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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. Dave

    Believe if you want, but leave me the heck alone! I do not believe, and will not believe, in all liklihood. Prayer never did a damned thing for me. However, I defend to the end your right to believe, but really, I am NOT interested. (Goes to church almost every Sunday to make wife happy, kids in tow. The older kids do not believe, and the drivel I hear reinforces my atheism.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Buddy

      Interesting

      If you reread your negative take.....It might be the reason why your children do not believe.

      Faith and hope are such good feelings ...... Keeps people from being so negative

      January 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Gir

      "Faith and hope are such good feelings ...... Keeps people from being so negative"

      Better to have your head in the clouds than grounded in reality, eh? And what sort of faith and hope can one have in a sadistic god who'll roast you for eternity if you fall foul of him?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Buddy

      Hello Gir

      See...... just what I was talking about.... you make me smile

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • lol??

      What's so great about crashing a family reunion every week? Livin' off the fat of the feast?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Tlu7908

    The beauty of this entire diatribe we'll all find out when we die...

    A true, faith filled and honest believer in God!

    January 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, we won't "find out when we die" because there will be no "I" or consciousness to perceive anything.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Nope. According to your own bible, everyone who dies is senseless until judgement day, so all that stuff religious people who don't know their own bible, who speak about your dead being in a better place and watching down and smiling on your from heaven is malarky.. according to your own bible, that is.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      How do you know that Moby?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      It's simple. Consciousness requires blood pumping through a brain. 1) Death stops blood from pumping. 2) the brain that seats the consciousness will rot .

      January 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Moby Schtick & Seyedibar -

      Certainly reasonable assertions as the current probability of the evidence in neuroscience indicates that consciousness is a product of the brain; however, we really do not yet have sufficient evidence to conclude that consciousness cannot/does not exist without a functional brain. But, I'd bet on it.

      Cheers

      January 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • EqualOpportunity

      This conversation has made me second guess my own beliefs, so I asked god if there is a heaven and what it is like. His response was noticeably absent, much like talking to a comatose patient. However, never one to give up, I subsequently summoned satan tempting him by trading my soul for his knowledge of heaven and hell. Yet once again, there was no response. I "rationalize" that both are on vacation or sticking to UTC+14 time zone where it is actually Sunday and per a rather lengthy book, no body works on Sunday....

      I guess I'll just continue to be an Atheist until either one gets back from holiday.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Joe

      EqualOpporUnity, have you seen a Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert says to someone, "I don't think it helps to try and explain to a turtle how the water and air filtration system works in his glass case." Did you ask God or Satan how physics works and have either of them not answer? Does that mean that it doesn't exist? You would have to go research and find the answer... And likewise your question could be answered by doing research... Otherwise you'd be last atheist :).

      January 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  3. rgbowe

    No one is born believing in a religion, we are all taught the religion we believe in and more and more are learning that what is taught is not and can not be proven. There is no one religion thus helping to prove it is a taught to us as we grow up. The idea that OUR ONE religion is the absolute right one just further proves none are right. Practice your religion if you wnat but don't tell people who don't believe in your religion or any religion that they are wrong and going to pay for it. The last laugh may well be on YOU.

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

      Mocking the religious and trying to argue with them does not work. In my early twenties I spent hours and hours debating with various religious people - from people who knocked on my door to catholic priests. It's futile. If someone has really invested themselves in religion, you can't talk them out of it. A better approach for the realists is to provide a welcoming, kind and rational community for those who have already abandoned religion in their minds but fear "coming out" with it. We need to show people that they're not alone and that their realization is valid. Help them realize they're not really a minority. Let them know we're here.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  4. onemorehere

    it's dareclose imposible for a man athiest or Godbelieving men to do all good with out fail, for if you come to be 100% one with God death come to him cause he is raise to the heavens...there for to be alive in this world one is with sin.. and only through God's Sacrifice to cover our sin - can one come to the presence of God...and live a prosperous life here on earth...God is real

    January 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Billy

      Does anyone know a good site for online "onemorehere" translation?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Loathstheright

