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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 • Faith Now • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    I guess we'll just have to wait till we die to know... or not know. I'm not wasting my time worrying about it and I don't believe that my agnostic ways are sending me to a hell that may or may not exist. (I don't feel hell exists btw.) I feel I have a spiritual nature and a longing for peace and love. Born with it?? I find comfort in trying to be a good person and to make life meaningful. This may be the only life I get or maybe I'll get to try again. Who knows... certainly not me or you. God?? that doesn't make sense to me either. Anyway, I do have a sense and desire to strive to do more for others and myself... just because it's that right thing for me. I try to set a good example for my children on being a good person and to explore all types of religion. Educate themselves to realize that so many religions are out there so why would one be the answer. Maybe all were at one time the answer to our deep seeded nature for understanding. Prehistoric humans created religion for a reason. Probably to help them appease that inner spiritual need and to make sense of a physical word that our brains were still trying to wrap their minds around. Now it seems religion has become a crutch that isn't evolving with our growing knowledge. Maybe it's time to leave religion behind and allows ourselves to explore life with an openness to the knowledge we continue to gain. Allowing knowledge and education to lead us may very well make us a better people to live in harmony with all in our universe.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Fortunately my comprehension skills allow me to read and understand scientific books and journals. I have a perfect understanding of the worm-filled afterlife.

      Now grow up and grow a pair – and enjoy this wonderful earth with the time you have.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • mike

      Live it to the fullest TC! Clocks ticking, so get off the internet and go bungee jumping or something!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Kelly

      Right on Mike!! Bungee jumping may help you find the answers sooner than you wanted but go for it!! I'll stick to rollercoasters and sightseeing.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  2. Hank Tuesday

    What if God is real and you meet Satan in hell and it's to late?

    January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Douglas

      Why do you worship a monster that would torture people for eternity? We saw what Hitler did and knew it was wrong and evil, that is what your god is too.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      But Douglas, we 'can't understand' God's mind. That's why his ethics have nothing to do with our idea of ethics. Sounds like BS doesn't it? As Carlin said, "Religion convinced the world that there's an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there's 10 things he doesn't want you to do or else you'll to to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But HE LOVES YOU!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Oops. You're being judgmental yourself. That's your god's job, not yours.

      Judge not, lest ye be judged, ye "Christians".

      Now watch out for that trap door at the Pearly Gates ye sacrilegious blog mongers.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Hank Tuesday

      I'm not trying to do anything but ask what if God is real and all God hatters are wrong? What then?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • JWT

      What iof the pink fairy unicorn is real and you never got the point ?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Kelly

      Then I guess it's too late but I'm not going to fake believing in something that was never really definitive in the first place. Seems wrong to me. I guess I will be in hell knowing I was true to myself.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Misunderstood

      Say-lave

      January 19, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Kelly

      God Haters? How can someone hate God if they don't believe in God. Funny way of thinking Hankster.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Hank Tuesday

      Guess yall will be the ones spitting and throwing rocks when they start killing Christians for their beliefs in God and his word. Much like was done in the past, I'm sure it will happen as history does repeat itself.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Kelly

      Your paranoia and fear is saddening. Please try to evolve.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Hank: What is a different god is real and you don't worship him/her/it? You could end up in that god's hell......

      January 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Hank: If you are concerned over being tortured for your belief in god, why not just eliminate that possibility and go meet god now? Do you have a sidearm? Perhaps a tall building where you live? Come on, boy, Jeebus is waiting.....

      January 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Hank Tuesday

      I'm enjoying life right now, plus that would be suicide. People are getting worse by the second and somebody wants to ask me to evolve?let's go play some murderous video games and do some crystal meth, then we can make a plan to go unload our guns in the nearest mall.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Hank Tuesday

      Most God fearing people TRY to live peaceably and be good neighbors, to be kind and generous. I don't see why you God haters are so against us?

      January 19, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  3. Patty O'Boy

    Religious humans are less evolved than their athiest counterparts. it's natural selection. similar to the neanderthal, so to speak. poor primative religious folk :(
    i feel sorry them.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • popseal

      How many atheists establish orphanages, inner city rescue missions, etc. ? Every one of the Ivy League schools started as theological seminaries, founded on the premise that an educated ministry was essential to the moral health of the nation. Now that America has delivered herself from the restraints of religiion, it's really grand to live here. I like to ramble around the streets if Detroit or New Orleans after dark................

