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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. Austin

    maybe there was a bit of bias. but the prophets of God were Gods prophets, and the disciples and apostles walked with the God in flesh person of Jesus. He was risen, and the Lord, named "the word of God" has the power to accomplish whatever He wants. furthermore, his Holy Spirit writes the truth on the tablet of the heart of man who calls out for faith and truth. Ask and you shall receive.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      Do not puncture a loon
      Oh mouse-like mattress!
      The spleen shrieks.

      Our auctioneers rotate
      Just before the banshee strangles a turbot.
      The butterflies shout "Wow!"
      Terribly.

      False goats are vicious
      Though not really radioactive.
      My bugle-player stupidly
      Garottes the Viking warrior.

      Surely unsound gorillas read newspapers?
      A drenched turbot shrieks.
      My cliche-ridden banshee wobbles indefinitely
      Disguised as a lumpy passer-by.

      Never consult a weasel
      Oh ye auctioneers!
      Surely the anglers plague rubber ducks?

      Our turbot catches a train.
      Loofahs are plump.
      Oysters are bouncy.

      The scarlet policeman nocturnally pummels wicket-keepers.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Please Jesus deliver us from Austin and his kind.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  2. Esmerelda de Ville

    You know how to prove that atheists are more humane and moral than Christians? Just look at how they take care of stray dogs. That's all the proof anyone should need.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well, yeah. If someone helps stray animals and you are running over them in your Caddy, seems that person is better than you.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      Pet the dog + shoot the pastor in the back of the head + shoot the merchant in the head = "humanitarian" LOL!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      One Sunday I was driving and the car in front of me swerved so as to purposely run over a groundhog that was on the side of the road. The car proceeded for a few hundred feet and made a right turn into the parking lot of the local fundie church.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      I was unaware that the ASPCA was an atheist organization.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Essie, honey, did you miss the thread of the conversation? You seem to have some difficulty understanding what you read and how it relates to comments made by others. Do you have ADHD?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      Good point Tom Tom, Avoid the ground hogs + push Christians into the rice paddies face down and shoot them in the head = "humanitarian" LOL!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Damocles

      Who is shooting pastors??

      January 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's pushing Christians into rice paddies and shooting them? Whatever you're smoking, it's bad stuff.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      It's 9:00 p.m. Did you pet your dog today?

      ( A message brought to you by the Ethical Culture Society) LOL!

      January 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bored now with the obvious troll.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  3. Jane

    CNN's Belief blog seems to be more about the perceived problems with belief or contradictions in beliefs than with any of the many, many positive and truthful things about belief. I think this column is edited by secular humanists. The fact that this woman doesn't believe in God doesn't mean He doesn't exist. When are we going to see some apologetics on this site?

    January 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There here all the time, Jane. I'm sorry you are offended by a non-believer exercising their right to free speech.

      And by the way, there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any god. You can believe whatever you want, but until you offer proof, your belief has no actual weight.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Because apologetics is revisionist, logic-bending bullshlt.

      On the other hand, it WOULD be fun to watch pseudo-intellecuals trying to justify Bronze Age myths with unbaseless interpretations of scripture, fallacious reasoning, and general stupidity. So yay for apologetics on CNN!!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Mark

      You gotta be joking. The one article out of 500 that highlights an atheist and now the editors must be "secular humanists". We have here another of those religious folks only want to hear religious opinions when they are in agreement with their own. If only there were some other way religions had to get their word out because they are so oppressed (sarcasm). Like radio networks, or television networks, or gigantic buildings where giant doe-eyed faithful could gather all together, or, or, or... Sheesh. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  4. virginia

    Science is only making us aware of our Religious belief...and how great and wonderfuly amazing this we called universe or existence is....OmniScience God is the new Religion of the future...All knowing God well Scientist have some work to do cause to know at all one must first come to term with the existence of god and All knowing God... OmniScience God that is...

    January 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Damocles

      I blame the drugs for making you what you are.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Do you mean that to be funny, virginia? Because it really is.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Timmy

      This sounds familiar.

      Just wondering, has this OmniScience God ever fought one of the Transformers? I am hoping he's not a Decepticon, because those guys are already strong enough.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Reader

      Man, I miss Omni science. Great magazine. Thanks for the hat tip to it – it really was the god, the schnizel, the mack-daddy. Of sci-fi mixed with sci-fact magazines, at least. If that's not what you're talking about, then you need to adjust your dosage, because your crazy inside voice is driving the car again...