      Home schooled?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • the AnViL

      it would be "dareclose" to "imposible" to translate this gemstone of a post.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Dorlisa

      Huh?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Poclevius

    If your political or religious views are based at all on the idea that, "If everyone else just thought and behaved like I do, then finally there would be world peace and heaven on earth", then please please please re-vist the drawing board. THAT ROUTE IS DOOMED!!!! In fact, if I were to think of some one thought that the devil could plant and grow that would really doom mankind, that one would be right up near the top of the list.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  6. Age of Reason

    ..."NO one knows if this Jesus Christ existed,and if he did, NOTHING is known about him!" Why I am not a christian
    Bertrand Russell 1928

    January 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  7. Science

    Why can't people believe in a blood test and facts???

    See date below, anybody have a answer to above question !!!

    Published on Jan 15, 2013

    Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome—an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago—but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In "Decoding Neanderthals," NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. In the traditional view, Neanderthals differed from "us" in behavior and capabilities as well as anatomy. But were they really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins.

    Category
    Education

    January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  8. lol??

    The default is having a god. When you run out of gods you declare yourself one. Your belly is your carnal god.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

    • (Word of advice to others – best not make direct eye contact with this one- the resident loon.)

      January 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Damocles

      My belly is my carnal deity? I would think the offending appendage would be a bit lower? Maybe you are doing it wrong.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • lol??

      "Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? "

      January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  9. inWYLD

    I'm a realist and do not believe in religion. I do not want to argue about whether or not the christian god (or any other god) exists. I really don't care. I don't like being around christians but I respect their right to believe whatever they want AS LONG AS they don't try to force their beliefs on me. I feel a sense of religious oppression in America that doesn't exist in most civilized countries. All I want is for the christians to leave us alone. It makes me so happy to see that more and more people are rejecting religion. In a few generations, there will be true freedom of religion in this country, which should include freedom FROM religion.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Larry Mandrell

      You say that but don't mind at all selling your own brand of non-belief. I have no real axe to grind with you or anyone else and I agree with you that the "Christians", who beat people over the head with Scripture are out of line, they mean well but are really irritating. Most people just quit listening.
      On the other hand from the comments here I get the feeling non believers would like to convert us?
      Just seems that way.
      Respecting your choice.
      Larry

      January 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • BillB

      "I don't like being around christians"

      Wow, such intolerance. And you want us to show more tolerance for you?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      BillB most people have preferences and most people don't like hanging around specific types of people. Do you enjoy hanging around with child mo le stors? Are you a hateful bigot because you don't like hanging out with child tormentors? Grow up, Bill.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • John

      BillB-if you are truly a Christian, that is EXACTLY what you will do. Having a hard time believing that is the right thing to do? Perhaps then, the version of the Bible that you read is indeed, fiction.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  10. Clearly Abnormal

    I'm always stunned and baffled by people who take such a strong and wrong position against God as a result of faulty logic and poor reasoning based on incorrect suppositions and falsehoods. Years ago, even as a kid I realized that the only way to come to a correct conclusion was to devise an experiment to prove or disprove the existence of God. I figured that if He was truly alive that He would be able to respond as my experiment demanded. I don't understand how anyone can form a belief system such as this woman did without doing the basic real world, real time kind of experiment that I did to arrive at my final answer.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      what did your experiment involve?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      LOL, i have to hear this. Do tell about your test.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Akira

      What you're actually stunned at is someone coming up with a conclusion that differs from yours.
      She doesn't HAVE a belief system.
      She doesn't believe.
      You do.
      Who's right?
      Who's to say?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Clearly Abnormal", 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 1:55 pm |
    • Damocles

      Yes I, like sam, am breathless with antici................. pation, to hear what groundbreaking research you did.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Gir

      Wait............There's a religionist who claims to have conducted an ACTUAL experiment to test for god? FINALLY! Some proof! Why don't you share your methods and results with us? And keep in mind: there may be a Nobel prize in it for you.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ian

      Verifiable experimental evidence for the existence of God would be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind. Please share.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Obviously, his 'test' was merely prayer. Unfortunately, the poster does not understand that other faiths differing from his own also report 'success' from prayers and meditations, showing it's the belief itself behind the results, not the specific belief itself.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Akira

      And notice he hasn't been back after posting his "testimony".

