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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. TANK!!!!

    Religion: because lobotomies are too painful.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  2. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because you prefer the PREMIUM brand of stupidity, not the cheap stuff on the streets.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  3. AmericanPatriot

    Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you don't believe in Zeus, in Poseidon, in Mars or Mercury or Odin, Thor, or Ra or Helos or Vishnu? If you had been raised in Greece or Rome, Egypt or India at the right time in history you would have. There are literally thousands of gods and hundreds of holy texts. What we believe is what we choose to believe based on when and where we were born and usually what religion our parents taught us to believe when we were children. If you are a christian, of the thousands of gods that have ever been worshiped let us call it 20,000 you disbelieve in 19,999 of the gods and are certain that you are correct in your disbelief in those gods that others believe in or have believed in. Atheists also disbelieve in those 19,999 gods as well, then recognizing that those gods are just stories made up by people they add one more, but most atheists are not certain they are right only that there is no evidence presented (exclusive of the bible) that god actually exists. There are many times that we are presented with things that we cannot explain, theists immediately say, it is god, atheists are OK with saying I cannot explain it without having to attribute it to a unprovable being.

    When you finally give up theism, believing, you will find a greater sense of peace than you have ever known. There is no magic, no mysticism, no devil, no demons, nothing supernatural to be scared of in the dark. There are still dangerous things in the world but they can all be explained, they all exist in reality and they all follow all of the laws of nature. No superpowers or possession or all of the other crazy, scary things that religion teaches people to keep them in line.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Science

    Everyone belly up to the bar here, it is not breaking news science and a blood test will tell you no god(s) required !!!
    And that is a fact !

    January 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Rory

    I am not an organized religion believer. I am Pagan. When I was 10 years old half my church and 10 of my friends and their parents were murdered in the name of GOD by a man with the name, Jim Jones, along with 600 other GOD fearing people. The catholic church has murdered millions over the centuries, in the name of God, and let us not forget all the other organized religions, islam, muslim..ect.... that have murdered in the name of their religious leaders. I tell, church of later day saints, jehova witness, morman ..ect ... that knock on my door that I will pray for them and the way they have been brainwashed. I say, TO EACH THEIR OWN, BUT PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHURCH TO YOURSELF, for when I explain I am Pagan, ( the oldest religion known to man or woman ), they try to convert me to their church.

    Thanks for giving your children the chance to think for themselves in a world that wants us all to act the same.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  6. Farooq The Great

    She felt marginalized? I find it sad that she doesn't have enough confidence or self esteem to to NOT CARE what other people think.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      While we exist on a spectrum, generally humans desire to be part of a herd.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      i can't say i haven't had the same thought cross my mind, but i think it's a bit more complicated than that, especially for someone who is raising kids

      January 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • MarkInPDX

      Anyone who claims they don't care what other people think is lying. We're all influenced by our surroundings and our interactions with others.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    Stop vain talk and start to mind how you can experience the real celestial Jesus:

    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 1:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'd prefer a Jesus who doesn't regard me as sinful and unclean and in need of salvation. Would your celestial Jesus actually like me? Would he enjoy a beer?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      Wait... you just made all that up, didn't you?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      I earn money with distributing beverages, also beer – this is noooooooooo problem at all. And remember how Jesus made wine in Cana in Galilee in order to amplify the joy of the guests of the wedding, and the joy of his disciples which we were rejected by their Jewish brothers.

      Only don't drink beer when you are alone, and when you soul is in a sad state.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • End Religion

      Wait.... you just made some more stuff up, didn't you?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I enjoyed this quote: “not to avail ourselves of the power of something we don't completely understand is silly.” No, what's silly is to try to avail ourselves of something we've no reason to believe is real.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Gordon Singh

      But if you take that person at his/her quote's face value, you start to wonder why he/she might not accept evolution. No need to discount it just because you don't understand it!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  9. albie

    This woman is my new hero.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • liggyslair

      Agreed.

      In my own search for life answers at an impressionable age, I became a Religions scholar, studying at University not just doctrine for most major world religions, but tribal religious practices around the world. I researched the cultural history of where, how, and why doctrine was achieved, as well as cultural practices of the time (to generate a deeper understanding of the where/when/how), and it all quickly became obvious to me that religion's only real purpose in the human experience is in providing hope and allowing for community-building. It is not the *only* way to do so, however, and is (when you look at its historical and present results) far from the ideal method, in fact.

