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Godless mom strikes a chord with parents
A CNN iReport essay on raising kids without God draws record-breaking number of comments.
January 18th, 2013
06:32 PM ET

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

Deborah Mitchell remembers the time, when her boys were younger, and another mom asked her about her religious beliefs.

Mitchell was raised Catholic but moved away from religion in her early 20s. She told the other mother that she didn’t go to church and didn’t even really believe in God.

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

“She used to call my house and tell me she was praying for me. She’d leave me messages and leave cards in my mailbox with scripture,” Mitchell says. “I do realize that she meant well, but at the same time, I know my views were seen as wrong. I needed to be ‘saved.’”

Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas who feels “immersed in Christianity,” started a blog about raising her children without religion because she felt frustrated and marginalized. She didn’t want to feel so alone, she says.

This week, she gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she's not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen journalism platform.

It starts:

When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

Mitchell posted the essay detailing her seven reasons for raising her children without God on CNN iReport because she felt there wasn’t anyone else speaking for women or moms like her. As she sees it, children should learn to do the right things because they will feel better about themselves, not because God is watching. She asks questions like: If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?

Lots of people disagreed with her. Tons. They flagged her iReport as inappropriate and criticized CNN for linking to her essay on the CNN.com homepage. But there were plenty of others who wrote thoughtful rebuttals, respectfully disagreeing with Mitchell while not foisting their own beliefs on her. Take, for instance, a Methodist dad, who said faith can be hard to nail down, but “not to avail ourselves of the power of something we don't completely understand is silly.”

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

“Presentations such as these seem to ignore a substantial percentage of believers - well-educated, compassionate, liberal folk, Christian and non-Christian alike - who, I feel, are able to worship without being blind to the realities of the world, or without lying to their children about their understanding of these complexities,” wrote commenter RMooradian. “I'll be raising my children with God, but I understand those who cannot!”

But Mitchell’s essay also struck a chord with hundreds of like-minded parents raising children in a world where lack of belief puts them in the minority, often even in their own family.

“Thank you for writing this. I agree with everything you say, but I’m not brave enough to tell everyone I know this is how I feel,” a woman who called herself an “agnostic mommy of two in Alabama” posted in the comments. “Thank you for your bravery and letting me know I’m not alone.”

It’s a growing group. One in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion, and that number has grown by 25% in the past five years, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of that group, 88% said they were not looking for religion, although 68% of the unaffiliated said they believe in God. 

Brittany Branyon, an American graduate student and substitute teacher living in Germany, was also compelled to express her thanks to Mitchell. Branyon was raised Southern Baptist in Georgia and Alabama. In high school, when she began to question the theory of creation and befriended gay and lesbian students, she says her mother tried to perform an exorcism.

“She opened all the windows and doors in the house, brought me to the door, held my shoulders and shook me while screaming, ‘Satan, get out of this child!’, ‘Satan, leave this child alone!’.”

After moving away from the South, she and her husband “became more comfortable in our secular ways,” but still take criticism from family members. They are now expecting their first child.

“Though we are elated to welcome our child into the world, we can’t help but dread the religious uproar that is to come from our families,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Such an uproar is familiar to Carol Phillips, a stay-at-home mother in northern Virginia. When she gave birth to her first child, she said her family was shocked that the baby wasn’t baptized. She said her mother-in-law cried and told her the little girl’s soul would not go to heaven.

Then there are the comments from strangers. Last year, Phillips said she and her daughter were at a birthday party when a tornado warning sounded.

“We were all in the basement keeping safe. A little girl was saying baby Jesus will keep us safe. My daughter asked who Jesus was. The rest of the time was spent hearing ‘I'll pray for you sweetie, we can take you to church with us if you want,’” Phillips told CNN.

Commenting on Mitchell’s iReport, Phillips said, “To live out loud and to speak freely about my beliefs brings many clucking tongues. I would think it’s easier to come out as gay than atheist.”

Mitchell said she spent years studying the history of religion and does believe it has “an important place in our community.” She has told her children that she’ll be fine if they decide to join a church when they are older.

She ended her essay:

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

After her post ran on CNN, Mitchell said she was encouraged by the number of people who agreed with her, or who disagreed but wanted to have a respectful discussion.

