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

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

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

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

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

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

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

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

It starts:

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

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

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

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

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She ended her essay:

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Al

    Atheists should be proud and confident. Why would you have any shred of doubt on what you believe or how you raise your kids? I will 100% raise my kids to be non-religious, 100% science oriented. I would never feed my children made up stories designed to condition society to be "law-abiding" through stories of fear. Heaven, god the devil and hell. That story is best left for Looney Tunes. Time to move forward, not backwards. Society and technology are advancing. The belief in stories of donations will eventually disappear. Last one out is the most primitive. I can assure you alien life forms do not believe in gods. They are far more advanced than us over millions of more years. Get over this religious money making scheme already.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • mason

      Abrahamic Monotheism is an evolutionary coping mechanism that has outlived its purpose and is now akin to an infected appendix

      January 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Alfred E. Alien? NNNnnnewwwwman!!!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  2. the AnViL

    those of you who profess a belief in the abrahamic god are delusional.

    remember kids, if you're delusional – it means you're out of touch with reality.

    the truth is a hard pill to swallow. no doubt – someone will find this particular truth offensive... but that's how it goes with religious idiocy.

    the truth is offensive to the enemies of reason.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Chad

      So that's your pitch for atheism?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, we know your pitch: lie, quote, hyperbole, quote, equivocation fallacy, lie, bigger lie and the distorted summation.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • the AnViL

      chad – it's a cold hard truth that exists deep inside you...

      you're fighting against that truth, and it's so obvious to everyone who watches your desperate attempts to justify those things for which you have absolutely no evidence.

      just admit what you truly know intellectually.... be honest with yourself.

      you know there aren't any gods... and no matter how hard you try... you can't change it.

      when will you come out???

      January 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, my pitch is very consistently: do some reading!! Do your homework on the bible!

      The misconceptions and pre-formed opinions fly so fast and furious around here, it's really astonishing.

      I can tell you exactly why I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
      Can you tell me why you dont? (other than "it's all nonsense", "that's all made up", etc..) something specific? Some specific historical claim that Christianity makes that is false?

      If someone was going to ask you to demonstrate that Christianity is false, how would you rationally do it?

      January 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Really??

      Chad
      Religions themselves are the product of irrationality and unreasonable assumptions. Trying to rationalize what is wrong with christianity is impossible because you would apply logic to an illogical set of ideals.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "If someone was going to ask you to demonstrate that Christianity is false, how would you rationally do it?"

      people do ask for demonstrations of how xianity is false – and our tack never changes.

      we point out the fact that there isn't any verifiable, substantiated evidence of your imaginary man in the sky
      we point out the inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and contradictions between the covers of that bible which posits the existence of your imaginary man in the sky.
      we make particular note of the fact that all accounts of your jebus are hearsay – supposedly scribbled decades after he was supposed to have lived.
      we point out the flaws and problems which are inherent in all monotheistic religions.
      we put the history and inception of these beliefs into the correct frame so that people can better understand the nature of monotheism...

      we dismiss those extraordinary claims which monotheists make to substantiate their flawed beliefs, with sound reason.

      we point out the logical fallacies that believers always use in an attempt to justify their delusions....

      and we do it gladly.

      many of us are keen on accepting the fact that people will believe as they will.. so we focus on the matters which are most pressing... like the predisposition of monotheists to dictate their delusional morals onto the rest of society.
      we do what we can to point out when delusional monotheists attempt to secularize their retarded theistic ideals into our education system...

      we point out the discrimination and division inherent in all organized religion and decry it, publicly... while raising awareness of these matters.

      and what do you do???

      attempt to change tack more frequently than most ppl rotate their tires.... or completely ignore the fine points which should serve to educate you about the flawed nature of your false beliefs.

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

      @Really?? "Religions themselves are the product of irrationality and unreasonable assumptions. Trying to rationalize what is wrong with christianity is impossible because you would apply logic to an illogical set of ideals."

      =>actually, if Christianity were in fact built on irrationality, then it would be trivial to demonstrate rationally what is wrong with it..

      January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      AnViL said it perfectly.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @the AnViL “we point out the fact that there isn't any verifiable, substantiated evidence of your imaginary man in the sky”
      @Chad “problem is, that simply isn’t true and that’s why you get no traction with that argument. That our universe had a beginning supports creation. That our universe is fine tuned for the building blocks of life, supports creation, ditto with origin of life, fossil record and the historicity of Jesus.

      =============
      @the AnViL “we point out the inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and contradictions between the covers of that bible which posits the existence of your imaginary man in the sky.”
      @Chad “again, the reason you get no traction with that argument is it is based on a miserable understanding of the biblical contents. It is quickly refuted..

      =============
      @the AnViL “we make particular note of the fact that all accounts of your jebus are hearsay – supposedly scribbled decades after he was supposed to have lived.”
      @Chad “again, the reason you get no traction with that argument is it simply isn’t true. Matthew, Mark, John, James, Peter, Jude, all first hand accounts.

