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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. bill

    ME II
    Interesting. Thanks for the links.

    "Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

    So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing."

    January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Get Real

      bill,

      You are hideous... and so is your fantasy god.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @bill,
      ?

      January 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • bill

      @ ME II i thought this is interesting and i keep seeing posts about why people cant understand and call God violent and unfair. For me this is a start. People desperate to try to make the new testament into something that promotes violence, people want so badly to perceive it as unfair.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @bill

      Ah but the NT isn't the only thing that's in the bible, but there are some evil, nasty, bigoted things in the NT as well. Some purportedly directly from jesus.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • The Truth

      " people want so badly to perceive it as unfair."

      I think they might percieve this as unfair without really trying, in fact, you have it backwards. You have to want badly to percieve it as fair when the bible is commanding the murder of babies and children of your enemies. And there is no way it can be viewed as fair without jumping to the conclusion that we have an eternal soul that lives on after death to which there is exactly ZERO evidence.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • bill

      did you watch Braveheart? do you know who you are sticking up for when we refer to the canaanites? there was something about them, at a level that you mind fails to consider,or fathom. there was something going on where God said enough is enough. When we go to war do we always capture and reprogram people mentally? sometimes we try but in the past, they didnt. They just cut a brance of the family tree and treated it like cancer. It still happens today. you have to realize that when Christ comes back , that is exactly what is going to happen. He will battle against evil. It is actually a moral quality . And when it comes down to it, if it was not for his blood, I would go to hell , because I deserve it because I am unholy, and God is Holy. I do agree with that, and i dont want that for anyone.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You can be so sure that every single adult, every newly teenaged kid, every poor girl who was surviving deserved that? Every mother watching her newborn child be murdered before she was? Sick stuff, sick stories written by sick people who wanted a fearsome god to scare people – I'll never get how people can defend or follow that god.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @bill,
      Actually, I posted it below as an example of the ridiculous (IMO) lengths people will go to in order to justify a "good" God.

      "Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives." – WL Craig
      ( http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites#ixzz2JJ3CSNAz)

      So, why is abortion wrong?

      Why is any killing wrong if, "... those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy." – WL Craig

      January 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  2. JesusNotReligion

    ...and you took the bait...Now let go of the peanuts...

    January 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • andrew

      peanus?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • andrew

      oh shoot ...............peanuts? i hadnt read the article below and mistyped.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @andrew...That was my bad, andrew...I thought I hit "reply" before I posted but did not...so it obviously posted separately...A comedy of errors then ensued...Good to see you joining the fun!

      January 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  3. JesusNotReligion

    A Missionary family went to live amomg a primitive African tribe...
    The men went out to find food...The women prepared it...That was daily life in the tribe...
    Sometimes the men came back empty-handed so...
    They decided to plant a "peanut farm" but the monkeys began helping themselves to the peanuts
    The tribe devised a plan to trap the monkeys
    They hollowed out a gourd, placed some peanuts in it, cut a small hole out near the top of the gourd and strung them at the end of dozens of tree branches using animal intestines...
    The next morning, dozens of monkeys were screaming wildly and swinging frantically with their hands stuck in these gourds...
    They had slipped their little monkey hands through the small hole at the top, reached in for some peanuts and grabbed a fistful...and wouldn't let go...
    The tribe would not only have peanuts to eat...but monkeys as well...
    A type of judgment came upon those monkeys because they traded their LIFE for a handful of peanuts...TRUE STORY!
    Jesus said, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul?"
    WARNING TO ALL ATHEISTS: Monkey see...Monkey do!
    If you don't repent, you'll end up just like your supposed ancestors...Let go of the peanuts and embrace Jesus as Lord & Savior.
    JesusNotReligion

    January 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      Jesus H. Fucking Christ, what a pile of bullshit.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Stupid debater uses stupid arguments.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      You guys must think I'm looking for your approvsl, as if you're my judge! One comment and you go ape&*#% like your ancestors...umreal..Trolling is fun! I have learned something from you guys!

      January 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      You guys must think I'm looking for your approval, as if you're my judge! One comment and you go ape&*#% like your ancestors...unreal..Trolling is fun! I have learned something from you guys!

      January 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      You said, "You guys must think I'm looking for your approvsl"
      I doubt you are capable of doing much that would cause me to approve of you.

      You said, "One comment and you go ape&*#% like your ancestors."
      It appears that you are much closer to our ancestors than either Moby Schtick or I.

      You said, "I have learned something from you guys!"
      If you learned this from us, then you're doing it wrong. Unsurprisingly.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      and you took the bait...now let go of the peanuts...

      January 28, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yep. I think you want our approval. There's plenty of somewhat reasonable arguments you could raise for your position, but you chose that pile of stupidity that doesn't even put forth a sensible thought. I'd tell you to let go of the peanuts, but you'd mistake that for me ordering you to beat yourself about the forehead or some such stupidity. Keep that fist of religion clenched tightly!!!

      January 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      More blabber from the blubber...This is fun...now I know why you guys spend so much of you life on this site...Oh, I forgot, you're putting that Journalism degree into practice, right? Good night...knock yourself out...you took the bait too and you made me laugh...

      January 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • andrew

      ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

      January 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      You said, "and you took the bait...now let go of the peanuts..."
      Now that you've "caught" us, what do you plan to do? In your story the tribe had monkey to eat, implying that they managed to kill them. What do you have to inflict even so much as a scratch?

