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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. Dave

    I do not belong to a particular religion. I have found that people that close their mind to any other set of beliefs are the most narrow minded. I would rather not bind myself to a particular dogma, and keep my mind as open as possible. This is not out of hate for religion. It is simply for the love of knowledge, discussion, and ideals.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Sounds like a good approach to life.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Brody James Richard Hilton

    Without God she couldn t even be an atheist~ ..
    i think peoples heads are too swell , now a days , THe imf and fed has constructed a prison break urself free ! Think

    January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Without evolution you can't be an evolution denier.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  3. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQorzOS-F6w&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  4. Short Horse

    Christians deny every God or Deity that humans have ever worshiped except one. Atheism just takes it one God further.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  5. :)

    Atheists sure are a sad and pathetic bunch.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      not compared to the snivelling, sycophant christians

      January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • chitola

      How many atheists do you know?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Joel

      That is a common misunderstanding about Atheists, a go-to idea that helps "believers" feel good about their faith. Atheists are in fact just as happy (or unhappy) as any non-Atheist. Living life without feeling any need or desire to worship is a wonderfully enlightening thing, and is easily accomplished while remaining moral and content. Atheists find their joy in reality, not fairy tales.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Many christians are content to believe lies about atheists. Accepting the fact that atheists are just as happy and moral as they are would put a dent in their feelings of christian superiority.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Wyatt

      It's terribly sad and pathetic to go through life, willfully ignoring the logical collapse of the Christian God argument.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  6. atunam

    I am a Catholic. I believe in God but not as a palliative or for the dessert called Heaven.

    It is possible, just as in love of other human beings, to have a relationship with God without the simplistic what do I get out of it. A mother does this with her children and a father for his family.

    I remember reading of a wonderful Jewish rabbi who did not believe in the resurrection. When asked why he lived a good life faithful to God if there was no reward in the afterlife, he answered, "Because God is God."

    January 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  7. Proof

    Everyone screaming "Prove it" cannot even prove they themselves exist. What if they are just a part of my own dream and I am the sole life form in all of existence? OMG – maybe THEY are dreaming the rest of us and THEY are the sole life form. 300 hundred (or so) years ago the world WAS flat. Just because something cannot be proven or disproven today does not mean it does not exist

    January 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • :)

      Agreed! Atheists will never admit it though.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Maya

      No, it doesn't prove it doesn't exist, but it does not change the fact that the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      No one has proven whether a god exists or doesn't but the Christian God HAS been proven false.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • hajoet

      and no one can disprove the flying speghetti monster either and that is why I believe in the great carbo one. Ramen

      January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      It doesn't make it true.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I don't believe things that can't be demonstrated. If I did I would be really gullible.

      Is that what you are advocating? Do you think it is a good idea to believe everything as "true" that has not been proven otherwise?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Maya

      By the way, you can't prove thay some "higher power" doesn't exist, but you can absolutely prove that no omnipotent god (such as the Christian one) exists It is actually quite easy. The logic can be understood by a child. Can God create an object so heavy that he cannot lift it? If so, he is not omnipotent because he can't lift the rock. If not, he is not omnipotent because he can't create the rock. No Christian has ever, as far as I know, answered this question satisfactorily (and saying that he can, but chooses not to is not a legitimate answer because you don't get to dictate God's choices). Legitimate theologians going back centuries have tried. The ability to totally deny the existence of that question is what truly amazes me about the religious mind. But whether you choose to acknowledge the question or not, it is there and it proves that your god cannot exist. So unless you can answer that question, don't even bother talking to me about your religion.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Perhaps we don't exist, but considering the physical evidence, I'm have no reason to believe we don't. But fantasy or real, the fact remains that there is no evidence to support the existence of any god. Therefore, it is not terribly logical to believe in one.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  8. Farid

    I may not be a Christian, but I respect all that Christians have brought to the history of the world. Imagine a world without all the billions of people inspired by Christian thought, from many the scientists who wanted to learn more about God and his working through nature to the political thinkers who were inspired that certain rights are God-given thus making men equal in front of God. Any who do not respect the contributions of Christians is ungrateful to the abudance gifts that are given to us today. A world without God, I daresay, would look much like the movie "The Book of Eli" where the strong would enslave the weak, the rich would oppress the poor, and the fortunate would look down on the disabled.

