home
RSS
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. treblemaker

    She is doing her children a disservice, because she herself doesn't understand the true nature of God. I find that troubling with the majority of Christians, because their churches have deliberately left out the source of Christianity because the source was Jewish. To rob the children of the belief of a Supreme Being when things will go rough in their life, as I'm sure will happen one day, is to leave them without the proper tools necessary to make it through the gauntlet of their existence. At least teach the children the twelve step program as outlined by AA, NA, or any other self-help group, so at least they can come to believe that a God as they understand Him exists for their help, like a life preserver, if her distaste for organized religion is that entrenched in her mind. No matter what the atheists believe, THERE IS A GOD!! He allows bad things on earth to happen because he gave the world to Satan to rule. The earth is the testing ground for all spirits, because God wants us to love and worship him on our own free will, without pressure from ANYBODY ELSE!

    The first 3 steps say to turn your will and life over to the care of God as you understand Him. The next 9 steps are ones of WORKS and ACTION. First, to clean yourself spiritually, then to take the message to others. Faith and works go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Don't sit waiting by the phone for your ship to come in. Go out and prove to the Lord that you understand what needs to be done by your works, and by faith in turning the results over to Him, He will look after you and guide you; maybe not the way you want, but just the same one can't control the passage of time. God gives the greatest gift of all, to those who believe that his Son was the Messiah–peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of soul, no matter what the situation that befalls you. That-is-PRICELESS!!!

    January 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "treblemaker", but "God", "GOD", "Supreme Being", "Him", "Lord", "Son" and "Messiah" 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 2:30 pm |
    • Damocles

      @treble

      The fact that you don't seem to see the discord between the idea of an all loving deity and the fact that he wants us to duke it out on this planet as a way to prove ourselves to it speaks volumes.

      Do you think any parent could mount the 'I beat the crap out of my kids with the loving intention of bringing them closer to me' defense in a trial with any hope of winning?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      "She is doing her children a disservice, because she herself doesn't understand the true nature of God.
      And you do?

      Does the arrogance of True Believeres know any boundary?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There is not evidence to support the existence of ANY god. The truth is that you simply believe in a god.

      Teach a child how to stand on his or her own. Teach them to be responsible for their own actions. Teach them to ask questions and to seek answers. Teach them to be honest with themselves and with others. That is your duty as a parent.

      But do not teach them a lie, just because it's something you want to believe. That is the greatest disservice of them all.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Harry

      " To rob the children of the belief of a Supreme Being when things will go rough in their life, as I'm sure will happen one day, is to leave them without the proper tools necessary to make it through the gauntlet of their existence"

      I was raised in a strict Christian household, went to church every Sunday, attended Bible studies and it did nothing for me, nor was it useful when my life ran onto hard times. I woke up and realized my parents and church were some of the most prejudice, intolerant people on the planet. I actually believe your kind are the worse thing that is ruining our country.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  2. Jen

    I was elated just as much reading the comments of both articles as I was to see Mitchell' s ireport. My husband and I very much deal with these issues day to day with our family, and also in our business. I run a small business, and so does my husband, so for us "coming out Atheist" is not an option. We have spent much of our energy on politics and helping friends fight for equality, yet sometimes feel like hypocrites because we haven't been able to do the same. We would really like to be afforded the rights to freedom from religion, but the backlash would be severe. Some day we would love to open a community center and really promote that people are the ones who help other people, so thank them and pay it forward. You don't have to have a skydaddy to be a good person, and you can really go out into the world and do good without an agenda to peddle the "good book". Until then we will continue being a part of the FFRF, holding our local elected officials accountable by pointing out seperation of church and state, and nodding and smiling when we hear the stories about how God helped so and so find the strength, or the money, or winning football game they prayed for.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well said.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Can you point to the right to be free from religion in our Consti_tution?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Just curious – I've never seen that right enumerated before. It sounds like you just made it up.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There are many, many rights that we have that don't appear in the Const itution. We absolutely do have the right not to practice a religion.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Damocles

      @lemur

      If we don't have the right to not partake in a religion, then you better damn well start believing in all religions this very day.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Shane

    This is why I like my Unitarian Universalist Church in Beaufort SC because they let you believe what you want. I grew up Southern Baptist in NC with all the dogma of "you must believe...." But, now Sunday at UU is a thoughtful ritual that connects me to others in my community. We sing, listen to inspiring messages that help us grow spiritualty, and talk afterwards about life. There is no pressure or expectation that our beliefs be the same. It's a spiritual community of openness. I like my uubeaufort.org.