“I’m not saying that everybody should think how I do. I’m saying the people that do should have a place in our society and have acceptance and respect,” she said. “I just want to have children grow up and be able to not be afraid to say ‘I don’t believe that,’ or ‘I’m not part of that.’” 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. F. Bacon

    Oh my God. Can you just imagine these atheists at the Christmas or Easter dinner table? Sweet Mother of God! By the end of the evening everyone would agree with them just to shut them the F up!

    January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That is one strategy. But I don't want them to agree because they are too tired to resist logic. Better that they agree because they know we're right.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Ham

      God has designed a special place for atheists and Christians...

      ...it is called the CNN Belief Blog.

      And they dwell here, a lot.

      If they put the same effort into trying to prove their views to each other towards world peace, we'd be living in NIRVANA.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Don't think that'll happen. They'll just roll their eyes and talk about how F-ing rude you were

      January 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • F. Bacon

      Right on Ham. I think you nailed it.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I know this is rude, but if God is the Father of God and the Son of God , doesn't that put the Mother of God in a, well, unsavory situation?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      If their tables are anything like mine it involved good conversation, laughter, good times, thinking about the good old days and reveling in the happiness of friends and family.

      Wow, that's truly hateful, I see your point now.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • F. Bacon

      Well, God is from Alabama!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Ham

      I work with Christians and atheists. None of them are that bad in real life.

      On here, yikes. They are both equally bad.

      They kind of have this ying-yang thing going on.

      Tom-tom that was adorable!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • F. Bacon

      @Damoclese – if you are so agreeable at family gatherings, why are you so G-D obnoxious here??? Try some consistency.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Josh

      Why is it considered socially acceptable for religious people to go around babbling their nonsense, but not OK for atheist to refute those claims?

      Only religion seems to have the right to claim abuse whenever someone disagrees with them.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Ham

      Because it's not.

      If your mad because your Aunt talks about God at the family dinner – 1. Accept it. 2. Leave.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • ???????

      @F. Bacon

      Evolution wins hands down, religion needs to get the hell out of the way

      January 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Ham

      What if evolution is part of God's plan?

      The Big Bang theory is credited to a Catholic priest. Most religious people embrace science.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • ???????

      The RCC what a farce. The poope said biggest treat to peace gay marrige and con-doms
      Have a common sense day..
      Peace

      January 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • ???????

      Remember if you go to that crooked holy city the bank of Italy says you need cash the plastic and cash machines do not work. Go figuree.

      The RCC can't pass international banking standards.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  2. Tammy

    All you atheist types like to talk about sience and facts and all that nerdy junk well nobody likes a know-it-all. Yall need to clear your heads of all that book learnin nonsense and stop using your brains and use your hearts insted. Then you will know the power of true belief in Christ and his everlasting love!

    January 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Nice try Tammy. Not fooled.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Damocles

      So don't think and become a believer?

      Sounds about right.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Sapient

      You mean wallow in voluntary ignorance? No thanks. You can keep your ignorance and I'll keep my knowledge.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Josh

      Can't let a little thing like facts get in the way of faith – agree.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • roadrunner321

      Know-it-alls gave us electricity, the light bulb, modern medicine, flight, space travel, and the Internet over which we are speaking. I like this team.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • scottundra

      The problem is that your beliefs rely on the emotion. Love. And even emotions need some justification or logic to back them up. Why do I love my wife and not some lady walking down the street. My wife makes me feel happy and complete. But her presence or actual physical existence supports the logical side which intern makes the emotion side accept this. To love something that has no more existence than the mere acceptance by other people that it exists is indeed very taxing on the mind!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • hypatia

      sorry . not a delusional baaa

      January 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tammy

      Yeah well while your down in the lake of fire wonderin why readin your books and math and sience didn't save you, I'll be up on my comfy cloud laffin at you for eternity.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Josh

      Well. you could technically also be walking down a lake of fire with us – because you picked the wrong god. In fact, your fate may be worse – since you picked the wrong side while us Atheists simply remained neutral.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tammy

      If it'd help you in the realms of spelling and grammar, I'd be all for a heaven.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Again, Tammy. Not fooled. Try harder next time.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Kelly

      Idiocracy

      January 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • MR

      All you atheist types like to talk about sience SCIENCE and facts and all that nerdy junk well nobody likes a know-it-all. Yall YOU need to clear your heads of all that book learnin EDUCATION nonsense and stop using your brains and use your hearts insted INSTEAD. Then you will know the power of true belief in Christ and his everlasting love!

