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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. Mike Yavar

    I completely agree with the woman about not believing. Kids should not be brainwashed. When they are older (at least 18) they can choose to believe or not. More people have been killed in the name of religion than anything else. I have never heard an atheist killing someone who is not an atheist. Religion is all about power and control. It is for the insecure or those who cannot completely think and be able to guide their own lives. They fall back on religion. Like if you cannot take care of a sickness; you go see a doctor for help. I gave up religion at age 16 and now I am 68 and have no regrets. I live and let live.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      Wait. You actually used your brain and came up with a logical conclusion? Burn in hell, HEATHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone knows the road to the kingdom in the sky is through unquestioning, childish faith.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Josh

      I applaud you Mike

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Actually my friend, the boys at Columbine, were atheists. Not only is that true, but they killed a girl because of her belief in Christ. If you remember they attacked during a time that a Bible study was taking place and specifically targeted that group. They held a girl at gunpoint and told her to renounce her faith. When she did not, they shot and killed her.
      While it is true that religion has often been used to abuse power and all kinds of hate and violence, the religions themselves do not usually advocate this. I would suggest that it is not the fault of religion but the fault of people, in whom evil exists who make the decision to do evil things.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Typical americultian antichrist doctrine....."Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Mike Yavar

      Devoted Christian!! Where is your tolerance?? Atheists don't burn in hell because they don't believe in Heaven or Hell. Hell is for you the religious nut!!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      Jeremy, maybe you have your Columbine story wrong?

      http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/cassie.htm#.UPtV0YXxgy4

      January 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jeremy is a liar for Jesus

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Josh

      Mike – I think Devoted Christian was being sarcastic. He was purposefully being rambunctious in his showing of ridiculousness.

      If not, then wow...

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Russ

      Actually world history is filled with people that killed others because they were christians. Some killers stated they did not believe or said they believed in other gods; Romans singled out christains, Adolf Hitler singled out Jews (because of their race or reliegion is not clear), Adolf also killed christians who stood up for the Jews. The list is long, so don't state athiest didn't kill others because they were athiest.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Mike Yavar

      Thanks to Josh for clarifying Devoted Christian sarcasm. My sincere apologies to Devoted Christian.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    It seems that there is a great discussion going on here! I am a Christian, however, I am excited that this article was written. It helps me, and other Christians, to see how those who do not share our beliefs feel about the ways we may share our faith with others. I have experienced many times when I was laughed at or had jokes made at my expense because of my faith. I have also experienced atheists and others who had different beliefs than I who would simply not leave me alone and pestered me in the same way. I do have strong beliefs in Christ and the sacrifice He made for me, however I am willing to admit that trying to convince people who do not believe the same as me by pestering them makes no sense. I would apologize to any of you who have felt pestered or even felt that you were persecuted in some way because you believed different from the Christian belief. I do believe that your belief is wrong, but I am willing to let you have your belief. If you ever meet me you I think you will know I am a Christian because of the love I have for people and the morals I live by. However, I have met people from other religions who love just as much. I think you may find something different in me from others but I believe you can ask me what it is and I do not need to pester you to get to that point. I have a lot of friends who do not share my beliefs. I do not pester them. They do often ask me what I think or believe and I love to discuss and debate our beliefs. Thanks again for your posts and for the article.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Josh

      " If you ever meet me you I think you will know I am a Christian because of the love I have for people and the morals I live by. "

      – It's this very statement that makes non-believers so frustrated with Christians as it implies that those who are not Christian do not have love for people nor live life morally.

      Most atheists do not in fact force anything down people's throat. We don't have an Atheist lobby in Washington. We do not protest outside of churches or funerals. We do tell you how to live your life.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • F. Bacon

      No, atheists don't want to force their opinions down people's throats. Just look at this site for proof of that!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Josh

      This is an open discussion about religion. People come here because they want to have that discussion. You're just as free here to discuss religion here as I am to try to argue back. I am not forcing anything down your throat. My comment refers more to society at large.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What's a matter Bacon, can't you figure out how not to look at the comments? If you come on here it is your own dam fault. Take some responsibility.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Your right Josh, I thought about it just after I wrote it. That is why you would see in the next sentence that I wrote about how I have met many others who do not share my beliefs who are the same in many ways. It is funny, however, that you are so combative toward that comment. In fact, your comment is actually a way to force your opinion on me. We will not get too far into that line of thought though. I apologize if I have made you think that I believe that you do not live by some code of morals or something. Or if you think I somehow think I am better than you. I am not! Also, I would like to find out if there are actually not atheist lobbies in Washington. I believe there actually are. Was it not Bill Nye who stood in front of congress to argue for the idea that religion is hurting science? Are there not men and women who advocate atheist beliefs in politics? Are you not trying to accomplish the spread of your belief by arguing against mine? Keep debating Josh! It is good for you!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      F Bacon is a wonderful christian witness. As an atheist I approve of his behavior and hope he exudes it along with his opinion of his god as much as possible.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • james

      franny, is that you? remember? so good, thanks, josh's friend

      January 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  3. M. Rogers

    Wont you be my neighbor, Josh?