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

    Religion: because the midwife who delivered you had extra-slippery fingers.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Mary

    This is sad and hilarious at the same time. Sad to see so many unbelievers but the bible does talk about these times and it should come as no surprise that we are living in an era of humanist secularism. Hilarious because I find the opposite to be true when it comes to declaring yourself an atheist. I think there is much more hostility toward Christians. I believe true believers (not all religious people are true believers they are just caught in the trappings of religion, which there are many brands) are the minority. We live in a secular world. That is just fact. Maybe its hard to come out as an atheist to your inner most immediate circles but that leads to the obvious conclusion that said person was raised in a hyper religious environment. All of that aside I find it to be amateurish to wrie God off because bad things happen in the world. I think God gives us a lot more credit than that intellectually. Sure its difficult to understand and come to terms with but when you look at the expanse of space and all of the wonderous amazing heavenly bodies we have the priviledge of witnessing and studying...for me personally I say I might not be able to reconcile all of this but its all there and it didn't just happen. Nothingness did not create space and time. So who ever put it there, I trust that guy. I might not "get it" but clearly I don't have the capacity (none of us do) to comphrehend all of the mysteries of life so again I back to trust. Even though life can be painful and tragic I'm still very grateful to exist and I'm grateful to know what love is and for my loved ones and this experience on earth. For those of you that do not believe in God I would ask you to start with a black page and contemplate what that darkness is and then add everything else to it...before you even get close to animals and human existence, there are plenty of things that should compel you to believe in a Creator.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • TANK!!!!!

      "I'm too stupid to conceive anything else, so this is how it happened."

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

      I jess don't git it, so i rekkin' gawd dun it wiff spellz

      January 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Mary

      So instead of one supposed impossibility of 'nothing made space/time', you bring in an impossibility 'a deity came from nothing' and top it off with another impossibility 'the deity that came from nothing, made everything from the remaining nothingness'. Interesting.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Damocles

      @End

      Hey, hey, that's Gawd and Spellz, you heathen.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Fact checker ?

      @ Mary
      Fact checker ?

      See Date below

      Question that puzzles alot of people, anyone have a answer for it below.

      Why can't you/humans accept the facts based on proof and a blood test ?? (peer reviewed proof) + DNA it does not lie.
      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

      Science at its best here today 33 pages of comments

      January 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Brian

      "Start with a black page and contemplate what that darkness is"
      Simple, that black absorbs all the wavelengths of visible like and (in a perfect world) reflect none. Now, since nothing is ideal in this world, some wavelengths of visible light are still reflected back.

      And nothing compels me to believe in a deity. Everything I have gained in my life has been the result of my hard work, and my parents hard work through my childhood. When something goes wrong, I don't say "well crap, but if this is what God wants..." No, I look what what went wrong, and then I figure out why it went wrong. I then adjust my process so that next time, it is right. If I make a mistake, it's on me. It's my fault, not some God, not that person down the road. It's mine. I've said this many times. You are responsible for your own life, and the actions in your life.

      "Nothingness did not create space and time."
      Actually there are many theories as to how the universe was created (how the big bang happened). The current one that's gaining more traction in the scientific community is string/M theory, and multiverse theory. Hopefully machines such as the LHC will gain more evidence for some of these theories.

      And just because we don't understand something doesn't mean we should immediately attribute it to God. It means that we should strive to understand it, try to understand the underlying processes that cause this phenomena. We would still be in the dark ages if we just said "Oh that's too complex, it must be God".

      January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I "write off" god because there isn't a shred of evidence to support the existence of any god. If indeed there were a god, there is absolutely no reason to believe it is the god described in the bible. He is just one of many, and indeed, the majority of the people on this planet do not even believe in his existence.

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

      Actually there has been non-believers since the beginning so the idea that the bibles mention of this applies to now and not to the past when this was first written into the bible is absurd. It is fine to believe what you like to believe but it is not OK to impose those views on people who don't agree. Religion should stay in the home and not be used as a dividing line.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      For above

      Too many Adams and Eves in the gene pool
      According to the study no god(s) required ???