    I think most of our atheist freinds confuse a the history of Christians with the history of the Catholic Church which are two very different things. Everybody, atheists included, worship something (i.e. puts something at the center of their lives). For some, it is money, othersi it is fame, or possessions, or family. Many so-called religious people have long ago stopped putting God first but have instead started worshipping "the church" . Putting God first means putting principles first, religious men throughout history have always put principles first (truth, justice, courage, etc), church worshippers have always put their dogma first over principles. There is a big difference.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • visitor

      One does not need God to put principals first.

      All you do is, put principals first. That is a choice we have. God or no god.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • :)

      Agreed! I'd love to see the atheists response to this. My guess is that most of the atheist trolls on here won't reply because they choose not to look at truth and history, instead they manipulate everything to fit into their "Christianity is all bad, all bad things in the world are the result of Christianity/religion" worldview. Their view is wildly inaccurate and it's laughable.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • lol??

      If you put the principals first how many teachers can carry? Is he arbitrary?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Farid

      Visitor– it is true that one may try to live by principles without believing in God, but I submit that it would be very, very, difficult to do so. First, why would one faithfully follow a principle unless he believed that it is somehow in his best interest to do so. One may believe, I will be honest because then others will be honest to me, but that would be unrealistic. It would be more realistic to be honest because the world is set up so that honesty will eventually be rewarded, and if the world is set up that way, you must ask why is it set up that way, which is the basis for religion.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • The Inquisitions

      Psst...keep your voice down.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Warren Jeffs

      I'm with you brother.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Wow

      Tom, tom, the pipers son,

      Care to address the original post above? I doubt it since it would admit some truth on your part.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • ScottA

      The Southern Baptist church was created because they believed it was their right to OWN slaves because the god in the bible sanctioned it. Why do you think the south fought so hard in the civil war. So right there I know for a fact that the bible and its teaching. Why would a just and loving god allow such an atrocity as slavery.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Catholic Church pedophilia cover up

      Shhh.....

      January 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • The Crusades

      Anyone got a broom and rug I can borrow?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Huh?

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I would agree that the Christian religion has made many contributions, and further that there have been times in history in which it was a n.et positive force. This is history, however, and much like ether once served a role in anesthesia that is no longer warranted, Christianity appears to have served its time as an organizing and intellectual force.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • loadnabox

      Christianity didn't give us science. Science evolved DESPITE the church (Galileo anyone?) THere's hundreds of examples of how and why.

      All Christianity is evolved from the Catholic church. Like it or not you cannot divest yourself of that (Nicene Councils) To have any Christian faith first you must use the New Testament which was carefully structured to fit the teachings of The Church with anything contrary being burned. While the Protestant Church is in of itself a particular faith, any non-Catholic faith is a protestant offshoot of Catholicism.

      Lastly, you equate a persons' top priority to worship. This is a specious argument worship from the very definition requires that you deify the subject of worship. I put my wife and daughter first, I don't pray to them daily, and I certainly don't think they (or I) am a God.

      Don't try to twist up the words "Well priority actually means worship because... blah blah" That becomes an argument of semantics, not actual substance. Call it what you will, for the practical use of the words priority and worship, they are two very different things.

      Christians find it hard to understand this concept because from an early age, they have been taught that "God = Your Priority", which is fine if that's what you want, but never are given the counter-balancing point "your priority != Your God"

      January 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • visitor

      farid, because I believe goodness does not beg for a reward.

      Now, I will not say that many people don't need fear to not be the types of people who drag society down or are greedy or even evil.

      But from that standpoint..a set of religious rules serves to keep society on a less chaotic path. That is much like government control, but not forced as would be with a government (as long as religion doesn't get mixed up with the government).