      January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  5. Esmerelda de Ville

    Oh yeah – they can "prove" monkeys have morality. Right. I guess that makes the case for a God of all creation.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you unable to figure what "Reply" means, dear?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Research Altruism in nature; Principle of Reciprocity; Hamilton's Law.

      No invisible old men in the sky required!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Damocles

      @TANK!

      You want her to do research? Way to set yourself up for disappointment.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Grundoon

      Girlfriend, you are off your meds! LOL!!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  6. tallulah13

    The bible was written by unknown individuals and edited into a final version 200 years after the alleged events of Christ's life. Any book that did not promote the ideas that were championed by the church bureaucracy were thrown out. This gives the bible an undeniable, ultimately human bias. Thus the bible cannot be used to prove that the bible is true.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh, heck. Posted in the wrong spot. This was in response to a person who asked why the witnesses of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, et al cannot be used to substantiate the existence of christ.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  7. yoyoma

    Question for religious folks: Which religion is the right one???

    January 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • God's honest truth

      Mine of course.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  8. the AnViL

    it's funny reading all the dissenting comments.

    the only people who disagree with this lady are obviously angry, delusional, and really uneducated.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Quite so. See Esmeralda's attempt to make a joke just below.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • JJ

      Well, it's like, how dare you raise your child to think for themselves and not indoctrinate them into the cult! Don't you realize they'll become disgusting communist ahteists and could possibly become filthy know-it-all scientists!!

      January 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • the AnViL

      it's funny because – the only ppl who would disagree with this lady are xians...

      and they act so very xian about it LOL

      January 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  9. Esmerelda de Ville

    Atheist "humanitarian" = someone who is loving to pets. LOL!

    January 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  10. Noahsark

    To anyone who believes this life is all there is I recommend Life After Life by Raymond Moody M.D. He relates several near death experiences by many patients. And goes all the way back to Plato and The Tibetan Book of Life to show those experiences have been consistent throughout time and across religions and agnostic or atheist. A more recent book by Eben Alexander M.D., a neural scientist and surgeon who experienced a near death experience himself and recounts consistent experiences with Moody's patients in the 70s and the ancient writings of Plato.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Damocles

      NDEs aren't really proof of life after death. If you know of some people that have been way dead for like a month or so and have come back to relate what they saw, then that might be something.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Peer-reviewed papers demonstrating the lack of supernatural causes for NDEs or OOBEs

      Brent, S. B. ( 1979). Deliberately induced, premortem, out-of-body experiences: An experimental and theoretical approach. In B. Kastenbaum (Ed.), Between life and death (pp. 89- 123). New York: Springer.
      ^ a b Capel, M. ( 1978). Las experiencias extracorporales: Revision de la casuistica y algunas aportaciones explicativas. Psi Comunicacion, 49-7 1.
      ^ a b Gabbard, G. O., & Twemlow, A. W. (1 984). With the eyes of the mind: An empirical analysis of out-of-body states. New York: Praeger Scientific.
      ^ a b Zusne, L., & Jones, W. H. (1982). Anomalisticpsychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

      Checkmate.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • rafael

      No doubt humans are wired about the same and have similar subconscious experiences as the system is breaking down.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sigh. That old NDE nonsense again. Were you aware that pilots and astronauts have experienced the symptoms of NDEs while undergoing high G training? The brain is a complex organ. It can respond to stress in unexpected ways. When NDEs are processed through a cultural filter, christians see christs, hindus see hindu gods, etc, etc.

      NDEs are proof that the brain is amazing. Nothing more. There is no proof that immortality exists anywhere except in fiction and wistful thinking.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Timmy

      After eating too much sugar one time, I suddenly found myself talking to a giant Cinnabon who was wearing a top hat and pinstripe suit and went by a name that sounded something very much like "Carl". I call it my Near Lunch Experience. I submit this tale as proof and demand you bow down to your new Cinnabon overlord.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  11. are122

    No faith, no hope beyond and violence, violence and more violence. Is it any wonder we see more kids killing kids.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      No God = No Rules. Free for all.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjhFlI6-ZBI&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • OOO

      OK,
      You are about the thousandth person on this blog that is insinuating that people of no faith are murderors. We can show you study after study proving this is not the case, but you choose to listen to your pastors?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      @ OOO Are you actually demanding independent thought from a religious loony?

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      January 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Esmerelda, You are aware that a study was released yesterday proving that monkeys have morality. Please explain to me how they found Monkey Jesus.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Roger that

      An atheist knows that you have one life and you don't want to blow it and spend the rest of your life locked up. A believer believes this life is a blink of an eye and with forgiveness all is well and an eternity in heaven is waiting. Who is more likely to commit a crime?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Are122? I'm sorry that you are incapable of being a good person without the empty threat of hell or the hollow promise of heaven, but don't worry. Those of us who don't need a supernatural daddy are no more inclined to violence than anyone else.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  12. Esmerelda de Ville

    Atheist definition of a humanitarian = someone who takes care of house pets. LOL!