      Religion creates hope, but also creates boundaries between us. It gives us reason to build together, yet it divides us at the same time into 'believers' and 'non-believers' (and then even more delineated subsets of 'believers in MY version' versus 'believers of other versions'). Historically, in its name, much greater evil has been done than good (take for example Aztec human sacrifices, the all-out religious warfare in Africa that has been going on for centuries as colonists clash with established tribes, the pagan massacres all up and down the Pacific Islands pre-western influence, the Christian Crusades & its various forms of Inquisition, the practice of diaspora and purging of Jews by the Romans & later the Christians, the Buddhist schism wars throughout various Asian countries, the Hindi vs. Islam/Hindi vs. Buddhism conflicts that still rage today, the Mahabharata war, the marginalization-mass conversions-murders of European pagans/gypsies by the Catholic Church, the Anti-Sikh riots, the massacres of Coptic Christians that continue to the present day, the Christian conversions of Native American tribes and their diaspora during the age of American expansion, the Kingdom of Israel vs. the Kingdom of Judah, the genocidal doctrine against religious affiliations resulting from the various Communist coup d'etats around the world, etc.) and yet those massacres and government-sanctioned acts are patently ignored by the elders of the various religious organizations and their corresponding political figureheads... except whenever they wish to flag-wave to rally support for another round of 'justified violence'.

      When taken in context, overall religion really doesn't provide much aside from emotional comfort and a sense of belonging (the 'herd' mentality continues strong under its banner). Religion structures a person's life in a way similar to the function of the law ("don't think, don't question, just do as I say to avoid penalty"), while at the same time, it creates and provides justification for bigotry (it fosters an "us vs. them" mentality). Like our current system of economy, it continually allows us to be divided in a class structure, building hierarchies and reinforcing the right of the human ego to dominate (nature, each other – you name it). It makes us feel important and special, rather than the insignificant speck in the cosmos that we really are (as science continually reminds us).

      Ironically, there is a certain amount of peace that comes with accepting that there is no higher plan from some imaginary divinity that lives in the sky and never speaks to you, but that you make your own fate based upon the decisions you personally accept – that you become the person you *want* to be (rather than the person you're *told* to be). Ms. Mitchell beautifully points that fact out in her essay, while preempting critics with a set of logical, plain-speak reasons. I applaud her for speaking out, despite the retribution she has faced for daring to say, "BE GOOD BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE, NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE."

      January 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  10. onemorehere

    what the nonebeliever are trying to avoid is guilt if there is no God there is no demand on their behavior– and anything goes even crimes of evil...but if evil is what they are seeking to do with out guilt there is a God and their attempts to dismiss it it's truelly evil and deceptive to future generations...not what is consider good there for fall into the category of evil...

    January 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "onemorehere", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your repeated 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 1:00 pm |
    • Tim

      That is idiotic...I lead a good, law-abiding, 'moral' life. I treat others well, donate to charity, serve the community, etc. and don't do it because some imaginary being is going to get me if I don't...I do it because I am a good person.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Dave

      What?

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

      What the hell are you talking about? Your sentence structure is so scattershot and appalling it's like you learned English yesterday.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • liggyslair

      "Good" behavior vs. "bad" behavior is a function of social norms (what society agrees is acceptable vs. unacceptable). Current western civilization is non-secular in principle, meaning the laws are to be based on a democratic understanding of mainstream society's value system. Where that comes from can be anywhere – nature, religion, whimsy, fashion, etc.

      Technically, by Judaic law (which Christians are adhere to in the Old Testament, and Muslims take their cue from), one cannot work on the seventh day, nor touch the skin of a pig. Yet, Superbowl Sunday has set a precedence in the United States that flies in the face of those religious edicts, and we live in a global economy where people work at all times of the day, every day in various parts of the world. Such things were considered "BAD" in ancient custom, but not so much in modern thinking. Also, one cannot eat or touch the product of shellfish, according to that same set of ancient laws, and yet people break that one all the time when they enjoy steamed clams, muscles, oysters, and Abalone or wear pearl jewelry. Again, "BAD" in the ancient world (a cultural norm beginning with the fear of red tide poisonings), but seen as quite acceptable today. And there are no laws in western societies preventing any of those behaviors, so clearly, we're not taking our cue on moral guidance from religion.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Pete

      "Yet, Superbowl Sunday has set a precedence in the United States that flies in the face of those religious edicts,"

      You're forget a few things, all the people that drink during those games, all the money and greed of the players/networks while stuffing themselves with pizza and chips. I hate football!

      January 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  11. No Way Yahweh

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?

    Epicurus

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

      God is willing and able he is omnipotent.

      that would mean you would at this moment not exist...there for cause he is willing and able to forgive your sin cause he is Omnipotent he decied to allowed to continue your search for the truth in the hopes you'll find it...it better then you having no chances at all of existing...