      Tammy it appears you could use a little bit of book learnin nonsense. One of the reasons this country is falling behind is the distain shown to science and education. America became the greatest nation on earth due to achievements in science and technology and through a widely available strong education system.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Sjaxn314159

      LOL, sience.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bogus Trumpeter

      "all that book learnin!'" My lord, why do any god-fearin' folk want to learn to read? That's not what the lord wants us to do. The lord just wants us to do what our preacher says we should do. No point in thinkin' That's for elitists who want to pretend they're better 'n us.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tammy

      Remember Christ said Blessed are the meek. When he said that he wasn't talkin about you arrowgant smarty pants types, he was talkin about regular "dumb" folks like us that don't need to stick are noses in books and stuff to learn. Heaven will be filled with "dumb" folks like us and yall smartypants can enjoy hell. Suck it!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • cave man

      Ignorance does not bring glory to God. Science is the blue print for all his creation. You should study it more, not less. He gave you a logical brain for a reason.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  3. Robert

    I get the doubt about God. the problem is in the word. As soon as you try to give the incomprehensible a name it leads to personification which does not work for many. Our minds simply cannot fathom the complexity. I use two ideas to help me:
    Is-ness and Being. Pretty much every traditional mystical practice of every religion points to the oneness of creation....including us. Physics tends to back this up.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Josh

      You sound like Winston from 1984 trying to convince himself that 2+2 = 5. But that's OK, because "physics backs it up." I like how you Religious goofs try to rally science-sounding terminology to somehow explain your bovine excretion.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Athy

      Man, I'd like to see that physics. Hilarious.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  4. scottundra

    I believe there is some power out there that created this World and I'm fine with calling it "God". But I strongly question what we truly know about it. The problem with all religions is man. Man pollutes everything and so how can anything be accepted as truth since it has been tainted by man. The Bible was written by man. The stories that have come down through the ages have been passed on by man.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  5. Jesse

    why not just explain all religions to the kids and let them form their own opinions instead of forcing your own opinions onto them.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Lemaitre

      Why don't you teach your children what you believe to be true and right?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It seems to me that is exactly what Jesse is doing, Lemaitre.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Josh

      @Lemaitre

      Just.. wow... the reply right above mine explains it perfectly.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  6. EndOfTimes

    ALL OF Y'ALL STOP IT....WE HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS: "Taylor Swift Tries to Hook Up With Bradley Cooper"

    January 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • End Religion

      Apple Bush?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  7. ???????

    Evolution wins hands down, religion needs to get the hell out of the way

    January 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • logicalfallacy

      your logic is sound. nice play on words.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • ???????

      @logicalfallacy

      Thanks

      Or maybe religion can sprot wings and we can send it to hell aye. But the real shi-ts is GPS can not locate it anywhere on this planet. so religion would get lost.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • ???????

      @logicalfallacy
      Thanks

      Maybe religion can sprot wings and fly to hell. That won't work no map . GPS can't find it either.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  8. truth be told

    The simple fact is that any so called atheists are liars the good news is that atheists are an extreme minority, agnostics and unaffiliated are not atheists, that is simply another atheist lie. Real statistics show that less than 1% of the worlds population is stupid enough to claim atheism.There is no use for atheism in this world or the next.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Free nuts for tbt

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Nick

      Did Sky Daddy tell you to say that? Also, I would like some empirical evidence of your multiple claims. 1) Prove that less than 1% of the world is atheist. 2) Prove that being atheist means you are stupid (you'll find that especially hard to prove since every study on the matter shows atheists have higher IQs and more education in general), and 3) prove that there is a definitive 'next world', whatever that means. Can't wait to see your evidence on the above matters!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Sharon

      Wow, that's a tolerant albeit very ignorant response! There are many many athiests, and we should be allowed to have our beliefs and not be subjected to the stupidity that some people call religion. Many religious people leave in tolerance of others, and don't try and judge or recuit, of course, but they are not the loudest. I would guess you have not traveled much or gone out of your comfort zone much to speak with a much wider population.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  9. bornagain

    Atheists all believe in God, they are simply rejecting thier own conscious. It's simple, if there is no God than there is no judgement. You can do WHATEVER you like. Sad to say you are mistaken. Happy to say that there is forgiveness through christ. It is just too bad that some of us choose to reject that. Will pray for you atheist!!!!!

