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 • Faith Now • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Phazon

    False religion is turning people away from God all together why do I say this cause 99% come from false religions that teach of a never ending life of torment and suffering in an inferno little do they know because they just take their hatred of false religion and give up on God alltogether if only they would open the bible and question religions maybe they wouldn't become athiest or maybe they do read it and choose to tey and not be held accountable saying if hes there ok if not I never bileieved anyways. Well one only has to look at life on this planet and the abundance of food to realize this planet was created to support life don't lean on your own understanding men are imperfect time has proven just how imperfect we are evolution does not explain why we get sick with cancer and aids and why we get old they can how we get these things but they cant explain why the why is because if a scripture that say threw one man sin entered the world threw sin death.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • AJD

      Excuse me, but what proof (and I do mean proof) do you have that what you believe is true and what they believe is false? You have no more of a leg to stand on than they do. You just "believe", you do not know. No one truly knows and that is an undeniable fact.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      ANOTHER one of the deluded religionists who feel their flying sky wizard is the trueone, and that their book of myths is the source of all knowledge. We must be swimming in those by now.

      A bit off-topic, but does your religion ban punctuations? How about minimally legible grammar and spelling?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "the abundance of food"

      Tell that to the starving kids in Ethiopia.

      "created to support life"

      Because floods, drought, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches, natural fires and mass extinction events responsible for the deaths of billions of life forms NEVER happen.

      Surely the brains of you religious loonies have suffered extreme atrophy by now due to lack of use.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      So animals and plants get sick because they don't believe in your "god"? You're a simpleton.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Athy

      Phazon, you write like a fifth grader. Typical for a religie.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • Roger that

      Here's a suggestion. Take your Bible and change the cover to read Quran. Read it as though you are reading the quran and then get back to us.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • GulK

      @AJD
      Why do you help others that are less fortunate?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • GulK

      Thank you AJD for showing respect unlike Mr. Tank who just attacks and jokes.

      You probably help the less fortunate b/c you "feel good" inside and you believe its right.
      So my next point was then what if you have someone who doesnt "feel good" inside when they help the less fortunate and they dont believe its right. So then there is no logical way of proving them wrong. And even if they believe that they dont want to treat people the way they want to be treated. Then?
      It all comes back to b/c God said so. Thats the only reason. Otherwise the human is made with flaws that make it want to be above its other members of its race. You want to win this argument and so do I.

      You claim that we arrived here in this world, we were born, we were nurtured, we were raised up, we have everything on earth that we need, air water food and all of that was done by noone? You cant believe that sail from one town to another unmanned and you want to tell me that the whole EARTH exists without a creator. You make a big deal about 1 event such as a unmanned ship sailing unmanned and then you want to say this universe is managed without a manager?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • GulK

      Islam is perfect. You can practice if your poor, if your rich, for all social classes. If your black if your white or chinese it doesnt matter. You can practice. Its is for all HUMANS. And it is easy but people make it hard b/c they care what others think. Worry about ourselves first. On that note I have to go do the night prayer and then get enough rest to wake up for the morning prayer. My purpose in life, im a slave of God.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  2. Joe

    This is just collection point for the dumber atheists to chat to each other.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • End Religion

      Joe, has anyone previously referred to you as a witless boob?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Cherries

      Aren't you the clever one! Are you related to 'truth be told'?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Joe, could you provide us the names of some of the atheists that you find to be quite smart? Thanks.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  3. AJD

    The thing I find funniest about religious people is that if you tell them or they find out that you are not a believer, they bury you in judgement....even if they don't consciously realize that's what they are doing, they are...anytime they say "I'll pray for you" or something along those lines, as well meaning as it is, they are saying, "I have judged you as wrong and judged that you are in trouble, that you can't be a truly good person if you don't believe and you need to be saved"...yet at least in Christianity, which is the main religion that most non-believers have to deal with in the U.S., one of their primary tenants and words from their own supposed "messiah" is "judge not, lest ye be judged" and their own holy book includes a story about not throwing stones.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  4. eagerliving

    The part about the child asking who Jesus was strikes me. I didn't go to church for 20 years, and had no use for it, but when my then-7-year-old child asked me who Jesus was (he'd heard from a classmate), I realized that I had one answer from my upbringing, and my husband had another from his, but neither of us was equipped to answer this question. But we both agreed that the kids should be given the information needed to formulate their own answer. It opened up a huge dialog in our family. Even if you have no use for religion, there's no reason to skip educating your children as to what religions are, what people believe, how they differ, how they are the same, what people say who don't believe at all. Schools aren't going to do it, and what better way to raise accepting people than to teach them that all religions and all beliefs (and non-beliefs) are interesting and wonderful things?

