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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. Thuban

    I am very happy to see her say this. I could not agree more.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Everyone should have the freedom to choose whether to raise their family (or no family) without God. Not everyone will agree but it's not anyone else's business to tell me I am wrong or that I will not be saved. I was raised outside the church and I thank my family for doing so. I was able to make my own decision of what direction I wanted to go.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  3. Free Nuts

    They (children) come home from school one day and ask mom/dad god and the bible said the earth was created in 7 days
    and only 10,000 to 6,000 years old ?

    Why did science class say the earth is 4.5 billion years old mom/dad ?

    Oooooooch !

    January 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Darn scientific facts keep getting in the way of the corporate religion con game.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yeah – xian parents don't like those questions coming home from school... so they created a solution!
      a brilliant foolproof plan to install their idiotic beliefs into the classroom!

      I.D.!!!! tada!!!!

      yep.... hasn't worked out too well...

      January 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Thanks
      Free nuts to all, you know !

      January 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  4. the AnViL

    it is apparent that most of the xian ppl who are posting comments are either unaware of – or ok with, the discrimination leveled against atheism in the united states.

    these are many of the same sorts of folks who stood against an end to slavery... and they're right on par with the folks at westboro baptist church...

    and they condemn a mother for not instilling that brand of bigotry and ignorance in her children.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Religion is merely primitive tribalism that has been co-opted by powerful corporate religions.
      -
      In other words – y'all have been conned.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jaws

      Not all Christians, however, take that approach and not all Christians supported American slavery. It is not right or rational to condemn an entire group of people and their beliefs based on a rather vocal group voicing stupidity.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  5. wezel

    I believe in GOD!! So I guess I am just an ignorant nobody compared to all the atheist that are just the smartest and most intellengent being in the world. I bow my stupid GOD fearing head to your intelligence..

    January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Dang it weasel, which "god"? I guess we'll assume its Buddha. You need to get some Zen and chill.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • LinCA

      @wezel

      You said, "I believe in GOD!!"
      What is so compelling?

      You said, "So I guess I am just an ignorant nobody compared to all the atheist that are just the smartest and most intellengent being in the world."
      Not necessarily. Maybe you haven't rationally evaluated the case for god(s) yet. It's not too late. Given all available evidence, gods are about as likely to exist as the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Are you a firm believer in those, too?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • kbeezy

      agreed, must be buddah.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  6. wjmccartan

    My children were never ashamed of growing up without religion, they have investigated religion on their own as they grew into men, what ever choices they make will be informed and not instilled as most of adults were indoctrinated from before we could walk. They know right from wrong and have always stayed out of trouble in their lives, it will be up to them to make sure they pass along those same traits. If I'm lucky enough to be around I can help with that, as well. I thought it was more important to bring children into this world who will look at others without a bias of any sort and a respect for all those who believe, except of course those who choose to hurt others because of their believes. Then to speak more of justice and less of religion. I know some will say that religion is the basis of justice and grant you there are foundation stones that have been put their by religion, but justice can be more than just religious ideals.

    Peace

    January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • wezel

      They should of been.. I don't know what you and your kids are going to do when it's your time ? Are you goig to beg for forgiveness or stay stubborn ???? Only time will tell huh...

      January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  7. z

    You atheists need to relax. No one is trying to hurt you on here with their beliefs. You can loosen that tinfoid up a little.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • z

      tinfoil*

      January 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Speaking of tinfoil, how's your imaginary friend doing?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • ?

      how would you know anything about friends?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • ?

      oh excuse me tea, don't let me interrupt your saturday alone

      January 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And All Living Things

      Awww, more insults and judgements. I see your still sticking to Christ's teachings to the letter, huh?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • ?

      what is that religion, the 6th or 7th time you've posted that? I thought you 'scientific' type were a little wittier.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And All Living Things

      And I thought you were ordered by Jesus to be tolerant and non-judgemental and to love others?? Well??

      January 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • ?

      I am being tolerant. Jesus instructed us to speak the truth too – which is all I'm doing. I know, you people are too soft to hear the truth but here it is!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And All Living Things

      Yeah, because throwing out childlike insults and judgements is spreading the truth. You know nothing of the truth, much less anything about Jesus' teachings, that much is obvious.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  8. Tony N.

    I feel sorry for believers when on their death bed that they still don't realize they have lived a life of lies, life of fairy tales and belief in a pure fantasy. Almost like a North Korean living under the rule of one man and one regime their whole lifetime, too afraid of the terrible things their ruler or god will bestow upon them, but the North Koreans pain and suffering dies with them. Good luck on Judgement Day!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  9. CHARLES

    We have a Free Thinkers Group here in the heart of Deep Red, Deep Republican, Deep Bible belt Texas. We meet twice a month at a local establishment and discuss the issues of the day. It amazes me how many stop and ask questions, or just say they agree with us but won't openly join. Bible thumpers around here control most everything and they are constantly trying to bring everything to their particular form of God beliefs. It tough living in a area like this because they don't look at you for who and what you do, they accept or reject you for what you believe. They don't admit it and can't see if themselves because they are perfect under their God.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  10. adamthefirst

    and yet another anti-Christian article by cnn.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      ...and yet another "Christian" with a hateful, judgmental plug.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      paranoia got you by the soft ones, adam?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Hmm! You must think they have some kind of bias?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Michael

      There are more than a few stories about believing in religion on this site too.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • ?

