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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. onemorehere

    science make us aware of believes like reason makes us aware of our emotions....there for even if emotions are first and iniciate reason is reason or science what reafirms our believe in religion or brings out the awarness of our emotions our need for confort and salvation. cause as we all know - its required to have some knowledge to undestand our emotions like it take the understanding of science to a degree to discover the importance of religion.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  2. Steven

    Does anyone else agree that this CNN "Belief" Blog is nothing more than a digital reservoir for a seemingly large group of anti-religious bigot-hypocrites to spew their same, tired, insults against Christianity and its followers?

    As an atheist, seeing what so many of you are writing here is just appauling.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Jaque

      I agree, Steve! There are not many of them, but they put up many posts. That is why CNN uses this Comment section format. You don't have to log in with a username. You can post 100 times in a minute if you want, and use any name you want, too. Nobody can get banned. Let the insults fly. It is sad, but CNN supports the anti-religion (at least, Christianity) movement and this is a nice outlet they have created for these guys.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Val

      C'mon Steve, you can't be an atheist...you didn't say "sky fairy" in your post!! lol

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      It's almost like people get tired of being threatened with eternal hellfire.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:22 am |
  3. brandon

    God is real to me if you don't believe that's fine it's your life your freewill, As for me and my house we will service the Lord.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • brandon

      (service) i meant to type serve

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Akira

      I am SO glad you clarified that...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Gir

      Nice Freudian Slip there. Gives a whole new meaning to "Jesus is coming," doesn't it?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Domine

    Maybe if I were a conformist sheep I would follow a religion. Slowly being drowned out by the crowd. However, I am not. I am an individual, not basing myself on an organization or fantasy. The man made idea of religion is flawed, and should not be taken seriously. I live by that motto on the matter of the supernatural or spiritual.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • sandan

      Hi Domine, I personally agree with your stance, but I wanted to tell my own story and couldn't sign in. Here it goes.

      When I was 7 years old, I attended my mother's 2nd wedding, the first time I had ever been in a church. I was absolutely fascinated by the music and the surroundings. My only relatives, at that time were my mother, grandmother, and two aunts and I don't believe that any of them regularly attended church.

      I somehow became very active in "my church" and sang in the choir, taught bible classes, and was a member of the Junior Wather League which met every Wednesday in the church basement. I was also a boy scout. I became a serious member of my church, the scouts and my community, trying to render assistance to the poor and needy like myself.

      Shortly after receiving my 10-year perfect attendance church pin, becoming a Life Scout, and receiving my Communion through the efforts of Pastor John Meyers (Who became my pseudo father) , he left for another assignment and a new pastor came. He told me and the church community how bad we were. Totally turned me off, and I left my church to join the U.S.Army during Korea. The last time I entered a church to pray was Easter Sunday 1952 at Camp Kilmer N.J.

      I was assigned to Germany where I met a beautiful German girl who was fresh out of a Catholic girls school. We soon married and had three wonderful and beautiful children. Although we did do the bedtime prayers, at no time did we ever attend church unless it was for a funeral or similar event. Although we tried to teach our children right from wrong, we never tried to steer them away from religion. As a result, two of our children are Catholic and the other is Protestant. How serious they are about their faith is not important as long as they are loving-careing-law-abiding people that they are.

      Too many Americans, unlike the europeans that I have met while stationed in Germany, are obsessed with their religions to the point that their beliefs infringe on other people's freedoms i.e., they want THEIR religion in schools and government.

      If you want to worship a turnip, that's fine with me as long as you are a law abiding citizen and don't force/try to compel me to believe in your turnip.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:35 am |
  5. Bever