      I'm still eating your peanuts, and when I'm done here I'll go eat some other religious dimwit's peanuts.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @LinCA...I am not your "Judge, Jury & Executioner" (i.e. The Tribe)...I am sinner like you (i.e. The Monkey). But I was saved by the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ, and this caused me to "let go of the peanuts"...
      The frustration on my end as a believer when sharing the free offer of the Gospel is that many unbelievers who have come in contact with a "believer" have been offended, not by the true message centered on the Person & Finished Work of the "Jesus" of the Bible (and HOW He is received) but by "religion" and the person themself who stinks of "religion", "legalism", "denominationalism", and an overall ignorance of what the Bible actually says.
      They spend more time presenting themselves and their quasi-new age-sounding "personal experience" that it actually becomes a turn-off to any thinking person – though I suppose that "every pot has a top". We are to preach the gospel, NOT OURSELVES...There is a specific "message", called "the gospel" that believers are to present FROM THE BIBLE ALONE that Paul says, "is the power of God unto salvation for all who will believe" (Romams1:16)...Sadly, I have not met many followers of Jesus who can actually open their Bible's to present that "message" (a$suming that someone might be interested in it, which most of you guys on this site are not – perhaps you "think" you know the message, but I seriously doubt it, as you all come across as if every believer has "checked their monkey brains at the door", which is 1) a sad commentary on your experience with believers...and...2) an unfortunate commentary on your "intelligence" that you seem to pride yourself on.

      That being said, I'd like you to google "Francis Schaeffer" and begin comnecting with his work, which I think will connect with where you guys are at...

      My "Monkey/Let go of the peanuts" post was to, in some way, show you YOURSELF...Take a look at your prior posts/comments in just THIS BLOG (nevermind the others that I have seen you on) and "listen" to how you "sound" (i.e. How you come across)...It's not much different from how I "intentionally" came across in this particular post. I learned it from you guys, and it's been my overwhelming experience with all of you. So your degrading commemts couldmactually be said of you if you are honest with yourself...

      Btw...They used to stone adulterers and murderers, etc in the OLD TESTAMENT as a form of capitol punishment, but the "stone" in the NEW TESTAMEMT is "Jesus" (the gospel) that we throw at you, with greater consequence – but from one perspective, that's your choice to hold onto the peanuts of this world.
      JesusNotReligion

      January 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I think the story would go a little more like this:
      A Missionary family went to live amomg a primitive African tribe...
      Following the Holy Saint Augustine's doctrine of "cognite intrare", they informed the tribesmen of their impending doom and eternal damnation in the pits of hell and, from a fiery pulpit, condemned their pagan beliefs as unredeemable heresy.
      In order to ensure the tribesmen received the message of Jesus Christ, the missionaries offerred medicine, potable water and education – but only on the condition that the heathens get baptized.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @Doc...That certainly is another aspect, but not the TRUE STORY I was presenting...nor my purpose in presenting it...

      Btw...What do you mean by the "Holy Saint Augustine", as if ALL BELIEVERS ARE NOT "HOLY SAINT'S"? (or there is a separate class of "holy"...?). That has the sound of "Roman Catholicism" and "religion" that I just posted about (not that I reject Augustine's "Biblical" writings)...

      If you are promoting a man-made inst!tution like Roman Catholicism with its extra-biblical teachings that supposedly make up the "one deposit of God-inspired, authoritative truth" (acording to Rome), then I would have a problem with that. (i.e. Teachings that not only usurp and supercede Biblical Authority, but transgress it.
      You're not promoting that, are you? (I'm asking you honestly because I honestly don't know – and I couldn't link arms with you if you are).

      January 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JesusNotReligion
      I am not a Christian of any sort.
      That being said, Saint Augustine has had a profound impact on huge swathes of Christianity – not just the Catholic church.
      His work heavily influenced Martin Luther, Calvin and other important figures in the Protestant Reformation.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      OK...Got it. Thanks for the clarification...and you obviously know your stuff about "Augustine's" influence on both Rome & Protestantism – especially the "Reformed" camp of Protestantism that you mentioned (which makes me wonder about you all the more) – yet I am very discerning when I read Augustine's works because he did hold extra-biblical teachings in support of "Roman" Catholicism (I do believe in a "catholic" Biblical faith – "universal" church)...Thanks again!
      JesusNotReligion

      January 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • bill

      all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction. Keep it up JNR. struggling goes further than ones mind, you are sowing truth.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      You said, "I am sinner like you"
      Unlike you, I don't sin.

      While I have been irritated by believers in the past, that is not the reason why I have no respect for religion. I have no respect for religion because I can muster no respect for the beliefs it is built on.

      There is no fundamental difference between a belief in gods and a belief in the Tooth Fairy. You may not like the comparison, but unless you can give me a rational explanation for why it is any different, I have little reason to spare your feelings.