    January 19, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • snowboarder

      i will agree with the interesting part, but certainly not the wonderful part.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • GulK

      The sad part is your telling your giving your child all this information about Jesus but personally dont even have the answer. All religions cannot be right. Either Jesus was the son of God or he wasnt. Both cannot be right. Whats sad is you dont know the answer and continue living your life without pursuing the true knowledge b/c you see know benefit in it.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Wonderful? lol. Yeah, their long history of genocide and conquering "in the name of god" are sooooooooo "wonderful" ! !

      January 19, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Devoted Christian

      @ GulK I think you've got a point there. And what about leprechauns? No reasons why they can't exist. And unicorns too. It's not too outlandish to think horses could evolve horns. Same goes for fairies too. And there could be a tiny teapot orbiting Jupiter right this second. The laws of physics don't prohibit it.

      WHY AREN'T YOU FILTHY ATHEISTS ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • AJD

      I am an agnostic athiest (agnostic in that I can't prove that there is absolutely nothing that could be defined as a "god" and atheist in that I don't believe any of the religions of the world are true even if there happens to be some sort of "god"which I do think is highly doubtful) yet I feel it is important for my children to know about the different religions that are out there and even the differences in sects/denominations within those religions in order for them to understand others and be a well educated person. However, I can understand someone not teaching their children about it for the simple fact that they don't even think about religion...I mean, how many people, even religious people, teach their children much if anything about religions other than their own? They don't and they don't usually think about it. A Christian parent is not going to think about the fact that they don't teach their children anything about Hindu for instance and their child would be in the same spot if they found themselves in a basement with a bunch of Hindu children and one said that "Vishnu will save us." I have found as an agnostic that teaching my children about many different religious beliefs has actually led them on their own towards being agnostic themselves. When they realize just how many religions are out there and how they all believe such different things it becomes clear to them that no one really knows the answers or the truth for 100% certain making them all highly questionable. It also has made them less likely to fall for anyone telling them that THEY know the "truth." It also has shown them that the things that most religions DO have in common in their beliefs seem to be the basic tenants that I teach them which are really just humanistic principles that you really don't need a religion to believe in such as caring for others and those less fortunate, being charitable and kind and treating others the way you'd like to be treated.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Roger that

      Read 'Jesus Interupted' by Bart Ehrman, and then tell your kids all about Jesus.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • GulK

      Thank god my religion is for all races and nations. There is no promotion of genocide in my religon DEECEE so I dont know what your talking about. And please dont point out humans ( who are not perfect beings and make mistakes) when you want to criticize my religion. If you have an issue show me proof from the text and you'll answer your own question. Also since Ive started my post I have professional and your responses have been joking and showing sarcasm. Why use a degrading tone just to win an argument and make the opposition look foolish. That is a debating tactic whose aim is to make the opponent look incompetent. I will not stoop down to the level of using tactics like such because my intentions are clear. I have no hidden agenda and am open to argument. Prove my religion wrong and I shall leave it right now. If not you dont have to believe but just stop your false spread of "purpose of life" when you have no idea what you are talking about and its all based on your personal life experiences already biased.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • Chutzpah

      "All religions cannot be right."

      But all religions can be wrong.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • AJD

      GulK...I'm sorry, but if you claim something is the truth, it is on you to prove your claim, not on others to disprove it. That is what so many religious people don't get. They all go around saying "prove it's not true!" but that is not on us as agnostics and atheists to prove. It is on you to prove that your belief is correct...and by prove I mean real proof, not anecdotal stories or something from your holy book. I can't prove that dragons aren't real, or leprechauns, or fairies, but I don't have to. Someone that tells me these things are real has the responsibility of proving that.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Gulk, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. I'm not one of the brainwashed fools who are too afraid to ask questions when things don't add up and believe me, the religions based on the "bible" are full of things that don't add up. If you can't answer a simple question about dinosaurs, there's little point in me continuing any discussion with you.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • GulK

      @AJD
      So you believe there is no life outside of what your 5 senses can detect and that is what you limit your life to.
      What about the feelings of love, hate, and fear in humans, where do they come from? Just chemicals in our body? So according to you we are just a little better than animals? Why is that?
      You don't believe in any religions of the world. Have you studied them all? If not then how are you sure? Are you judging a book by its cover or assuming other people opinion on what certain religions say? Isnt that sterotyping? Ignorance?
      Laziness to study the full context and its a lot easier to not learn and read the text and just assume what everyone else is.