      But there are a lot of us know don't need that and moreover, find many tenets of religion downright hideous. When has any major religion EVER been good for female freedom?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Farid

      Dear Huh?
      You make some interesting comments with your "mirror neurons" theory. If true, it only proves that we are all connected together in ways that we still scarcely yet understand. Since man had no theories about neuro-science thousands and thousands of years ago, we had no way to scientifically understand why we felt connected, but we felt it in ourselves. . But, instead of calling them "mirror neurons", they called it "conscience". You can call them "mirror neurons" or conscience, but either way it was put there to help us follow our "better angels". I'm also sure sometime in the future they will find some neurons that make torturing others pleasureable, which may be called the "devil neuron". We are still free to either follow that conscience or to completely ignore it, as attested throughout history.

      The difference between my belief in God or your non-belief, is that I feel humans were given the opportunity to choose, while your non-belief theories will eventually bring everything down to an equation, taking all of the decision to choose out of our hands. Almost like "The Matrix" for all of your sci-fi fans. Either way, The "invisible hand" of God has and always will be at work.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Farid

      Dear Visitor,
      If you can live your life of core principles of justice, truth, courage, and patience without faith, then I commend you because you are a better man than I am. I am constantly tested to try to maintain optimisim in a very cynical world living life by the code I believe in and without my faith, I would definitely have given up trying to continually live up to my ideals.

      Dear Loadnobox,
      As I said before, I am not a Christian, but I do respect the contributions Christians have made throughout the ages. Again, you continually confuse Christian inspiration with the Catholic Church or any other church. But if you really go back and study scientific achievements, from Medicine, to Mathematics, to Genetics, you will see that men of Faith, Christians, Jews, and Muslims gave us incredible advancements that help us enjoy the fanatastic living standard we enjoy today.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Farid

      You said, "Imagine a world without all the billions of people inspired by Christian thought, from many the scientists who wanted to learn more about God and his working through nature to the political thinkers who were inspired that certain rights are God-given thus making men equal in front of God."
      Science flourished in spite of christianity, not because of it.

      You said, "Any who do not respect the contributions of Christians is ungrateful to the abudance gifts that are given to us today."
      Whatever good they may have brought doesn't eliminate or offset the bad. No religion is needed to do good, and there is no better excuse than religion for bad.

      Any progress made by christians, would have come about via some other group, if christians hadn't dominated western culture for almost 2 millenia.

      You said, "A world without God, I daresay, would look much like the movie "The Book of Eli" where the strong would enslave the weak, the rich would oppress the poor, and the fortunate would look down on the disabled."
      That is just your imagination. If you look at history, and the effects of religion on it, you'll see that the scenario you paint is pretty close to what actually happened. At the hand of religions.

      You said, "I think most of our atheist freinds confuse a the history of Christians with the history of the Catholic Church which are two very different things."
      Almost every branch of christianity, all 38,000 of them, are offshoots of the catholic church.

      You said, "Everybody, atheists included, worship something (i.e. puts something at the center of their lives). For some, it is money, othersi it is fame, or possessions, or family."
      I cherish my family and friends, but I worship nothing.

      You said, "Putting God first means putting principles first,"
      No, it means putting a figment of your imagination (or that of someone else) first. It means placing trust in ancient writings of ignorant men, without applying even so much as common sense, to evaluate whether it is rational. It means abandoning reason in favor a delusion.

      You said, "religious men throughout history have always put principles first (truth, justice, courage, etc)"
      Often only if it advanced their own goals.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Farid,

      "The difference between my belief in God or your non-belief, is that I feel humans were given the opportunity to choose"

      I agree that at least in my case this distinction is true. While I use the word "choose" I suspect I mean something very different from that than you do. I think further that my conception of how the mind works, and just what are the limits of choice, is more consistent with the understanding of modern psychology. It is in fact a commonly poorly understood fact that this modern vs ancient understanding of how the mind works is one of the most common differences between god believers and non-believers, at least in the Christian tradition.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  9. TheRationale

    It's embarrassing that grown adults still believe in Christianity and other religions. Good for this mom who's got some sense in her.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • JustTheFax

      So typical of a narrow mind. "See it my way or you're screwed up." Yep, so typical.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • loadnabox

      @JusttheFAx

      That's ironic considering the reaction of some Christians to my nieces that have never been to a service much less baptized

      "Oh my God! Those poor Children! I'll pray for them daily and send a letter to their parents begging they start bringing the kids to Church!"