      January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      1moreHit: can you rephrase your post into English so I can understand?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • liggyslair

      Love this entry at Wiki: "Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear—and aponia—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared; the gods do not reward or punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space."

      January 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  12. Pedro

    Can a frog turn into a prince? Only in fairy tales, evolution is a myth

    January 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Nice failed generalization coming from someone defending a fictional book that says the Earth was created in 7 days, starts with a talking snake, and ends with a seven-headed beast. Where people come back from the dead and talk to burning bushes. Seems legit.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • TBM

      Do gods exist? only in fairy tales... The next time you get sick, I would stay away from your Dr (unless he is a witch DR) as _all_ modern medicine is based on evolution.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dick Izinya

      Don't get a flu shot then, or any vaccine or antibiotic or antiviral for that matter. The formulas are based on the evolution of the disease-baring microbes, which are constantly shifting mutagens. You should probably just pray instead, or see a faith healer.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Toutle Mom

      You do realize that there is more proof in the world for the theory of evolution than there is for the theory of gravity, or cell theory or germ theory. Evolution is one of the most proven theories there is! If you need more proof, check out AronRa's Falsifying Phylogeny series.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • GayAtheist

      Evolution is proved every year with the mutating flue vaccine...you silly mexicans drink jesus blood.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  13. God

    You're ALL in deep, deep doo doo.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Flying Spaghetti Monster

      I AM GOD! You lying fool! I slap you with my Noodly Appendage! Repent! Repent!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Toutle Mom

      If you are god, show me some kind of testable scientific proof. If you would only do that you would have a huge number of converts in a day! Every respectable scientist in the world would believe if only there was testable proof!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  14. Free Nuts

    MoM Dad guess what I found out in school today the earth is not 6,000 to 10, 000 years old and it was not made in 7 days,
    why does the bible say that MoM Dad ??

    January 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Dick Izinya

      LOL, gotta feel sorry for all those kids home-schooled by religious nuts. They then have to take all those years of misinformation and try to get into college. Poor kids.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Part of the bullseye
      Thanks

      January 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "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."

    That's pretty damn pathetic. Who exactly is her view "inappropriate" for? Likely closed-minded Christians that can't stand to see realistic viewpoints from a mother not immersed in their fairy tales.

    Censorship is only useful when your argument is entirely invalid.

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

      At it best here today and peer reviewed 29 pages of comments so far.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Jim Bob

      This is a great article and I honestly feel there are many people under 30 in America which share similar beliefs to the author. I think the Catholic religion is going to lose more and more followers over the next 30 years, until it eventually fades away (at least in educated regions).

      I am an agnostic. I honestly couldn't care one way or another about the answer to questions like where did we come from, and how did we get here... having this answer doesn't matter to me. It sickens me to see an educated society that still believes in a ghost in the sky that oversees everything and they raise their children to believe in this which continues to taint our society.

      The Catholic religion had priests that were molesting children for a century or more. When I was young and was forced to go to church I remember sitting their at the age of 10 and thinking about the priest molesting alter boys children. I thought about this and 15 years later we found out that that is exactly what had been happening.

      Of course this is not the only reason I was against religion. I don't need so book to tell me what is right and wrong. Any educated person knows the difference between right and wrong. For instance organized crime syndicates in the US are predominantly Catholic. These people are murders, liars, cheaters, and regularly break the laws. Many attend church regularly of course because they are under the impression that they can do what ever they want, say 50 few hail mary's and abracadabra, all their sins are to be forgiven. Common... Can a college educated person honestly sit with a straight face and say this is true?

      It does not matter what people think. There is no Santa clause, easter bunny, Sand man, Boogy Monster, etc, but the fact is these all certainly are real if there is some god in the sky.

      The worse part of religion is that ANYONE can start a religion and with the creation of the internet it is very easy to get followers. I could start a religion tomorrow and say that the true God is SPAM. Yes the scientifically processed assort mean in a can is the true being which watches over us all and determines the outcome of everyone and everything. I could create a holy place of worship and get suckers to come and give me money for free every Sunday and could even have the followers wage a war on Catholic believers. All I need is a made up book all the New SPAM doctrine and then my cult would become a reality.

      The fact is the Catholic religion is the worlds largest cult plain and simple. I always felt like I was attending a meeting where they were going to make me drink blue Koolaid and castrate myself much like the cult that thought the hail bob commet was going to bring the followers to salvation. Instead there were just going to try to make me drink wine and eat bread that takes like cardboard.