    January 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Joel

      You are incorrect, but I suspect you know that already.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • [citation needed]

      "Atheists all believe in God, they are simply rejecting thier own conscious."
      [citation needed]
      "It's simple, if there is no God than there is no judgement. You can do WHATEVER you like."
      [citation needed]
      "Sad to say you are mistaken."
      [citation needed]
      "Happy to say that there is forgiveness through christ."
      [citation needed]
      "It is just too bad that some of us choose to reject that. Will pray for you atheist!!!!!"
      Ok then.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • roadrunner321

      I realize that you have to believe this. All I can do is say in good faith (sorry for the pun) that I do not know that god exists. Because I don't know that he exists, I don't believe in him. Were he to appear to me, I would believe the evidence of my own eyes unless I though I were hallucinating. Nothing nefarious, I simply have no belief. At all.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Richard

      That's very amusing. I tend to agree with Dawkins who said, "all people of faith are atheist to most of the gods man has ever believe in, some of us just take it one god further". I tend to find that it is a poor understanding of how the natural world really works (coupled with brainwashing from a very early age), that make someone believe in god. As Pierre-Simon Laplace so eloquently put it, the universe works without (the need of a god).

      January 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Fuel

      I'm beginning to see the attraction to Christianity: One can commit any crime what so ever and then be forgiven! No consequences!! I think that's part of the reason that crime rates fall right along with church attendance. The more Christianity pervades a society the sicker that society becomes....such is clearly the case across the USA and around the world...more religion results in more crime and social problems.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  10. Richard

    I'm a single dad myself, who also happens to be an atheist. Everyone in my family is a Jehova's Witness, and his mother (who doesn't live with us but is still in his life) is a born-again Christian, so believe me, I understand the challenges of trying to raise a child to be a critical thinker. I love my family dearly, but they are unrelenting in their conversion attempts. Fortunately for me, my son has a predisposition to question everything. I don't speak bad of religion to him, but I simply tell him what I learned from Sagan, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". To all the atheist and agnostic parents out there, hold strong in your non-belief, the world needs more voices of reason.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • End Religion

      Hang in there, Richard. Good luck!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  11. bornagain

    roadrunner. Good question. Let me ask you, does space have an end? Space has no beginning and no end I am sure you would agree. Same applies to God. He has no begginning and no end. He is eternal man. He didnt need to be created. If our conscious comes from our brain, than ok who gave you your brain? What a complex system the brain is, right? I wonder if absolutley nothing gave that to you.....huh.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • logan5

      The complexity of the human brain or the brain of any other creature for that matter does not justify the existence of the Christian deity nor does it legitimize the Christian belief system. The source of our creation is the event that occurred at the moment of what is known as the Big Bang. What triggered that remains a mystery. Your mythical deity had NOTING to do with it.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • roadrunner321

      Out space does not go on forever; we can see it's edge out at about 13.5 billion light years. Beyond that has not been observed. We don't know what came before the beginning of the universe, but again it does nothing to invoke a god to explain it.

      If you say the universe has always been and always will be, then it obviously didn't need a creator.

      Our mind evolved over millions of years. It didn't need to be given to us. It developed across millions of generations of selective environmental pressure. This has been shown to occur. Complexity does not denote a creator.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Just Some Guy

      "roadrunner. Good question. Let me ask you, does space have an end?"
      That depends on how you define it but by most definitions yes...
      "Space has no beginning and no end I am sure you would agree."
      Oh okay then.
      "Same applies to God. He has no begginning and no end."
      [citation needed]
      "He is eternal man."
      [citation needed]
      "He didnt need to be created."
      [citation needed]
      "If our conscious comes from our brain, than ok who gave you your brain?"
      Perhaps it formed from the instructions given in DNA, which gradually evolved over time? Just a wild guess?
      "What a complex system the brain is, right? I wonder if absolutley nothing gave that to you.....huh."
      Every watch needs a watchmaker, every brain needs a brainmaker, every universe needs a universemaker, and every god needs a godmaker. Ok then.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Josh

      So.. instead of trying to find answers to complex questions we do not yet fully understand, you would rather we just attribute them to god?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  12. Bill Lester

    "I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs."