      =============
      @the AnViL “we dismiss those extraordinary claims which monotheists make to substantiate their flawed beliefs, with sound reason.”
      @Chad “I agree you dismiss, but on what sound reasons”

      =============
      @the AnViL “we do what we can to point out when delusional monotheists attempt to secularize their retarded theistic ideals into our education system...”
      @Chad “that doesn’t mean the claims of Christianity are false..

      =============
      @the AnViL “we point out the discrimination and division inherent in all organized religion and decry it, publicly... while raising awareness of these matters.
      @Chad “that doesn’t mean the claims of Christianity are false..

      January 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      "if Christianity were in fact built on irrationality, then it would be trivial to demonstrate rationally what is wrong with it."

      One can always claim Bigfoot is behind the next stand of trees, the one we haven't yet checked. Conveniently for you, there are endless trees.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion "One can always claim Bigfoot is behind the next stand of trees, the one we haven't yet checked. Conveniently for you, there are endless trees."

      =>it's a cute response,
      however it simply isn't true, and that's why it gets no traction.

      Unlike bigfoot, the claims by Joseph Smith and Muhammad, the claims of Christianity ARE falsifiable.

      That's what makes Christianity unique, it is inextricably rooted in actual historical events, not just personal claims of revelation.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      " it is inextricably rooted in actual historical events, not just personal claims of revelation."

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Smithsonian “The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient.
      @Chad “most atheists believe that the bible starts with “2,500 years ago, God created the universe”
      But, it doesn’t. There is simply NO WHERE in the bible where the age of the earth is stated.
      NO WHERE.
      Many erroneously come to that conclusion by adding up all the “begats”, however this is a gross misuse of genealogies, which are NOT provided for that purpose and routinely omit many generations that aren’t relevant to that which is being discussed.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically”
      @Chad “again, simply not true. The bible chronicles over 2000 years of history, all of which can be checked, and NONE of which has ever been proved incorrect.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible.”
      @Chad “utter speculation, other than your personal opinon, what data do you cite to support it?

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).”
      @Chad “Very true, the bible was not intended to be a “history of the world”, it contains accurate descriptions of relevant historical interactions between God and humanity.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy.”
      @Chad “complete and utter nonsense. Thousands of years of recorded history, none of which has ever been disproved, and note, the years 2500—30AD are all years for which we have some archeological evidence.
      No historical fact has ever been disproved.
      None.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • End Religion

      and here we go again.... same presupposed god, same unsubstantiated assertions. If someone does bother to provide you evidence again, you'll ignore it as always and be back with... same presupposed god, same unsubstantiated assertions. Having this same conversation only serves to help others who may read it and that just gets boring.

      not a single eyewitness:
      atheist at large [dot] org [slash] 2010 [slash] 04 [slash] literary-record-for-jesus-christ

      January 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Chad

      From your site:

      Nine Traditional Authors of the New Testament: Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul of Tarsus, Author of Hebrews, James, Peter, Jude.

      Matthew, Mark, John, James, Peter and Jude all eye witnesses...

      January 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      Chad, you're posting drivel. Now, try and take your nonsense down to the world's largest research center in the world and try to sell the crap you just posted. They're smarter than you are.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I wonder if Chad remembers this little ditty -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      That is a cold, hard fact. Deal with it.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, you never did explain what you mean by "empirical evidence"

      you have dodged that question a LOT, but actually havent answered it..

      now, dont get me wrong, I dont expect you to answer it now either("look it up", "cant be bothered" "you're to stupid".. something like that I suspect. Anything to avoid having to go out on a limb and articulate what you consider "empirical evidence")

      I just bring it up to remind you :-)

      January 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      @Sad: "lol, you forgot an important sentence, "I would like to note that I do not support this view as none of which are actually evidence." These are the collected views of what apologists normally call eyewitness evidence with the hope of honestly gathering what they claim is evidence. Just because a name is listed on the page doesn't mean either I or the site's owner claim it as actual evidence – I don't believe any of it is evidence. It is a collection of what *others* claim is evidence.

      What becomes clear is that it is murky, so to speak.

      For example, Tacitus is sometimes listed as evidence of Jesus, yet there is no record he ever said the word Jesus (that I know of). He talks of a Christus and the extreme punishment and other things, such as Nero persecuting Christians to avoid being blamed for the firing of Rome, which one may make an assumption about if so inclined, however the fact remains it is not evidence of Jesus.

      Beyond the fact Tacitus never actually mentioned Jesus, even if he had, there is dispute over how Tacitus got his information – we don't know how he obtained it. It has been argued as possibly reported to him by several people, any of whom could have tainted the info. For all we know a little birdy told him. Maybe he had a fevered dream. Maybe god told him. Maybe he used his powers of time travel and outer body experience to go back and look. We just don't know.