      While you are free to believe whatever nonsense you want, if you display it here, you can expect it to be questioned. I suggest that you evaluate what you believe, and why you believe it.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @LinCA...You are being utterly irrational, beyond my comprehension because you otherwise do not seem this irrational based on prior posts I've read of yours...If you think the evidence for the existence of "Jesus" is on par with the "tooth fairy" (or "Zeus", "Hercules", "Thor", "Unicorns", you name it) then your hate-filled bias runs deep enough to blind you to the truth of the matter...
      History, Nations, Individual lives and Government sanctioned archaelogical expeditions from nearly every industrialized nation on the planet has been influenced & effected by both the historic legitimacy of the Bible, and the HISTORIC PERSON of JESUS, the Jewish Messiah (though not all embraced Him as "Messiah")...
      Before anyone can reason with you, you need to show yourself to be a reasonable person. Think through your "rationale" because your comment reveals more about your "heart" than it does about your ignorance".Think THROUGH IT.
      The apostle Paul wrote that "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2Corinthians 4:4)...

      January 30, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Btw LinCA...You wrote: " Unlike you, I don't sin."

      Here's a passage for you that addresses your claim above...

      1 John 1:8-10
      "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

      LET GO OF THE PEANUTS, little monkey (Or would you be less offended if I called you an evolved, mature monkey?)

      January 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      You said, "If you think the evidence for the existence of "Jesus" is on par with the "tooth fairy" (or "Zeus", "Hercules", "Thor", "Unicorns", you name it) then your hate-filled bias runs deep enough to blind you to the truth of the matter..."
      I'm not talking about your Jesus. I am talking about his alleged rapist father. There may very well have been a man that the christian fairy tale was loosely based on. But whether your Jesus actually existed is completely irrelevant unless you can establish that he was in any way special.

      There are plenty deluded believers who think they are somehow the spawn of their god. But just because they think they are special doesn't mean they are. Your Jesus is no different. Your Jesus is no different than David Koresh, or Warren Jeffs, or thousands of other morons who claim to be special.

      I have no hate for your Jesus, I simply don't think he was very special.

      You said, "History, Nations, Individual lives and Government sanctioned archaelogical expeditions from nearly every industrialized nation on the planet has been influenced & effected by both the historic legitimacy of the Bible"
      Your precious bible contains no legitimate history. It's nothing more than a propaganda piece for your cult. While its influence is hard to dismiss, its influence doesn't establish any legitimacy. Unless you establish that your god is real, any books about it are nothing more than fairy tales.

      You said, "The apostle Paul wrote that "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2Corinthians 4:4)..."
      Who, in his right mind, believes that your fairy tale is anything but a fairy tale? Unless you can establish that your god is more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy, they are exactly equal.

      For quotes from your fairy tale to carry any weight, you first have to establish they are not from a fairy tale.

      You said, "Btw LinCA...You wrote: " Unlike you, I don't sin."
      Here's a passage for you that addresses your claim above...
      1 John 1:8-10 [...]
      "
      There you go again, quoting from your book of fairy tales. You seem to be incapable of understanding that it is completely meaningless. Nothing in it applies to me, or anyone who doesn't accept it. You might as well quote from Rapunzel or Harry Potter.

      Let me see if I can explain "sin" to you. I'm not holding out much hope that you'll be able to grasp even a simple concept like this, but here it goes:
      Sin is a violation of a religious rule or law. But, unless you subscribe to that particular religion, its rules and laws don't apply to you. If a rule or law doesn't apply, you can't break it. If you don't subscribe to religion, you can't sin.

      In the US the US Constitution is the supreme law. Nothing supersedes it. It provides for freedom of religion. Freedom of religion means that your religion does not apply to me.

      My biggest problem with christians is that some are apparently too stupid, or unwilling to accept that. They seem unwilling to abide by the US Constitution, and allow others to believe as they see fit.

      You are free to live your life as you see fit, as long as you abide by the secular laws of the country and its subdivisions that you live in. You are free to place additional restrictions on yourself based on whatever fairy tale you choose to believe in. You are not free to expect anyone else to also abide by your interpretation of your fairy tale.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      LinCA...Way too much to comment on, though your ignorance and irrational statements follow you wherever you post...

      "ra pist"?...How old are you? What Bible have you read?

      "no sin"...How convenient for you to be able to lie, cheat, steal, r ape, etc, with no ultimate moral accountability...ILLOGICAL and totally IRRATIONAL!
      Your "worldview" and "judging" laced throughout your posts draws upon my "Theocentric worldview" – You use it when it suits you...I agree "r ape" is reprehensible (assuming you were alluding to your DISGUSTwith ra pists's, ridiculously accusing God as being one), but tell me what difference it makes to someone like you if, IN THE END, WE (THE MOST VILE & THE MOST CARING) ALL GO TO THE SAME PLACE.
      You can post another irrational comment, delusionally trying to portray yourself as if you are part of some "intelligently elite" segment of society and God's gift to this world, but I have offered you the free gift of the gospel and will now offer you Jesus' warning: "Repent or perish, for the Kingdom of God is at hand"...
      JesusNotReligion...LET GO OF THE PEANUTS!...God's arm is not too short to save (that's called an Anthropomorphism)

      January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @JesusNotReligion

      You said, ""ra pist"?...How old are you? What Bible have you read?"
      Did Mary give informed consent to being impregnated by Yahweh? If not, he's a rapist.

      You said, ""no sin"...How convenient for you to be able to lie, cheat, steal, r ape, etc, with no ultimate moral accountability...ILLOGICAL and totally IRRATIONAL!"
      No, you dimwit. I don't lie, cheat, steal, rape or murder because it causes harm to others. I don't need a law to tell me that those activities are wrong. Where it may not be obvious whether my actions cause harm to others, I also follow secular law. I don't follow religious law simply because it doesn't apply to me. Anytime I appear to follow religious law, is purely because of overlap between it and secular law.