    (All right. Who the hell are you??? Some kind of puppeteer?)

    January 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • lol??

      PBS doesn't vet very well.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  4. Truthful1

    By placing his hand on the Bible of Reverend Martin Luther King Jnr., Obama is puting on a show of faith that he is just like all of the Religious Conservative Black Community in America, when he rarely goes to Church, and admittedly is not that religious. This to me is hypocrisy, and shows that Obama cares more how he appears then to referred to as a Man of Substance.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Josh

      I don't know – with such a large percentage of the America population as Christian – how can anyone get elected without declaring themselves as believing?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sounds to me you care more about his appearance as well.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      Hypocrisy is the calling card of religion. Christians should feel right at home with the idea.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Shelley

      At this time in our evolution there is no chance anyone could be elected to president of the US without publicly declaring themselves to be Christian.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  5. M. Teresa

    God Love you, Josh

    (bet you'll never guess who i am now)

    January 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Give back all the stolen money that was given to your charity.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  6. Todd

    Stop trying to say that Einstein believed in God he did not and made it very clear in his writings.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  7. S. Hawking

    Josh! Guess who?

    January 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Josh

      Troll

      January 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  8. J.D.

    Everyone is on his or her own journey of understanding. In the meanwhile, let's COEXIST!!! Love is all that matters.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  9. F. Bacon

    Hey everyone, let's play stump Josh!

    Who was Francis Bacon????

    January 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • james

      fran bacon,9th grade, so cute, josh;s friend

      January 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  10. SoCalMom

    Such a shame so many Christians not only don't agree with this statement of Mitchell's (I most definitely do), but actually feel threatened by it. So very, very bizarre.

    “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.’”

    January 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • lol??

      SocieallMom, sayz, "Such a shame............." Tell us more 'bout shame. You sound wacked.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • lol??

      ""shame"
      occurs 100 times in 98 verses in the KJV "

      January 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  11. Russ

    This is the exact example for what Thomas Jefferson wrote his letter regarding the "Separation of Church and State". No one should be forced to follow any religion, by the government or an individual. I am a Christain and believe the Bible teachs that religion is an individual right. It also teaches people to be public with their faith and invite others to consider what the Bible teaches, but not compulsory. It teaches us to speak well of others, period. It is Deborah Mitchell's right to choose as she wishes, but she and others like her should also respect our beliefs. After all, one of her children may come home one day and announce they beleive in God.

    January 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      People should be respect....not beliefs.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Jessica

      Russ, We do, or at least most of us, do respect your religiousness. What we don't like is when you try to force it upon us. Either through law, social persuasion or any other method.

      When I worked at a collage a group of students from the christian club decided that they would stand at the door to the cafeteria and force everyone to engage in a conversation about Christianity before they could pass through.

      I politely asked them to stand to the side so people could pass and they went into the whole "We have the free right to religion" screaming thing. Of course I agree with that but they completely failed to see how their actions in blocking the path to the cafeteria infringed on others right not to be harassed with unwanted proselytizing while on the way to lunch.

      It took a talking to by the Dean before they started to stand to the side and asked people to engage in the conversation. They were miffed at having to do this and felt persecuted.

      Peoples rights stop at the point other peoples rights begin.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  12. Dawn Gray

    I am extremely offended by those who say they will pray for me. The next person who does so to my face will be told just that, and the fact that it is very disrespectful to my (non) beliefs.

    I am so thankful to have been allowed to chose my own path and commend all parents who allow their children to choose their own path with love and acceptance, regardless of what that choice may be.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Hulksmash

      Hey, how about not being a dick. You might not believe it does anything, and I certainly don't, but it doesn't do any harm to say "Thanks, I don't share your beliefs, but I appreciate the thought of goodwill."