    January 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      In future when you tell a joke – don't forget to include the funny part.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fundie definition of an overachiever: Someone who knows how to read those three-syllable words without moving his lips.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Enlightened

      This is one of the dumbest remarks I've heard read. Everyone has moral values, regardless of their religion or lack of religion. As a matter of fact, I've found athiest to be more companionate than Christians, simply because Christians tend to what the recognition for their action or they won't do it. Where as, Athiests aren't out for the glory, their out the help someone. Obviously you're extremely confused.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Obvious troll is obvious. And not particularly interesting.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  13. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVusPTM0P9o&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • are122

      I doubt if I know any of them.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  14. Esmerelda de Ville

    Joe Biden + potato = chicklet-like false teeth smile

    January 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  15. Agnostic

    Thank you Deborah for sharing your story. I was raised Lutheran but am now agnostic. Its amazing the reactions some 'Christians' have and things that they say when they realize you don't believe as they do. They might have a change of heart if they were on the receiving end of their often rude, inconsiderate, condescending and frankly un-Christian behavior.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • notmyown

      Well I am appalled by how people who claim to be Christians react to people who don't agree with them too. The difference between you and I is I am a Christian. But you see, that is how you determine who are true born again Christians and those whose religion is Christian. I'm sure you know from your Lutheran background, that Jesus himself said that " long is the road and narrow is the gate that leads to salvation." I would venture to say that those who react to you and others that way are not believers.

      Fortunately, it is not my responsibility to make people believe, that is a decision they need to make on there own. We are only responsible for telling of the gospel of salvation through Jesus. If they choose not to believe, that is on them.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  16. Austin

    religion is a bad word. evolution tells us there are different races. God tells us about the human race. and the truth is that we are all as one, justified and redeemed through one savior, who was God . It is finished. we are divided through deceit and sin.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      free people do not need a savior, austin. but, if being a snivelling sycophant floats your boat, have at it. but, don't expect your blather to convince others

      January 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • JWT

      I have no need of a saviour nor of any of the many possible gods.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • are122

      Quite true. The laws of physics governing the universe weren't thought up by rocks and balls of gas. And DNA studies all point to a single beginning.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Austin

      but Sam, He who sins is a slave of sin. But a slave does not abide in the house forever. But the son abides in the house forever. therefore, if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.

      So until you are baptised by the Holy Spirit into the freedom from sin, you are not free. Nor are you alive spiritually.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Sam is full of names that define himself, "inbred" "sycophant" , now, I'm sure that he had to google the second word, or it is on his "word of the day" calendar, because he is much too ignorant to have the definition in his pea sized brain for a random phrase such as the one he posted here

      January 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Derek

    America was founded as a god fearing country. "in god we trust". "one nation under god". There are other English speaking countries who would be glad to accept you. Quit polluting American minds, we already have enough of it.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Akira

      Derek, I hate to break it to you, but there is no official religion in the United States.
      And why are you not capitalizing His name, if you are so devout?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • OOO

      Great argument Derick. I guess I have no choice to believe because it's on our money.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Thoth

      In God We Trust / Under God – added in 1950's by a congress bullied by evangelical lobbyists. The founding fathers, much to your dismay, spelled out their intent: E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One....

      January 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Grundoon

      Derek, "In God We Trust," and "Under God" we ere added to to the money and the pledge in the 1950's complements of that maniacal horses ass Sen. Joseph McCarthy to quell the imaginary plague of communism.

      There are some of us who have the ability to be and do good for only the sake of goodness and not because we fear denial of an other worldly reward.

      I refuse to believe in a blood thirsty deity.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Mark

      @Derek. I hope you are trolling because I refuse to believe there are Christians out there so completely clueless about the history of these phrases that they would spout this garbage as if it had any argumentative merit.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • JJ

      Even Pat Robertson doesn't spout this lie anymore. Apparently you didn't get the memo.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Carex

      "In God We Trust" and "one nation under God" were added to the pledge and to money in 1950's. I may be a little off on the dates but they do not reach back to the foundation of the nation, never mind the writing of pledge or the initiation of national American money.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Don in KS

      Derek you do realize that one of those was not originally found on out money and that "one nation under god" was not in the original Pledge of Allegiance, but was added in the 1950"s by anti-C0mmunists? Our country was founded as a place where believers and non-believers were equal, with equal rights. Our government and country are secular, not in any way or form connected to any religious belief. Sorry to disappoint you about that.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  18. musicoxygensl

    It's been a pleasure arguing with all of you ridiculous lunatics, but my Father said it's time for me to stop now, and to apologize for my humanity in my responses to your insults. So, I'm sorry , atheists. While I understand your questioning, though, I do not understand why you feel it necessary to argue your point with such rudeness and with insults. I will pray for you, and hope that you will find reasons to seek God for yourself, cause it would be cool to laugh about this together in Heaven later.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says the guy who called someone else a "turd."