      January 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Science

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hTZ5AYzs8o&w=640&h=390]

      January 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  6. Foreverwar

    I hope we can evolve to the point we no longer routinely base so many of our beliefs on such weak theories.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  7. Chad

    @Really-O? ""To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis"

    Empirical arguments for the existence of God
    Aquinas' Five Ways

    In the first part of his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas developed his five arguments for God's existence[1]. These arguments are grounded in an Aristotelian ontology and make use of the infinite regression argument. Aquinas did not intend to fully prove the existence of God as he is orthodoxly conceived (with all of his traditional attributes), but proposed his Five Ways as a first stage, which he built upon later in his work.[2] Aquinas' Five Ways argued from the unmoved mover, first cause, necessary being, argument from degree, and the teleological argument.
    The unmoved mover argument asserts that, from our experience of motion in the universe (motion being the transition from potentiality to actuality) we can see that there must have been an initial mover. Aquinas argued that whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another thing, so there must be an unmoved mover.[1]
    Aquinas' argument from first cause started with the premise that it is impossible for a being to cause itself (because it would have to exist before it caused itself) and that it is impossible for there to be an infinite chain of causes, which would result in infinite regress. Therefore, there must be a first cause, itself uncaused.[1]
    The argument from necessary being asserts that all beings are contingent, meaning that it is possible for them not to exist. Aquinas argued that if everything can possibly not exist, there must have been a time when nothing existed; as things exist now, there must exist a being with necessary existence, regarded as God.[1]
    Aquinas argued from degree, considering the occurrence of degrees of goodness. He believed that things which are called good, must be called good in relation to a standard of good – a maximum. There must be a maximum goodness that which causes all goodness.[1]
    The teleological argument asserts the view that things without intelligence are ordered towards a purpose. Aquinas argued that unintelligent objects cannot be ordered unless they are done so by an intelligent being, which means that there must be an intelligent being to move objects to their ends: God.

    [1] - Aquinas, Thomas (1274). Summa Theologica

    January 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Billy

      Certainly a thoughful dude, but it's not empirical evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you need to learn the difference between philosophical reasoning and empirical evidence. (Of course, it's likely that you do know, and that it's been explained to you a few hundred times, but you're LYING to yourself by continuing to pretend that you don't know the difference, as I have found you to ALWAYS be extremely dishonest to the very core of your being. You lie because it's who you are; it's a natural action for you).

      January 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      the statement “gods exist” is a positive claim.
      the statement “gods do not exist” is a negative claim that only responds to the positive one.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, that's exactly what they are.

      see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_of_God#Empirical_arguments

      January 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chadwatch

      Cut, paste and post christian apologetics, throw in some bible babble and presto the god or Isreal is real, no thanks Chad.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • MythBuster123

      Chad wouldn't know empirical *evidence* if it were his scented tissue.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      Neil deGrasse Tyson on how religious zealotry restricts education:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7rR8stuQfk&w=640&h=390]

      January 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I said "empirical evidence" not "empirical argument," Chad. Learn to read. Aquinas jumps to many unfounded assumptions and in so doing breaks the rule for empirical evidence. An argument can be "logically stated" and untrue because one of the premises is invalid. An argument can be classified as "empirically reasoned" and not be empirically valid for the same reason.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Free nuts all day

      January 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      When I state, "To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis", I am, of course, using the term "empirical" as it relates to science, not philosophy (I can't imagine Chad doesn't understand this, but he has in the past shown a profound lack of comprehension of nuance). So, I'll state the fact again:
      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chad

      I understand your frustration, you are used to simple mockery as your only "data", and view that as entirely conclusive..

      However, not being able to deal effectively with theistic arguments should tell you something about the nature of your belief system.

      =====
      @moby,
      you'll find it much more effective if you actually state WHAT are the "unfounded assumptions" or "invalid premises".
      Otherwise, it simply appears that you are trying to avoid dealing with the presented evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Really-O?

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      If anyone (Chad?) can provide a reference to empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, I'm interested.

      If Chad's "I understand your frustration" post was directed at me, I have no reason to be frustrated as my position, in contrast to Chad's, is supported by the probability of the evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • TANK!!!!!

      And if you'd bothered to read anything besides creationist websites, you'd know that all those arguments have been soundly refuted for CENTURIES.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Chad

      All of Aquinas arguments are backed up by the empirical evidence of fine tuning, and the necessity of first cause (there is no infinity in nature).
      Solidly grounded in observable, testable science.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Too many Adams and Eves in the gene pool
      According to the study no god(s) required.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Aquinas arguments are...[s]olidly grounded in observable, testable science."

      Please provide a single reference to an article published in a peer review journal that details a controlled experiment that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Science

      Can't teach CREATION/prayer CHAD in pulic schools US also a CLUE.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hTZ5AYzs8o&w=640&h=390]

      January 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Please provide a single reference to an article published in a peer review journal that details a controlled experiment that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists."
      @Chad "I think you have God confused with a property, such as gravity. God isnt an aspect of His creation, rather He is the creator..