      Kindness isn't expensive, and it doesn't hurt anyone.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Josh

      @hulk – when someone says they are praying for another, it really is just to get some social credit for an act that doesn't actually do anything. Goodwill to someone in suffering doesn't make that person feel good, it makes you feel good.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • mommyl

      My response is always "thank you," even though I may not believe as they do. It does me no harm. (Hell, it may do some good). They'll do a double-take I betcha. It's a lot easier than arguing and I can walk away in peace, with no vitriol in my wake.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      We've had a few hundred years of being nice to Christians. Here we are with a Theocracy on the doorstep. You stick with nice. I'm going with ridicule.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  13. Scientist

    Science has proven the existence of God. If you keep up with it.

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

      Citation needed

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • F. Bacon

      Here's some more hard to decipher handles for you, Josh:

      A. Einstein
      T. Aquinas
      N. Copernicus

      January 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Josh

      Unbelievable – my sarcastic remark really got your panties in a wad, didn't it?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Chris

      how?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So the opinions of some scientists and one theologian is evidence now? Okay then.

      Francis Crick.
      James Watson
      Niels Bohr

      January 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • NoproofofGod

      hahahahahahahahaha

      You clearly are making things up and have nothing to cite. there is ZERO evidence of God...Zero.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Chad

      Scientific evidence for the God of Israel

      Fossil Record.
      From the late 1800's thru 1972 the notion of "Darwinian gradualism" held the world captive. The notion that purely random mutation preserved in the population by natural selection would produce a gradual change, which over time would create the complexity of life we now observe (phyletic gradualism).
      Then, in 1972 the publication of "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" by Stephen Gould (atheist) finally forced the scientific world to accept the reality that the fossil record does not show the gradual change over time that Darwin proposed.

      Instead, what the community was forced to acknowledge, is that the fossil record reflects stasis and rapid change.
      This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change.

      Origins of the universe
      For most of scientific history, the universe was thought to have always existed, directly refuting the theistic claim that the universe had a beginning, and a creator.

      Then, a series of discoveries resulted in a complete transformation of thought, we now know that our universe has not always existed, rather it had a beginning, confirming the theistic claim:
      – 1929: Edwin Hubble discovers red shift (the stars and planets are all moving away from each other. The universe is expanding in all directions)
      – 1965: discovery of microwave cosmic background radiation (the echo's of the big bang)
      – 1998, two independent research groups studying distant supernovae were astonished to discover, against all expectations, that the current expansion of the universe is accelerating (Reiss 1998, Perlmutter 1999).
      – 2003: Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe proves our universe had a beginning

      Fine Tuning of the universe
      In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." - Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life - Stephen Hawking

      January 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Einstein did not believe in theism whatsoever. Stop perpetuating your bull#.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Those arguments have been soundly refuted many times, Chad, but you have no desire to understand. You enjoy your ignorance because it serves your a priori beliefs. Exactly as the muslim pretends that all evidence proves the Koran and Islam and ignores all evidence to the contrary, you pretend for your myth book and belief.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, has Stephen Hawking accepted that the God of Israel is real? Or have you seen something in Hawking's musings that Hawking himself has missed?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      2003+ Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe is an occasional footnote in the literature, but massively popular among Christian apologist (are you apologists genuinely sorry that you've failed to gull us so far?).

      January 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Hulksmash

      "Science without Religion Is Lame, Religion without Science Is Blind"-A. Einstein.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." – Einstein

      January 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, why isn't there any evidence for god?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Chad

      Einstein was no believer in the God of Israel, but as a scientist he certainly saw the necessity of a creator.

      I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings - A. Einstein.

      ====
      @End Religion,
      I think you'll have to define what you mean by "evidence", as your definition of the word seems to be different from the dictionaries..

      Beyond the creation of the universe, fine tuning, origin of life, the fossil record, the person of Jesus Christ, the nation of Israel..
      what are you exactly looking for?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby,
      we've been through this before, I don't consider "no it isn't" or "that's all nonsense" or "the bible is stupid" to be refutations..

      January 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, where is your proof that Jesus was divine?

      January 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, have you read Spinoza? I don't think he meant by 'God' anything like what you mean.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup. Crickets chirping. That's what I expected.