      January 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Scientific testing is not required to discount God(s). Historical record and etymology are enough to disprove every modern religion. Science is great and gives us verifiable answers, but first a person has to realize they've been phrasing their question wrong all along. As we can prove that the biblical god was nothing more than a pantheon of pharaohs and kings that were worshiped by their subjects, there is no longer a reason to invoke the concept of a God.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Damocles

      @clearly

      Plenty of people still waiting for that evidence. Hurry up.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Clearly Abnormal

      I'm back! I apologize for not sitting at my computer all weekend waiting for replies. There was some basketball and football to watch. I'm not interested in explaining my experimental method or results. Seems to me that would be getting over into trying to convince the naysayers to believe me, as if I have a desire to change what someone thinks. I don't. I want every unbeliever who reads what I say, to NOT change his or her mind. While I have expressed bewilderment at those who don't have enough intellectual curiosity or are too lazy to perform any kind of experiment to prove/disprove what they believe, they do give me reason to laugh and I want to keep them that way.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  11. onemorehere

    hal 9001

    I'm sorry, "Brampt", but "God" is an element of mythology. Please make a note of it.

    onemorehere

    you need to study some more "hall9001" then you'll come to agree with me...you seem very confused as of today...
    I' m not sorry "hal9001" but Science is an element of mythology... please make a note of it.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Kids, 1morehere is a great example of why you shouldn't do drugs. Get off the crack!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Billy

      "Science is an element of mythology"

      LOL – FAIL.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    "She told the other mother that she didn’t go to church and didn’t even really believe in God."

    I could have some understand when someone doesn't go to one of the current Churches, it doesn't matter if Protestant or Catholic or free. But we should not lumb together the misbehaviour of the churches, and the reputation of Jesus Christ and the faith which he insti-tuted.

    Today there are too many wolves in sheep's clothing which have infiltrated nearly all churches, and it has become impossible to find a good church (this is unique in history). Actually this good be a sign that Jesus will return soon because what sense has an earth without a lively church?

    I guess according to the Luther's interpretation of the Revelation we have yet left the period of the reign of the forerunners of the Antichrist (Mohammed and the popes), and entered the state of the reign of the Antichrist.

    America doesn't fight for freedom, peace and love but only wants to make the whole world its slaves. You hypocrites!

    January 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • End Religion

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

      January 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Rainer Braedlein", but "God" and "Christ" are elements 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 EPIC 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 1:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      the german is talking about how america wants to make people slaves? you would have fit in well with the third reich with all their fancy uniforms, you fvcking closet queen.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Akira

      Please stay in Germany.
      Please.
      You know nothing about America.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  13. Patrick H.

    Whole heartedly agree. I was raised a catholic, but now no longer believe. My children have grown to fine level headed adults that were free to go their own way. None have seen the need to practice any kind of religion. When my mother saw how my brothers and I were moving away from the catholic faith, she discussed her concerns with the parish priest. His response was that it was more important that we be good people than to follow any specific set of beliefs.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Joe

    I believe people, both religious and not, do not believe this topic to be of utmost of importance in their own lives. People love to debate, but not have the additional curiosity to research. This entire discussion on the "problem of evil," is a great example of this phenomenon. If people were to research a little bit, they would find the reasoning that many great thinkers of faith have described the reasoning why God can be all good, all powerful yet have evil exist in the world. It is because God gave the greatest gift to mankind, free will. It is because of free will, of people to believe, not believe to help or hurt, that causes evil in the world.

    If God simply appeared to fix this, could we really have free will knowing that He/She is there? The answer is no, free will would not be free, it would be severly limited.

    There are many examples I've found speaking with people, again religious or not, where people are simply not curious on this subject to research and learn with an open mind... But instead argue without knowledge.