      Can you come up with a controlled experiment that supports the claim that Abraham Lincoln existed?

      no?

      why ever not? :-)

      January 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Actually, it is possible to gather empiric evidence that Abraham Lincoln existed: We have Lincoln's body; if we can extract DNA from the remains, we can compare it to he descendants, the last of whom died in 1985. If we have a match, the probability of the evidence (not proof, but science doesn't deal in "proof") supports the claim that Abraham Lincoln lived at a point in time and reproduced.

      As the preceding is not evidence from a "controlled experiment" I'll withdraw that as a necessary condition for the existence of the god of Israel.
      -- Please provide a single reference to an article published in a peer review journal that provides empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ..."we can compare it to his descendants, the last who died"

      I hate writing mistakes.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and one more time before Chad mires this thread in a blather of equivocation and deflection...

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "gather empirical evidence", not "gather empiric evidence"...damn.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      @Really-O?
      Me too.
      Nuts all around today

      January 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Chad

      Provide a single reference to an article published in a peer review journal that provides empirical evidence that supports the claim that Alexander the Great lived.

      Good Luck! :-)

      when you have had enough, be sure to read my earlier comment about you confusing God with a physical property..

      January 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Chad

      "To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists."

      I guess you somehow missed it the first time:
      A) fine tuning
      B) fossil record
      C) historicity of Jesus Christ
      D) neccessity of first cause

      January 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Son of ChardWatch

      Ah, ha ha ha, Chad still thinks those same old Craig points are empirical evidence. LOL.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Whether or not we have empirical evidence that Alexander the Great actually lived is irrelevant – I'm not making an assertion with regard to Alexander the Great. However, if the historical Alexander the Great actually lived, I don't believe anyone claims his presence continues and that he interacts with the present. Regardless, Alexander the Great has no baring on the following:

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Chad

      "To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists."

      Your posting may gain credibility if you start to deal with the arguments presented..

      A) fine tuning
      B) fossil record
      C) historicity of Jesus Christ
      D) neccessity of first cause

      January 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's hackney "A-D" list are not empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. If Chad continues to assert they actually are empirical evidence, then one is left to conclude that Chad is either a fool or a liar (perhaps both?)

      Actually, I'd expect more from someone who claims to posses several master's degrees, as Chad has previously.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Chad

      how are they not empirical evidence?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "hackneyed", not "hackney" (damn again).

      I'm starting to sense Chad is becoming a bit frantic.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • ???????

      What is the density of stony iron meteorite... Like our iron core. Which way is west, go fly a kite.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Son of ChardWatch

      Arguments are not evidence. Suck it up.

      Too bad God lost out at the Intelligence Squared debates.

      http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/upcoming-debates/item/728-science-refutes-god

      Poor Dinesh D'Souza & Ian Hutchinson

      January 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Pete

      "Actually, I'd expect more from someone who claims to posses several master's degrees, as Chad has previously."

      Some of the dumbest people I know have several masters degrees, just because you have one doesn't mean you're actually smart.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chad

      how are they not empirical evidence?

      knew you wouldnt be able to answer that one :-)

      January 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, there is no proof that Jesus was divine.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Really-O?

      The god of Israel cannot be observed affecting or demonstrated through experimentation to affect Chad's "A-D" list. That is why his list is not empirical evidence supporting the existence of the god of Israel. Chad's list is nothing but fallacious logical inference.

      Better pull out those master's degrees, Chad.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "knew you wouldnt be able to answer that one [juvenile emoticon]"

      Guess what? I did.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Billy

      Lol. Chad still doesn't know what empirical means. Was he the one that said Noah's ark probably didn't have to go too far? That it must have dropped the giant turtles off at Gibraltar where they had to swim back to the Galapagos on their own? lol.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's receiving a beating by the forum in this thread.

      So, one more time...

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      If I'm incorrect...references?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chad

      "The god of Israel cannot be observed affecting or demonstrated through experimentation"

      so.. how do you demonstrate the existence of Alexander the great through experimentation?
      :-)

      I dearly love it when atheists attempt to construct "required criteria to demonstrate existence", because it is SO easily demonstrated that their criteria doesnt make sense when attempting to demonstrate a "person".

      January 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Free Nut

      Dame Chad I told you more than once the nuts are free but the dame bolts will cost you for that arc.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "so.. how do you demonstrate the existence of Alexander the great through experimentation?"

      Did Chad even read my post in which I stated, "empirical evidence that Alexander the Great actually lived is irrelevant – I'm not making an assertion with regard to Alexander the Great", and "if the historical Alexander the Great actually lived, I don't believe anyone claims his presence continues and that he interacts with the present. Regardless, Alexander the Great has no bearing [on whether or not there is empirical evidence supporting the existence of the god of Israel]."

