b1tch, JD

      January 19, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • DJensen

      It's not bullying, and it's not hateful. Look it up for yourselves. The Great White Throne Judgement. Revelation 20, more specifically 20:11 and 20:14. I'd rather be at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • JWT

      Believe or I will hurt you – bullying at its finest. The mark of a worthless version of a fairy tale.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • DJensen

      You guys, its not a fairy tale. Please, read it for yourselves. No bullying here. Please look – Revelation 20:14 – Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. (This is the second death—the lake of fire.) The first death is when you die and leave this world. And for the unbeliever, the second death is into the lake of fire, for eternity. Forever is a long time. Go check out references. It's the truth.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • visitor

      Your prayer is offensive to me. You want to pray? Pray for yourself. Don't pretend your nasty prayer is welcome.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • johnsullivanmusic

      Religion is one area in our culture where an, otherwise sane, person can behave delusionally and it's alright. If I begged you to believe that Zuess was true because you could get hit by lightening, you would think I was nuts. Because you bought in to a different myth you get worried that we all might face a mythical scenario in a lake of mythical fire. I will think for you you pray for everyone and I'll think for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  17. Antonio

    I am amazed at you people did you not read this? She was kind and thoughful but most of you are so filled with hate I just think of this in the bible Jesus said not everyone saying lord lord will be saved. Yet you think that by spewing hate you will be saved.

    That is why I don't believe in Religion! Too much hate.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Let me guess, you had your fill of hate growing up?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Faith

      I do not believe in religion, but I do believe in God and Jesus Christ. The two are separate and people get them confused. People associate God and Jesus Christ the same as with religion. Religioin does not save mankind, but God and Jesus Christ does. The key is not looking to religiion but looking to Him. A religion is non-transforming but a revealed Christ in a person's life is and much more.

      Ms. Mitchell has every right to believe as she have determined. I would just say that believers and non-believers alike must not act like victims. No one is imprisoned to another's belief. Mankind is free to believe as he chooses and everyone has a voice. Just make sure it is the right voice that causes you to make a better decision for your life.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Mike

      Jesus Christ saves mankind? Who told you that? Jesus Christ already!!! Believe what you want....but crazy talk is just crazy talk. Those voices you hear as saviors is your mind thinking and hoping. Ugh!!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  18. Itsdark4u

    Who cares? Shes all like "i had to lie to my 3 yr old", lol, so she never did the santa thing? Or the easter bunny? How about the tooth fairy? Jesus christ, all you people take EVERYTHING way to far. I tell my 3 yr old crazy stories all the time just for giggles. You bunch of sickos.

    No im not religous but i dont see how that makes any difference at all its not a contest.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  19. Faith

    To all bloggers: The truth of God does not need to be defended. God cannot be explained; He is revealed. The intellect of man cannot grasp Him. He simply asks us to believe in Him by faith, which every person has if it is exercised.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • JD

      Amen!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Paul

      Well said Faith!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Mxh

      Then why do religious people get so upset when someone talks against religion? Why are there blasphemy laws in much of the world? God should be able to take care of himself.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • snarkjeg

      Then why is "god" telling his muslim followers one thing and his christian followers another? Doesn't he know how to communicate. Everyone is so sure that they are the ones that have heard the true voice of god. They can't all be right.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • SM

      Faith: Sounds like a lot of really deep wishful thinking without much else. How about simply having faith in Truth instead of made-up fairy tales? Reality will set a person free if they'd just embrace it and not be afraid. There is so much beauty in the world without the delusion of religion getting between us and in the way. Is there a God? The Truth is that no one really knows one way or the other, so why can't we just accept that? People kill each other worldwide, fighting over whose fairy tale is the "correct" one. What good does it do?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Faith

      Mxh, some people do, but I see those people as not having a clear understanding of God and not mature enough in their belief. Some believe that is what believers are supposed to do. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Yes, believers do share God and Jesus Christ, but they should not share religion. When God and Jesus Christ is shared, it should be done in love and not hate. We are not to hate or dislike any person for not believing in God and Jesus Christ.

      Snarkjeg, there are many voices in the world today, and not every voice is of God. I look at it this way, God is love. True Love does not hate nor does it murder. My suggestion to you is to spend time praying, and perhaps some of your questions will be answered.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • tull310

      Wow. Thank you Faith. You made me laugh so hard....then I realized that you are not joking. Still funny though (you should be a stand up comic).

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  20. R Barr

    Godless woman.. shouldn't it be GOD FREE
    I certainly think of myself as FREE from all the BS that the religious cults believe.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Humanist

      Finally! A voice of reason! Thank you R Barr....

      January 19, 2013 at 8:56 am |
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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.