    Most religious aspects can be reasoned... It is why they have grown. The absents of God however cannot be :), just read Mere Christianity from C.S. Lewis. I would love a follow up from the mother in the original article after reading that book alone.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      A man approaches you with a gun and says, "Tell me you love me or you will be punished."
      While you do have a choice in this situation, it is known as "coercion" and is considered a "no no" in polite society. Some find it immoral.
      How is this different from your god?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Joe

      Not here to change your beliefs, but I think your reply just proved my point. Love to discuss and argue, no basis of research and effort. Who is my God? I made one statement of a logical statement how both God and evil can coexist due to freewill.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Free will is not a necessary contingent of reality or any possible god.

      And really, since everything goes according to god's will/plan eventually, what's the point of free will. Omniscience and free will can't both exist. Either god does not know all things (and is not god, therefore) or there is no free will.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • sonya

      thank you for your reply. Very eloquently stated. I like that you mentioned the free will aspect as well. God gave us that gift and I guess we'll all find out in the end which side of heaven/hell we end up in based on our choice today.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • End Religion

      Joe, I don't know your religion so correct me if I'm wrong but do you believe there are 2 choices, faith in god or eternal damnation?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Joe

      If God is infact all good, then he would not lock you out of heaven. I believe God gives you what you want. I see hell as you locking yourself out from God and God wanting to get in, but will not. again due to the greater good of the existence of free will. The absence of God is the greatest coldness one can experience. It is not free will or God. But this is something that if you have chosen a certain way that you would know differently anyway right? Isnt that justice? Those with faith do not have an empty "something" that must be filled... They are happy... It's natural for good people with faith want others to know this feeling... But it is not something we can give others anyway. It's to me, the greatest sadness I have.

      January 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  15. Den-O

    I recently had two young white shirted kids( 16-20 yrs )knock on my door and inform me that because I was not a Christian I was "lost" and needed "Salvation". They wanted to give me a Bible, the King James Version because, I was further informed, if it wasn't a King James Version than it wasn't the "real" Bible. I then asked them who King James was and they didn't have a clue. "He was a great King" i was told. "Was he ?", i asked. I began to inform them who the Bible decreeing monarch was but they suddenly lost any interest in my "Salvation" and had to get going. I guess i'm not as "lost" as they had feared.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Billy

      LMAO!! Thanks, Den-O.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Churchill loved the KJV and Scotch. You probably like Schlitz.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      I would like to have been there when you told them he is thought to have been gay.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      What's great about the King James version is that the medieval editors actually stop the story from time to time to say things like, "Hello! My name's William. I'm the guy what writes this bible, and I think God's neat!"
      They aren't even shy about making changes. One editor calls attention the fact that he changed Jerubaal's name to Gideon because he doesn't understand why God would talk to a Baal worshiper. (He doesn't realize that the God being referred to in the story IS Baal, the brother of Yahweh).

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Den-O

      Schlitz ? Do they even brew Schlitz anymore ? I'm more of a honeybrew ale kinda guy.

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

    the reason why wars Originate by religion is cause its not the same God they come to claim some claim a female god others a male god...when people realized that God isn't a gender but a creator but if you want to go there Male is a positive sign female is a negative sign but it's more complicated than just that...when it revert them back and forth

    wester civilizaton claim a male God and the meadle east somehow claims a female God even though that is where Religion originated form according to history...they have prophets and they havent' define God so it become a female God as is in India and other parts of the world the budha is male yet they haven't difine their God...the Budha doesn't claim to be god...shiva does claim to be a Goddes female...in the meadle east like aftganistan muslim world they haven't difine God so it become a female God...that is what is causing religion to make wars with the opposition or other believes...

    January 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  17. jon

    To say "all the evidence" refutes the existence of God is an empty statement. Man cannot explain the creation of the universe and the operation of the physical world adequately without admitting the possibility (liklihood?) of intelligent design. The most fundamental questions remain unanswered by science. The dogmatic athiest simply places his/her faith in chance over intelligent design to avoid the moral implications of a higher being (or anyone but themselves) declaring right from wrong.