      Mistake # 2
      How many people teach their children about other religons. Maybe your small social circle doesnt. But my religon says itself in the text that "learn the religion yourself and do not blindly follow the path of your parents". So it straight up says to learn and read for yourself to understand and believe. I went to catholic school for 8 years and was never catholic and read the whole bible. And you do now need to read the whole religon book in order to believe. SOme things on the surface are contradicting. Others may cause you to have several questions but you have to continue to read so the knots can be untied just like any other material you study.
      Lastly the whole concept of caring for the less fortunate and giving charity came ONLY from God in his religons texts. That is the source of this idea. Every single idea was obtained from somewhere. Humans didnt know anything when we were put here. Leave a baby to grow up isolated from all humans. When hes 21 put him in society, do you think he will know give to the less fortunate?
      Lastly every human is born with a feeling of knowing God. Know one is born an athiest. Athiesm is a conscience decision one makes and the majority of athiests have had some tragedy in their life such as divorced parents, death in family, bodily injury to oneself, heartbreak and its a mental anger they have toward the issue but they cannot really blame anyone except God and the best way to get your revennge against God is to stop believing in him. An athiest has no purpose in life, has no direction ( any good he claims to do or know has been obtained from a religion text and if werent for the relgious text that knowledge would never have been spread ) and is the loser in this temporary time we are here for.
      Its all temporary and none of this is permanent. Remember the 1 thing every human has in common is death. Life flys man and its upto you to decide what you wanna do. Its upto us believers to just inform you, not force, just inform that if you dont believe you will pay and now the decision is yours.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:41 am |
    • GulK

      @AJD
      You want the proof that God exists.
      Your the proof lol. You exist man. Your in front of the laptop typing.

      I have an interesting story for you on the news today. There was news of a big ship that sailed out of china and it was loaded with electronic equipment and it went from shangai to Honk kong, from Hong kong to Singapore, from Singapore to Aden (Yemen) and from there to Alexandria and then it finally ended up in Liverpool. So now the amazing thing is that ship had no captain, their was noone on board, the police have proved that nobody loaded the electronics, they also established through proof that those electronics were not made by any company and the ship knew its way all the way to the UK without being guided by anyone. They looked into it and their was no GPS or electronic equipment to guide it. So all on its own the ship arrived @ liverpool.
      Do you believe this story?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • GulK

      @ devoted christian
      Your statement is flawed and makes absolutely no sense because there are not a billion people on earth claiming that leprechauns exist but their are at leasgt a billion that claim God do.. So I dont know how you can compare the two concepts. Your a joke.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:21 am |
    • AJD

      GulK...you have it close when you say "chemicals in the body." Have you heard of a man named Phineas Gage in the 1800's? He was a railroad worker injured by an iron rod that was driven through his head in an explosion. It practically destroyed his left frontal lobe of his brain. He lived, but after he recovered, people who had known him for years and those close to him said that his personality completely changed. He was not "the same person." I'm not going to take the time to address all of our questions as I know it would be a waste of time as it would not make a difference in what you believe, you would just make up a convenient excuse or theory to explain the discrepancies between these facts and your religious beliefs as almost every religious person does paying no attention to how ludicrous these theories/excuses you come up with really are. As far as "good" philosophies of life only have coming from god...that is not likely. It is more likely that people figured out that those philosophies were (and still are) more advantageous for society so they were incorporated into religion, not the other way around...in other words, religion was built around them by man, it was incorporated into the religious stories because religion's telling people they would be rewarded or punished by a god would make people more likely to follow those things and thus make society run more smoothly...a lot like how people tell kids that if they're good they'll get presents from Santa and if they're bad Santa won't bring them any. It's really very basic psychology. And no, I am proof of nothing more than the fact that my parents enjoyed themselves one night. :) I said I wanted real proof...the kind that would stand up to scientific scrutiny or at least be accepted by a court of law....you have failed to deliver.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      So if there's enough people spouting stupidity, then stupidity is right. Got it. What's the critical number the neo-Nazis have to reach before they gain legitimacy?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      I've seen three-year olds with better cognitive skills than GulK.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • AJD