      That's an actual reaction I have witnessed...

      Think about it... if you begin to feel a sting, you understand, if you don't feel a sting of irony, you need to keep thinking about it

      January 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  10. Domenick

    The most bogged kids I know come from religious families. I do believe in God. I think

    January 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Roger that

      'I think' doesn't cut it. 'I think' will get you sent to hell for eternity by the god that loves you so much that he's willing to torture you for eternity just to prove it.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  11. Charles Manteghi

    Trying to influence our children to believe in a faith or no faith at all can be considered brainwashing either way. What may be the important fact is that the children grow up and will question the reasons for their existence all their lives as we all have done. The human society has been going through stages of progression since the beginning of times and has seen technological transformations and advances beyond expectations. In contrast the spiritual part of us has lagged behind by not taking the needed steps to grow in harmony with our technological growth. One particular reason for that is our insecurity with abandoning the past, letting go of the cliffhanger not knowing how far we may fall. Faith has also been an inheritance handed down from parents and has become a matter of ritualistic practices of irrelevant fanatical set of beliefs. In reality a faith is meant to enhance and be a positive contribution to our ever advancing technological growth. Faith will always remain as a necessary component and needs to be just as progressive as all other ongoing aspects of our lives. By investigating more up to date progressive religions on the internet, I am confident one will find one that might be the answer to all questions we may have in a language that is more in tune with the way we all like to speak in today' world.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • seaann

      Charles, If you are searching for the truth. First step is to humble yourself, pour your heart out to the Creator of This Universe ask HIM" let Him know that you are searching for Him. Psalms 65:2 " Hearer of Prayers"
      Second Step: Pray again.
      Third Step: Pray again
      Finally: For God has looked down from heaven itself upon the sons of men to see if their is anyone having insight any one seeking Jehovah" Psalms 53:2.
      http://www.jw.org look and see!! Much success my friend!!

      January 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  12. Reddit

    Join REDDIT.com and be a part of the new age

    January 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Isn't that something you put in yer shoes?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  13. lol??

    A&A's will tell you how smart they are. Why didn't one of them design a working hang glider say, 250,000 years ago?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If your religion is so smart why hasn't it ceated a working anything.....ever?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  14. End Religion

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • seaann

      Bible prophecy soon to be fulfilled: All False religion is going to go. Revelation 18:8,9,10 do not worry it is going to happen not at man's hand but Jehovah God's.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  15. bookish

    I am an atheist. Please don't pray for me. Please don't tell my child she is going to Hell. Please don't try to convert her when she is visiting your house, I would never do that to your children. Please do not continually invite me to your Bible discussion groups, or my child to your youth group, when I say I do not share your beliefs please understand that I meant it. Please let me openly discuss my beliefs as you do, without attack. Please look for the goodness in the people around you, despite the fact that they might disagree, Do not judge me, I understand that is against your religious beliefs and against what is needed in a tolerant peaceful society.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • JustTheFax

      Please know that all that believe do not behave in the manner that you describe. As a matter of fact, you don't need religion to believe.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • :)

      I'll pray for you bookish.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • lol??

      You're tellin' the wrong people. Just write it down and hand em a note for starters.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I hope you don't run into these folks too often. I've lived all around the US and I think I meet someone who tries to share their religion with me at most once every 5 or 10 years. I understand this happens, but if it's an overwhelming issue I'd very much recommend moving...some neighborhoods are just to whacky.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • seaann

      Bookish, most people are Atheists because of all of the mess they have seen in false religion.

      These churches with their pagan practices do not and I say do not represent the Creator of mankind. (Genesis 1:1)
      They are doing to be destroyed.Revelation 18:8,9,10. The problem is you have not reached out to the Creator of The Universe.
      All you have to do is look at our beautiful earth and know an intelligent being created it. Everything is in order except mankind and we are seeing the result of what man has done to the environment.Revelation 11:18 " and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth"

      This earth has a purpose and is here forever, Isaiah 45:18 &

      Psalms 104:5" He has founded the earth upon its established places;It will not be made to totter to time indefinite or forever."
      www:jw.org gives some insight.