    There are good, honest and super people in this world...and awful, prejudiced and ignorant people in this world. Some will be religious and some not. Maybe more will be religious, just because religion dominates most cultures. But that has nothing to do with whichever said religion, just the nature of the person. Many will use religion as a means for their prejudice by twisting it around to agree with their prejudice, even though no religion actually dictates prejudice (well, except against woman maybe). Many who hold no religion will do the same. Religious people who attack that article, are just prejudiced and ignorant people who are scared of anything different from what they've been taught to believe (often not to what their religion dictates they behave). And it makes people of whichever religion look bad (ok, I know this is mainly about badly behaved Christians, but still can be attributed to most religions). I was raised living to Christian holidays...but there was no religion at home. I went to a church maybe 4 times in my life for special occasions for others. My parents were pretty, I don't know, I suppose agnostic at best. I probably relate best to Buddhism personally, but not wholly. I have raised my daughter to believe in herself and that only she is accountable for her behaviour. No repenting or asking forgiveness for her 'sins'. No one is going to magically repair any damage or mistakes she makes. She has to rate herself by her own action and not by any others or any other opinion (especially of her worth to any random man or judging herself by what any random man thinks of her). all that said, I respect those I know who find happiness in a religion. But they are not prejudiced by that religion. But it serves them a purpose for daily life and they are good, genuine people. And that's great. If my daughter find solace the same, that's fine, she will have found it by what seems good to her and not by force or subtle brainwash. ones by subtle brainwash, are often the ones who use it as a cover for their prejudice...even though the religion preaches acceptance and love! I like good, honest people with integrity. Only those who are ignorant and scared are so prejudiced and use their religion to back up their prejudice. And those people are the reason wars will go on and bigotry/prejudice will go on. And sadly we seem to be outnumbered by those folkes.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  6. Jonquil

    Our existence is thoroughly bizzare enough, that religious belief isn't much weirder than the strangeness of time and space beyond Earth; that we even exist, at all. But why can't we just let people be good, be themselves and continue believing (or not),while being open to share our experiences with, peacefully, with others? Why the violent desperation to judge or convert people? We're all in this, together. Why speak about morality out one side of our mouths, while cursing people out of the other? Let people be themselves. Be welcoming and gracious and more people might see your point of view.

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

      Ahh Jonquil, if only Religious people were all like you. Unfortunately, religion does not live and let live. All this bitterness of Atheists here probably has something to do with growing up and living in a society that constantly shoves the whole god hypothesis down our throats.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • aNeighbor

      Well stated. End result – love thy neighbor as thyself. If people need a religion to get to that result, then religion served a purpose. “The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.” – Chaung-Tzu

      January 20, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  7. 10101010

    I actually agree with her, but her best answer for her kids would have been to tell them the truth. " I DO NOT KNOW!" SHOULD HAVE BEEN HER ANSWER! I you do not believe in a God it is ok. For the Universe to exist there does not have to be a God. What created of Universe is GRAVITY! This is the most correct answer as of now. In the future there may be a better explanation.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • octopeanut

      There is a better answer – Jesus created the Universe. He did it on a shoe-string budget too.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      'I dont know' would have left the door open for the creationist..... Maybe we dont know EXACTLY how it all happened...but we have a pretty good theory... which you hit upon... A super mass comes together ...once heat and gravitational forces reach a certain point things go critical + a big bang happens...a theory ( i forget who) is that there are many collection points thoughout the universe...hense our increasing exceleration away from ground zero of the Big Bang..we are going to be collected up agin in a different mass.... is this correct? i dont know ... but it makes sense to me and follows the physical laws we know.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:53 am |
  8. Geo

    I am a greek orthodox I was raised this way,by my mother who was taught by her mother , Iam 45 years old and certainly understand freedom of speech and freedom of faith including the non believers( athiests) I got no issue with people in their choice of faith or non for that matter , Just as much as I dont like athiest getting in my face and saying theres no God I too dont like the bible pushers who try to force their way and beliefs neither are good , personally believ there is a higher power and dont believ in this science theory !

    Just because a few smart intelectual types start teaching the " big bang theory " doesnt mean its true! where are the facts
    ? and dont tell me they have facts !! who is they ? the scientist who want to make you believe them ? sorry I cant and dont want to accept that ! Do I believe everything the Bible says / Thats a great question , to be honest I question some of the writings not because it sound ludacrist , but because just like a rumor starts and then travels through time and thousands of peoples mouths something changes , so to answer my own question yes I am a lil skeptical about some of the scriptures
    but I believe there is a God ( higher power) do I know what God looks like , absolutely not all I know is I want to believe and as a father I want to teach my kid to believe in God , if the mother of this article whole heartly believes theres no God then power to her " JUST DO ME AND ALL US BELIEVERS A FAVOR KEEP UR BELIEFS TO YOURSELF"!!!! YOUR DOING THE EXACT SAME THING AS THAT LADY WHO KEPT CALLING YOU AND SAYING SHE PRAYS FOR YOU !!