      Simply, that is not evidence. Compelling, perhaps, as compelling as other history. As compelling as one's friend rushing into one's house proclaiming, "Francine robbed the Safeway with a gun. I was there. He probably did it because he needed money," and then rushing back out before you could ask any questions. Is your friend trustworthy? Does he have a drug habit or maybe something against Francine? Maybe he was outside the store, saw Francine running out with what looked like a weapon and made the rest up? Maybe, for attention, he's just repeating something he heard at the pub from someone else who has something against Francine.

      Now you will claim something like, "Look at all the evidence. Why would all these people claim to have known of Francine? They were all in the store when it was robbed. They're trustworthy. Do you mean all these people got together and decided to conspire against Francine? My friend told me the story – it was a first hand eyewitness account. How can you deny the truth of it?"

      Meanwhile none of it is evidence, just like Tacitus. Your friend was not an eyewitness. He saw Francine running away afterward. What likely happened to Francine is that 3 people saw 25% of what occurred at the store. They filled in each other's flawed perception and still don't have the whole story. Then they ran off to tell 10 others who then claim to know all the facts of the event. We quickly have about 35 people who all claim slightly different versions of the event, none of which may be true.

      In order to be first out of the gate, local newspaper reporter Imma Writer quickly pumps out a news piece, "Francine Robs Safeway Cuz He Needed Da Money". He interviews 5 of the 35, some of who enjoy the attention and claim to have been there during the daring heist, and 1 of whom claims he was momentarily taken hostage by Francine and feared for his life before she dashed out of the store. It is easy to do since the store's video cameras hadn't been working for months.

      A fearless yet bored CNN blog writer picks up the story and it hits front page on CNN blog. It goes viral, with the entire world condemning arch-enemy, master criminal and anti-superhero Francine in post after post.

      Meanwhile, the real story is that 22-year old average Sally, who forgot her work shirt that day, had borrowed one from her friend with the name Francine embroidered on it. On her lunch break she went to the Safeway for a chocolate bar and some bread. The cashier decided to change the register tape at this moment. While waiting to pay, with enough cash in hand to more than cover the items she held, Sally got a text that her son was in an accident. Her mind reeled in horror. She panicked. She immediately threw the cash and bread down, unfortunately the cashier didn't see the cash fly off onto the floor underneath a cabinet. Sally ran from the store, so flustered she didn't realize she still held the chocolate bar. A man outside is certain he saw "Francine" fleeing from the store holding a gun, and the cashier inside is petrified to learn of Francine's gun since she hadn't seen it herself during the "robbery".

      Throw in a tangled promise of life-everlasting plus 2000 years and you have yourself the myth of Francine, savior of the world. The wafers would be chocolate of course. The robbery will have been changed to Robin Hood-esque stealing for the poor thing. It may even have been added that Francine was caught, tried and hanged, who knows. With religion any wacky story is possible.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I find it interesting that Chad, master of the Wikipedia-copy-and-paste, avid googler, who claims to possess several master's degrees, is unable to obtain the accepted definition of "empirical evidence" as used in science. Is he perhaps being intentionally obtuse because he knows he has no valid refutation for the following statement?

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and how, exactly, does one complete a university undergraduate degree, pass the GRE, and complete not one, but "more than one" graduate programs, and write several dissertations and not know the meaning of "empirical evidence" as used in the sciences? Something doesn't smell right.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      "empirical evidence"
      Chad, not gonna help you make your case. It wouldn't matter. I think you essentially start each argument with the unmoved mover, which I reject. Kinda pointless for other reasons I've discussed over and over.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chad

      I knew you wouldn't provide it. :-)
      because, here is how the exchange would go:

      Atheist "there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists"
      Theist "of course there is, fine tuning, and the necessity of first cause are both empirical evidence."
      Atheist "no it isnt"
      Theist "unh,.. yes it is, can you explain how it isnt?"
      Atheist "sure!"
      Theist "unh, ok, how?
      Atheist "You're and IDIOT!!! LOL!!! that's how"
      Theist "unh.. well, that doesnt address the question of how that isnt empirical evidence"
      Atheist "ah, ok, IDIOT, empirical evidence means you have to be able to do an experiment on it"
      theist "unh.. well, how does that work with persons?"
      Atheist "we dont talk about that"
      Theist "unh.. why not? you are asking for empirical evidence of a "person". How is your (inaccurately narrow) definition of empirical evidence going to be use for persons?"
      Atheist "I TOLD YOU, MORON, we arent talking about that.
      Theist "unh.. so.. you have a definition that you agree cant be used for persons, yet that is what you are demanding? Seems like a bit of a stacked deck dont you think?"
      Atheist "LOLOL I told you you couldnt do it!!"

      fun stuff!

      January 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion,
      do you seriously deny that Jesus never existed?

      January 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad, why don't you know what empirical evidence means when used in science? Did you never take a science course during your years you claim you spent at university? Why are you unable to find the definition? Here's a good start, and it's your favorite – Wikipedia.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical_evidence

      Are you intentionally trying to make yourself look like a fool and a liar? If so, you're spot on.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      " fine tuning, and the necessity of first cause" are not examples of empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists.