      The best to you my friend.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  16. Marcel 1

    It seems to me that whatever religion a person decides to commit to, he or she in fact condemns all other people for not believing as they do. I believe that is wrong. I believe in positive forces in this universe,regardless of what you believe, if its negative its not GODLY, positive, or right. It doesn't take much thought to know what's right and wrong, unless you have been brainwashed to believe that only YOUR religion or beliefs are in fact universal law! I'd hate to be you when death knocks on your door and you find out your wrong. All this Religion just causes more death and destruction. Bombs for GOD, Gold, wealth I don't think so.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  17. Kevin

    I often look at the fantastic world around us with plants , living things , etc and wonder how it all came about. It is mind boggling to try to rationalize how it all began. Not just earth but everything in space. Perhaps there is a force of some kind out there but I don't believe that force tells us to where our hair a certain way , wear these clothes, etc. etc. That is the problem I have with organized religion. I can believe in some type of force as it were but I don't need to prove that anyone else by participating in all these manmade rituals etc. I don't steal, lie , cheat .etc because it is the right way to treat others and not because I think it will help a non-existent soul go to a non-existent place.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • seaann

      Kevin you are correct! about our planet it is designed by the Creator. Just remember this. True & False. These churches do no represent the Creator of this Universe.

      keep searching and praying. " Psalms 53:2 " as for God He has looked down from heaven itself upon the sons of men, to see if anyone is having insight anyone seeking Jehovah."

      www:jw.org search

      The Best to you my Friend!!!

      January 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  18. Wow

    Tom, tom

    How are you on here at all hours of the day? What do you do for a living? I see that you comment literally ever day and at all hours. I find it hard to believe that anyone who has a life could post as much as you do. Are you sitting in your mothers basement as we speak?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • JustTheFax

      It would also require yourself to be on here quite a bit to know if some one else is on here quite a bit. Just sayin'.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, it's another little dweeb who is so dumb he reveals himself as someone who checks to see when others are here and when they're not.

      Why would you care and how is it you are on here to check?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Wow

      Tom

      Why not just answer the question? I think I know....

      Is it cold in your mother's basement?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      You should know by now TTPS eats religious folks for a living. She is on God's payroll, here to test your faith. That's how twisted your god is. I am here to scoop up whatever scraps TTPS leaves behind. The Almighty pays us well with your tithes.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Wow

      It's not hard to figure out when I pop on here every few days to glance through comments and your name shows up on nearly every article and on nearly every page no matter the hour of day or night. You're sick and obsessed. Please see a doctor.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      My mother's basement is in a house that was sold just before she died, you moron. I am typing in my nice, warm home office in my nice, warm suburban house. I most certainly have a job, and have had one for over 30 years. I don't have to work at it on Sunday, but I probably will do so when I get bored with poking at idiots like you.

      Why not answer my question, boob? Why do you care and how is it you know when I am or am not here unless you're here to look?

      By the way, why are you posting under yet another new moniker? Too embarrassed by your previous failures to do so under you other names?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Wow

      I justbthink you need help for your addiction.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No need. If you're concerned about obsession, honey, I suggest you consult a doctor, though. I can't imagine why you would be scrolling through comments and checking to see how often anyone's posting.

      If you're OCD, I hear they have medication that can help you.

      What other names have you posted under, Wow?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you ever had a thought, Wow, it would be a miracle. What other names have you used here?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Wow

      I see you're a conspiracy theorist, too. Please get help before you go all sandy Hook on us.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Wow

      Nice one tommy tom. What other monikers do you use?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Wow

      Tom,

      I also use the monikers: hippypoet, endreligion, chuckles, reality.

      Does that answer your question?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      None. And that's why you are posting your silly query for the umpteenth time under yet a different name. You are on here just as often as anyone else, but you're such a troll you use a different name every time. I don't feel any need to hide my ident ity and pretend. That you do speaks volumes about your own hypocrisy.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Brad

      She always changes to another moniker when the going gets tough or someone usurps here name, but she's pretty much a common fixture around here.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Uh huh. And what other names do you imagine I use, Brad? Post them.

      As for you, Wow, you're on here constantly with your spam. You're here fussing now because I handed you your ass on another topic and you're all butt-hurt now.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      Who doesn't use the moniker Reality? Even I've used that one.