      January 19, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • mike

      I feel sorry for you too. Lets have a pity party!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • sqeptiq

      @popseal: I can expect to live longer and healthier and more comfortably today in this country than anyone, even the richest, during the middle ages when everyone was a believer in your god. Would you prefer medieval Europe to the United States of today?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  4. COBailey

    It is written, on whatever it was they wrote it on back then, in some shape or form, in one way or another, in all religions, in all regions of the world:
    "HATE THOSE WHO DO NOT LOVE I "

    January 19, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No, the code of most religions is,

      "HATE THOSE WHO DO NOT FOLLOW".

      January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Hmm, they don't love Muslims, they don't love gay people, they don't love immigrants, they don't love Arabs, they don't love Persians, they don't love liberals, etc, etc, etc

      January 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • COBailey

      I appreciate the correction rational libertarian. I found my self speaking for god which is fundamentally only for those who have been proven worthy

      January 19, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Apart from evangelicals, most Christians I know are liberals.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • COBailey

      Tea clown, you may be on to something........
      But I need to be taught that, reassured that, reaffirmed that, repeated that, threatened that, etc for me to really feel the hate & anger to feel the love

      January 19, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  5. jerry ridge

    I have seen and heard too many miracles in my life to not beleive in god.
    However I, don't believe we should try to impose our religion on our neighbors or friends. Love and support our the best way to show god's love.
    When religion becomes a thing only in history books that will be us. Only in history books. We will cease to exist.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Douglas

      "When religion becomes a thing only in history books that will be us. Only in history books. We will cease to exist."

      Gods have come, then gone and we have continued to exist. History has already proven you wrong.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • ??

      Could you please give us one example of a miracle you have witnessed?Just one.Please.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  6. thinker

    I think we will see a growing number of Atheists as the older, more brain washed population pass on. We are a much smarter species that questions much more than ever. The crazy nonsensical writings of the Bible will be less and less believed by our thinking population as time passes.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  7. information has made humans slaves

    what amazes me the most about uber religious people is they are scared when they get t the end of life, much hospital work shows me this.
    terrified of dying ~ one would think they would be happy to go see baby jesus

    January 19, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • thinker

      Exactly!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • mike

      I have worked in health care for >20yrs. Not many people look forward to death unless they're in great pain. I haven't seen more fear from believers than non-believers... Not many cling to their atheism when they see the end coming.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  8. r

    good for this mom....why should it strike a chord with other parents? I am not offended by someone raising their kids to believe in"god" ....so what are they so insecure about? That maybe their children might have the opportunity to hear both sides and make their own decision on what they want to believe

    January 19, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  9. Dawn

    God gave us all free will to think and believe what we want. He just wants all of us to live in peace and harmony and if you have that in your heart than you don't need go think about God all the time. Some day the truth will be revealed

    January 19, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Religions have never been about peace and love. It's been about war and control from the beginning. The REAL TRUTH is already getting out there finally. Even Jesus said he didn't come to bring peace, but a SWORD, to divide!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Smithsonian

      "Some day the truth will be revealed"

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • sandalista

      Right....and if we don't love him unconditional and worship him, he will torture us for eternity. That would fall under the category of blackmail and coersion, not free will.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • sam stone

      Dawn: How does free will jibe with the concept of an omniscient god?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  10. The Jackdaw

    I commend this mother for not yeilding to social pressures and teaching her son to believe in a fantasy. Logic, critical thinking and reality. These are the things we should be teaching our children, not to blindly follow mindless garbage. 5 big stars for this woman!!!!!!

    January 19, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Daniel

      Initially mysticism was created by man to explain the phenomena occurring around him that he had no explanation for. It evolved into a more sophisticated ideology known as theism. The only requirement for this type of belief system was faith. Today deductive reasoning and the scientific method thru the use of mathematics and physics have replaced the need to have faith. They explain the phenomena occurring in our paradigm in a more rational and logical way.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  11. Daniel

    Our culture is slowly but surly moving away from mysticism. Deductive reasoning is replacing myth as a more stable foundation for our objective reality. Eventually theism will become an ideology that we read about in history books.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Natural selection will take it's course and the bible thumpers will become dinosaurs.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Lemaitre

      TC – thought Hitler and Stalin were trying to help rid the world of the wrong kind of people

      January 19, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Huh?

      " thought Hitler "

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited."
      -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

      January 19, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Lemaitre

      But surely chickens dance gracefully to garbage trucks, wind blowing through whimsical badgers.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Grateful Dead lyrics?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Denise Hall

      History disagrees with your premise. Many, many times cultures have tried to oppress religion (whether it be directly or indirectly), yet it remains. It remains for one very simple reason, God is supernatural. Man's reasoning pales in comparison to the knowledge and workings of God. If you close your eyes during a day in the Caribbean and declare there is no sun, or perhaps hide under a bunker to escape its heat...it still does not negate the fact that the sun is and always has been there every day of your life. God knows every man's heart and intentions...yet still provides grace and guidance...because you do not receive it, accept it, or acknowledge it does not mean He does not exist.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • James

      "God knows every man's heart and intentions...yet still provides grace and guidance...because you do not receive it, accept it, or acknowledge it does not mean He does not exist."