      As an aside, it is very sad that you seem to need a law to prevent you from becoming a murderer and a rapist. Please don't ever lose your faith. Your community relies on it.

      You said, "but tell me what difference it makes to someone like you if, IN THE END, WE (THE MOST VILE & THE MOST CARING) ALL GO TO THE SAME PLACE."
      It matters what we do because it affects others. What we do makes not one bit of difference after we are in the ground. It is sad that you apparently only act morally because you expect a reward after you die. Again, please don't ever lose your faith. Your community relies on it.

      You said, "You can post another irrational comment"
      What part, exactly, do you consider "irrational"? The part where I don't believe in the Easter Bunny and similar imaginary beings? The part where I explain the difference between religious law and secular law?

      If you wish to join the conversation as an adult, you should start by formulating an argument for the existence of your imaginary friend. Bring some evidence to support your claims, while you are at it.

      You said, "but I have offered you the free gift of the gospel and will now offer you Jesus' warning: "Repent or perish, for the Kingdom of God is at hand"..."
      Holy fucking shit. You are completely delusional, aren't you?

      If it wasn't already abundantly clear that I don't believe any of the nonsense you are spewing, let me repeat myself. THERE IS NO RATIONAL CASE TO BE MADE FOR YOUR DELUSION.

      Threatening me with hell and damnation is completely meaningless because there is no rational case for hell.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @LinCA...Keep using the Monotheistic/Christian Theocentric Worldview in your posts...The more you do, the more your ignorance, hypocrisy, hatred & blindness is revealed for all to view – regardless of whether or not they are believer's...

      Btw...How do you get away with posting your vile (and I would add immature) language? You must be another CNN Bloggernaut putting that Journalism Degree to good use until the "book deal" comes through, right?

      Also...You are apparently ignorant to the Biblical fact that "sin" isn't only based on external actions or on hard & fast "laws"...Jesus preached to the "heart" & "att!tude" BEHIND sin - before it makes its way out! (Mt. 5-7 >> The Sermon on the Mount)

      LAST PASSAGE IN AN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH YOU [I know, I know...that makes me the fool here...but I am glad to be a "fool for Christ" rather than a foolish monkey who won't let go of the peanuts]...

      1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (Written by the extremely intelligent & educated Apostle Paul of Tarsus):

      "18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of
      God. 
      19 For it is written:

      'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'

      20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made
      foolish the wisdom of the world? 
      21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness
      of what was preached to save those who believe. 
      22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 
      23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 
      24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
      25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."

      January 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @LinCA...Here's what I get: It is not my Biblical responsibility to convince you of anything, or win an argument – nevermind the fact that you are irrational in thought and communication, and apparently above any "law" of basic human kindness, giving yourself permission to "sin" without consequence in your mind.

      So the fact is, Miss LinCA, YOU don't get it...You have no idea what this is all about...I am not your judge (though that does not exclude all types of judgment for wisdom/truth-sake)...and...I have seen (and experienced) the power of God's Word (not MY words) get into the very soul of a person, evidenced by a radically changed life FROM THE INSIDE OUT – not external behavior modification...ALL TO THE GLORY OF "Jesus", not "Religion"...

      BOTTOM LINE: Spew forth to your own detriment and self-destruction or repent unto new life in Christ (Yes, that "sounds" foolish, but it carries a power you know nothing about)...

      February 5, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  4. Carmalou

    Certainly there are mean christians out there who cannot accept that you don't believe what they believe and think you absolutely have to or else you'll die and go to hell. Just like there are mean atheists out there who like to insinuate the stupidity (or 'logic') of these and other religious individuals.
    Why can't everybody just get along? Yeah I'm religious, no I don't talk about it. But why can't I wear a cross in public? Why is that offensive? Why can't I talk about it (in proper conversation) without attempting to convert anyone. Why does it have to "stay in the home where it belongs"?
    Is it simply because people don't like hearing about it? I don't like many of the things I hear, but I don't ask the person speaking not to say those things in public.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  5. Susan StoHelit

    Most things I'm live and let live – but often I really don't like missionaries.

    The classic, set up a church, anyone who wants can visit – no prob.

    But these days, what I see more often is, set up a language school as a bait and switch – if you want to learn English so you can get a job that lets you feed your kids, you must accept, and follow, and echo religious indoctrination. If you want food – you must go with your family to their church, confess your sins, do things that might get you killed, etc. I don't approve of countries that kill over religion, but I don't approve of charity for people who have such dire need, that has strings attached.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      In many countries, like India, those strings are illegal...but they are very difficult to monitor.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • OTOH

      Yes, Susan, and many of the ones who declare that they don't have "strings attached" exploit those primitive, superst'itious people by dazzling them with their technological advances, education and success and then attribute them to the "blessings" of their particular fantasy being.

      I'm sure that they have alleviated many practical ills, and this is quite admirable and thanks-worthy. I just don't think that spreading superst'itious behavior and beliefs is acceptable.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      It's funny – while I'm an atheist, I generally give benefit of the doubt. I used to think the stories of these things – it was an individual, it was just people who just couldn't resist teaching what they believed, and sometimes, it was the crappy gov't lying to suppress information.....