      I call Poe.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      aww, that's tom tom's problem, he can't forgive someone when they apologize, that's why he's so angry

      January 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      it's because of your fvcking arrogance, you inbred gash

      January 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You didn't apologize, you twit.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So after insulting us, you just pray to your invisible old man in the sky, and it's all good.

      Surely god must be offended that you think he's so fickle. You'll be cooking in your imaginary hell with the rest of us.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "all of you ridiculous lunatics"

      Even his apologies come wrapped with insults! But it's okay, because god is a fickle t-wit who'll grant you eternal bliss no matter what.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Why Tank, you do believe in Hell after all! and you know what, you're right, I just thought I should apologize, but I take it back, you can all go to hell you blasphemous , arrogant fools

      January 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      musicoxymoron, how can we miss you if you won't leave?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      @ musicoxygensl

      And it's all cool with your fickle, feckless old man in the sky. How sweet.

      And also, remember to address your inability to read and comprehend sentences and context. Who knows when you might associate with people besides other unthinking members of your cult, and be found sorely deficient in the execution of even the most rudimentary cognitive tasks?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Mark

      Just remember to never stop believing in your invisible superfriend and ignore any statements that might make you think critically about your belief and you'll be just fine. Now go to bed like your dad says.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Human

      Dear passive aggressive, self-righteous, turd:

      Do the voices tell you to do... other things, too?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  19. Texas Transplant

    In my christian belief system as a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in God's creation there is room for us to convey love, His love, to all humas as we are each made in His image. There is no room for pity, for fretting about their merit for salvation, for their salvation at all. His love compels us the believers to convey to all others love with respect for their dignity and their integrity. We are not put here to judge, that is God's job and He is excellent at it. That sufices. Our job is to, as best as we can in our stumbling way, convey the love that He has gifted us with, not that we earned it, but that was freely granted to us. Whether the other comes to believe in Him sooner or later is for life to show but in this present moment, in the mean time our business is to show grace, love and respect. That is all we are to do and yet we fall short in great measure because we busy ourselves with something so great we are not equipped to deal with – with the salvation of all others. We can not even save ourselves, that is why forgivness exists. We can simply confess and ask for forgivness and ask for grace to tether ourselves better to Him. In loving all others with all our best we find Him and find the best path to our fulfilment. Love this mom, love her kids and let His love guide them and protect them. Be as transparent as crystaline water in a brook and just as generously let His love flow from you to all others. That done you are fulfilled.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • musicoxygensl

      Then explain 'Jacob I loved; Esau I hated" or explain why Jesus called people "brood of vipers and hypocrites" Or why he told the pharisees that "your father is the devil" your mamby pamby view of Christianity is why the church is so powerless today, you only say things that are sure to not offend, when Jesus said "I am the rock of offense; a stone that makes men stumble and a rock that makes them fall"

      January 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Austin

      Right on texas. We cant boast about ourselves or what we have done. And we would suffer for the chance to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit and the chance to pray for anyone , and individual .

      January 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Akira

      So...Texas isn't Christian enough for you, musicoxy?
      Wow.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Oliver

      The way I read it, your version of "love" is to secretly hope that someone decides to believe in your god and offers nothing more. Am I missing something? How is it that you show your "love" for this mom and her kids by secretly hoping to undermine what she is teaching her children? Sounds like something very different from love.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  20. Mark

    Faith is self-fulfilling and self-reinforcing. If you believe something to be true, you will come to discover it is true. It's how religion works. It's how happiness works. It's how love works. And once you believe, the self-reinforcing (or confirmation bias) of belief kicks in. That's why no amount of discussion can dissuade a believer. Believers never actually have "a crisis of faith" or "tests of faith" because they channel the experience through via confirmation bias and use that experience to further reinforce their belief. It is only a truly honest person, honest to themselves and to clear thinking that could ever experience a crisis of faith and those people inevitably end up losing their faith.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
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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.