      Signing off from my Mom's basement.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you're using mine. How desperate are you?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Brad

      Several monikers post mean-spirited and worthless trash identical to yours. If they aren't you, then you just disappear when you get flummoxed.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. If you can't post the names, it's okay. I figured you had nothing.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Wow

      Trash is right. She and her other monikers come on here and insult people constantly with little or no worthwhile content. Somehow that makes here think she is winning. In fact it makes her look like the juvenile 15 year old she probably is. I hope she doesn't really have the AR-15 and other guns she said once that she owns.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Akira

      Tom, Tom has another fan, I see.
      Keep up the good work!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      I see the senseless wonder, Brad, is back from out of no where. Curiouser and curiouser...

      January 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Akira

      Trolls like Tom, Tom develop a following these days rather than being banned as in the old days.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you'd ever actually read my posts, child, you'd know that I am in favor of a ban on future sales of assault-type weapons.

      But I can understand that your real issue is that I embarrassed you at some point and you're just p issed off about it.

      Go ahead and cry about it if it makes you feel better.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Zippity Doo Dah

      Actually, they're all from an online atheist organization. They call people here from other online forums, especially when they need to make it look like the whole world agrees with them. I think they truly believe they are changes peoples' beliefs, which is why they are here. Many atheists don't agree with their militant tactics.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • .

      "Wow" who degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      January 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • .

      Add "Zippity Doo Dah" degenerates to the list....

      January 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So Wow recalls my having posted something about owning a gun, huh? What an idiot. I don't own any guns. Since you seem to follow my writing so fanatically, Wow, go find the post and cite it.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • .

      "Trash is right. She and her other monikers come on here and insult people constantly with little or no worthwhile content. Somehow that makes here think she is winning. In fact it makes her look like the juvenile 15 year old she probably is. I hope she doesn't really have the AR-15 and other guns she said once that she owns."

      pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      Zippity, why would posted "god does not exist" be any more "militant" than posting "god exists"? Are all Christians militant?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  19. musicoxygensl

    Atheists are the most hypocritical people on the face of the planet. They despise our Father in Heaven, and all the while do to their children what they despise God for. In your atheist philosophy, you shouldn't endeavor to tell your children how to live; you should make no rules for them, and shouldn't care if they run after what you would consider dangerous or "evil" , you should just birth them, and let them go off on their own. That's how you think that the God of creation should be, that he shouldn't care for us; and the fact that He does care for us enough to lay down some ground rules for our protection, displeases you, so you say you don't believe in him and then, hypocritically shove YOUR theories down the throats of believers. Christians are hypocrites? No, not true Christians, but everything that you say is very judgmental and hypocritical, yet you say that it is your wish that Humans would just be good to one another; let's see YOU lead by example and stop slandering your fellow man because of HIS beliefs then.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      get a clue, d-bag. atheists cannot despise something in which they do not believe.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      speaking of hypocritical, good to see your example of christian love.

      now, boy, go home and get your shinebox and let adults talk

      January 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Point proven: Slander, Aaaaand...slander

      January 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not slander, you ass. It's accurate. You're a troll who's spamming your idiocy and you don't like it when someone tells you you're full of crap? Tough toenails, Irving.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Wow

      Amen music, cheers and God bless :)

      As you can see, atheists will never admit to their astounding hypocrisy.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      "can't despise something in which they do not believe" I don't believe in atheism, and I despise it. I don't believe in Santa Claus, and I despise the fact that it's a part of Christmas. I don't believe in Witchcraft, but I despise it. If you don't believe in Christianity, why do you find in necessary to so vehemently oppose it?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't believe atheism exists?