      You're exposing your ignorance. Keep digging, Chad.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I like how Chad resorted to smileys and one of his imaginary theist v atheist blathers in his January 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm. He must be out of his depth already.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • End Religion

      meanwhile, what I am sure you understand, is that if you claim a god exists you need to prove it, otherwise it in not a given. Is this transcendental presuppositionalism you're into? Are you slipping entirely into transcendental arguments? Maybe you have, I don't know the topic well enough. It's not my bag. Frankly I find philosophy interesting for 3 minutes when stoned, otherwise it is masturbation. I'm into reality, and god doesn't live there.

      Each time you post you begin with the assertion god exists yet there is no evidence, and what you claim as evidence is not. We live in a reality that we have tacitly agreed works via physics and science. If you simply feel instead that it works via magic then we really don't have any common ground. My posts will appear to dodge, yours will appear as lies because we need some common ground. In addition, I'm not into formal debate, which seems to have changed from a way to discuss matters to more a formulation of rules by which opponents attempt to trip one another. Maybe I simply an a rube and not sophisticated enough for it. I'm more into rational conversation, like calling you an idiot.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @End Religion -

      Choose your words carefully so as not to feed Equivocating-Chad. There is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists, and there is no good evidence of any kind; however, there is evidence that supports the claim the god of Israel exists (Chad presents some of it ad nauseam), it is simply that this evidence is neither good nor empirical.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      " do you seriously deny that Jesus never existed?"

      I need more information to answer. "Jesus" is an incredibly loaded word. And are you asking "do I know" or "do I believe"? I certainly wouldn't deny "a" Jesus has existed. For instance this Jesus was a pedophile and liked butt lovin':

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idBhoV01ryo&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @End Religion -

      Frankly I find philosophy interesting for 3 minutes when stoned, otherwise it is masturbation. I'm into reality, and god doesn't live there.

      LMAO! I concur.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion "Each time you post you begin with the assertion god exists yet there is no evidence, and what you claim as evidence is not."

      =>This is the first time I have seen you acknowledge something very important.
      When you say " there is no evidence of the existence of God"
      what you mean is "I (@end religion) am not convinced by the evidence that you are presenting that the God of Israel exists, therefor I refuse to call your evidence, "evidence""

      what you are describing is an incorrect epistemological viewpoint.

      Data presented to support an argument is indeed evidence, regardless of whether or not you find that evidence compelling.

      your theory of epistemology is flawed...

      January 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Choose your words carefully so as not to feed Equivocating-Chad."

      This is why debate is so dull for me. I don't know how folks would debate 1+1=2 these days. It seems nothing is axiomatic any longer. One must start all way back at the big bang and travel through the birth of abstract thought, touch on Aristotle and 40 others before an opponent will concede that 1 means 1. And we haven't even hit the tough part yet. It's just boring and, to me, incredibly dishonest.

      But I suppose, if we are talking about the beginning of the universe nothing can be axiomatic, but then we're into philosophy and I need 2 pints of Guinness so I can deal with it for 3 minutes.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion,
      You want to debate theists, and you want the non-existence of God to be accepted as axiomatic(Self-evident / unquestionable), ? Is that what you are saying?

      @Really-O,
      Fine tuning is observable and can be confirmed thru experimentation, as such, is empirical.

      now, your next step is to claim that God must be the subject of the empiricism , which would mean you have completed about 2/3 of the theist-atheist exchange above :-)

      January 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, my goodness you're tiresome, like a big horsefly. Maybe you can get a hint at why so many find you disingenuous, and why I normally just talk past you. Every word is a minefield. That's just not cricket. I've posted this before a few times, maybe you haven't seen it. I won't be posting it again for your benefit because I prefer the short version, which is "your god and your jesus do not exist."

      There may be a creator: I don't know. There is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the Abrahamic god (AKA god of Israel) exists. There is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the miracle-working son of the Abrahamic god (or son of the god of Israel) existed.

      Until I see such evidence, I do not believe they ever existed. I do concede it is possible a non-supernatural dude named Jesus lived during that time period.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      "You want to debate theists, and you want the non-existence of God to be accepted as axiomatic"

      McFly, hello? There's no debate. We just went through this – your god does not exist. It is a given. All that remains is trying to bring you nutters back to reality if we can. Some horseflies are more stubborn than others.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "Fine tuning is observable and can be confirmed thru experimentation, as such, is empirical.

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      You'll fail on both counts. Do you know why? Simple – "fine tuning" is not empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists, neither are any of the "data"on your hackneyed "A-D" list. The are all just weak inferences.

      You have faith, fine. But your stuck with this fact:

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      Man-up and face the facts.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      This endeavor has become tedious and tiresome. Have the last word, Chad – it will only expose more of your ignorance and/or dishonesty.

      Perhaps I'll take @End Religion's advice and imbibe a few pints of the Emerald Isle's black beauty. I'm out.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Empirical evidence is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation
      - source The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin. 2000.