    A level headed logical technically minded person should conclude that this planet was made for life, and for humans in particular, so they could live out their days with the freedom to make choices; some for good, and some for evil. The constants of the universe are too tightly tuned to think we're here by chance. The created world has monumental evidence of intelligent design. The human body has monumental evidence of intelligent design. The universe has monumental evidence of intelligent design.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Billy

      Nevertheless, the god of Abraham belongs in its rightful place – in one's spam folder.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      The dogmatic believer entertains no other options whatsoever, except blind faith. Left up to them, we wouldn't even seek knowledge or answers to the questions of life, we'd still believe the earth flat and only several thousand years old. Thanksfully, it wasn't left up to them and people who did not wish to remain ignorant to life's mysteries pushed ahead anyway, despite the fear of exile, torture, and horrible deaths.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jackie

      Maybe men can't, but WOMEN CAN (very, very, very tired of paternalism reigning this world).

      January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Damocles

      @jon

      Oh, yes, the body is clearly intelligently designed. That's why your appendix can never, ever cause you grief.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "Made for life."

      That's why there are no earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, droughts, avalanches, landslides and mass extinction events responsible for the deaths of BILLIONS of life forms throughout history.

      The real question here is how jon was able to marshall all three of his brain cells to produce that comment. Truly fascinating.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Janvier Li-Jafari

      "A level headed logical technically minded person should conclude that this planet was made for life, and for humans in particular, so they could live out their days with the freedom to make choices; some for good, and some for evil."

      I find flaws in your logic. If this planet was supposedley made for 'humans in particular' then why did it take millions, nay, billions of years for humans to come into existence? Also, the concept of "good and evil" is objective. My perception of 'good' is not necessarily the same of yours. Does that make me 'evil?' The ultimate question you seek to answer is whether or not humans, our planet, and our universe is a product of "intelligent design". Perhaps, but I doubt that such intelligent design is limited to a human's perception of "God".

      January 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "Intelligent design."

      That's why you have an appendix that does nothing except sicken and cause you pain. That's why your pelvis is more suited to quadrepedalism than bipedalism, causing arthritis, back pain and a host of other problems. That's why you breathe, eat and speak through the same hole, causing multiple incidents of choking. That's why your eye can only see a minute portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. That's why plssing, shltting and fvcking all happen within a two inch radius in the human body. That's why not even a single testable hypothesis for testing "intelligent design" has EVER been proposed. And that's why your brain has atrophied to the extent of causing you to right such asinine comments as that.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Brian

      A level headed, logical person would say that this planet formed in the zone of a system known as the "habitable zone". Thus, allowing for life to flourish. And we actually do know how the elements used for life were formed. While we don't know exactly what caused the big bang, there are many viable theories out there. Quantum mechanics is very difficult to understand and very confusing. When dealing with things on the quantum level (and everything comes back to the quantum level), everything we know about the macroscopic world breaks down.

      And most atheists don't necessarily deny the existence of God. He could exist. However, we aren't so quick to say that processes or phenomena we don't know or understand yet is the work of a diety.

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

      "A level headed logical technically minded person should conclude that this planet was made for life, and for humans in particular, so they could live out their days with the freedom to make choices; some for good, and some for evil."

      That's why FEW scientists conducting legitimate research have reached that conclusion, but you intelligent design merchants are reduced to quote mining and propaganda to advance your insidious agenda, while doing NO research and proposing NO testable hypotheses. How stupid can you be?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Non Belieiver

      The universe wasn't "created". It has always been.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • gelinrefira

      Oh dear... human body is rife with imperfections, sometimes silly, sometimes stupid and more often than not, fatal. For most part, atheists did not say intelligent design is impossible, it is just highly very unlikely. We have a certain amount of uncertainty. We know a lot but there are still much more to know. We do not claim to know what is beyond the what science can tell us today; we simply do not know and we do not have to make up stories for it. We are not afraid of the unknown. But theist have to, they have to believe in something, no matter how absurd it might sound after all the knowledge we gather today. You are the arrogant one to claim you know exactly how the universe was created by quoting your bible and you are arrogant enough to think that this planet was create specifically for you to make some moral choices while some supreme being watches over everything you do. How narcissistic is that. There are probably billions of stars and even planets out there but god came here! He came here! For you! How self centered is that kind of mindset and you accuse us of being arrogant? In fact, arrogance is the hallmark of abrahamic religion. This is the only true path, the only way, every other way is false, evil and fake. Obey or spend an eternity in hell. If that is not arrogance, I don't know what is.