      Because that's what you really said, dummy.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • JWT

      The only difference between most atheists and most christians is that the atheists do not believe in any gods.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Your Father in Heaven? How can you prove this? We do not need your God or your religion to guide our children, in fact we guide our children away from your harmful ideologies.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Kevin

      What so-called atheists despise is people like you telling them what to think. Most people who define themselves as atheists don't belong to some group of like minded people with an atheist's doctrine then they become somewhat of a religion. It is simply a term to describe a way of thinking not an organized group.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Make false and damaging statements about (someone).
      The definition of slander ... or would you prefer defamation of character? Either way, it is the only thing that your small minds can come up with. You regurgitate what you've heard from other people because you're too lazy to read anything for yourself and make an intelligent argument based on facts that you, yourself have learned. You sit here in your arrogance, thinking that you know what the Bible says from the few things you've heard other people speak. Your ignorance will be your end, and I pity you that you think your thoughts are higher than God's. You can call me all the names that you want, it is God you are opposing. Are you angry because I have found enough humility in myself to submit myself to the King of kings? You obey your president, don't you? You obey police officers and the written law of the land, just because I have endeavored to follow a bigger law, and one that is more powerful than the laws of men, shouldn't make you so jealous that you feel the need to belittle, because you can follow it too once you lay down your foolish pride.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      It has been proven (factual verifiable) that atheists and agnostics know more about the Bible than the believers do. Proven, fact.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      music, are you still upset your lies were pointed out pages ago?
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/18/godless-mom-strikes-a-chord-with-parents/comment-page-57/#comments

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • visitor

      What a ugly post. You are a poster child for why people are turning from religion.

      People don't despise a heavenly father, they don't HAVE one to despise.

      Why are people like you so closed-minded? I will never understand the deeply closed mind. It is really horrifying to watch. It does explain how evil works in Humanity. Arrogant men, and the women who can't bear to cross them.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Did you come up with your thoughts all by yourselves? Or is it something that you heard while growing up? You were not born with the thoughts in your head of disbelieving in God, they were put there by men. Men fail, constantly, yet you continue to believe their empty words. At least I come from a place of understanding; as I struggled with my belief in God for years, I come from both sides, but refuse to give disbelief any merit, because in My life, God is real, and has proven himself real. I understand that the world screams loudly and that it is hard to hear God's still small voice among the noisiness of the world, but it is there, if you care to push your own arrogant thoughts aside long enough to listen.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Answering questions about misunderstood phenomena by claiming absolute knowledge of magic forces at work is great for providing superficially satisfying answers. It is also great for experiencing unwavering confidence about those superficial answers. It has no proven track record at all when it comes to finding answers that are reliable in the long term." – Russell Glasser

      January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Vad

      I read an article a while back about how atheists only compromise 2 percent of the population yet have such a heavy presence on these blogs. I wonder if it is because their atheism is not filling some void in their life and they try to fill it by making crude remarks about those who don't share their beliefs. It is really sad.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • ss

      no one has a personal vendetta against that which you venerate as god, atheists are seeking out the truth regardless of whether or not that makes you question your own world view. atheists base their conclusions on evidence, not blind dogma. you want to stay deluded, then stay deluded, but the moment you try to start legislating your religion on me, we're going to have a big serious problem.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      you start out by calling atheists hypocrites and then complain about slander?

      fvck you. walk in front of a bus

      January 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      "can't despise something in which they do not believe" I don't believe in atheism, and I despise it.

      of course you believe in atheism, because you know that atheists exist.

      i am comforted that not all christians are as stupid as you

      January 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Vad

      No, we are disgusted at your blatant stupidity and your type pushing agendas based on your ignorance. We know more about your religion, your so called God and your Bible then you do. We don't accept beliefs on faith, we question and what we find out when we question that your belief is so off the charts it is downright disturbing.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • End Religion

      @music: "Atheists are the most hypocritical people on the face of the planet."

      Hypocritical, such as professing one's religion is about love and tolerance while it's book of rules commands the death gays? What is hypocritical about not believing in imaginary creatures?

      ***
      "They despise our Father in Heaven"

      There is no such person. It is difficult and impossible for me personally to hate imaginary creatures.

      ***
      "In your atheist philosophy"

      There is no philosophy to it, rock star. You assert an imaginary creature exists. We say 'I don't buy it."

      ***
      "you shouldn't endeavor to tell your children how to live; you should make no rules for them, and shouldn't care if they run after what you would consider dangerous or "evil" , you should just birth them, and let them go off on their own."

      What kind of horrible parent are you? Why wouldn't our children have rules of conduct established by us? You're aware even monkeys have moral values, right? Morals are any society's construct for survival, plus natural tendencies, plus environment. It isn't that difficult to comprehend.