    So religion should go to the back of the bus. How dare anyone take their religious views seriously enough to exercise free speech and freedom of religion in public.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • lol??

      Since Christians are the temple of God the only thing they can do is kill us. They will.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Nick

      So you have no problem with atheists being loud, proud, and out in public then, right?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      Bill, sorry, religion shouldn't be on the bus at all. You're praying to imaginary creatures. You feel they deserve respect because you say so. They do not, and neither do your childish notions. When the world is finally free from this delusion people will not understand how you ever fell for it. Imagine, praising imaginary creatures, then complaining because you aren't given the proper respect for it. Preposterous.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  13. Common Sense Blogger

    The whole point about faith is just that, faith. It is an intangible leap that is called upon in order to receive the grace that believers aspire. There is no proof of God (and may never be) as per the type needed by atheists and non-believers. It is said that the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains...There is definite truth there regardless of what or whom your object of belief/faith.

    What is troublesome, however, is the attacks of the last half century upon those of faith, especially Christianity. One does not have to believe that Jesus was the actual son of God to see that his teachings are of peace and love and respect toward one another. I don't think we should discredit His philosophies and teachings because we, as humans, have had imperfect ways and means of spreading those ideals.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • logicalfallacy

      your logic is sound.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • lol??

      logicalfallacy, your logic is not sight.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Gabriel Being

      Yes, there have been attacks upon people of faith... but please do not dismiss or ignore the attacks upon those whom are atheists or agnostics. People tend to attack anyone whom disagrees with their point of view, faithful or otherwise. While secular people have attacked the faithful, both history and contemporary society is also filled with attacks upon those whom do not believe in supernatural beings.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • logicalfallacy

      @lol??
      your attempt at humor is: epic fail.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • logan5

      "There is no proof of God (and may never be) as per the type needed by atheists and non-believers."
      Wrong! The bible (the source of the Christian faith and it's deity) is replete with examples and "eyewitness" accounts of god interacting with humanity and even sending an incarnate version of himself to perform miracles. As an atheist (who is more than willing to believe) I demand and DESERVE evidence matching the aforementioned. If the Christian deity was capable of these things once than there is nor reason he would not be capable of them again.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • hypatia

      inquisition? Crusades? pogroms? Xians have plenty of attacks to their credit.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • lol??

      Herniacus Hypatiacus, would you perchance be referencing a gubmint church?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • LOL

      If you think the attacks over the last century were bad, you should pick up a history book and read about the attacks on the non-believers by Christians over the last two thousand years. Makes Satan look like an altar boy.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  14. Brendan

    thank you Deborah Mitchell for writing your article. It was very well thought out, written, articulated, and said. You speak for many people.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Prove it.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Mr. CrestWhiteStrips

      Prove he doesn't you fvcking ass hole troll.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • ???????

      Don't have to look to far, facts are on this thread if you honestly want proof.. hahahahahahahaha

      Peer reviewed also.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • lol??

      "Wegods" have tempers? Look out beloooooooowww!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  15. cave man

    Personal beliefs, be they religiouus or not, will not stand in the way of good parenting, as long as the parent is a stable, logical, and loving guardian. Unfortunately, many religious folks don't believe this is true because their religion tells them not to. I encourage the religious not live entirely dependant on the doctrine of their religion to come to all their conclusions. Think for yourself. God gave you the brain to do so.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • lol??

      He knows when you are faking it. He's God.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  16. It is Called

    Facts
    Earth’s timeline facts work best for children, adults should know by now.

    Trace our planet's geological and biological ages

    Interactice

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

    January 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  17. bornagain

    hahahaha. Oh so wait atheists do have a conscious then? Oh ok, you have charities now. Which means you have a heart and a soul and a conscious. So WHO GAVE THAT TO YOU? Anything but God right? Must have been a ape who did that. Or oh yeah....absolutley nothing.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • roadrunner321

      God is not needed to explain the basis of the consciousness, which we can see as the expression of complex information in the human brain. Granted it took quite a long time to produce a brain capable of being aware of itself, but it does nothing to attribute it to some deity, because that just brings up the question "where did god come from?"

      You obviously don't believe this all appeared out of nothing. It had to be created. Something can't come into being without being created. Then what created god?