      So, then if we use your logic, Santa Claus is real, the tooth fairy and tinker bell are all real and exist!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  12. Charles

    I applaud and understand this Mom. Unfortunately, many of the comments seem to be hateful and mean and from the "Christian" side of the discussion. I was raised in a christian church and left as an adult. I think church is great for those who feel they need it but not everyone feels that way. It is interesting that in the comments here the more understanding, nice and agreeable comments are from the non-christian side of discussion. I consider myself an agnostic because I don't know one way or the other, but applaud those who are christian and go to church. As in all discussions there are fanatics on both sides. I abhor the atheists who decry the stupidity of christians and who can't seem to walk by a anything that refers to religion without getting apoplexy. Like the radicals on the other side, they just want their 15 minutes and have no other way of getting it.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • trevor

      Charles, i have to disagree...most of the hateful remarks that I have read come from the atheist side who view believers as "brainwashed" and "mindless". As it turns out, we as a society are not thinking more progressively in our distance from religion, but rather less critically about our emotional needs. "I can do what I want" is far more dangerous a moral compass to teach our children than one guided by the religious texts. I won't deny that some people calling themselves "Christians" have got it wrong (Westboro Baptist, I'm talking to you) but to call all theology "lunacy" or "illogical" is irresponsible. I agree that believers who don't study science shouldn't open their mouths about it, but a mother like this who does not study theology shouldn't open hers either.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  13. Tea Clown

    Religious people in America live in fear:

    Fear of the "guvment'"
    Fear of death
    Fear of Judgement Day
    Fear of gay people
    Fear of science
    Fear of black people
    Fear of hispanic people
    Fear of educated people
    Fear of "commies"
    Fear of socialism (even while they benefit from it)
    Fear of Muslims
    Fear of Arabs
    Fear of Jews
    Fear of gun laws
    Fear of their own shadows....BOO!

    How sad it must be to live life in a world of fear and anger.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I fear the first two, commies, socialists and Muslims.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • mike

      Spoken like a true atheist bigot. Thanks for confirming my stereotype about your religion (yours is a religion too, whether you acknowlege it or not).

      January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Mike

      Atheism is a religion like sh!t is Shinola.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • VanHagar

      To the contrary Tea, most of us do not fear any of these people or things. But, your fear of Christians is duly noted. Boo to you.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Ahh, it's so sweet to hear judgement coming from the self-righteous wingers'. It smells so sacrilegious.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Ha ha ha. I have no fears which is why I can blog freely without self doubt or self judgement.

      But I'll judge the hypocritical self-righteous bible thumpers all day long.

      judge not....lest ye be judged

      January 19, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • georgez

      Talk about painting with a BROAD brush! That's the stupidest generality I've read in a long time? I assume you are a dumb-a$$ed Tea party type?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • VanHagar

      its truly amazing that you don't understand the concept of judgment. My denying what you said and stating a observation of what appears to be your fear of Christians IS NOT a claim of judgment. If I said your an a.ss–that would be wrong. If I said you deserve hell–that would be judgment. I said neither of those things and nothing close.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Hank Tuesday

    What about Satan? Isn't he real? Can't we agree on something? Everybody believes in the devil.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Pete

      " Everybody believes in the devil.'

      No, not everyone.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Tea Clown

      I see lots of Satans....on Halloween LMAO

      January 19, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • JWT

      I don;t believe in the devil either. But I heard that she wears prada.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • P. R.

      Humanity has invented every god, devil, angel, and demon ever named, feared, and/or worshipped.

      Why be afraid of my own imagination?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      ummmmm, no.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Em Kelisvig

      No, I don't believe in the devil. I believe in people and some people make destructive choices for themselves and others. Blaming those choices on "the devil" is just one more way of avoiding personal responsibility.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Kelly

      Satan real? Sometimes I think the religious extremists do a fine job of creating Satan in themselves. Perhaps you are Satan.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • sam stone

      Yep, Miroslav Satan is a hockey player

      January 19, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  15. P. R.

    GOOD FOR HER!!!

    To all my fellow atheists out there in the United States as well as agnostics, doubters, questioners, those who have been called evil, immoral, and depraved for their lack of "faith", and those who really don't follow any sort of dogma or mythology at ALL, here is our latest hero: a VERY brave and outspoken mother who is choosing the Truth and Reality for her children as opposed to lies, myth, and dogma.

