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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. Grimble Grumble the gnome

    Hitler used the Catholic Church and other religions for power. He used Darwinian evolution for his philosophy (he wanted to create a perfect race)

    January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mookie

      Okay. If you believe that you've got to believe the rest of it.

      The Nazis were socialists.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Gir

      And he employed the same tactics of unquestioning devotion to his cause, tribal mentality and obsequious worship of a central figure as the religionists do. Don't leave that part out.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Brian

      So this refutes evolution how?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • visitor

      Really? Exactly how did Darwinian philosophy (such a thing?) lead to killing Jews? That was a CHRISTIAN tradition.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  2. onemorehere

    The Church or Religion was created to be the sword that guards the door to paradise or the heavens...it has being meant to be this way from the beggining of time a decreet by God himself to be this way...for in such a way evil will not enter the kindome of heaven where our lord resides...

    January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      Yeah. And Han shot first! Don't you ever forget that, you filthy atheist deniers!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Damocles

      What?

      January 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    "Then, she says, the recruiting started."

    Yes, the idiotic Free Churches proselyte but this is not according to God's will. Of course, it is God's will that certain gifted servants of the Church pronounce the Gospel at certain occasions but in daily life a Christian shall love the people with Christ's love. This may include some words but it is more a matter of a redeemed behaviour.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Rainer Braendlein", but "God" and "Christ" are elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  4. dreamer96

    Why are Catholics cannibals...at every communion they eat the body of Christ and drink the blood of Christ in symbol anyway..so the holy spirit can enter their body...but it must not stay around long, because they have to do it more then once....With did the Jews have to offer a animal sacrifice to their God?...So many Gods seems to feed of death....The Mayans used to offer humans as sacrifices to their God....and the Modern Christians do it in symbols....

    And then there are the many sacrifices made in wars..are they to some God of War??
    Are these War sacrifices made, Just So we can have Peace for a little while??

    January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  5. Gotta B Kidn

    Another example of the uninformed trying to inform the uninformed. 'Religion', as you put it, has nothing to do with anything. It's your own personal view. You can plug it into Christianity, Wiccan, Islam, Bhuddism, etc. When you indirectly attack Christianity, however, and yet don't really understand it, so you attempt to emotionalize it through the story of a mom, who also doesn't understand it - this is called journalism? WOW! Christian faith is based on the Word of God. I don't consider Catholics enlightened by the Word of God because they took the Bible out the equation many councils ago – read about the councils of Trent and Nicea, for example. I was raised Catholic and if you tell me that through transubstantiation, the wafer and the wine literally become the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, I'm going to tell you you're crazy - that's not what Christ meant. When you try to present a one dimensional view to one dimensionalists, you're going to get a 'the world is flat' mentality. I encourage you to seek out the vast richness of the Holy Bible and a church that teaches through it, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Olam

      "Yes. Everybody's doing religion wrong except me."

      January 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Just a John

      No thanks. Reading poorly written BS fiction is just a waste of time. Altough the gospel of Luke has a few good oneliners.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Gotta B Kidn", but "Word of God", "God", and "Christ" are all elements 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: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Merc

      How is this person uninformed? Do you consider them to be uninformed simply because they don't agree with you?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • blloyd06

      This is a blog, if you bothered to read the top, about another person's blog. Not once did any exclaim to be a journalist since you're reading an opinionated piece. As far as being "one dimensional," the religious sector has that covered when they ignore the complexities of science and replace it with the simplicity of their own religion.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  6. steveincny22

    I am an atheist who believes in much of the teaching of the New Testament, as in basically be a good person and do no harm, but not the fantasy of heaven and hell, at least as many religions believe. Heaven and hell what what one makes of one's life on earth.
    For people to believe that a supreme being exists that created the universe(s) and the billions of galaxies, to say nothing of the untold number of stars and planets within each galaxy, but still focuses on the day to day minutia of humans on this insignificant planet, is the height of narcissism. I do believe in free speech and the right to believe in whatever one wants as long as it does no harm. But please stay out of my face, stay out of politics, stay out of my home.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • pazke

      I am also atheist, but I wanted to offer this: If God is the all knowing, all powerful being that I hear him described as, then who is to say that it isn't within his power to be everywhere and focus on everything at once? To say he can only focus on this place and this time is limiting him to the constraints of our human existence.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Gir

      "For people to believe that a supreme being exists that created the universe(s) and the billions of galaxies, to say nothing of the untold number of stars and planets within each galaxy, but still focuses on the day to day minutia of humans on this insignificant planet, is the height of narcissism."

      That's what makes the christian cult extremely dangerous. The idea that the flying sky wizard who created the entire universe has time to come to your bedside and listen to your prayers is far too tempting for these mentally-deficient people. They will bend themselves over backward to maintain this twisted worldview. And worse, they project their own moral preferences onto this being, and demand that everyone else follow them because "god said so."