      Gulk...the reason that there are not so many people claiming that leprechauns exist is because their existence or nonexistence is of no benefit to them. They have no reason to want them to exist or to fear anything if they exist. On the other hand, people have been brainwashed for thousands of years that there is this man in the sky that will either bless them or punish them for their deeds....so even if they see the evidence all around them that that is not true, because they cannot prove it is not true, they still have that tiny seed inside themselves that fears "what if it is true...then if I stop believing and don't follow these rules I could burn in hell and won't go to heaven" so they hang onto it...kind of the "just in case" scenario. It's a hard thing to let go of and it's scary especially when you've been indoctrinated in it since you were a child...so then you indoctrinate your own children and the cycle continues. I would suspect that a great many people who continue to profess to be religious and attend religious services deep inside themselves don't really believe in it, but they continue to try to convince themselves they do "just to be safe." Personally, I'd just rather be honest with myself, and others, that I don't believe and cast aside all the pretenses but some people have not reached that stage of maturity yet and many never will.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • AJD

      Oh...and actually Gulk...EVERYONE is born an atheist...even you....you were not born believing any certain religion. You were not even aware of the existence of religion at the time of your birth. You were taught about it and indoctrinated into it after your birth. As far as atheist lives having no meaning, you are so far off the mark it's laughable. My life has plenty of meaning. There are my children, my family, my friends, the beauty in the world, the volunteer work I do to help others who need help and are less fortunate, the tutoring I do for underprivileged children, among many many other things that give my life a heck of a lot of meaning. If I die and there is nothing after my death, I will have at least know before my death that I left the world a better place and made a difference in people's lives...and I did it without the mandate of religion as so many other atheists do. You have obviously never really known an atheist or at least more than one or two in real life to make such absurd and misinformed judgements about them. You are ignorant and quite frankly offensive which gives me all the more reason to be very glad that I am NOT a religious person such as yourself.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • GulK

      @ AJD

      Why do you help the less fortunate? WHy do you do it?

      btw I do agree with you about those people that dont really believe. Just believing is nothing. Its like a person belieeving that going to college and becoming a doctor to help people is good but that person just believes and is a high school dropout. Beliving means nothing without practice. Live by example.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • GulK

      Thank you AJD for showing respect unlike Mr. Tank who just attacks and jokes.
      I have to sleep now cuz im tired but my point was.

      You probably help the less fortunate b/c you "feel good" inside and you believe its right.
      So my next point was then what if you have someone who doesnt "feel good" inside when they help the less fortunate and they dont believe its right. So then there is no logical way of proving them wrong. And even if they believe that they dont want to treat people the way they want to be treated. Then?
      It all comes back to b/c God said so. Thats the only reason. Otherwise the human is made with flaws that make it want to be above its other members of its race. You want to win this argument and so do I.

      You claim that we arrived here in this world, we were born, we were nurtured, we were raised up, we have everything on earth that we need, air water food and all of that was done by noone? You cant believe that sail from one town to another unmanned and you want to tell me that the whole EARTH exists without a creator. You make a big deal about 1 event such as a unmanned ship sailing unmanned and then you want to say this universe is managed without a manager?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • GulK

      There is no way that someone who sacrifices all his wants and desires and submits himself to what God instructed is anything else but a winner. We all have to die. There is no way that a Muslim can lose out if he practices correctly. Even if he misses out on all the pleasure in this world it doesnt matter b/c once you compare him after death to the guy who got all his wants fulfilled in this world none of those things will benefit either one. But they can harm the person in the hereafter.