      January 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Joel

      Why must there be someone who gave these things?

      January 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Athy

      There's no need for a deity to explain altruism. It naturally evolved to help survival of the species. This concept is, however, probably well over the heads of people like you, Bornagain.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Mark

      Enos you dipstick.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Steve

      No need for a God to explain evolution. No need to explain evolution to someone to someone already set in their religious beliefs

      January 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Chuck

      Hey, bornagain. I think you mean conscience not conscious. Although, your post makes you sound unconscious! It may surprise you to know that a person CAN have a CONSCIENCE without a God. That, however, may be way beyond your narrow mind. As a great man once said as he neared the end of his life, "I used to be an agnostic but, ninety years of living have taught me to be an athiest. That was Linus Pauling, the ONLY person to win two UNSHARED Nobel prizes. For chemistry and PEACE!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Fuel

      The God of Consiousness gave me one, the God of Brain Complexity gave me another, the God of Self Awareness, another....and so on. OBVIOUSLY! Get a clue!–clearly you need to be 'reborn' yet again.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • sara

      Why can"t anyone in these comments differentiate between conscience and conscious?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  18. Dave

    A life without God is an empty life. I respect her decision to deny God but I am also sorry for her.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • logicalfallacy

      your logical fallacy is called: appeal to pity.
      my life is very full, without god.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • JWT

      How tall are you dave ?

      January 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Joel

      Untrue. I know many atheists who lead full and rich lives. Why must you judge them?

      January 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • jerd

      i left religion after i finally accepted that jesus is just a myth. any serious look into historical facts will lead you to that conclusion. i am happier now without the christian god, and without christ. i don't feel like everything i do is judged. i do good things not because i want to go to heaven, but because doing the right thing (morally) is rewarding in itself. i don't have to plead for forgiveness because life is about making good and bad choices. i don't have to worry about salvation because its simply not real.

      please, a life with christ is much much more miserable. you just have an imaginary belief which helps you feel better about your shortcomings.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Steve

      if it works for you great. Others really do not need your pity

      January 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Splines

      Dave, I'm sorry for you, because Odin is gonna beat the currrrappp out of you after you die, for following the wrong sky dude.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • logan5

      How easily you look down on others. How easily you assume superiority over others without giving a moments thought to your behavior. If being Christian means being as closed minded, self centered, disrespectful, and condescending as you then I want no part of it. You are incredibly shallow and devoid of critical thought.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Fuel

      Dave,
      I'm TRULY sorry to sound condesending–but I pity YOU.
      Your are filled with what?–with childish fantasies?? You are not only a 'lost sole' but completely empty person, incapable of creating a meaningful life for yourself.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  19. MysticYat

    Thank you, Deborah. You express the views of many of us in a wonderfully articulate and open way.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  20. SaveMeNot

    "Religion is the opium of the people", Karl Marx, 1843
    In my opinion, religion is an invention by the rich to keep the stupid poor off their backs, smart move on the part of rich and powerful, bad move on the part of the poor and weak!
    Religion has positive psychological benefits, however, you can realize the same benefits by joining any special interest group, from stamp collection to fishing club, as long as you "belong" to some sort of social gathering.
    I find it so arrogant on the part of religious folks to use words like, "save you", "back to the fold", "don't stray", worst yet, when you are asked to "donate" or allocate 10% of your gross income to some church!
    Bottom line, Religion is all about Power, Money and Control, heck, the Roman Emperor and the Pop got together and invented Sunday Confession! Do you really want me to believe in this nonsense?

    January 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Lines

      Yea, I don't look to Karl Marx for spiritual advice.

      I'm in a community of people that follow Jesus Christ. We are a blessing to this world.

      January 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Splines

      Lines, you might see yourself as a blessing, but you are merely a deluded fool, and you and your fellow toddlers cause more problems for the world than you solve.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Sleuth

      "I’m in a community of people that follow Jesus Christ. We are a blessing to this world."
      This sounds supsiciously close to pride and bragging. I think you do the Lord a disservice by acting in such a manner, and He most definitely would NOT approve. Repent.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Lines

      You are right. I am a flawed human being. I do have a problem with pride and boasting, but I'm working on it.

      I am not delusional. I've seen our work help others.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
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About this blog

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