    January 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      Your theory then, is to get in people's faces and tell shout at them not to get in your face and shout?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      If you don't want to know, why ask?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Jill

      Geo, DON'T OBFUSCATE THE PRIMARY PRENUPTUALS WITH RASBERRIES. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, RABBITS MAY DESCEND ON YOUR LEFT NOSTRIL. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      AND REMEMBER, NEVER PASS UP AN OPPORTUNITY TO WATCH AN ELEPHANT PAINT MOZART.

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

      Something tells me if you can't understand where to go to find the facts about the big bang theory, you won't understand the facts if I presented them to you.

      Here, I'll give you a start. Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation. Vacuum Polarization. M Theory.

      Any of those should give you decent start into the evidence for the Big Bang. Lemme know if you can't do that math.

      Enjoy your reading!

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

      Every time I read one of Jill's posts, something new and inspiring is added...I adore her!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Bob

      Akira, I tried mentally imaging some of the stuff in Jill's posts and I couldn't continue because I was laughing so hard. Whatever she's on, I want some.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Those intellectuals didnt just pull the big bang from under their hat.... it is the best theory we have atm... scientific theories are arrived at though observation, experimentation..and More observation....It may be refined down the road, It could change ... but even if elements of it prove incorrect, it will have helped advance us closer to the orgins...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Akira

      Bob, don't envision...just let Jill's words was over you ever so gently...she is the perfect antidote for bloviating pontification!
      She is most excellent, and very, very funny!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      Where are the facts? Science is built on observations. You can make many of those observations yourself, if you wish.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Alias Maybe

      Ah yes but you read this article, you responded, and you asked questions! So you have an open mind which is great. We all should be so.

      Though I'm not a scientist, and nor do I know if God exists or not, I do have trust that the Big Bang Theory is based on more than just a few intellectuals saying so. As a general rule, I trust science. It is what keeps me safe when crossing a bridge, sends rockets to the moon, saves my mom from dying of diabetes...the list goes on. So yeah, when a gigantic number of scientists converge over time with evidence, I tend to trust it. At least more than a story passed across thousands of years by people.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  9. Devoted Christian

    Have fun roasting in hell, atheists, while we devoted christians enjoy the eternal company of such lovable characters as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Terry Jones!

    January 20, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Akira

      I see what you're doing...and it amuses me greatly.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Jill

      Now THAT is funny.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Dr. Strange

      LOL, that was awesome. Thanks, Devoted Christian!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      LMAO:))

      January 20, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • pbmk

      I myself Belive That There is something after death what I don't Belive In, Is The People Preaching It, Like All Of The Prists That Are Raping Young Boys Then On Sunday Cursing Us For Our Sins...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Domine

      Devoted- Do you in your loving ways believe that all non-christians should burn in hell? Well if there is one, ill see you there.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • fed up atheist

      you know what im sick and tired of you religious people that say we (atheist's) are damned to the fiery pits of hell for not believing in "god". Just because we do not believe in God or Jesus does not mean we are going to hell, you judgmental bible thumpers are the ones that are making your spot in your so called "hell", for judging people with different beliefs than you. Like doesn't your bible tell you not to judge others for their beliefs??? Then why is it every time I read an article , hear somebody on the street, ect, talking about religion and they find out im not a believer, I am told that I am going to hell for what I don't believe in!!! Hell, majority of the people I've encountered that were hard core believers were actually horrible people. the type that beat their children for not making good grades, or coming home late on a school night, or my personal favorite, QUESTIONING THEIR BELIEFS!!!!! I think it is foolish to belittle people because of what they believe in. Ever since I was little I felt something was wrong with organized religion, than growing up and seeing how people are treated for not being a part of some kind of religion, by religious people, it makes me not want anything to do with it. I am not bashing anybody its just that im tired of seeing and hearing these people bash up on me and others because we don't believe in the same thing you believe in!!! Come on we are all people and we are stuck here on this rock till the day whatever happens, happens. So lets make the most of it and live in peace and harmony, together......