      Then I got married – and I've an in-law who works for an organization that does this – they bankroll it, they have huge donors who fund it, it's very deliberate, everyone in it is doing it deliberately, they brag about it – it's pure deliberate trickery to attempt conversion, lure them in with the promises of this or that goodie, usually language lessons, then hard core conversion. It's not just some individuals slipping up or overstepping a little, ooopsie.

      January 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Kristy

      What is the point of wasting an opportunity to bless someone spiritually as well? Because you actually believe that it would be more respectful to with hold spiritual truth. That is actually cowardly and stupid. They are giving alms, they are there solely to spread the gospel, and they also have resources for other needs. The way you have to look at things is all about unbelief which becomes a hobby and a curse. On the surface you all have a respectable tone, but if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

      January 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kristy

      People like you are a huge part of the problem. "Oh what's wrong with HOLDING FOOD AND HELP HOSTAGE. I'm only spreading my divisive, hateful, evil religion at the same time. No big deal."

      January 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • freddy

      5 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • andrew

      your athiesm is a false religion hawaii guest

      5 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @freddy and andrew

      Yes what a lovely irrelevant post that in no way addresses my post. Congrats on showing your uselessness.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • andrew

      ok you idiots, then you are complaining only because your athiest community doesnt have its charity out there yet otherwise this one would not be there because you would be in its place. get a clue. you ungrateful den of wolves.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "andrew", but whatever it was you were trying to say with words from mythology is unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • andrew

      hal, get down on your knees and beg God for faith, ask him to heal your receiver, ask him to give you spiritual sight. i am sure that you all have well thought out morals that every Christian deep down agrees with one hundred percent, however, God has reasons and ways that we don't question. For example i would never sell my daughter as a "slave" but with all the translation ect. the fact is things were socially way different back then and it was probably the same definition as "I have a boss" who invested in a company and I am just a hired hand, or a nanny. that is the same as a servant. that has not changed. I have a friend from Sudan who said my sister was a 75 cow woman. there are cultural dowry that are not degrading, they just seem strange to you because we are living in a different time, one that is morally declining every day.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You think atheists don't do charity? Ah, gotta love ya!

      We do a ton. But – we don't push our religion, nor our lack of religion – it's a true charity, not something fake, trying to gain a reward. Doctors without Borders is an excellent example – they go out, they help people, and they move on – no attempt to convert or deconvert. The Red Cross, every charity that has nothing to do with religion, and there's plenty of them – they're what atheists will work for, contribute to, and run.

      Atheists are good, for nothing. We don't do good works as a ploy to try to earn our way into heaven by collecting souls – nor to try to escape hell. We do good, because we choose to, and to me, that is true charity. We don't need to put our brand all over it, in hopes of gaining converts – it's not about what we can get for us – charity is charity, not something with strings attached.

      January 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Andrew – so, your boss can beat you so that you die in a week, and it's OK, because it's his money? That's what the bible says a slaveowner can do, if we're translating it to current day.......

      January 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  6. Felipe

    Dr. William Lane Craig's response:

    Jan and I raised our kids to believe in God, indeed, to believe in the Christian God. Why? Because we wanted to teach them the truth. For the same reason, Jan and I did not lie to our children about Santa Claus. We told them that Santa Claus (or Père Noël, as they were raised in Belgium) was a fun, make-believe figure we could pretend brought presents around Christmas time. It was all in good fun, and no big deal. Christmas was mainly about the birth of a historical person who really lived, Jesus of Nazareth, who revealed to us what God is like, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. We were prepared at the drop of a hat to discuss the reasons why we believe these things, should they want to ask. No question was off limits, and open inquiry was encouraged.

    We think Christianity is true. So how could we not teach our children about it? That would be the worst form of child abuse conceivable, to try to shield one’s children from the love of God and eternal life. The fundamental mistake of the mother who wrote the column above is thinking that when “we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth.” Do we? I think, on the contrary, that we thereby lead them astray into falsehood. The whole question, then, is: is Christianity true? Well, what reasons does this mother offer for thinking that it is not? Let’s look at them briefly one at a time.

    God is a bad parent and role model. This charge assumes that God is supposed to serve as a model for parenthood. But while there are analogies between God as our heavenly Father and a human parent, the disanalogies are so great as to undermine the assumption that God is to serve as a role model for human parents. For one thing, the analogy should be between us and our adult children, and in that case we do let them make their own free decisions without interference. But even then the analogy is not tight. For we and our children are equals; but God is our Creator and Sovereign. A human father who thought of himself as the end-all of his children’s existence would be egomaniacal. But the infinite God, who is the locus of goodness and love, is the appropriate end of all beings (even of Himself!), the summum bonum (highest good). I am charged with the moral and spiritual education of my children; but God is involved in drawing all people freely to a saving knowledge of Himself. It is not at all improbable that only in a world suffused with natural and moral evil would the optimal number of people freely come to know Him and His salvation. I am bound by certain moral obligations and prohibitions vis à vis my children (e.g., not to harm them); but God (if He has moral duties at all) is not bound by many of these (e.g., He can give and take life as He pleases). God may ask me to bear terrible suffering (though not without recompense!) in order that others might freely find eternal life..... CONTINUE

    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/why-we-raised-our-kids-to-believe-in-god#ixzz2JI2ciCpP

    January 28, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Felipe", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 28, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      This is the beginning of what I recognize as a rational argument for Christianity. Hal dismisses it with an out of pocket cliche but cannot refute the philosophy.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Craig justifies genocide. That ass-holes opinions are invalid until he accepts that genocide is wrong.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  7. whitelighter

    Well I would hate to think I would cease to exist after going through all this. I believe in an afterlife, filled with happiness, knowledge and love.