      ***
      "That's how you think that the God of creation should be, that he shouldn't care for us;"

      Wait... I think I see the problem. We mistook you for having at least enough intelligence to understand an atheist doesn't believe in god, therefore we don't "want" that god to act any given way. Should we credit you for the smarts to understand this or not, Goldilocks?

      ***
      "and the fact that He does care for us enough to lay down some ground rules for our protection, displeases you"

      The bible is manmade. The rules in it come from man, to help control a relatively wild populace.

      ***
      "so you say you don't believe in him and then, hypocritically shove YOUR theories down the throats of believers."

      What is hypocritical about sharing our views? You're here on a public blog to share views. Also, your god commands you to proselytize as a virtue. is it not virtuous for us to share our values as well? Please don't say 'no' since that would be literally hypocritical of you.

      ***
      "Christians are hypocrites?"

      Most are resoundingly hypocritical. Even the nice ones. How many times a day do people lie?

      You judged us on page 56 and tried to tell us you weren't. Bald faced lie. You do it so often you can't tell what is a lie anymore, as long as it's for the glory of Jesus. Yet it is a Top 10 Sin. One would think it would concern you. Apparently not.
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/18/godless-mom-strikes-a-chord-with-parents/comment-page-56/#comments

      January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      @music: "Did you come up with your thoughts all by yourselves? Or is it something that you heard while growing up? You were not born with the thoughts in your head of disbelieving in God, they were put there by men."

      You have no grip on reality. Humans are obviously born atheists since they don't even have a concept of what a god might be. It isn't until people foist beliefs onto them that they fall for the lie. If they're born in the U.S. they're likely corrupted with Christianity. If they're born in Iran they're likely corrupted with Islam.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Silly musicoxygensl. Morality has nothing to do with your religion. In fact, I think that the way you judge others from a position of willful ignorance is untruthful, prejudiced and highly immoral. If this is the sort of character christianity builds, I am glad to be an atheist.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  20. jim

    I'm raising my 6 year old son around a loving family and a positive outlook on everything. I choose not to raise him with religion but instead to give him the opportunity to decide what's best for him once he gets older. It's better to chose your religion, if any, by looking at all religions objectivley without any bias (eventhough almost impossible) and choosing if there is a fit from there. Religions for the most part are forced upon you from birth and it all depends where you are born or raised. That to me takes away from the authenticity that all religions claim.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Wow

      Were you raised with religion? If so, then you've made a decision that's different from what you grew up with, and therefore your theory is wrong. If you grew up without religion, then according to your theory, you are nothing but a product of how you were raised and therefore your atheism is no more correct than anything else someone was raised with.

      Either ways you're wrong, yet I'm sure you claim that atheism is the right belief. Lol at the hypocrisy.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Kevin

      Dear Wow, there is nothing in Jim's comments that says he is a non -believer. lack of an organized religion choice does not equate with lack of belief in a God. And look up hypocrisy. There is no semblance of it in his remarks. And what makes you so right to say he is wrong?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • jim

      I'm not claiming any religion to be right or wrong. I'm saying that I want my boy to make up his own mind on what's best for him when he gets older rather then himi inheriting his beliefs. Like all important decisions in life it's nice to know and research everything before making a choice. And personally, I'm in my exploring phase. I have many Christian and Muslim friends Hindu etc., and atheist too.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Charles Manteghi

      You may be one and if not you are speaking of one of the principals of Baha'i Faith.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Wow....you are pretty far off with your reply. Nothing Jim said was off base. I grew up forced to go to a Lutheran church and it wasn't until my last year of confirmation that I finally quit. I was never exposed to any other religion and I wish that my parents exposed me to other religions. It took another 15 years before I found my way to Buddhism. If I wasn't so jaded by my religious upbringing, I might have found my religion sooner. I think all families should expose their kids to every type of religion and let them find their way. It may be hard for a parent to teach their kids something that they might not believe in but the reward will be great down the road. Speaking from experience, I believe that this is the reason that religion is slowly dying within our culture; because the acceptance of diversity is so rare.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
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About this blog

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