      January 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Chris Salzmann

    One of the freedoms that we have the right to enjoy is to believe or not believe. Many people call Atheists non-believers which is wrong. Atheists simply choose not to be tied down to religious dogma. People have asked me what I believe in as an Atheist and it's really very simple......I treat people as I wish to be treated. When you get to the bottom of it, that's really all that matters.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  8. ShingoEX

    Religion taught me that anything fun in life is a sin, and I should be punished over it.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Robert W

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
      - Mahatma Gandhi

      January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Mookie

      And that brown stuff coming out of you every time you go to the bathroom is sin!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  9. onemorehere

    "Why i raise my child with out Religion but knowing there is a God"- cause people are sinners they form all forms and types of religions i've being informing him about the different believes around the world base on religions yet among them all i found the meaning of a true God above religion...

    explore all religions i propose but know in your heart there is only one God...that produces all that is good about life and living...

    January 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "onemorehere", 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: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "One god good, four gods bad!"

      Sheep.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Godless mom is satan's tool!
    January 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      Speaking of "tools"...

      January 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Godless mom is satan's tool!", but "God" and "satan" are elements of "mythology, therefore your assertion 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 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Buddy

      Funny

      I too believe in evil.....I think it's very underestimated.

      Not sue I would have phrased it like that, but the thought did cross my mind

      January 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Brian

      Satan is make believe too.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  11. nobody

    The world is being confused and deceived by religion and religious studies. Even Christians are totally confused, they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN. They do not know HIM in whom they believe. It is all about Jesus Christ, nothing and nobody else.
    Nobody else can help us, nobody else can give eternal life. All the power and the authority belongs to Jesus Christ. He will decide who will enter heaven and who not. All power in heaven and on earth belongs to Him. Jesus Christ is the only way. It is not about Bible knowledge. It is not about anything else but Jesus Christ. The POWER is in the Name of Jesus. The POWER is in knowing Jesus Christ. If you don't know Jesus, you are LOST. You don't need education, you don't need Bible study. All you need is Jesus Christ Himself.
    Jesus is ALIVE. If you call on Him He will answer you. Cry out to Jesus. Keep your focus on Jesus Christ. Fill your life, your mind, everything, with Jesus. Open your heart to Him, make space for Him, invite Him in and He will give you eternal life. Without Jesus, you have nothing. Without Jesus YOU ARE LOST. Get to know Jesus Christ today. He will reveal Himself to you as REAL. Jesus is ALIVE. Get to know Him, follow Him, OBEY Him and you will have LIFE.
    May Jesus bless you.

    (youtube/finalcall07)

    January 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "nobody", but "HIM", "Christ", "heaven", "The POWER", "the Name", "Himself", "Him", and "eternal life", are all elements 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 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • nobody

      The truth is only there for those who want it.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      Nobody: How do you love someone you don't know? The Bible says, it means, "Eternal life taking in knowledge of God and of the One He sent forth." John 17:3. So how can you say all one has to do is blindly follow Jesus? I agree that He Is our salvation but there is a lot more to being "saved" than what you just described. The Devil believes in Jesus too! The Bible also says that "faith without works is dead." You can't just mindlessly profess a belief without knowing what it is you are believing in.....

      January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • nobody

      It is important to KNOW "Jesus", not the Bible.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  12. Arnolfo

    Being atheist takes much patience. I recently listened to an business associate say things like " God will provide for me.. answer my prayers... lead me to..." These expressions made me cringe as I realized this person does not know I am an atheist. I understand the need for religion, but these exclamations always strikes my rational brain as if i just heard an adult claim they believe in Santa. I wanted to respond but did not for fear of damaging this business relationship. I'm betting no harm would come of letting this person in on what I believe but being in such a minority is tricky. To be without religion doesn't mean without morals or meaning yet that's the view I get from those with religion. Its a terrible assumption on their part but I understand that idea has been drilled into their heads by their religion. So more often that not, I keep my views to myself and politely nod, skirting the issue all together. I do have many aethiest friends so I have support in my views. When we get together, we all laugh about those encounters.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • pazke

      Wait a minute – there's no Santa?!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  13. Sunshine1234

    I am with you!!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  14. Scott

    Here is the issue. If Christians are wrong and there is no God, then the Christians don't lose anything – and as a matter of fact gain an operating manual for their whole lives that most would consider relatively moral. But if Christians are right then the non-believers lose everything (called eternal life in heaven) – and not only are the non-believers risking this for themselves they are also risking this for their children. I am a true believer in Jesus Christ and I do respect one's rights to not believe and I also hate it when Christians do not know how to properly share faith with others (through actions & deeds and not lectures and threats)! When you look at our Universe which never ends in any direction the non believer better consider how that is possible and take into consideration a possible creator.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Todd