      Im telling you man theres so many signs. Simple sign is the existence of spirits which have been confirmed ouijia boards and the movie paranormal activity. Another form of life :O
      which they quraan also believes exists.

      every bad deed or bad thing that comes into our head is the devil tricking us
      its competing against the devil
      thats LIFE

      January 19, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • AJD

      Let me ask you this GulK....why would an all knowing, all loving, all good perfect God have had ANY inclination to create a world with any suffering or want in it whatsoever? If he is all good, he would not have had any inclination to create a world where suffering was possible or he could not be all good or all loving, etc. I have three children...if I had the power to create a world for them with zero suffering, I would do so in a split second. I have absolutely no inclination to see my children suffer (though I know the reality is that we all do to varying degrees in life and they will too) and I am not an omnipotent, all loving, all good, all powerful god. So what does that say? If he is all knowing, why would he have had any inclination to create us at all? Curiosity couldn't be it because if he is truly all knowing, he would know what would happen if he did so no reason to make something and "see what happens" i.e. "experiment." If he is all knowing, why create the whole Garden of Eden thing in the first place since surely he would have known what would happen. Why create man only to find that they have become too evil and then decide to destroy them in a flood? Wouldn't he have known that would happen? How did he miss the snake in the garden? Why would he have allowed Satan to continue to exist if he is all good? And wouldn't he if he is all knowing have known Satan would turn on him? There are just way too many obvious illogical things in Christianity and the stories of all religions. As far as Ouija boards, give me a break. They're a parlor game and made by Parker Brothers in a factory. And if your "proof" comes from a Hollywood movie, you are in sorry shape indeed. And no, my philanthropy does not come from anything other than my upbringing....if doing good things was "from god" there would be a heck of a lot more people doing good things than bad but just take a look at the world around you, read the news and you will see that is definitely NOT the case.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:15 am |
  5. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Jarhead,

    That is because you continue to dishonestly ignore the difference between the colloquial use of "theory" and "scientific theory".

    A "scientific theory" is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."

    January 19, 2013 at 1:01 am |
  6. Smarter than ewe

    Shouldn't this be the "Dis" Belief page. Religion is belief in an idea conjured up by man to gain an advantage. Modern day religion like Scientology is still doing it. No real estate taxes? Reason enough to pretend there's a bearded dude with sandals kicking back on a cloud.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  7. Que

    As those children get into their late teens early 20's she will begin to believe in something other than herself. She'll call on Jesus, Moses, Satan, something when the child you love and have given your all to goes astray. Sometimes we speak according to how things are not realizing how things are about to be will make a liar out of us.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I don't it. The country is becoming LESS religious, not more.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:58 am |
      • Que

        YUP!! And our children are becoming MORE DEADLY VIOLENT against each other and others not LESS.

        January 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • the AnViL

      you're obviously projecting.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • snowboarder

      satan. lol

      January 19, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Sorry, meant "doubt" it, not "don't" it. . . .damn auto-correct.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      I'm trying to imagine the depths of the stupidity it would take to write a comment like that.........Nope, no luck.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:16 am |
      • Que

        I guess it would take being a parent and raising teens, raising adult children, working in an adult prison system seeing pre teens and teens there, working at a children's substance abuse program who live everyday with a serious drug addiciton I guess it will take more than what your your mind can process and seem to fail to realize all of what people endure to completely understand the statement. Parents and parents alone CANNOT raise children, in all honesty it takes a higher power, we DO NOT just happen to get it right.

        January 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      I don't it, as well.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:17 am |
      • Que

        To each is own, but I recall working at a prison and the Sgt. was an Atheist or so he thought until he had a heart attack. We were concerned for his health but found it literally funny that he was calling out to God in his time of need. You can live life freely one way but once life delivers its punch you may find yourself living life another way. Totally changing your belief. Children can make liars out of parents and children can force parents and guardians into changing their way of thought.

        January 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Que
      Anything to back your claim of a higher power, and the thought that we don't happen to get it right, is not a correct statement. How do you know we don't. Many people don't raise their children to be positive and contiributing members of society. Many of them teach their children to lie and cheat and steal. This goes against what society wants and they will pay for breaking societies laws, but where is any evidence of this higher power you mention, why isn't it a lower power or a diagonally sideways power?

      January 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Que

      You really are quite the condescending, arrogant ass aren't you?

      January 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Que

        I don't typically respond to people with a limited vocabulary. When resorting to using 3 and four letter words most prove they are not worthy of my time. Have a good night!!

        January 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Que: Wow, hard to believe they'd let you near children. Children don't go bad because they don't have a belief, children go bad due to bad parenting and sadly enough peer pressure is still a major part of their lives today and probably more sor due to the social media aspect. I know plenty of successful well mannered children who are doing just fine in this world and they weren't raised with a belief in anything supernatural nor do they have a belief now.
      For you to generalize says very little about your intellect.