      Fine tuning can, and is, observed.

      Please proceed with re-defining the "empirical evidence" :-)

      January 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, So how is that evidence for the god of Israel? I have yet to see any evidence beyond your bible quotes which as you know are self-serving and circular.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I didn't follow my own advice and check-out. Damn it!

      Your missing something, Chad. Even if "fine tuning" can be observed (arguable). How, precisely, is that observation empirical evidence that necessarily leads to the inevitable conclusion that the god of Israel (specifically that god, no other god, no other supernatural force, no natural phenomenon, etc.) exists? It doesn't. It's that simple. And your still stuck with -

      To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      Are your really this obtuse, Chad or are you simply so immature and stubborn that you'll continue fighting a lost cause rather than admit you're wrong? You're a sad, sad, little man, Chad....but hey, you do possess several master's degrees! HA! That slays me.

      January 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      You're missing one more thing, Chad. We're discussing empirical evidence in science (I've clearly stated that numerous times in the thread). That necessitates an hypothesis, data collection (most often through experimentation) and statistical analysis of the data collected. The simple fact that something can be "observed" does not make it scientific empirical evidence – analysis is intrinsic; but, you've clearly shown you lack education in the sciences. How did you acquire several master's degrees? Wait, was that Bible College? LOL

      January 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O"Even if "fine tuning" can be observed (arguable). How, precisely, is that observation empirical evidence that necessarily leads to the inevitable conclusion that the god of Israel exists? "

      @Chad "ahh..
      yes, you are trying to claim that unless evidence convinces you, it isnt evidence.
      Evidence need not convince all consumers to be evidence, like "end religion" your epistemology is badly flawed.

      thanks for acknowledging that fine tuning is indeed empirical evidence!

      January 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You need new glasses, Chard. You missed that little word "if" in Really-O's post. I'd say you did so purposely, but that would be saying you're dishonest.

      Fine-tuning IF it exists at all doesn't prove a thing about a god's existence.

      January 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son -

      Thanks for watching my back. You know, no matter how hard I try to be dispassionate and simply provide Chad with information, my interactions always lead me to the same conclusion -

      Chad is simply a dishonest douche. Well, call 'em like you see 'em, I guess.

      Cheers

      January 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  3. inspiration for you

    All religions are hate groups. All claim they are the religion of "peace", but are in fact murderous. Nazism, Communism, religion – alls substantially hateful dogmas to promote the bizarre self-interest of the groups.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Religion would be acceptable to me if it could find an equilibrium where it grows at the same rate at which groups of the deluded commit mass suicide in fear of "end times". While it's a shame they need to kill each other off, at least they wouldn't be killing *others* while maintaining their "freedom" to kill one another.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  4. NoneOfYourBusiness

    I am very much heartened by Deborah Mitchell's blog. I understand her feeling of being so very much alone, especially that she lives in the Bible Belt, where people will pray to "save" you at the drop of a hat. While I live in NY and don't have to deal with that particular brand of crazy, in your face My-God-is-better-than-your-God crap, I understand what she's gone through. I was raised Jewish, but considered myself an agnostic for most of my life. As of last year, I've realized I'm an atheist and most of the people closest to me know that. I'm also a lesbian and out and proud about that, too. To anyone who would pray for me because they think I'm a big sinner I say to them: is God whispering in your ear? If so, does that make you religious and special, or are you simply nuts? The best thing about this country is that there's supposed to be a separation of church and state. We haven't seen a lot of that lately, but that's what our nation was founded on. For anyone to think that prayer should be brought into the schools or that they should parade their religion everywhere is the height of egotism. I think it's fine for people to go to a house of worship and believe whatever it is that they believe, but to try to shove it down the throats of non-believers is simply wrong. And school prayer is also wrong because there are many who would be left on the fringes because they either don't pray or are some religion other than Christian. I do completely support other people's right to their faith; however, I need them to keep it out of my face. It's about respect.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  5. inspiration for you

    All religions are hate groups. All claim they are the religion of "peace", but are in fact murderous. Nazism, Communism, religion – allsubstantiallyy hateful dogmas to promote thebizarree self-interest of the groups.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • inspiration for you

      the bizarre...

      January 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  6. inspiration for you

    Don't tell me I should respect religion. It's like asking me to respect someone that believes the Earth is flat in today's day and age.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I don't think you have to respect religions, at least those that make little sense in light of modern science and counter secular ethics. I do think you need to respect the adherents who generally choose those religions only out of emotional need or ignorance.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • inspiration for you

      No respect for people with normal brain. I can only respect someone that has erroneous beliefs because of mental ilness.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Yup

      I don't respect religion/mythology, but I do respect people by their beliefs and actions. If you believe it's ok to oppress and hate or are concealing criminals to preserve the "respectability" of your religion, you don't deserve respect.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • The Old Rabbit

      Thank God I'm an Atheist!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @inspiration

      "I can only respect someone that has erroneous beliefs because of mental ilness."