      Chard, you are truly a source of amusement and satisfaction. You always come through in the end-with absolutely nothing.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, none of the things you mention are evidence for a god. Please provide evidence for your claim.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  14. Truthful1

    I don't condemn anyone for their Religious Beliefs, but I feel that one of the reasons why our society has become so secular is because of our current trend towards Socialism with hints of Marxism, which in Communism is a Godless Ideology. This has been so much in vogue with the Progressive Elites in the Democratic Leadership beginning with President Obama, while Black Christian Conservatives turned a blind eye to God as God was voted off the DNC Platform in Charlotte, and while Christians all over the Middle East were persecuted, Churches Burned, and Christians killed in the name of Allah, Obama, and the Europeans turned a blind eye towards Religious Intolerance. I believe that Obama is such an Elitist that he thinks and acts like he is God, and the Liberal Progressive Media follows his and Madam Michelle's every word. Dictators have the same mentality. In fact Obama believes that he i.e. the Government...1984...knows what is best for the people, while he tramples all over Israel, Jews, Catholics, Baptists, and Methodists. Our media has become such a large part of Pop Culture that it can be unfortunately very influential when 95% of TV Programming is pushing the Progressive Anti-Christian Anti-Jewish Agenda.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Rabid Goon

      You're a deluded idiot.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Sleuth

      Bullsh!t. Obama has nothing to do with this...turn off Hannity and Limaugh and get real. Repeating their absolute garbage doesn't make it true. This trend has been going on for a lot longer than 4 years, and because your Becks hate the black dude in the WH doesn't make anything you've posted true, or even credible.
      You have no clue of the word meaning you posted.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      why do the boldest liars and most deluded nuts keep naming themselves "truth" something or other?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I will give you that in countries where the only social support around is through religious groups, those groups hold more sway. That's how the Islamic groups maintain power in Saudi Arabia as the government supports an unequal economic system and supportive services run by Islamic groups. Many Christians in the US want the same thing...a state that leaves people dependent on churches as a social n et. It does work, and don't anyone think the religious leaders don't know it.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  15. Moby Schtick

    I think that F. Bacon is a wonderful example of a christian. Keep up the great (horrible) witness! As an atheist, I really appreciate it.

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

      Moby wants a special gospel just for him. How special.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  16. lionlylamb

    I believe our bodies are God's buildings as is wrote in scripture. We are all mortal beings and we all face death. Some people see dying with indifference while some contemplate death as being a gateway to another dimension. Some people call this dimension heaven. I call this dimension, the atomized realms of living cellular cosmologies.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Good. Now mix a little empirical evidence in there with your beliefs, and let's have a discussion.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  17. Me1

    I don't we need to be sarcastic with Christians. I know a lot and they , though way too christians, in my opinion, don't mean bad to you. On the other hand, I am and was raised Catholic. I admit that I'm not a very " disciplined" Catholic, but I enjoy the Bible and new Testament examples of Kindness, Love, Charity, and hundreds of good ones. No, I don't like the guilt put sometimes as a load as means to feel bad and "repent" , we all make mistakes, but I firmly believe in God and Christ. Also, please acknowledge that there is many many understanding and tolerant people. My sis is Catholic married to a Jewish, and they celebrate "Crhistaka" in December....Hanukka and Christmas in one family wonderful dinner. Read the Jewish part, and then I read part of the blessing of the birth of Christ, and we all go...Including us! and I have in my group of close friends , Catholics, "Christians" ( I don't know really if they are hard core a specific denominations, they just go to church E VE R Y Sunday)and two Jewish. And we party ...and party. Not all are extremist. Lets get nice and find the good side of this wonderful Country.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  18. IdeasAboutFaith

    If God were to provide conclusive proof of his existence then we would be forced to believe (obviously right?). But God gives us the space to be individuals and live out our lives as free individuals. For those who want answers, they can find them through faith and the experieces that come out of adopting a personal faith. God has provided answers throughout our human history in many forms. Nobody should be forced to have faith, however as God himself does not force himself on us. I believe faith is personal and no person can "get it all right". Don't let another dictate faith to you but yet find your own faith. Faith cannot come out of guilt or force as it would be fake anyway. Many people have resentment after experiencing this. They should not throw out a potential faith in and relationship with God because of the actions of others.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • J

      An answer that comes only through faith is no answer at all.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Nybrit

      Sorry, but faith is an invented concept that has no validity in reality, Faith is not a path to truth.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • IdeasAboutFaith

      Who invented faith? Faith comes from within you. Don't you and I have faith in science?