      January 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Que

        We all need to know there's a power bigger than ourselves. Peer pressure is heavy but give them something to fall back on parents can't and won't be everywhere. As I said the time will come and the praised won't be able to stop.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  8. snowboarder

    well i am off to bed. i am driving to PA tomorrow morning to hit the slopes for a few hours before i head to CO next week for a week at a resort and 4 days of back country.

    remember, questioning religious dogma is a virtue. anyone suggesting otherwise is selling something.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Cherries

      Have fun!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • End Religion

      wishing you good weather and good travel

      January 19, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • BillB

      Typical self-absorbed, narcissistic, atheist. That's right – I judge you and all your fellow anti-religious neo-bigots harshly and would continue to lob labels at you but it's really a waste of time. You will be judged again someday – first when you look around you and realize that your lack of a belief system has made you an empty person with no real significance to anyone. That won't be your final judgement however.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • JWT

      ooohhh proxy threats for a non-existant god – I'm shaking in my boots with laughter.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:08 am |
  9. lamb of dog

    I see the religious as slaves to their own imaginations.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • the AnViL

      ..and the delusions/imaginations of others.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  10. whitepine

    My problem with the Bible is that it is only about the Jews. Why didn't this God want to be the God of all people and all countries? How can He be God of the world when he (Jesus) never traveled outside of Israel ( at least the Bible does not say anything about it) ? This God says he created all people. So He created non-Jews like Muslims, Buddist, Hindus, etc. He created people who never heard of Him and thus, can't believe in HIm. I don't see the logic of this.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • snowboarder

      all gods across history are only locally significant. they have their "chosen" people and their specific "intermediary". you would thing those facts would immediately raise red flags.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • End Religion

      whitepine you have reached the appropriate conclusion. It's an absurd fiction.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • GulK

      Great question. The answer is, God did send messengers to all nations to people of all languages from the beginning of time. He sent his message through revealations that he revealed to several prophets among different groups of people suchs as, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Middle Easterners, etc. Some of his messengers the spread his message to the nation that spoke his tongue, which you might have heard of, were Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad. These were all messengers revealing Gods reveleation. His final revealation was sent to Muhammad and that was his uncut, unchanged, last instruction on how to live life until the end of the human races existence. The only way for you to really see is go beyond the simple discussion of "religion / purpose of life" and search and study all the scriptures that are out their. You can compare and you will see how one religion is SO much different than the rest and the signs are clear with no room for argument and once you find that then you'll be set.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Gulk, was that before or after the dinosaur era?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • GulK

      Islam does not deny that these creatures existed or that they were of this great size, but the fact remains that when they speak of their lifespans and the details of their forms and lives, this is the field of science and speculation combined. The Muslim should not be preoccupied with that and he should not waste time discussing it or believe that it is a matter that has any impact on his religious commitment or belief, because he knows that the Qur’aan and Sunnah were revealed to guide people and show them the right way; their focus is not history, geography, earth science or biology, although they indicate many facts that have to do with these fields. There are some kinds of animals that are not mentioned in Qur’aan and Sunnah at all, even though they existed at the time the Qur’aan was revealed.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Lucy

      Actually the bible says Christians are to to go out into the WORLD baptizing all nations, therefore not limiting Christianity to the Jewish people, but rather offering it to all people. A great deal of the New Testament part of the bible discusses how salvation is available to everyone who seeks it. And you can't expect those living around year zero to travel the world, a possibility open to only modern people, although Jesus being fully human and fully divine wouldn't need to step foot in every ancient country- that's why He has followers.

      How could anyone contemplate existence, the universe, love, even something as mundane as the human hand, and assert these is no creator? It is much harder to reconcile disbelief in God when one dares consider the evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • GulK

      DEECEE, what do you believe in?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Lucy, the honest answer is "We don't know" how we got here or why existence is as it appears to be. The lazy, feel-good answer is "Big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz because I'm just soooooooo special."

      January 19, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • End Religion

      GulK, you realize Adam, Moses, Abraham did not exist. Jesus may have but there exists not a single piece of evidence of anything supernatural about him, therefore no son of god. And of course Muhammad was a pedophile.