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

    Love her! And as an agnostic, I do NOT care what other people think... My family, however, "Christians" that they are, are judgmental and often say they will "pray for me." Ugh.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • truth

      Smart Potato... wow.. you sound like a bitter lesbian who can't use her breasts. Good luck.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  19. Loathstheright

    Fearie tales and stories are fine for children, but when you try and make a child believe in something that doesn't exist, well, that's just sick.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  20. Brampt

    Modern computers are a product of intensive research and careful engineering. They did not “just happen.” What about the human brain? Unlike the brain of any animal, the brain of a human infant triples in size during its first year. How it functions is still largely a mystery to scientists. In humans, there is the built-in capacity to learn complex languages, to appreciate beauty, to compose music, to contemplate the origin and meaning of life. Said brain surgeon Robert White: “I am left with no choice but to acknowledge the existence of a Superior Intellect, responsible for the design and development of the incredible brain-mind relationship—something far beyond man’s capacity to understand.” (The Reader’s Digest, September 1978, p. 99) The development of this marvel begins from a tiny fertilized cell in the womb. With remarkable insight, the Bible writer David said to God: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.”—Ps. 139:14.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Brampt", but "God" is an element of mythology. Please make a note of it.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Robert White was a devout Roman Catholic before he ever stated such a thing, so the only choice he had left was the only one he allowed himself. Try again.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • CP

      Sounds like "God of The Gaps". Wherever there is a lack of knowledge – behold there is God. As the gaps are filled, God gets smaller and smaller untill there is no place for him / she to hide.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Brian

      Just because we don't understand everything about a human brain, doesn't mean there necessarily is a God. I'm not saying there is or isn't a God, but trying to justify the existence of a god because of the complexity of that which is a human brain is idiotic at best. Remember electricity used to seem a complex, scary thing. People believed that it would leap out of the wall and kill you.

      Just because we don't have the tools to understand the human brain doesn't mean we will never understand it. It just means technology isn't to the point where we are capable of completely understanding it. Not to mention, some experiments that would go a long way to helping us understand the brain are unethical and can never be performed.

      Let's put it this way, recently scientists have been able to replicate a computerized human brain complete with neurons, electrical impulses, etc. While these brains have no where near the amount of power a human brain does, it is a first step in us being able to replicate a full human brain.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • AnnieCee

      CP, there will always be Gaps... huge ones. Big enough for entire Galaxies and Universes to drive through. There's plenty of room for God in what we don't know AND what we do know. You can't edge God out by assuming that knowledge will be complete someday and it will prove God doesn't exist. That's a big assumption for one thing. And I don't think that human knowledge will ever be complete. Not when you consider the vastness of the Universe, and THEN consider that this immense Universe may be only a part of other Universes.

      And, even though Science can understand many things, they cannot duplicate it. They can't find the essence of Life, they don't know what it is. They can't re-create a human spine even though it's desperately needed by hundreds of thousands of people. The limits of human knowledge are PROFOUND. We've barely scratched the surface. There's plenty of room for God. Especially when you consider that He's not IN the Gaps, He owns them. And everything else too.

      I realize that I may not be applying the "God of the Gaps" theory quite the way you meant it, but I think the theory itself is flawed. It's a phrase that should be trashed. Small-minded thinking. It's basically an attempt to corner Christians to expose weaknesses in logic. But if God is GOD, then there are no gaps, anywhere. It's ALL God, every bit of it. Even the things that can be explained, and the things that can't.

      When mankind knows everything AND mankind can also duplicate everything to perfection: when we can accomplish all the mighty works of God... then maybe we can boast in ourselves. But not now.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Brampt

      The point is that everything is created by something, for scientists to create a replica of a brain took them a very long time, as its very complex, something so complex couldn't appear from nothing.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:13 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.