      January 20, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  10. Gateway

    Religion is a personal aspect in one's life. Many have a need to believe that a god exists and there are many that consider the belief in god is a crutch. For most of my life I accepted that there was a god. However, in the last forty years that has changed, I realize I have never experienced a god and felt I was deluding and lying to myself about god's existence. I read newspapers, listen to T.V. and the constant barrage of reports of man's inhumanity to man I say there is no god. If there is a god, he surely has no interest in humans, why should he?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  11. Rogue351

    I agree with this woman 100% why do others have to force their beliefs on everyone else. Why isn't religion a personal thing that you share only with your family. Why does it need to be spread even to those who don't want it ? It is a choice and it should be a personal choice. If you choose to believe or not to believe it is NO ONE's business but yours. You should not be discriminated against either way. However more often than not it is the believers discriminating against the none believers because they feel it is their job to spread the word even if it is not wanted. And who is it that discriminates against gay people ? Again the believers. Whatever happened to live and let live. If you want to teach your children about god, santa, the easter bunny do it on your own time. in your own home and keep it out of schools. Schools should be teaching math, science, history, etc. Separation of church and state. It is easy, or it use to be before the rabid baptist, evangelicals and over bearing Mormons placed this badge of honor to convert the whole would on their sleeve. Leave people alone, if a person asks about your religion tell them. If they don't then assume they don't want to hear about it. Keep your religion to yourself. If you want to pray before a meal do so. If you want to wash your feet 75 times a day it is up to you. But keep it to yourself. Your relationship with god is between you and god. Not between your employer and god or your co workers and god. It is your right to practice religion. You do not have the right to expect everyone feel exactly the same. You do not have the right to hire or not hire based on religion. Keep it to yourself.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  12. JesusNotReligion

    "Whoever calls upon the name of LORD (JESUS NOT RELIGION) will be saved" Romans 10:13
    "If you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" Romans 10:9

    Hey Tom, Tom...I see you joined the fun just when it started to heat up...I hope you and your husband will repent and believe...but that might cost you your side jobs as professional bloggernaut's for CNN.
    Let's see...Jesus or CNN's atheist blog?...Jesus or CNN's atheist blog? Hmmm! Who should we serve? I've got a feeling CNN's atheist blog will win the day, but I will continue to pray otherwise – for both of you!
    Good night...JesusNotReligion
    p.s. Please check for typos and make all necessary corrections – We wouldn't want to waste that Journalism degree, would we?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • james

      you're a f****** idiot. Jesus is in the bible. The bible IS religion. It's all bull**** and I know what you're trying to do, trying to turn your bull**** religion into a love story/relationship. I'm here to tell you there is no such thing as god or the supernatural or paranormal. Stop being an idiot.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Akira

      Tom, Tom has a fan.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      james...You deserve a reply worthy of your age: I'm rubber, you're glue...whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you! Or, to put it in Biblical terms: You will reap what you sow...and...The words of your own mouth will condemn you. Good night! JesusNotReligion...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Akira...Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son has found a place in my heart, despite her (and her husband's) rantings herein. I have been forgiven much more than I would care to share (especially with those who would mock me for being so honest and transparent), so how could I not have forgiveness in my heart? - especially for those who remind me of myself in my "B.C." days so long ago? Although, the difference between myself and her (she and me?...her and me?) is her obsessive compulsive behavior when it comes to grammar...ahahaha! Good night...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Akira

      Tom, Tom's husband posts here, too?
      Under what name?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Akira...Tom, Tom, the other one...IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN...Though I certainly could be...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Bob Bales

      James: Why is it that someone is an idiot if they don't believe as you do?

      January 20, 2013 at 2:12 am |
  13. Devoted Christian

    Han shot first, you hellbound atheist deniers!