      You base your life on imaginary creatures and monsters. How lovely.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Gulk, why does that matter to you so much? Aren't you capable of seeing your fellow human beings as human beings? Do you have to make sure they belong to your silly club first before you can approve of them? Religions are excellent at dividing people. Learn to see others as human beings first.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      It took god 1500 years from the alleged life of Christ to reach the Americas, and only got there at that time because humans had figured out navigation and had made ships that could survive the trip. Either god was lazy, or afraid of water, or indifferent, or the most logical answer: he just doesn't exist.

      And Lucy? Your ignorance is not proof of god.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • End Religion

      tallulah13, I'm going with "afraid of water" for $500, please.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Has anyone come across an argument so easy to dismiss, that it causes you exasperation to even do so? I just experienced that feeling when reading GulK's nonsense.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • GulK

      You want the proof that God exists.
      Your the proof lol. You exist man. Your in front of the laptop typing.

      I have an interesting story for you on the news today. There was news of a big ship that sailed out of china and it was loaded with electronic equipment and it went from shangai to Honk kong, from Hong kong to Singapore, from Singapore to Aden (Yemen) and from there to Alexandria and then it finally ended up in Liverpool. So now the amazing thing is that ship had no captain, their was noone on board, the police have proved that nobody loaded the electronics, they also established through proof that those electronics were not made by any company and the ship knew its way all the way to the UK without being guided by anyone. They looked into it and their was no GPS or electronic equipment to guide it. So all on its own the ship arrived @ liverpool.
      Do you believe this story?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • End Religion

      GulK, that isn't proof of God, that's proof of Neptune. God has no dominion over the seas, my friend. Get your gods straight...

      January 19, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  11. paul46

    Well, one thing's certain: even though I wasn't too fond of the lady's essay, it was easier to read that the responses by the non-theists here (is that better?) who seem to simmer with an arrogant anger. What's that all about, folks? A respectful dialogue is asking too much? & no, you cannot prove a negative. Russell's tea-pot be hanged.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Who's trying to prove a negative? Who's angry?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • End Religion

      I will no longer coddle the childish notion that imaginary creatures command respect, or that you command respect for believing in them.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I think atheist have good reason to be angry considering the number of ignorant religious extremists that inhabit this country.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      GUD D@MN IT, END RELIGION, are you disrespecting the invisible and undetectable space ship in my garage, again?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • the AnViL

      paul46 – no you cannot shift the onus of evidence. it wasn't even a nice try.

      you should simmer down, dummy.

      you mad?

      why are you mad though???

      January 19, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • End Religion

      Moby, I have "INVISIdulgences (TM)" for sale, $19.99 each or 6 for $100.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Gir

      I do not respect the bigfoot advocacy crown.
      I do not respect the alien abduction crowd.
      I do not respect the flat-earthers.
      and I'll be damned if I make exceptions for you religionists.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      I'm not angry. There just isn't a logical reason to believe in any god. I personally believe that children should be taught the truth, and until there is proof that the christian god, or any god, actually exists, believers don't have the truth. All they have is a fantasy that they really, really like.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  12. Dan M

    If I offend anyone here, I apologise upfront. It is not my intention. Not that I care, but not intended. We see so many extremists and "fools who just think their post will get them out there"in this day and age that it's hard for some of us to contain ourselves long enough to sit back and remove the extremists from the fools.
    The simple fact is, this lady or anyone has the right to live her life as she envisions. Who are we to second guess her or anyone else for what they believe unless they have shown a complete lack of morality to their fellow man.

    We are judge and jury of ourselves. Not anyone else. I may or may not agree with you. But you are your own person and unless I have a "lawful" reason to take serious offense to any belief you or anyone else may have, then it should not be my right or obligation to persicute them. I for one applaude her for speaking her mind even if I agree or disagree with her choice. Thats what made us Americans. God Bless!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      As long as this country eventually outlaws religion, I'm okay with that.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Beliefs stand or fall on their own merits. People deserve respect, beliefs should have to earn respect.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • the AnViL

      those of you who believe in imaginary men in the sky should be prohibited from holding public office, voting, serving on a jury, purchasing/owning firearms, and teaching public school.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Dan M

      Another idiot!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • the AnViL

      Dan M... your ad hominem is very girlish.

      did you know that a number of states discriminate against atheists?

      Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1:
      No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.

      Maryland, Article 37:
      That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Const itution.

      Mississippi, Article 14, Section 265:
      No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

      North Carolina, Article 6, Section 8
      The following persons shall be disqualified for office: Any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

      South Carolina, Article 17, Section 4:
      No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Const itution.