      Its not the idea that most people don't like, its the group they have to join for admittance

      January 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Here is the issue: Your argument is flawed in that it only offers two alternatives, the Christian god or no god.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Willie Mac

      Except that the Apostle Paul said and I quote, "If in this life we only have hope in Christ, we are men much to be pitied." For Paul and the early Christians, this life was constant conflict and pain; they were persecuted beyond belief. They clung to the promises of God not just in the afterlife but also in what N.T. Wright calls, "life after life after death." The future vindication of Christ in his kingdom in this world and his judgment of this present world system was absolutely essential to the faith of early Christians. That is why his argument in I Corinthians 15 deals with the necessity of a physical resurrection because if Christ is not raised then our faith is vain and we are no better off than when we started. For the Gentile that meant still being pagan, but for the Jew that meant abandoning the covenant and alienating themselves from the promises of God. The only reason Christians feel this way in this country, is that the price for faith is really not that high...at least not yet. If it comes to that, I am sure that you and many others will change your tune.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • eb1966

      Not believing is not about taking a risk- it's about accepting scientific facts.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Roger that

      You must be new here. Welcome. I would argue for the zillionth time why you're wrong, but I've got to go and I'm using an iPhone at the moment. Take care.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Brian

      What if muslims or hindus or one of the any other countless religions people have made up are right, you may just be angering the real god with your belief in Jesus. Its not a simple dichotomy like you presented. You have just chosen 1 of an infinite possible gods that may exist. You are mathematically barely any safer than the atheist.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • East Coast

      What a ridiculous argument. So then you better join every other religion on earth since they might have it right and you will spend your eternity in Muslim, Hindu, or Pagan hell! By the way, Christianity is by no means the way to morality. I'm perfectly moral and pro-social without being scared straight by threats of living in a lake of fire. Please develop some critical thinking skills.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • East Coast

      What kind if evil god do you worship who would condemn innocent children for the "errors" of the parents? Maybe your God is a North Korean dictator.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      @scott

      Bad thing is, your actions and deeds equal your lectures and threats.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Forsake American Capitalism, Islam or Catholicsim and join the loveable Jesus who will once return, and be our righteous Judge!!!

    The good old faith of Jesus doesn't say: "you need to be saved!" but says: "you need to behave Christian daily in the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection!".

    Today many members of the mainline churches only know that they could behave Christian in Jesus' power but they don't do it. What is the reason why? Well, it is a multilayered problem. Maybe they did not really repent, or they don't really understand the Christian doctrine. Repentance is necessary, and a correct understanding of the doctrine is sufficient to achieve a successful life of faith which causes real Christian behaviour in daily life.

    There is a paradox: The more sb. repents the more he feels his sinfulness. The one who has repented will cry for a Redeemer who gives him the power to overcome the lust of his body and the hatred against God and his fellow human beings.

    What is the locus in space and time where we receive the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection? It is the sacramental baptism which was insti-tuted by Christ himself (not by the unholy, Catholic pope-rat). The sacramental baptism (also infant baptism) is the locus where Jesus death and resurrection get made present. The metaphysical side of Jesus' sacrifice you cannot grasp by reason but only by supernatural faith, and this faith must be caused by the Holy Spirit. God has laid it out like this that the receiving of the faith or the Spirit is connected with the Holy Baptism which is not allowed to be repeated. Through faith and baptism we get metaphysically connected with Christ's sacrifice.

    The only things which a Christian should practice daily in order to make visible Christ's power are fasting and prayer or prayer and fasting. If we do this things we act diametrically opposed to the lust of our body (the sin dwells in our limbs). If we fast and pray, Jesus' power will change our life, and we will overcome the lust, and love God and our neighbour. We will love our neighbour with an unbiased love.

    However, we can nothing add on to Christ's redemption. Prayer and fasting are not more than a serious "yes, I will!" to Christ's deliverance.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      Isn't that sweet, Rainy, the German closet queen, speaks up with his usual blather

      January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mookie

      ..... and eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus......

      January 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Todd

    I'm a good person. God had nothing to do with it. I had great parents that passed some very strong values on to me, and I in turn passed them on to my children. I personally don't like religion but I understand why some people do. I just try to treat it like smoking. I don't like people doing it around me. Second hand religion can be bad for you

    January 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Buddy

      Interesting

      Sounds like you might fear having an open mind?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      @Buddy Do you have a mental disorder?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  17. Grimble Grumble the gnome

    Atheists are stupid, immoral, liberal, communist, idiots, selfish, liars, gay, greedy, tards that follow the teaching of evolution, a philosophy that led to people like Hitler and Stalin

    January 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      How judgmental of you...oh, irony.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      BTW...Hitler was Catholic. Do some research

      January 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Todd

      Your the reason that religion is loosing its strangle hold on our society. Thank you. Keep being you

      January 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Grimble Grumble the gnome", but your assertions regarding atheism and communist regimes of the past are unfounded. For instance, Hitler was a devout Christian. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC EPIC FAIL".