    January 20, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      Believers and non-believers alike know that Han shot first. The Anti-Jedi, George Lucas seeks to deceive us.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  14. Ephie

    Religion is the biggest hoax in history. It allows people to take advantage of the masses.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Yuppers... I think it was Napoleon that said the only thing that kept the poor from slaughtering the rich was religion.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Rogue351

      And they do so every single chance they get. They promise something that no one can prove. No one is going to come back from the dead and complain it was all a hoax. They have the perfect money making racket. Bad part is they are making so much money no days they want to control more and more. Listen to Pat Roberson for about 10 minutes and any normal, sane person would know without a doubt that this guy is a 100% fraud. But some need something to believe it so badly they will do anything. And that is fine if it helps them sleep at night. Where I have a problem is when they want to impose their rules and beliefs on me. Sadly that is becoming more the norm.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Domine

      You would enjoy reading Friedrich Neitschze's on the Genealogy of Morals. It explains just how religion seeks to keep the weak down.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Attempts to support claims of the existence of God by appealing to anything that we can observe or believe on the basis of evidence fail. The sad failures of the apologists and exegesists come from trying to prop up a God that either does not exist or does not present itself as an existent being grounded in reality. I'm most impressed when people make a simple claim that they have had a direct and, to them, unequivocal encounter with something that can be nothing other than God. I admit the possibility that they are not wrong. Some claim that they have an ongoing close and personal relationship with God. They may not be insane or lying. There's at least a chance that they are honest people, unlike the ones who try to argue from appeals to authority and pretzel logic that God exists.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Devoted Christian

      Jesus will roast you eternally for using words with more than 2 syllables. Have fun roasting, heathen!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  16. JL Busher

    We Christians believe the Holy Bible tells us in Matthew 28th chapter, 18-20 verses to go into all nations and make disciples of all, and to Baptize them. Christ Jesus tells us this. Therefore I feel we must take our message to people outside our homes and
    churches. There are many thousands of Christian missionaries throughout the world bringing the word of God to unbelievers,
    and Christians will continue doing this until comes again. We really want to share our Christian beliefs with others,however they make the decision as to whether they want to hear and accept the message.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Then I hope you'll appreciate me leaving a copy of "God is not great' on your doorstep.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      JL Busher what is the difference between "believe" and "know for sure" what if your god did not want you to tell everyone about him?...what if he wanted to do it himself?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Fuel

      Busher,
      For a thousands of years we have been suffering your message daily, and the more we hear it more immoral, corrupt to the core, and down right evil it reveals itself to be.

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

      Or rather, I'll walk up to you and slap you with a copy of 'God is not great,' and hope the knowledge in the book is somehow magically transfixed in your brain, because trying to talk with a religious nut is like talking to a compost heap.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      And lord knows they won't read anything besides their book of myths.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Domine

      Your God is dead, and no one cares.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Alias Maybe

      Well no actually. There are plenty of Christian denominations who DO NOT believe you need to evangelize. These are denominations of equally religiously educated and devote people. Your particular narrow brand of Christianity is just that– no more than a sect. I for one get really tired of this sect of Christianity being both clueless about the rest of the world and their own religion.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:04 am |
  17. Mark Scherr

    Says the Gay Man...

    January 20, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  18. onemorehere

    Religion has cause us a great deal of pain and suffering but its need to bring order to our emotions and calm to the chaos we experience every day of our life.

    its a fact and true that emotions have cause a great deal of tragedy and suffering to as all...but with out emotions will be unaware of ourselves as human being we need religion cause it bring the best in us as well as painful emotional suffering when is not well undestood that when logic come in to bring order to emotional states of mind...where reason has to reason a better way to deal with all this pain emotions can create in all of us emotions are the most beuatiful feelings in the human mind yet they can too be painful to indure....Religion like emotions are part of what make us human and intime logic and reason bring the best of our discoveries with in science as imperical knowledge and proven fact at least for the time being just like math that show us the law of the universe and other things in our world...

    January 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • octopeanut

      a fact of emotion you missed is that without science we will be unaware of emotions because we need human religion cause it brings the worst of painful emotion as well as the best logical emotion of both states of emotion... where if reason has enough reason to be reason theres no reason that reason couldnt be emotion... and Religion like all emotion is therefore has enough reason to be reason... at least enough reason to be reasoning with the universe so new discoveries in reason can bring the univeral reasoning to math...