      Tennessee, Article 9, Section 2:
      No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

      Texas, Article 1, Section 4:
      No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

      why should anyone tolerate discrimination?
      why should we allow people who suffer from delusional thinking to have free reign?

      tolerance of religious idiocy is rapidly coming to an end...

      evolve, son.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • Dan M

      Dear AdVil,
      You go girl!! You have proven my point!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Dan M

      Oh....ANVIL.......sory....my bad......

      January 19, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • the AnViL

      is that all you've got? did you expend everything you had on that one post up there?

      you've no substance... just ad hominem.

      where's your substance, son?

      January 19, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Dan M

      I'm Guessing Fool who just wants to post for the sake of being posted......your take? cause what you just said was put out there in the 30's. Bring it!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Dan M

      Still there advil? I need a pill!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Dan M

      Still there advil? I need some more pills!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • the AnViL

      "Who are we to second guess her or anyone else for what they believe unless they have shown a complete lack of morality to their fellow man."

      people who hold delusional beliefs in imaginary men in the sky seek to nullify equality in a demographic of americans they deem immoral...

      people who believe in imaginary men in the sky work overtime to secularize their theological ideals.

      they spend money to inject their mythologies into our public school science classes..

      --

      tolerance of religious idiocy is eroding, son....

      you're going to have to pull your head out of your a$$ and deal with it.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Dan M

      So.....you copy my writing and then throw in your same old rhetoric. Good job son. Let people be who they want to be. You are all to predictable. ....Son

      January 19, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • the AnViL

      so are you advocating discrimination?

      people should just let others believe whatever they want... and let things be?

      it's ok to you to nullify the consti.tutionally guaranteed equality we're all enti.tled to based on the theological ideals of others??

      why are you so emotional that you can't engage in intelligent discourse?

      maybe you should simmer down, princess... try to stop being ignorant.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Dan M

      Everyone has the right to there opinion my girlish friend. What they should not have to put with is people like you who push their opinions with a "listen to me or you shall die" front. You don't know what you want and you don't know who you are. It's not our fault you have no equilesm and hatred for others in your life. Don't push it on people with common sense.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • the AnViL

      you seem to be having a hard time understanding the fact that people who believe in imaginary men in the sky think it's OK to discriminate against those who do not believe as they do.

      maybe that's OK to you – provided you're not the one being discriminated against?

      religious idiocy has run rampant for far too long... and if all you see is hate in that message – then the hate is obviously inside of you – due to your ignorance.

      as for "common sense" – that's what's gotten us where we are as a nation...

      common sense told people the earth was flat for thousands of years.

      we need more uncommon sense and less of your brand of ignorance.

      .

      .

      `

      January 19, 2013 at 2:13 am |
  13. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because being delivered by a midwife with extra-slippery fingers just didn't do the trick.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Dan M

      Hey everyone. Look. This guys an idiot! there's one in every bunch. Congrats!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Dan M, there's more than one in YOUR bunch. . .many, many more.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Is this a reference to my oddly misshapen head?

      January 19, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Dan M

      really? Whats my bunch? You don't even know where I stand!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Good comeback "Dan M". (applause)

      January 19, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      It's become pretty obvious that religious people have a problem living with other people who think differently. They are constantly trying to shove their idiocy down everybody else's throats, get off to thinking everybody else is "evil" for not believing in their fairy tales and are just plain obnoxious in the process.

      January 19, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Cherries

      That made me laugh, End Religion, thanks!

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  14. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because that mass of tissue between your ears just isn't useless enough as it is.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  15. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because trying to get at your brain by pouring hot wax down your ears didn't seem to do the trick.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  16. msadr

    Gir, while I disagree with that assessment, I think it is still better to have a consequence for incorrect thinking, than no consequence at all.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  17. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because you need the premium brand of s-tupidity. The cheap stuff on the street is just too weak.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  18. cantstandyou

    ..."our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair" Good luck with that!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • snowboarder

      i can't dispute that sentiment.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Gir

      Not when our school boards and governments are dominated by religionists, they won't.

      January 19, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  19. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because when it comes to repeated hammer blows to the head, you've "been there, done that."

    January 19, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  20. TANK!!!!

    Religion: Because Bruce Lee isn't around to deliver a thousand kicks to your head in the space of 5 minutes.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:19 am |
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

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.