      Do you mean respect as people or on this one erroneous belief. I'm sure you have some erroneous beliefs (I know I do) and would hope, that all else known about us, we would be respected as people despite a few erroneous beliefs.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Nancy

    I never thought in my life time that I would read what this mother has writtenor that it would be published. I am an atheist and mother as well. Years ago I ventured into a chat room called "AtheistParenting.Org." It was a life saver for me. Now there are hundreds of like chat rooms, and FB pages, and organizations for secular parents. It is wonderful. That said, I raised an incredible child. I gave her the tools and the education to make decisions for herself including choosing whether or not to believe. She went on to be valedictorian for her high school, is currently attending the #1 public university in the country on academic scholarship, volunteers in her community, has sound morals and ethics and yes she is by choice an atheist. I am proud of my daughter and I am proud to be an atheist parent. Deborah you are most certainly not alone...

    January 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • NoneOfYourBusiness

      Good for you (and your daughter), Nancy!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • End Religion

      Congrats, Nancy. It's another beautiful day in a godless world.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Well done, Nancy.

      January 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  8. Brad

    I'll say it just one time.... EVERYONE please read this.. "Religion is MANS way of getting to God, Jesus Christ was God's way of getting to man.".. that being said.. Christianity is NOT to be forced on ANYONE!!! The name BIBLE THUMPER got its name for those people that used to HIT The Bible while pushing their views on others. As Christians, we are supposed to LIVE BY EXAMPLE, and NO ONE IS PERFECT, NO ONE Atheist, Christian, Agnostic et'al, NO ONE IS PERFECT. As we live by example, non-christians or even christians, when they ask us "how do you get through this or that, how do you go on, how do you have faith in something.. etc" we, AS Christians should be prepared to explain our reasons, our faith , what we believe in a LOVING way.. we are NOT meant to act like many Christians & NOn-Christians act on these blogs.. It's interesting Juduism doesnt believe in Jesus as the son of God..... but as a "prophet" or a "good man" .. even THEY recongnize he tried to set an example for others.. he NEVER pushed himself on anyone.. he preached and let people choose HIM.. and that's what we are supposed to do, "listen to others, and make our OWN decisions" right or wrong, we will all die with our choices.. if there is NO GOD.. then no matter what you beleive or didn't, there's NO harm no foul, you gain NOTHING.. but if there is a GOD your gain is INFINITE and so is the LOSS.. that's my point, if you are non christian, agnostic, or atheist.. please let me know if what I just said actually offends you, pushes what I believe onto you.. or tries to "shove" anything down your throat, so to speak??

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

      Brad – the majority of secular humans have no problem at all with someone's right to believe in whatever form of dogma they choose. However, as we respect you has an individual, but we don't have to respect your religion. If the religious of this country would simply keep their religion in their churches and homes there would be no problems. Why we as nonbelievers are starting to use our voices now more than ever is because this is not happening. When religion enters our government and public school science classes and attempts to disable it, that is when it must be stopped. Get it? If that is what you call "shoving" so be it, but it dogma that is doing the shoving.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Rich

      Brad – Very much in agreement with your approach. As a kid I went to teh presbyterian church, was made to feel bad because I didn't know verses by heart and then watched the "good" kids steal, lie, cheat, and vandalize. At 13 I stood my ground against attending a church with that kind of hipocrisy. To my parents credit, and they were pretty involved in the church at the time, they were accepting of it. I've not been a regular of any organized religion since. I have had a few very positive experiences in a house of worship, but I have also seen the foulness of others, a Southlake, TX church using the kids as props for a fundraising effort being particularly distasteful. Christianics, my wife calls them. All the trappings, but little connection to the principles.
      I sincerely appreciate your outlook – live by the principles espoused, take comfort in your own faith, share it when asked. I don't think the salvation people are looking for comes through the ritual of religion, but through their true relationship with their god, themselves, and those around them. All the best to you and yours!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      brad: jesus christ was as much man's creation as any religion

      January 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  9. Eva

    As I look at this there are 5,666 comments. Uh-oh!

    January 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  10. mostsouthernersarecompletelycuckootothemaxandvotedforbush

    if i dont see it or feel it or touch it or sense it or smell it.....its hard for me to understand it or believe it.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Smarter than U

    A Christian is a smug self righteos indiviudal who thinks he knows it all and tries to shove his beliefs down everyone else's throats. The same folks that think the countries ruled by Sharia law and crazy try to claim this is a Christian nation and should follow gods law. Gay marriage is the prime example. Making gay marriage illegal is identical to imposing sharia law. But they dont see it that way. They are blinded by brainwashing.
    If someone cheats you or stabs you in the back. More likely than not it was a Christian and if you complain to him about it, he was say i prayed on it and god told me to stick it to you.

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

      Wow. There's not one shred of truth in that post. I don't think you're smarter than a 5 year old.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      The fact that Christians think that the entire Universe was created for human beings is the height of egotism.