      January 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • I'm 45 and still live with my parents

      I agree.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      Also, your "philosophy" led to the Crusades, which resulted in the needless murder of people who didn't agree on an ideal that was FORCED upon them.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • todaypost

      Well, as least atheists do behave badly and judgemental , self righteous like Grimble Grumble the gnome

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Brian

      Funny there doesnt seem to be too many atheist in prison. Id wager its 95% Christians.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  18. Heyheyhey

    Humans have ways of becoming lemmings, and it don't help that we are a social species which is controlled by our culture.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • DA in CA

      Agreed. Watch the movie "Compliance" to get a sense how easily average people can be duped into doing crazy things.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  19. Christine Jacobson

    I do hope she's not telling her kids that God does NOT exist. Telling them that she doesn't KNOW is another thing. She needs to allow them a spiritual framework. Our kids will face some tough times and believing that there IS a spiritual world in which we will all meet again is very comforting and comfort is just what many people need in their lives. To take that away from your children is unconscionable. Prayer is powerful stuff and since I've given my life to Jesus I've seen miracles too great to explain by scientific citeria.They had to have been from a spiritual source. I don't belong to any religion and don't go to church and don't foist my beliefs on others, but to deny the wonder and comfort of some sort of spiritual belief of your children is robbing your children of the essence of who we are: more than just bodies. I believe this mother will one day regret this. My father believed as she did but when he died, he appeared to me. He absolutely did NOT believe in an afterlife so I asked him that when he died, if there was an afterlife, to do something to prove it to me. He laughed because the idea of an afterlife was so absurd to him. But there he stood silently in my bedroom a few days after his passing. Thanks Dad!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Sunshine1234

      I fail to understand why she should say that?? Ho wcan you say it does, when you are not sure it does? That would be a lie!!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Mike Wagner

      How many gods do you know don't exist? Thor? Xenu? Ganesh? Many Christians "know" there is only one god. So somehow the fact that out of over 3000 known gods, an atheist dismisses all and a Christian dismisses 99.97% makes the atheists unrealistic?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Roger that

      'Prayer is powerful stuff and since I've given my life to Jesus I've seen miracles '

      Start praying to Budah and you will see the same results. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Eric Swan

      “He will wipe out every tear
      from their eyes, and death will be no more,
      neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain
      be anymore.”—Revelation 21:4

      January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Gir

      Your personal experience means jacksquat. Empirical evidence, or gtfo.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • alohacarmel

      Why are you assuming that she is denying them a spiritual framework because she does not advocate Christianity?? There are many many types of "spiritual framework". This is my number one issue with Christians......because you present an argument of tolerance, and yet you STILL end it with the all or nothing of the Christian dogma. This is why tolerance can NEVER be a true virtue of the modern day Christian, because your teachings assert that fundamentally there can be NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE. That ultimately we will all be judged by God anyway......its a closed system, its impossible to practice tolerance when your dogma does not allow for diversity.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    God's Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ, Amen:

    The good old faith of Jesus doesn't say: "you need to be saved!" but says: "you need to behave Christian daily in the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection!".

    Today many members of the mainline churches only know that they could behave Christian in Jesus' power but they don't do it. What is the reason why? Well, it is a multilayered problem. Maybe they did not really repent, or they don't really understand the Christian doctrine. Repentance is necessary, and a correct understanding of the doctrine is sufficient to achieve a successful life of faith which causes real Christian behaviour in daily life.

    There is a paradox: The more sb. repents the more he feels his sinfulness. The one who has repented will cry for a Redeemer who gives him the power to overcome the lust of his body and the hatred against God and his fellow human beings.

    What is the locus in space and time where we receive the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection? It is the sacramental baptism which was insti-tuted by Christ himself (not by the unholy, Catholic pope-rat). The sacramental baptism (also infant baptism) is the locus where Jesus death and resurrection get made present. The metaphysical side of Jesus' sacrifice you cannot grasp by reason but only by supernatural faith, and this faith must be caused by the Holy Spirit. God has laid it out like this that the receiving of the faith or the Spirit is connected with the Holy Baptism which is not allowed to be repeated. Through faith and baptism we get metaphysically connected with Christ's sacrifice.

    The only things which a Christian should practice daily in order to make visible Christ's power are fasting and prayer or prayer and fasting. If we do this things we act diametrically opposed to the lust of our body (the sin dwells in our limbs). If we fast and pray, Jesus' power will change our life, and we will overcome the lust, and love God and our neighbour. We will love our neighbour with an unbiased love.

    However, we can nothing add on to Christ's redemption. Prayer and fasting are not more than a serious "yes, I will!" to Christ's deliverance.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:36 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.