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      We ACCEPT scientific findings based on evidence. Faith has no place in the matter.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • IdeasAboutFaith

      Exactly, it's evidence, not proof. There are many scientific hypotheses that have been supported by evidence, until they were proven otherwise by other evidence. Scientists 1,000 years from now will look at out science and wonder what we were thinking. Evidence just means that you can repeat an experiment and get the same result. That the evidence supports our hypotheses, we put faith in it. Yes, we put faith in science. Sometimes science fails. Science is also created by humans.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  19. Bill Carson

    It is a lot of fun to make sport of Christian beliefs. No doubt about that. Just remember that when you turn away from Jesus Christ during your time on this earth, you've made a very long term decision that you will regret. So have your fun–for now!

    January 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Damocles

      @bill

      Really? Why always the implied threats?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Rabid Goon

      Always amusing when some "christian' gleefully wishes eternal pain and suffering on someone.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Chris

      this is the biggest issue I have with Christians – the fear behind their beliefs. Such a negative religion. Not embrace Jesus because of the benefits, but embrace Jesus or you will be sorry we you burn in hell. I can not join a group that preys upon fear in order to recruit. Or even needs to recruit. If you religion is great, then you will serve a an example an attract people. And show some humility and stop boasting about how much you love Jesus and what a great Christian you are. Not very Christ like at all.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Religion Is Dangerous For Children And Other Living Creatures

      Another gloating Christian who secretly can't wait for atheists to burn so he can be right. How moral and Jesus-like. And boohoo.. we make fun of you now, while for hundreds of years you ostrasized, tortured, and killed us. Suck it up, Nancy.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Scott

      Ummmmmm........AAAAAAAaaaaaHahahahahaha. That is hilarious Bill. Write something else....

      January 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      where is jarhead33 who was telling me yesterday religion wasn't about fear? It's threats of violence and fear of either torture or being kicked out of the club.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  20. Freethinker Seeking Reason

    As a fellow atheist parent, I wholeheartedly agree with Mitchell's article, but I admittedly find her tolerance of the religious particularly generous. Having studied this subject for years, I have come to the firm conclusion that most American adults' view of an omnipotent sky fairy is akin to them still believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. The U.S. addiction to religion is nothing less than a mass psychosis, frequently propagated in the name of a disingenuous tax shelter for those who have made a career of it.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Chad

      "Having studied this subject for years"

      =>So, what is your evidence your claim that the God of Israel isn't real?

      January 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • MomInWA

      @Freethinker:

      Thank you, and well put! Another atheist parent here. Personally, my whole family knows my disbelief and they respect my right to disbelieve. I tease them a little bit, but mostly I leave them alone. If they want to believe in the religion of a man from the 1800s who "saw the future" by looking at rocks in a hat (Mormonism), well, knock yourself out! I find the fallacy appalling myself, but that's their decision and not mine.

      I love science and reason. Religion has no place there. It was made up by primitive people who had questions but no answers.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • IdeasAboutFaith

      I feel sorry for anyone who views the concept of God as a sky fairy. That would be putting it very simplistic at best. If that's all you need to make a decision about faith, I.e., is there a sky fairy or not, then I guess you have all your answers and you can move on. I once had a friend who asked me as a Christian if I really believed in a bearded man who lives in the sky. I didn't even bother to respond. Wow!

      January 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • lol??

      The rich creatin' those holy dayz will get you every time.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Hulksmash

      @Mom in WA: "Science without Religion Is Lame, Religion without Science Is Blind." Einstein said it succinctly in that quote. Science is the ultimate pursuit of Deity...to understand whatever god you profess to and understand creation itself. Look, I don't profess faith in dogmatic religions of any kind. I choose to allow logic and reason to guide my spiritual path, and the great watchmaker of creation, the one who keeps the wheels of physics and mechanic working wants it that way.

      Saying religion has no place in science is like saying bacon has no place on a cheeseburger. The two go hand in hand, friend. You can choose not to believe...hell my wife chooses not to believe. But it's a logical fallacy to not at least accept that the two aren't mutually exclusive.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Freethinker Seeking Reason,

      Your view of God being a 'sky fairy' shows just how ridiculous your views are. The kingdom domains of God are inside us all. We are God's buildings in which all of God's most covetous brethren do live inside of us!

      Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      While I admit that manmade churches are not for God, they tender to the weak of mind and the infirmed of heart.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      religion has no place in science

      January 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Because there is no evidence. You see the wonders of the universe and say "How could this happen? I don't know. So a supernatural being must have done it". But there is nothing to substantiate your belief. Science provides answers to the questions that our primitive ancestors asked – why rain, drought, floods, earthquakes, etc. how did humans get here etc. We don't need to cling to these primitive superstitions.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:10 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.