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

      "More likely than not it was a Christian and if you complain to him about it, he was say i prayed on it and god told me to stick it to you."

      George W is a great example.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      For you Wow,

      Consider these quotes, and how you might feel if you lived in a country where these sentiments were mainstream:

      “Our leader was not elected…he was appointed by Allah.”
      “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of Allah…must be denied citizenship."
      “I, your Provincial Governor, do hereby proclaim… a day of prayer and fasting for our country.”
      “Allah called me to this government position…my family fasted for three days to make sure it was true.”
      “"I would not put a Christian among my advisors, or in my government."
      “(our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on Allah of the Qur’an and Sharia Law, it’s pretty simple.”
      “I hope I will live to see the day when…we won't have any public schools. The Mosques will have taken over them over again and Imams will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
      “There will never be world peace until Allah's house and Allah's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."
      These statements should rightfully alarm you. Now consider this, YOU DO live in that country, and these are not Taliban quotes. In the above quotes the religious references have been changed. They are quotes from prominent, politically powerful Americans who would establish religious control over America’s government. Here are the actual quotes:
      “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” –Lt. General William Boykin, US Army
      “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship." –Gary North, Inst.itute for Christian Economics
      “I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” –Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
      “God called me to run for this office, and my husband fasted for 3 days to make sure it was true.” –Michelle Bachman, US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate
      “"I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration." –Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
      “(Our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” –Sarah Palin
      I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken over them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" – Jerry Falwell
      There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world." –Pat Robertson
      These statements should be no more frightening in an Islamic or a Christian context – this kind of rhetoric is a serious threat no matter who it comes from. Theocracy is dangerous no matter whose God is invoked. We hear these things from pious politicians every day and are likely desensitized to them, but even momentary consideration reveals them to be un-American to the core. Religious fundamentalists make no secret of their goal of controlling our government and establishing their narrow beliefs as law. We must not let that happen – not here, not in our country.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • ginger315

      I am a Christian and I am not smug or self-righteouss; but I do see a lot of hate in your printed word.

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

      Blessed, that is absolutely frightening!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Churches don't marry people and the gubmint should get out of family business, too. Tell the attorneys to take a hike. Progressives are always BIG on USURPATION.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      @ ginger. Im sure the Nazis, and the terrorist Muslims don't/didn't feel that way either.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • No

      No true Christian ever said I cheated on you/stabbed you in the back because I prayed and God told me I should. That is not Christianity. I'm sorry you have had a bad experience with one who professes to believe. Christians are still flawed people and do make mistakes, but Christianity never condones sin or is the reason for sin – just the opposite. I hope you will hear the message and not see only some poor examples of still-flawed Christians' lives.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      "no true christian"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

      January 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  12. us_1776

    The Sky Fairy does not exist.

    Get over it.

    ...

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

      Neither do you.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      I exist because the opposite is impossible.

      January 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  13. Smarter than U

    You write “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.’” No, she didn't mean well. She meant to get you to conform to HER beliefs. Christianity is just 2000 year old Scientology and I think we can all agree Scientology is a brainwashing cult. So's Christianity and it is nearly as corrosive.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • lol??

      "Phl 2:5-6 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"

      January 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  14. Hmmm

    Tom, tom

    Are you a lesbian? Just sayin...

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

      Someone got their ego crushed and they can't handle it, now their whining.....

      January 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Akira

      Are you an ass hole? Just sayin...

      January 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah. It's the same little herbie. He's still upset. I guess he thinks calling someone a lesbian is the ultimate insult. Must be some pimply-faced adolescent.

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

      And even if she were, so the hell what?
      What are you, 8?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Roger that

      Would that make you happy because you feel that your book of myths gives you approval to hate and discriminate against that individual?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      "I want to be a dentist!" – Herbie

      January 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Heebie Jeebies

      I just don't like the same-same stuff. It is abnormal. It is disgusting. Correction should be offered for the affliction. Is there something in the atheist handbook that says my views are wrong or immoral?

      January 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  15. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9weXGtCk7c&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Wow

    @tom, tom, piper poo

    Care to address Farid's post? I'm waiting but personally don't believe you'll provide a response because you're scared and don't have an answer.

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

      I don't have any idea who Farid is or where this post is located, since you are too stupid to figure out how to use a reply.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Wow

      Its on page 60 tommy tom. Dare you to respond.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I read it. I agree with a number of things he said. I agree that many contributions have been made by people who were and are devout believers. In some cases, their religious beliefs informed their lives and their works; for others, their religious beliefs were irrelevant to their accomplishments. I believe that it's entirely possible to live a life that is moral without religious belief and it's just as possible to be a complete sh!t and claim to love god. I admire believers who truly strive to live according to the teachings of Christ–they're the ones who go visit shut-ins, give their time to help those who are hungry and homeless. They're the ones who quietly go about their lives without bragging about how much they do and how good they are. And you can bet they're not here polishing their own halos. They're too busy doing what Christ commanded. I have the utmost respect for them. I have nothing but loathing for the zealots here who insist all must live according to their beliefs or go to hell. I have no time for the morons who think they know what the Bible says but can't manage to write a simple sentence because they're uneducated and like being that way. I despise those who want their beliefs to be the basis for laws even if that means ignoring the fact that we are a nation of laws based on a secular Const itution.