      Chad's become frantic and is about to go off the rails. Watch...here it comes.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regardless of Chad's flailing, equivocation, and attempts at diversion, the following is a fact:

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      If I'm incorrect...references?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • aaron

      Chad replied with "so.. how do you demonstrate the existence of Alexander the great through experimentation?"

      who said you could? and what would it matter? the myths related to the God of Israel matter quite a bit, so it is appropriate to highlight that there is no empirical evidence to support such myth.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chad

      well, why isnt your criteria for existence able to prove that Alexander the Great existed?
      :-)

      January 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Still chuckling chad's about to.........
      The nuts fell out of the tree.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • aaron

      why would it need to?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Damocles

      So I'm guessing that the argument is going to go the way of 'if books written about Alex prove Alex existed then that proves my deity exists', does this mean that any figure written about in a book exists?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Son of ChardWatch

      Wow, Chad.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Just as clarification – I don't know with any certainty whether or not Alexander the Great or Homer or Socrates, etc. existed and I make no assertions in that regard. Actually, I don't really care. Whether or not Socrates was an historical person does not affect the value of writings attributed to him. Same for Homer (the Greek, not the Simpson). The issue here is that Chad, and all [I assume] Christian claim, without sufficient evidence (actually without even necessary evidence), that the god of Israel exists. The real issue is -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Let him get the last word in he will be happy.
      Like reasoning with a 5 year old.
      Creation/bible
      So the earths 6000 to 10000 years old how funny

      January 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "well, why isn't your criteria for existence able to prove that Alexander the Great existed?"

      I don't believe anyone (certainly not me) is asserting that Alexander the Great interacts with or exerts an effect on present existence. I guess it's possible I misunderstand Chad's spiritual and metaphysical beliefs, but I understood he was an Evangelical, not a deist.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Billy

      I don't think this is the dude who told me that giant turtles had to swim all the way back to the Galapagos from Gibraltar on their own. That dude was smarter, but I still didn't buy his story about the ark.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and still -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, the thing you are struggling with, is articulating a valid criteria for "evidence"..

      Interesting that the criteria you have tried thus far could not be used to demonstrate the existence of Alexander the Great for instance. Which is precisely why you refuse to use it as such. (now, if I were you, I would be accusing you of dishonesty right about now :-) )

      Why not articulate an objective criteria by which we can evaluate the claims for the existence of any ancient persons?

      that seems fair, right?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • aaron

      Really-O? already answered that question quite well.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Damocles

      How about this for evidence: a supposedly all powerful, all everything deity would not need anyone to tell anyone else about it. There should be no cajoling, tempting, threats, or overblown explanations. Why would you have to provide evidence for such a being?

      January 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chad

      sort of ;-)

      his answer was well, that criteria could never be used to evaluate the existence of Alexander the Great, it would be absurd to do so..
      so
      I'll just say "well, I'm not concerned with Alexander the Great now "

      lol

      pretty transparent wouldnt you say? :-)

      January 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Well, the thing you are struggling with..."

      Unfortunately I can't provide pictures, so I'll say this again -
      – "empirical evidence that Alexander the Great actually lived is irrelevant – I'm not making an assertion with regard to Alexander the Great", and "if the historical Alexander the Great actually lived, I don't believe anyone claims his presence continues and that he interacts with the present.
      - I don't know with any certainty whether or not Alexander the Great or Homer or Socrates, etc. existed and I make no assertions in that regard. Actually, I don't really care.

      If I claimed the spirit of Alexander the Great intervened in human affairs, passed judgement, tweaked DNA to direct evolution, performed miracles, healed the sick, etc. ad nauseam, one might expect me to provide empirical evidence for these claims. I, however, am not making these ridiculous and childish claims. I have no idea whether the Alexander the Great detailed in historical writings actually existed. And, back to the crux -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      ...and yet Chad asserts with absolute certainty, without any empirical evidence, that the god of Israel exists.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • aaron

      I don't believe that's a good "version" of what Really-O? posted. It was:

      "Just as clarification – I don't know with any certainty whether or not Alexander the Great or Homer or Socrates, etc. existed and I make no assertions in that regard. Actually, I don't really care. Whether or not Socrates was an historical person does not affect the value of writings attributed to him. Same for Homer (the Greek, not the Simpson). The issue here is that Chad, and all [I assume] Christian claim, without sufficient evidence (actually without even necessary evidence), that the god of Israel exists. The real issue is -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis."

      January 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Chad

      Why not articulate an objective criteria by which we can evaluate the claims for the existence of any ancient persons?

      that seems fair, right?