    January 28, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Sane Person

      You believe in it because you want it to be true.. Not because it actually is.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • EnjaySea

      You have succeeded, whitelighter, in describing the precise reason why man invented heaven.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • rigo

      Well I see it as a reason no to believe in Him, for your own well being to avoid spiritual justice.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      If you only believe because it sounds good and you like it – not because you think it's true – then that sounds like a very weak belief. I'd like to believe that tomorrow all weapons will vanish, and we'll all live forever, and the cure for cancer will turn out to be eating a hershey's kiss while giving a baby a hug.

      I'd hate to think none of this is true.

      But unfortunately, none of it is true. That's the problem I have when someone suggests (which, to your credit, you aren't doing in this post) that I should believe in god, because an afterlife is such a nice thing to have. It sure is a nice thing to have. Doesn't make it real.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Whose judgement and which afterlife?
      Should we all try to die gloriously in battle to please Odin and get to Valhalla?
      Perhaps we'll all face Ma'at's judgement and if our hearts are heavier than a shu feather, our afterlives will be terrible!
      Have you learned the secret passwords, received your secret new name and learned the masonic handshakes needed to appease Joseph Smith and get into the Celestial Kingdom?
      Have you been treating cows as well as you should to ensure a good reincarnation?

      If not, why?

      January 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  8. powerful pressure canyon

    http ://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=flrhqjN5BHore

    January 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What's your point?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • pressure canyon

      Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

      peter predicted and gave the hypothesis for uniformitarianism in the first century. hutton and lyell copied his anti idea in 1800s . the grand canyon is from the flood .

      January 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      above all you must understand that every aspect of creationism was debunked years ago. Here's some facts on Mt. St. Helens, as opposed to, say, the assertions in your video.
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mtsthelens.html

      January 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • @ end religion

      your article is about coal beds and that was not at all the point of the Mt. St. Helens thing. His whole point was that this is data that proves the rate at which a 3 hour erruption carved a huge canyon, and helps us to understand the forces that were involved in the flood, showing that the grand canyon CERTAINLY DIDI NOT require milliions of years, rather ONE HUGE FLOOD where the crust was errupting, the ocean floors were opened up, and the earth was submersed in so much water..that we have the formations that we see today. Rapid deposition of the layers that we have.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • @ end religion

      what is the half life of uranium? what is the half life or carbon? what is the oldest date we can pull out of carbon dating?

      January 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH581.html

      January 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      Oh, and the only thing I know the half-life of is my boogers. It's roughly 7 minutes before they harden, then maybe 28 minutes until concrete. Other half-lives, I have no idea however I feel confident that Google has an answer in about 3 seconds. Why don't you cut to the chase, tell me the answer and why it doesn't fit with your crackpot guess?

      January 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  9. powerful pressure canyon

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flrhqjN5BHore&w=640&h=390]

    here we see that Mt . St Helens which errupted for 3 hrs carved a gigantic canyon out of the rock. and left many layers of sediment in the process. now we can reconsider the grand canyon as something that did not take millions of years.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • powerful pressure canyon

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flrhqjN5BHore&w=640&h=390]

      January 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  10. USAF guy

    As a soldier, I've always wonder why people become religious on the battlefield. And I realized, God is real when you're face to face with death and God is the only assurance you have. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." God Bless!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      There are atheists in foxholes. An uncertain future does not make a god real – else by your logic no one would die on a battlefield, right?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • USAF guy

      @In Santa we trust,
      Evidently, you haven't seen a battlefield. I would keep to your parent's basement for the assurance. :)

      January 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Lackland AFB you idiot

      Hey, USAF guy...

      no soldiers in the AF. you're an idiot. (and no, the PJs aren't. neither is anyone under AFSOC).

      And you expect someone to respect your explanation of religion?

      January 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Argumentum ad biography. Meh...

      January 28, 2013 at 5:16 am |
    • EnjaySea

      The only thing your comment accomplished, USAF guy, is to accurately describe why man invented a god. So, the fact that we want a god to exist means that it does? That makes no logical sense whatsoever.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      People who know better, believe they'll win the lottery, when they need the money to survive. That doesn't mean that the laws of statistics have changed – it means that when you're desperate, you are willing to fool yourself sometimes.

      And there are atheists in foxholes – I wouldn't think a soldier would insult another soldier by calling him a liar. My dad was a vietnam vet – and he is an atheist, and was an atheist in his foxholes, and it is an insult and a lie to claim he believed in god when under fire.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Pat Tillman did not find god on a battle field. Nor did any of the atheist soldiers who have posted here. The truth is, terrified people are often irrational. Fear is not proof of god. It's only proof of fear.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • HotAirAce

      USAF guy, please provide real evidence that your god is real, or be branded a delusional liar.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  11. Marie

    Why does god kill thousands of children from starvation daily?

    January 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • rigo

      the age of innocence? five hundred million aborted babies will be in heaven because they weren't athiests.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • USAF guy

      How poetic justice to blame God when you don't believe in Him?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Durannie

      Hey Rigo...babies ARE atheists...no one is born with religious belief.....