      Anything else, dear?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Wow

      Bravo tommy tom. I'll be honest, I didn't think you had it in you, yet I stand corrected. Bravo buddy!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't need your approval, fvcktard. Now, go do your homework. I'd request you respond to Huh?'s post on p. 60, but I really don't care that much about your opinions, since they're so uninformed.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I couldn't have said it better myself Tom.....Bravo

      January 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  17. John

    And I hate to break it to you...if you are a "good" or "moral, caring" person because you are expecting rewards or avoiding punishment from your deity, then you are not a good person. If you need religion to be a decent human being, then you aren't. You are faking it.

    This mom has it right...teach your kids to be good, loving, caring, forgiving people because it is the right thing to do. Be honest and compassionate because it make you a stronger person and a better person...doing because a book or a minister tells you to means you are doing it to manipulate or for personal gain. Unconditional love is based on neither. And is the strongest thing any person can ever achieve. Maybe you should pay more attention to the example that Jesus sets for you – he loved unconditionally for no other reason that that was the person he wanted to be.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • lol??

      Send the kids over to rake my yard. I'll give each a quarter. I'm still lookin' for my ten cent cup of coffee.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  18. tao88

    There's a fundamental problem with adopting another's view (belief system) of the world. Every one of us (7+ billion) sees and experiences the world in a unique way. There is nothing in the multi-verse that is precisely the same as another (from the smallest of the quantum small to the largest of the massive large).
    Solutions have been offered by various people through the ages within the context of the times and surrounding places they lived in. Some call their ideas to be universal, others un-true and blasphemous. The illusion that is before us is that by adopting those ideas into our experience is keeping us from learning the ability to discover the teacher within that is unique only to us. If one begins the process of developing a relationship with that most unique part of ourselves, a realization dawns that there is no need for me to present myself onto the world (or local) stage to convince someone else of how I see the world. Stop trying to convince others that your experiences and view of the world is the way others should experience it. Herein lies the fundamental problem facing humanity.

    January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  19. Janette

    I understand why people are questioning religion. It's hard to find Jesus in most churches these days and I think Christian legalism is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Here is a poem by Jeff Bethke, a young man who impressed me with his poem called, "Why I hate religion but love Jesus". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

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

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBo7Z_abiLE&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  20. Will S

    People are free to make their own choices, at least in the Western World. I fail to see how this woman's personal business is such big news. She isn't exactly qualified to teach religion anyway, since she seems baffled by thoroughly resolved questions such as "She asks questions like: If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?" If she hadn't slept through her own Sunday School lessons she'd probably know the answer to that.

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

      Well said Will!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      She would know that God is a jealous angry God.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This is a blog that has opinion pieces as well as news articles, Will. If you are not interested with stories like this, then perhaps you shouldn't click on them. The intent of the article was clearly stated in the headline.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • lol??

      You likey to share women like the motorcycle gangs do?

      January 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • KattL

      You make a solid point, but the last part of your statement doesn't seem to make sense. "If she hadn't slept through her own Sunday School..." This article stated that she strayed from her religion in her early 20's, not that since childhood she asked questions and had doubts. Also, that is common in a lot of atheist or agnostic people, she questioned the stories that she was told when she was a child, she was not conforming to society; she had her own way of thinking outside of what others believed to be true.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • lol??

      previous comment for screation.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      This isn't news but a belief blog (see the top of the page). It appears to appeal to people with a similar experience and provide a nice springboard for discussions. That's really all there is going on.

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

      your statement serves to underscore the contradiction that is religion. All religious experts claim we can't know or understand the will of this superior being – yet everyone wants to see he/she has a plan and wants to try to justify that all the bad things that happen are part of his/her plan or that we can't possibly understand as we are only human. Either way, if a divine creator chooses to sit back and let mass atrocities happen, what does that tell us? Especially when the victims are small children – there can be no justification for that. If there really was a god, would he/she sit back and watch major religions disagree so fiercely? Wouldn't he/she come out and say "here is the truth". But alas, since we can't really understand god, we have to believe that he chose to create 3 major religions (more that are not so monotheistic) that all claim to know the truth and are themselves splintered into more groups. A simpler explanation, is that there really is no god.

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

      She would know that Eve bit into a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and handed the apple to her mate, and that p.o'd God so much that he allowed all sorts of evil in the world, and made women suffer from menstruation, menstrual pain, painful childbirth and relegated them to be owned by males. Duh!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Visitor, that's probably why she's an atheist....

      January 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • lol??

      visitor, tell the whole truth.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147
Advertisement
About this blog

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