      January 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • aaron

      (I was replying to Chad's last post)

      January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      By the way...I think it quite possible, due to the paucity of positive evidence, that Socrates was not an historical person. I do however, based on the probability of the evidence, believe it likely that Tutankhamun did exist. Yet, both are ancient historical figures.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Why not articulate an objective criteria by which we can evaluate the claims for the existence of any ancient persons?"

      Is Chad asserting that the god of Israel is an "ancient person" or is he simply attempting to divert this thread from it's crux? -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • ???????

      Chad lost his sheep oh no .

      January 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • aaron

      Chad replied with – "Why not articulate an objective criteria by which we can evaluate the claims for the existence of any ancient persons?

      that seems fair, right?"

      Unless I missed something, Chad's initial claims and the arguments against pertained to a deity, not an ancient person. Regardless, it doesn't change the definition of empirical evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Chad

      God is a "person" for lack or a better term. Not a human, however Judeo/Christian believe him to certainly be a rational moral agent.

      as such, dont you think it is reasonable to ask for an objective criteria by which one can assess the claims of existence of any person, past or present. Whether they are willing/unwilling able/unable to participate in the "evidence collection process"

      seems reasonable, right?
      what is the atheistic criteria for moral agent existence?

      January 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Chad
      Front page CNN TODAY
      Morality: It's not just for humans chimp too

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/19/health/chimpanzee-fairness-morality/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

      January 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Please note that the following is in the present, not past, tense -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis. (exists, not existed)

      Evangelicals assert the god of Israel is a "living god" that interacts with current existence (see my previous list for my fictitious Alexander the Great: intervened in human affairs, passed judgement, tweaked DNA to direct evolution, performed miracles, healed the sick, etc. ad nauseam). Exerting an effect on current existence can be observed. Exerting an effect on current existence can be tested. If Chad is a deist, all of this is moot (other than the fact that there is no empirical evidence that the deistic god of Israel exists).

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Chad

      where is the empirical evidence supporting the claim that I exist?

      I dont get it, why are you so reluctant to articulate the atheistic criteria for moral agent existence?

      oh.. I know why ;-)

      January 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "where is the empirical evidence supporting the claim that I exist?"

      Solipsism. The last gasps of a dying man.

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      It's a fact, Chad. Deal with it.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "oh.. I know why [adolescent emoticon]"

      No, you don't, Chad. Sticking your hand in your pants and hanging on should not be confused with a having a firm grasp of the issue.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Chad

      so, you cant provide empirical evidence supporting the claim that I exist
      you are unwilling to articulate the atheistic criteria for moral agent existence
      you are unwilling to accept this empirical evidence:
      A. Fine tuning
      B. Fossil record
      C. Requirement for first cause
      D. Historicity of Jesus..

      what you ARE willing to do, is chant the same nonsense over and over?

      As always, it's been a pleasure showing the viewing public the irrationality of atheism.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Your A-D list is not empirical evidence for the existence of the god of Israel. I don't know what more to say if you can't comprehend this – it seems most other blog participants get it. [perhaps reflecting upon your several master's degrees will light-a-bulb]

      The following "chant" is not "nonsense", it is cold, hard fact. Learn to deal with it.

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Your A-D list is not empirical evidence for the existence of the god of Israel"

      why not?

      exactly why not?

      "arguments are not evidence".. well, arguments ARE evidence :-) (see definition of evidence)
      as well
      A-D arent logical simply arguments, they are verifiable facts regarding the material universe.

      so, please be so kind as to explain why they arent? :-)

      January 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      You're hopeless, Chad. But I do get a kick out of you.

      Cheers

      January 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Origin of Life

      Origin of Life:
      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 —
      A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • aaron

      The irrationality that the viewing public must have picked up from this thread by now is that Chad either doesn't understand what empirical evidence is, or, more likely, that he has been called on it, and has since tried to dance around the issue.

      January 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @Aaron,
      Perhaps you can help then:
      1. please explain what "empirical evidence" is
      2. please explain why these do not qualify as "empirical evidence"
      A) fine tuning
      B) fossil record
      C) historicity of Jesus Christ
      D) neccessity of first cause

      now.. dont get me wrong, I am well aware you will do neither.. I just put it out there to show that you wont..

      January 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Son of ChardWatch

      Wow. Chad once again never presented what was asked and just started from go again. No surprise.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  8. Brian

    God, religion and "faith" are different concepts. They are confused sometimes. Religion in this country is just another business, with all the economics that implies. Just go to any church and you will see what I mean.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Chad

      Inst itutionalized religion has indeed turned many away from a faith in Jesus Christ.
      Sad but true.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  9. Agnostic

    Organized religions define themselves by denying God to all those who do not believe exactly as they do..