      January 28, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • rigo

      at durianne , i would not agree that a baby is an athiest, point is it hasnt made the wrong decisioin.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      USAF – asking a question about the god you claim exists is not blaming him, nor accepting his existence. If you believe god exists, you should be able to answer this question. I don't believe in god, so I can easily answer how those babies die without god. The question is, in your worldview, how do they die when there is a god you claim could save them.

      My worldview doesn't have a god that could save them, so I don't have anything to answer there.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  12. God

    You pay to go to church. Why can't you pray at home? It's because religion is a big business/cult.

    January 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • nope

      can anyone give me a reason why i responded 6 times to this garbage and it gets sensored?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • lol??

      nope, yes, it's the fruit of the progressives.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @nope, The checklist is somewhere but one of your words got flagged. I don't have the list handy. Sorry.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • nope

      no there was no questionable words. I was talking about how great my church his, how we support 80 missionaries in 50 countries. My pastor has a spiritual gift for teaching. I live to praise the Lord. I hunger for the word.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • God's Honest Truth

      Your church may be an exception but most churches are very wealthy – RCC, Church of England, all of these "prosperity gospel" churches, et al

      January 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • nope

      well the rcc also has a phallus and ovum set up which they actually took the damn pillar straight from egypt. does that say anything. and my opinion is that if they are hoarding wealth they wont go unpunished. I hear ya, they should be giving to the poor and covering their bills. no more, no raises, low salaries. the eye of a needle. Christ has told us to give up all our possessions.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • nope

      well the rcc also has a phallus and ovum set up which they actually took the pillar straight from egypt. does that say anything. and my opinion is that if they are hoarding wealth they wont go unpunished. I hear ya, they should be giving to the poor and covering their bills. no more, no raises, low salaries. the eye of a needle. Christ has told us to give up all our possessions.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Helper

      @nope,
      "can anyone give me a reason why i responded 6 times to this garbage and it gets sensored[sic]?"

      There is a copy of the list of words that the automatic filter flags back on page 108 (lower part of page).

      January 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  13. Marie

    In view of catastrophism, why would a perfect environment remain for millions of years?

    January 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      What perfect environment are you referring to? I know of no such place.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • nope

      do you believe that a tree trunk could stand there for a million years while dust settled, layer after layer until the tree trunk was totally burried in millions of layers of rock?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  14. Marie

    Why do some animals remain the same for millions of years?

    January 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Because their environments do not elicit change.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • nope

      how many different species of humans are going to evolve from the 800,000,000,000 humans that have had life?

      January 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Gasoline Alley

      Marie is a creationist troll. Posting questions to which she thinks the answer is "my god did it".

      January 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • ooooooooooo

      but Marie, I love you so much.. Please understand this.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Because the pie-googer marmagon has issued a decree. Yea verily, the swallows do concur! And so do the Marshmellows! And the black ants. But the red aunts scream nay to the mountaintops while the tide does gather in the bay. And through it all a lone tadpole stays in a puddle and preaches the word to the moss. It will not evolve! It will not!

      Yea verily!

      January 28, 2013 at 5:19 am |
  15. qaren

    Accept others for non-belief as equal to those expressing belief. Judge on behavior, not on association with a group

    January 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • .

      that is rational. people are equal. I am not so sure their beliefs would be though.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  16. Felipe

    See Dr. William Lane Craig's response: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/why-we-raised-our-kids-to-believe-in-god

    January 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Craig believes genocide is good. His opinions on all things are invalid.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • nope

      @irrational libertarian

      can you please show where he states that genocide is "good".

      January 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      Craig advocates genocide:
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-slaughter-of-the-canaanites-re-visited

      January 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • nope

      before I go read that explain to me how Gods opinion is less valid than someone like Abraham lincoln who warred against His own people for the purpose of defeating slavery. You realize that God allowed his own people to be enslaved? that it went back and forth. the word cananite is the same as turncoat in a sense of war and right vs. wrong. Is all war a type of genicide? I suspect, that it was a moral reasoning. not like....... " well I, God, am bored and poor, and so this year we might as well kill an entire clan. any thoughts?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • nope

      do you believes those wars really took place?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Felipe

      Given the hysterical and dishonest response from "Rational" Libertarian one can understand why Sam Harris said that Dr. Craig is the Christian philosopher "who puts the fear of God in [his] fellow atheists."

      Against truth and reason the irrational and dishonest person can only resort to lies and defamation.

      Poor angry atheists.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Felipe

      Would you like to wear God's ass as a hat?

      January 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • ME II

      Interesting. Thanks for the links.

      "Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

      So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing."

      Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites#ixzz2JJ3CSNAz

      January 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  17. joshua

    See dr owour prophet among us. see mega kisumu revival and you will see that God is real and that all the stories are true. see healings in the hundreds and save yourselves by coming to Jesus. we still havr a little time left. repent and seek Holiness. Huge wave is coming to the earth repent and seek God before is too late.

    January 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Or, choose reality, and ignore the myths like a rational person.

      January 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • .

      is your name designed to pull someones mind into the gutter and that is funny and proud of it? the definition of wicked includes playful mischief. your name is gargabe. where do put your garbage Mr Cranium?

      January 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What is gargabe dot troll?