      Hateful judgemental plug? he just stated a fact. Get your meds quick buddy.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • kbeezy

      seemed like an article just reporting on the story. so concerned its anti christian? isnt everything gods plan? maybe god is saying the world is too christian and to bring it down a few notches.

      spend a few looking at yourself verus spending so much time looking at others that it makes you forget about your self and your own problems.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  11. wezel

    Funny how CNN a leftist news organization is so proud of a mother who doesn't believe in GOD and teaches her children this as well. Just one more victory for the left and their dream of a GODLESS AMERICA.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Michael

      CNN posts tons of other stories validating religion as well in the Belief Blog. This isn't some leftist conspiracy site. Go back to FOX if you want conspiracy and extremism.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Which flavor is your god, weasel? Buddha, Zeus, Allah, Confucius, etc, etc?
      -
      It gets so confusing in this free, diverse country.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • LinCA

      If only we could cure adults from their infantile beliefs in imaginary friends. We can only hope that education and exposure to sane people will allow more children to see how ridiculous these beliefs are, and not fall for them in the first place.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • samek

      This is an iReport. It's not written by CNN. They chose to feature it because they feature stuff that promotes discussion (thus more page views and more ad $$). Right now they have the rebuttal to the original article featured. Reading comprehension is your friend!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  12. EVN

    One in 5 don't have a religion, and that's gone up 25% since 2008. That's really great. Maybe in another generatin or two it will be none. Then maybe this world can finally have a chance at real peace

    January 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Evolution will deliver us from the primitive blight that is religious tribalism.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • GAW

      .......or transform us back into apes.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • XO

      Many prominent leaders and civilizations throughout history uttered the same words. They're long gone, and the Bible still stands. One day you will be gone, and the Bible will still be here.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • NEMO

      Even if religion is abandoned, people will just find something else to fight about. So much for peace.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Phil

      Your written response indicates your hope is that it goes from "one in five" to "none" in five. Yet I am fairly certain that is not what you meant. Based on this difficulty you have to communicate clearly, I cannot help but wonder if you interpret communication clearly. Perhaps you do not really/accurately understand as much as you think you do about 'relgion'. Read ALL viewpoints, and seek to learn with a mindset on truth. In the end, what ANY of 'WANT' to believe to be true, or 'WISH' were true, or 'HOPE' to be true, or 'FEEL' should be true, or deem as the trending or majority view have ZERO bearing on what IS true. Dare to step away from personal bias and majority opinion, think clearly, communciate clearly, and interpret clearly.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  13. Jonathan

    I'm a married man with no children yet, but if that day comes they will be raised with out religion or the make believe stories about God. There is no God and I'm not ashamed nor scared to say it.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  14. Bill

    It is a wonderful thing to question your beliefs and keep an open mind to the beliefs of others. Christians should let their kids know that atheism is an option. It is, after all an option that God (if he exists) tolerates as a reality of a humanity of free will. But will this mother also suggest to her kids that they make up their own minds? Being free thinking does not mean that you approach faith as clearly a myth. You approach it and consider the possibility of God as equally as you consider the possibility of no God. For me – there is a God who deeply loves all of us and I pray that everyone eventually meets him. I will not disrespect this woman in any way for her views – but I will also not miss the opportunity to pray for her or talk to her is I knew her.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Caliche

      >>God (if he exists) tolerates<< Tolerates? if HE exists? Typical Christian thinking..

      January 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  15. Luis

    Loved the article. One of the best things my parents did for me was to allow me to chose for my self. Even though my mother is very catholic I was free to choose if I wanted to do first communion. Chose not to. Never looked back.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      Hooray! Another successful mutation to a superior evolutionary path for mankind. Congratulations!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  16. Dave

    When faced with the choice between believing in nothing and believing everything, I will always choose everything. In the absence of God, the individual who rejects God will become God in his own mind. Beliefs are certainly a choice, but faith is a gift. Faith endures.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tea Clown

      ...trusting the imaginary friend in your pocket to deliver immortality sure is rational thought.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Pete

      "but faith is a gift. Faith endures."

      Actually history has shown it doesn't. There have been thousands of gods who's followers had faith but yet their gods still were proven false. So, no faith doesn't endure.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      You're playing with semantics. Atheists believe in mountains of interesting awe-inspiring evidence. To say that is "nothing" is only self-aggrandizing wordplay used to convince yourself that you're opinion is more valid, when in truth it is your opinion which has no truthful basis in science, logic, or history.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      you believe in everything?
      you believe in all gods man has created?
      you believe in the flying spaghetti monster?
      you believe in the easter bunny?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • MEI

      Do you believe in the Scientology god?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Michael

      Non-believers don't believe in nothing. We believe in treating people with compassion, a beautiful world, and in doing good. Not because we have to in order to get into heaven, but because we realize this is our only shot and want to make the best out of it. And I certainly do not see myself as God just because I don't have one. That's an awfully big judgement coming from a "Christian".