      January 20, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • onemorehere

      with out logic or reason we'd be unaware of emotions? like if science is what promotes religious belief the disire to know more is part of the awakining of reason or logic...yet becoming aware of emotions does not mean emotions weren't there first as is that religion is before science in the order it came to be a reality as is today....

      January 20, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  19. Sherrie

    This is kind of disturbing topic, however this is what I think as as christian, God is innate in each and everyone of us,whether we understand it or not, this sensation that we all feel but cannot explain is in our DNA, it is registered and we are fighting to try to understand it, but our brains are too small to get it even if we see the beauty of nature everyday. One person asked why there was a holocaust or any evil that we saw and see everyday, is that God can also get angry and get upset if we don't behave and we get punish for it, just like any parent get upset when children are not behaving, but it doesn't mean you don't love your kids. If He is the Creator, he can give, take away, or destroy anything He created as he wishes, maybe he has reason for everything as nature has its own natural selection. Let's enjoy the planet that is given to us and respect each other's life. After all we work for is meaningless.

    January 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Paul

      I wonder what those millions of Jews did to make god mad, so that they deserved to be punished in the holocaust.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Akira

      What if it's Allah in your DNA?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • tallulah13

      I'm sorry, Sherrie, but your emotional reactions are not god. They are created by processes in your brain. Very complex and amazing processes, but perfectly human and naturally evolved nonetheless.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 am |
  20. Kevin

    I find it incredibly ironic that she wants religion kept at home, where it belongs, and yet CNN and the rest of the Country seems to force the Gay agenda on everybody instead of keeping it at home, where it belongs. So as long as something doesn't infringe on you, it's OK I guess. Somebody openly saying they'll pray for you is offensive, but 2 men kissing in front of my children is OK, and to ask them to stop violates their rights? The hypocrisy of CNN and their attack on the modern majority family is absurd.

    January 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      So, you're saying being a christian is the same thing as being gay?

      January 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is the "Gay agenda" and how is it being forced upon you? I suspect your kids aren't nearly as verklempt about two men kissing as you are, you big baby. Pull up your big-boy panties and get over it.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Is anyone actively trying to convert you to Gayism? No? Then it's not ironic, it's bigotry.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      How would you "keep at home" a political issue like who will be allowed to legally marry and benefit from the associated inheretence, immigration and other rights? That's a public topic and discussing it "at home" would be as silly as keeping any other political discussion out of the press.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Sdr65

      To an extent that is unfortunate, as I know better intellectually, Kevin's reply leads me to my gut reaction on Christianity – or at least those who feel compelled to use it as a sword and shield, rather than staff of strength. All focused on the big, bad boogeyman – who somehow is always gay. Jeez, find another dead horse to beat, group to hate, or whatever it is you need to feel comfortable. Ugh. Totally destroying something that could be uplifting.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • iammerelyme

      And people like this are why I have to stay in the closet at work. I just wish people would quit giving a poo. If I like my fellow women better than I like men, then so be it I ain't hurting anyone. Love that doesn't harm another is not a sin. Hate is the only true sin

      January 20, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Elizabeth

      How is seeing 2 men kissing offensive? Wouldn't it be the same as a man and a woman kissing? Unfortunately, that statement just shows the skewed views you have. Yes, I agree that it is alright to raise children without religion and my children, while they know who God is, also know that they can make up their own minds about this. I also believe that it is alright to be straight or gay. And unless you are going to forbid straight couples from public displays of affection, you have no right to forbid gay couples from that same right. No one is forcing a Gay Agenda. They are just trying to assure equal rights for the same citizens of these same United States.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      I'm sorry that you are offended by equal rights, Kevin. It must be uncomfortable for you to be so intimidated by people who aren't exactly like you, especially in a country that it becoming rapidly accepting of those people. I'm sure you can find others who share your irrational fear. Just stay with them and continue to hate and let the rest of the world move on without you. Because it is moving on, and all your angry words can't stop it.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 am |
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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.