    It isn't called "BLIND faith" for nothing.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Shane

      Unless, you're Unitarian Universalist, then you believe what you want, and I decide my beliefs. We come together in community for social, spiritual, and intellectual growth – no dogma. I like UU.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • stacy

      I'm sorry you fell that way. My God doesn't care what religion you are...just that you believe in him.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  10. Jacob

    GOOGLE Mithras in Rome, google mithras/christianity. Educate yourself on the history of chrisitanity. In the words of a smart man named Albert Einstein – The bible is childish. Sadly we as a population are far too ignorant and mentally lazy to know any better.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    I guess the actual poblem is not whether the stories or the Bible are true or not but the issue is that we don't have the courage to really live the Christian life in a secular world.

    Ain't I right that not a few of us wear the sign of the Antichrist on their forehead and on their right hand. Ain't we obsessed by evil thoughts, and do evil deeds every day. Don't we make profit on the cost of our customer, workmate, boss or anybody else? Don't we put at risk the health and lifes of people in order to make profit, or to earn some small money?

    Our pupils should have the shape of dollar signs. This is our idol. Sacrifice love and righteousness for the sake of profit, wealth, honor, power and riches. Ain't that the reign of the Antichrist?

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

      You need to be Jilled.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Rainer Braendlein", but "antichrist" 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 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 2:21 pm |
    • Lisa G

      You lost me on the first "Ain't"

      January 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  12. onemorehere

    First came God then came Religion then MYthology followed by philosofy from wich theory developed given birth to science only a few hundred years ago astronomy has to being around for centuries close to where mythology developed before theory not sure– and horoscopos or stronomical reading came from.___ God is was and will forever be first in the minds of menkind.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  13. bigdawg1

    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

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

    I'm an atheist, and I think the term "non-belief" is a bit derogatory. I believe that there are no gods. I believe we are entirely responsible for our actions. I believe that we have one trip through this astonishing experience called life; one trip to learn, create, experience, and love as much as possible. I believe in the scientific method. I believe in tolerance. I believe in morality and ethics and the unending effort to define and refine these concepts. I believe in love on every scale from loving oneself to loving the entire universe in its infinite wonder. I believe that humanity will ultimately triumph over its greatest challenges and become something more enlightened. I am not a non-believer, I am a believer.

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

      Brilliant! Very well said. I agree completely.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Imminent

    That was a decent personal essay. It placates a few pros and cons on both side of belief, or religion. But it's hardly a beacon of logic as she expects government to "make decisions on what is logical, just and fair." The fact government (Congress and the Senate) have repeatedly continued making the poorest, most corrupt decisions the last 20 years only shows there is a serious lack of morals. We expect kings in power who are of a generation void of conviction to lead us. Are we to believe morals and values are also equal to a tooth brush or accessory that should be left at home?

    January 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Pol Pot

    Not really a big jump to go from Catholicism to Atheism.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  17. onemorehere

    First came God then came Religion then MYthology followed by philosofy from wich science developed only a few hundred years ago astronomy has to being around for centuries close to where mythology developed and horoscopos or stronomical reading came from.___ God is was and will forever be first in the minds of menkind.

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

      And then came the baby in the baby carriage?

      If the deity came first, why a need for mythology? If there was one all powerful deity, why the invention of so many others?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • the AnViL

      .
      ............................................________
      ....................................,.-'"..................."~.,
      .............................,.-"..................................."-.,
      .........................,/...............................................":,
      .....................,?......................................................,
      .................../...........................................................,}
      ................./......................................................,:`^`..}
      .............../...................................................,:"........./
      ..............?.....__.........................................:`.........../
      ............./__.(....."~-,_..............................,:`........../
      .........../(_...."~,_........"~,_....................,:`........_/
      ..........{.._$;_......"=,_......."-,_.......,.-~-,},.~";/....}
      ...........((.....*~_......."=-._......";,,./`..../"............../
      ...,,,___.`~,......"~.,....................`.....}............../
      ............(....`=-,,.......`........................(......;_,,-"
      ............/.`~,......`-...................................../
      .............`~.*-,.....................................|,./.....,__
      ,,_..........}.>-._...................................|..............`=~-,
      .....`=~-,__......`,.................................
      ...................`=~-,,.,...............................
      ................................`:,,...........................`..............__
      .....................................`=-,...................,%`>–=="
      ........................................_..........._,-%.......`
      ...................................,

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

      Or what anvil said, which works better.

      @Anvil

      Well done!

      January 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Billy

      Damn – lol?? needs a face-lift.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Just a John

      the anvil
      Good on you.