    In short, she is teaching her kids that we don't need "God" to be good, to lead fulfilling lives that matter, to be real, decent, compassionate people.

    Bravo for her, ESPECIALLY in the face of all the Xtian haters who pounced on her with all their supposed "'Godly' love for their fellow human beings"...

    January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  16. Mariusz

    I totally agree.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  17. Lemaitre

    I think turning over the moral education of children to TV, celebrities, public school teachers, the internet, and their friends is the hallmark of a good parent and a good citizen. Bravo, mom!

    January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • JWT

      A study of god is not, and never has been, a requirement for morality.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Like I said, parents should refrain from teaching children morality. That's Oprah's job!

      I wonder did this mom decide to hold off teaching her kids about hygiene too? You know, let them discover that on their own when they get older. . .

      January 19, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You seem to be a simpleton, Lemaitre. Morality doesn't require belief in god. At all.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • sqeptiq

      @lemaitre: "did this mom decide to hold off teaching her kids about hygiene too? You know, let them discover that on their own when they get older. . ."
      Is this what passes for logic in your ?mind?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  18. lollypop42

    I believe in God, not religion.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Faith153

      I completely agree. Unfortunately many people including ones who say they believe in the one and only God confuse religion and faith. They are two completely different things. Unfortunately, many who act out of religion push people away from God who is all about faith, love and relationship.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Misunderstood

      Well put Lolly! Religion is something made up and remade numerous time to give more people a possibility of having power and controlling more people. After-all with 100 religions I should be able to ensnare most of the population. While I acknowledge the ten commandments are a good way to live your life, I cannot go along with most of the other made-up bull. Even if there is a God do you really think he would keep you out of heaven (Christians) if you aren't baptized? Not a chance. Do you think he'd actually let the serial and child killers who repent at the last second; be saved? Not a chance. I could go on for hours on these issues but it wouldn't get through the life-time of religious programming instilled in most of our country-men & women. To everybody; Everything is going to be alright, we're all going to the same place where-ever that may be. If there's a heaven it will include everyone and that's that!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      "Unfortunately many people including ones who say they believe in the one and only God confuse religion and faith"

      And how did you come to the knowledge of this "one and only god" without religion?

      January 19, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  19. George

    Apparently some did not catch with wit in my posting, "I'm here to demand that non-religious people keep their beliefs and opinions to themselves!!! You have no right to force your beliefs on us!" All I did was add "non-" to a previous post. The original was, "I'm here to demand that religious people keep their beliefs and opinions to themselves!!! You have no right to force your beliefs on us!" Yet I get called names and the original poster did not. Gotcha.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      You sound smug. What would Jesus do?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      He'd probably smoke doobie, slack off and have a fourteen-some with the apostles and Mary Magdalene. Smelly hippy.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Janet

      when was the last time an atheist proselytized you? I can remember literally dozens of times when overbearing neighbors, coworkers and yes strangers on airplanes aggressively tried to win me for Jesus. An invitation to church to a new neighbor is a gracious and friendly thing; once refused, a second and third and fourth and fifth invitation complete with statements of how they are praying for you is bullying.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • trevor

      I've had more atheists try to argue that my faith is "stupid" "illogical" and "fantasy" more than you'd think...

      January 19, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • sqeptiq

      So George, in your world nonbelief is the same thing as belief? That's really weird.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  20. Frank

    I think everyone has some concept of God, even if they don't want to think about it. Everyone has their own way of being spritual. God and religion are two different things. Religion is the busiess of sprirtuality. Religion could not exist without money. How spritual is that???

    January 19, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • JWT

      My concept of god is that there is no such thing.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      JWT

      I have a similar concept. Identical, actually.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Tonya

      " Everyone has their own way of being spritual. God and religion are two different things. "

      They just had an article the people who are spiritual but not religious are more likely to become mentally ill.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • P. R.

      "God" is quite the popular mythological deity, huh? Thor used to be pretty popular, too. So did Zeus. And Baal. And Osiris. And Mars. And Ishtar. And...and...and...

      Things that don't actually exist usually don't last too long here in Reality...however, these "gods" really have a way of staying around long past their welcome...especially the Abrahamic "Gods" (Is there one? Are there several?? Who knows?).

      Spirituality and the belief in a "Sky Father" are COMPLETELY separate creatures - our fault to this point is that the vast majority of Humankind has been unable to make this distinction. The time, my friends and fellow Humans, is nigh...

      January 19, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • KS

      You think wrong.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.