      January 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • .

      i don't know. the holy spirit will testify ,within all of us. there are angels and demons in your room with you. and there are conflicting ideas in your head. once you start to hear, and question, that is when you will start to feel in your flesh, and the negative voice (demonic influences) will literally attack you. you should ask God for clarity. and know that the battle is real and the strength, and rebirth is through almighty and sovereign God. He is genius. so are the principalities. Angels are looking in on your salvation with incredible joy, because they were created eternal and dont experience salvation, which is the glorious victory that God gives in love and mercy.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • .

      I have to go clean my friends apartment who is in a scary rut. good luck brother.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      dot troll
      There is no holy spirit, there are no gods. Grow up.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • agree

      god may not be real but spellcheck is

      January 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  18. empresstrudy

    I have to wonder sometimes why people who say they don't care go so outraged when we don't pay attention to them. If mom can't bear to tolerate the simple civility of others, then that's her problem.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Bet

      She was stalked and harassed for not having the same beliefs as the other mommies. That's not being civil, it's an unwanted intrusion into her privacy. If the fundie mommies had been civil, they would not have asked such personal questions. Her beliefs are no one else's business.

      Perhaps reading Emily Post or another book on how to interact socially without being offensive would help you clarify what is civil and what isn't.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No doubt you've slept through the last several years, where politics in America has been rife with religion. There are christians who insist that they have more rights than anyone else, who condemn unbelievers and call them names, all the while trying to change laws to suit their religion. This is a secular nation, for the sake of the freedom of all, yet you and your ilk are desperately trying to change that for your own selfish reasons. Your religion has been forced into our lives, whether we welcome it or not, and frankly, many of us do not welcome it.

      That you call proselytization "civility" shows that you have no idea what the word "civility" means. Proselytization is a selfish act, not a civil one. That you insult a woman who is simply expressing her right to free speech, when the reality is that some christians scratch and whine for attention simply highlights your own hypocrisy.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • lol??

      t13, do you praise and respect and honor killer mommies?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • .

      tallulah its no different than if you were throwing your kids off a bridge before you jumped yourself. someone would try top help you reconsider. thats what compassion is, i hope even though the Word is the aroma of death leading to death to you at this time, that to God his truth is the Aroma of life giving life. We dont do this for the sake of religiosity, or just to argue.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  19. SusanStoHelit

    I can't wait until an article about raising your child without god will go as unremarked as an article about raising your child with god. Where a child can confess their disbelief with as little social penalty as confessing their belief. Someday.

    January 27, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • .

      i dont believe there are laws or penalties, therefore when i break them i will not be punished.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • *

      "i dont believe there are laws or penalties, therefore when i break them i will not be punished."

      Now this is a great example of being delusional.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Exactly

      Sooner the better. The fate of humanity rests on dispelling these ridiculous myths that people are willing to hate/kill each other over.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • .

      can you please find me a verse in the new testament of God ordaining war or execution. no. Jesus said, if some one strikes you turn your cheek and let them strike you on the other cheek. love ur enemies. do not hate (hatred is murder to God).

      All men will always be found as sinners. Is Christ the minister of sin and evil? certainly not.

      case in point, the antichrist (claiming to be the true religion) will dominate the world. people like hitler, and the crusaders, portray the name of Christ being taken in vain, the very purpose of the devil. do not be deceived. do not deceive yourself as to who christ is. he is not like muhammad or the pharisees or the romans who killed him.

      "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do". We are all justified by the Prince of Peace. that is a God given right.

      January 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • lol??

      Raising is for gardens, not for children. Course if you want vegetable bwains have at it.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • .

      @lol hahahahahahaha thats a good one

      January 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • M

      "can you please find me a verse in the new testament of God ordaining war or execution."

      So what? Unless you're saying that the Old Testament isn't part of the Bible, this is meaningless.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "can you please find me a verse in the new testament of God ordaining war or execution."

      Luke 22:36
      "He (Jesus) said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

      January 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • andrew

      Doc. who would really try to turn to the scriptures in the new testament to find something that ordains violence? if you read into the book of revelation you will see that evil has over taken the world into a world wide secular , and false, religion. Could this be in the name of false christianity, that is a possibility that a false Christianity could be the "ho r that rides the beast"... but a christian is christlike, and called to suffer. did the disciples fight back? there is your first clue. those are the ones we are supposed to imitate. But I should warn you that when the one world system is put in place, evil will reign and 1/3 of the world will die..

      I send love and peace your way and a spiritual hug. Come to the cross brothers and sisters. Jesus loves you so much.

      52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
      John 18:36
      King James Version (KJV)
      36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Andrew
      Indeed, the ancient prophecies are being fulfilled.
      ' The age of evil has come to the world . Everyone steals and hoards great wealth, and sensual sin rules the day. The end of the world is at hand – yet men are hard and cruel, and listen not to the doom that is coming . No one heeds the cries of his neighbour, or lifts a hand to save. '

      Only the mercy of Odin can save you from the doom that is Ragnarok.

      But I'll tell you what – the day that I see a seven headed dragon that spews water and eats pregnant women, or a swarm of armour clad locusts with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scoprion, I'll believe that we are in the "last days" as foretold in Revelation.
      Until then, I'm afraid that I have to consider it the fevered, barely coherent dream of a madman.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  20. roman2819

    We should not expect God to behave the way we think He should. However, religious fervor should also be balanced by understanding and rationale.

    This book, "Understanding prayer, Faith and God's Will" is dedicated to All who believe, and to All who haven't.
    http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431
    Chapters m:
    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 27, 2013 at 12:57 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.