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

    Let me guess divorced right?....I have not respect for a lazy parent not getting up on Sunday morning and taking your kids to sunday school really sad for the kids..this country was built on a Christian foundation.. go back to watching desperate housewives

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

      No it wasn't. It was built on separation of church and state. It was built on the idea that everyone can practice what they want, regardless of their diety. It wasn't until the late 1800's that christian ideals truly began entering the state. And it wasn't until the late 1900's that the phrase "In God We Trust" became a national motto. Before that it was "E Pluribus Unum".

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Damocles

      Oh, so you won't commend her for working, raising her kids, doing all she can for them to raise them in this world, but you will condemn her for not taking them to church. Bravo.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Chickenhawk

      While I'm a devout Christian, I grow weary of people stating that our country was founded on a Christian foundation. It was founded on religious freedom. That includes non-practice of religion if one prefers. Not sure why this woman's beliefs violate anyone else because if you believe in God, another person's non-belief shouldn't affect you.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • I don't think so, Dad

      James Madison, POTUS #4, and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (A Remonstrance . . to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

      John Adams, POTUS #2:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

      (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      (from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

      Ben Franklin:

      Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

      (from his Autobiography)

      Thomas Paine was very Deistic. He witness Quakers being hung in Massachusetts by other Christians:

      I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      Thomas Jefferson had his own Deistic version of the Bible.

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (from Notes on the State of Virginia)

      Of course Deism holds to the belief of God as the creator of the universe. But many Deists also believed that God did not interfere with the lives of his creation. And many Deists disbelieved in all of the "magic" in the Bible – some of them refuting the Bible and Christianity completely.

      Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Mason & Madison all witnessed the violent persecution between Christian sects in their home states around the time the government was being established. So it is of no surprise that they needed a secular government and they knew the only way to enforce freedom of religion was to keep religion out of the government as much as possible.

      Listen to James Madison speak about the need for the need to keep religion out of government (Jefferson wasn't the only one to explicitly speak of the separation of church and state):

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

      (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

      Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

      President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

      January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • gager

      The country was not built on a christian foundation. Did you learn history in church? Try real history. The ten commandments are not the foundation of law.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • GuntherB

      Read English much? Really? That's your takeaway? The mother is just too lazy to get up early on a Sunday? Is that what your faith is to you... drudging off to Church on Sundays to prove to a higher being that you're better than other parents?

      Very sad. Very pathetic.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Mother

      Good for her for choosing not to brainwash her children on Sunday and using that day to teach them something real.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Another Dad

      Being a Christian doesn't make you a good person. Being a good person makes you a good person, regardless of religion or lack thereof. Your unsubstantiated judgement of another human being is not very Christian, and hypocritical.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Truth will privial...

      Dad, mom wouldn't be too happy about what you said. She says you usually put your foot in your mouth - I hope I dont do the same. As Christians we should take responsibility for teaching our own kids the word of God, not sunday a school teacher. That's a father duty, to lead his family spiritually. While you try to live the American dream, you let us and mom watch "touched by An Angel" and "Little House on the Prairy" and "7th heaven" in the evenings, when you could have been teaching us kids what the bible says. So much so that we could have taught the sunday school teacher more in one lesson than she has since we've been going. We need to know the word dad, not bible stories, Otherwise we'll end up with a theology so divoid of truth we may start thinking God gave us the short end of the stick and owes us more than what we deserve - and eternity in Hell. We are not too young to know about God's sovereignty, about the atonement and about predestination or total depravity (human inability). We need to know that Jesus is the substance of God's glory and was fully God and fully man, so Morman and Jahovah Witnesses and Muslims cant hoodwink us into denying the doctrine of the trinity. We need to know what the fear of God is, and moreover, we need to see you passionatly loving mommy, so we can as sons and daughters see what we should look for or emulate as a spouse. Thanks for listening dad, you usually are too busy to listen to us and mommy, but sometimes you do. - your child

      January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      a christian foundation? like slavery, and women not being able to vote?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  19. BG

    Silly discussions,I wonder if the other worlds in the galaxies have evolved past these trifles. People who don't belive in God are labeled as "Bad", people who are not Christians are "Bad" and if you belive in God as a Christian you are labeled as "believer of a mythycal being" no matter what you are labeled by someone as BAD, the only solution is to be private of our own personal beliefs and hope that other people respect it. Oh, and heavens forbid that I don't run a Spell Check on this, (I did not)sorry.

    January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Fact checker ?

    See Date below
    Question that puzzles alot of people, anyone have a answer for it below.

    Why can people accept the facts based on proof and a blood test ?? (peer review proof)
    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

    Science at its best here today 32 pages of comments

    January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Fact checker ?

      Oops should be can't

      January 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147
Advertisement
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.