      January 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Nathan

      Your first sentence makes no sense.

      How about, when faced with believing in a claim for which not a single shred of empirical evidence has ever been produced, or rejecting that claim until such time as such evidence is presented, I will take rejecting unfounded claims until evidential support is provided every time.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  17. Art

    Yes I don't believe in God because I cant stand being called dumb, moron, sheep, stupid, believer in fairy tails, iron age gods or being accused of being delusional by atheists. It works all the time just as countless numbers hang on the local street preacher's words because he calls them hell bound sinners, reprobates and evil doers. It works all the time.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  18. Chona

    Ms. Mitchell. You are not alone. In fact, there are many, many, of us. Live your life, keep your kids out of trouble and you'll be just fine. Pay no attention to those who think they know what's good for us. They don't. You are doing a good thing. The best. And you have millions of supporters all over the world who are absolutely behind you and support you and will be thinking of you. Keep up the good work with your kids. You are doing just fine.

    January 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  19. dadomac

    I read all her arguments against God. Mostly gripes. If there is God, why murders, diseases, calamities. Bad things happen, mostly from the news she hears or sees on TV , this is unfair, therefore no God.
    She wakes up in the morning, feeling life, there's food for the table, kids with her, perhaps goes out to work, sees the beautiful world around her. 24/7, 7 days a week, all year round- still no God? And she talks against God in terms of fairness.

    She understand the need of people to believe in God, yet she wished religious belief be kept inside. Keep the ten commandments inside, don't bring it in schools or in public. Anything goes outside.

    She reminds me of the old scenes in soap opera in the radios where a parent disowns a son who betrayed his trust – " Ihave no son! !" The same way she disown her former "God" because of the bad things she hears or sees, or, she sometimes experiences herself. "I have no God!".

    Her kids will grow up to be teens. Just like any kids, a bit of generational conflict with parents, most probably. I wonder what she would feel if, in spite of what beautiful things she has done for them, her kids only focus on their disagreement, and say to her "You're a bad mom, I have no mom!". Perhaps she will realize what fairness is when arguing against God.

    January 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • MEI

      Dadomac,
      Rather than your proselytizing here, perhaps you could provide some RATIONALE answers to the issues she raised.
      If there is a loving god, why is there suffering?
      There is food on the table and all else for all those people who donot believe in god or your particular version of god. How is that evidence of god?
      The scenes on soap operas – probably more relevant to deeply Christian parents, who might just throw up their hands in the air when their children start to question the beliefs of their parents.
      Generational conflict – you mean to state that all self-proclaimed good Christians do not have generational conflicts? Fair god, yeah!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The concept hasn't much to do with fairness when relating God to human misery. It has everything to do with logic. It stands to reason that if a god is loving, then he would not cause people undue harm. It also stands to reason that if a god is omnipotent and perfect, then he intended for this misery to take place. It stands to reason that if a god is omnipotent and perfect, that he has the power to either stop misery or design humans incapable of it. It also stands to reason that an omnipotent and perfect god would have no need to display the human emotions of jealousy and ire.

      This is not the same thing as whining over fairness. It points out a major flaw in the foundation of Abrahamic philosophy.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Michael

      It's not about fairness, it's about human suffering. Why, if God loves us so much, do we have to suffer losing friends, family, and other people we care about just because we get to go to heaven afterwards? The Bible is full of how much God loves us, and yet horrible, senseless tragedies occur everyday. Doesn't seem like a good role model to put before your kids. Instead her kids are seeing a real person and a real family put food on the table, a roof over their heads, and love them. I doubt they will resent their parents for that.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • dadomac

      How could that be proselytizing? Wasn't she talking about fairness of in terms of bad things if "God: really exist? To you that's perfectly logical- there is bad, therefore no God. When I talked about the good things in relating to "God" you consider it illogical. If that's the general concept of fairness for atheism, thank God there is still those who believe.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  20. Reality

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    January 19, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • dadomac

      Odd, but your username seem a bit oximoronic, you attribute narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred to religion. "Love your enemy" is an extreme antidote for hatred, and it is a reality even though only a religious belief (at least for Christians). You'll never admit that, nor the fact that atheistic leaders who attempted to create a Godless utopia failed, and instead created a living hell like Stalin. You'll never attribute narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred to atheism even if that was the reality.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And All Living Things

      As you pointed out, your personal religion is almost always connected to your cultural environment, and I'd add (again) that's spread by indoctrination of children, effectively taking away their personal choice and brainwashing them into believing whatever their culture/parents believe.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Reality

      The UK once tried to love Hitler. That did not work out well at all.

      And Christians tried loving Muslims once and that did not work out well either:

      To wit:

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED

      January 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
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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.