      When I die i have already asked to be cremated and then to have my remains flushed down the toilette. I do not believe in and after life. We live our lives the way we want today and then when we die that's the end. If that's not the case at least I will end up in hell where all of my friends will be and we can live a miserable existence together.
      Less

      January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

      Censorship is never useful.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  16. Tony

    Im definitely an atheist who could never be brainwashed by organized religion

    January 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Robert W

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

    January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  18. Grimble Grumble the gnome

    Hitler got some of his power from the Catholic Church and other religions. He got his philosophy from Darwinian evolution

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

      "natural selection" was not part of Hitlers philosophy! He was trying to impart his most un-natural (as the word is used colloquially) man made (psychotic) spin on evolution.

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

      I fully understand the position of the poster and those who commented supporting her.

      The Roman Catholic church system is abhorrent, if you read history. EVERY denomination of christianity, whether it admits it or not, is a outgrowth of the RC system; they may not admit the pope is their head but will believe various doctrines like infant baptism or the trinity doctrine propounded by the RC church. The Lord Jesus is God and the trinity doctrine supposedly the cure for denying His deity, was in fact the imposition of another lie. God is ONE and all human beings are in Him, made in His Image and likeness – Genesis 1:26-27. All human beings do not believe on Jesus and do not walk in a relationship with God as Father, at this time.

      It misled people by deception; a front of a mixture of the Truth of God, while creating a monster with the papal system as king; when the Word of God clearly tells us that no man is to be called father or teacher except God – see the Words of Jesus in Matthew 23:8-10.

      The RC system changes the Word of God attributing to the pope the authority to do so!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  19. justme

    Atheism is the least tolerated ideology in the present day USA. We will see a black female communist muslim elected President elected before an Atheist gains that office.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Dave

      You are right.....religion breeds intolerance.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  20. Terra

    As a Christian teenager, my take on this might be a little biased, but it can't possibly be worse than some of the comments I've seen so here goes:
    I was raised Christian by my parents. I wasn't baptised as a baby because my parents believed that when I grew older I should make that choice on my own, and I did. Lately, I've had trouble believing, because it's hard to maintain faith in a caring God when terrible things happen every day, but I still keep faith.
    The problem with a lot of Christians these days is that they believe praying will save them. I don't believe that prayer will be our salvation. Sure, pray all you like–but don't just hide in your church or your basement staring at a picture of Jesus and begging for things to be made better. Take it into your own hands. God can only do so much, and what value does prayer have when not everyone's prayers can possibly be answered?
    Save the world yourself, and pray to God to help you. That's what I do. And as a teenager, there's not much that I CAN do, but I try my hardest.
    And I know a lot of atheists who don't believe in a god because they believe in logic. If there was really a God, why is there still hatred and crime in the world? And that's sound logic, I won't argue. But I choose to believe.
    There's nothing wrong with not believing in God–well, there is in the Bible, but that doesn't count right now–so I won't hate on the atheists and try to "save" them. But sometimes, God is inspiration. God can drive people to work miracles the same way belief in Him can lead people to destruction. God gave humans free will, and that free will gives us the right to not believe in Him. There are a lot of Christians who need to learn that lesson.
    Sorry for the long post, and thanks for reading it all (if you did). :D

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

      That is probably the most logical, well-structured post I think I've ever read on the "Belief" section.

      Thank you.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Robert W

      Terra,
      The key is to keep your eye on Christ and his teachings, not what people say or do. Remember that Jesus lived with those who needed to hear the word, and challenged those who said they were the experts at that time. Also remember that it was said that the world will turn away towards the end. Keep up the faith!

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

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

      You're what all so-called Christians should be...level headed, not hateful of differing people, and pretty smart. Personally, I'm Agnostic bordering on Atheist. I was raised Catholic by parents that went to church on religious holidays only. Had a bad experience in my early years at a Catholic school. Dumped 'organized religion' for most my teens and early adulthood. Completely fell away over a series of world happenings these past 15+ years...just wondering how He could allow such things. I'm more at peace with myself now than ever in my life. By the way, my neighbors and very good friends are VERY Catholic and know my beliefs. We do NOT judge each other in the name of God or godlessness. We see the goodness in each other that most people – religious or not – have.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • LAND OF THE FREE

      Very well written. I was born into the catholic religion and funny enough didnt find faith until I left. Study all the diffrent religions and you'll come to find that the ideals are'nt bad, just the organization that controls it and the people that warp the messege to meet their needs – always ask the clergy if you say god is the only one that has the right to judge then why do you judge others who are not like you?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sarah

      You have what I call a good moral compass. Most christian lack having one. Such a shame they spend so much time trying to prove to other how much better they are by "following god's word", then actually doing it.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.