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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. AK

    Ted Turner's hatred of religion – or more correctly, of any faith that does not have Himself as God – has imprinted well on CNN. Evidence is this little thumbnail story. Normally entries here don't last more than three days. How long has this lovely little blondie mom (Moms are sacred) with her Wiki-deep atheist erudition been featured here?

    Agenda, anyone?

    January 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • mason

      this "story" is what is evolving in America as parents, by the millions including me, have dropped religious delusions for honesty, reason, and truth.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Paul

      Your intolerance of anyone without your beliefs sums up just one of the many reasons for atheism. If your a true christian I'm sure you will forgive her.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • AK

      Whose reason, Mason? Whose truth? The reasoning and resultant actions of an NKVD operative ca. 1930, or an SS Gruppenfuehrer, ca 1941 Ukraine, might be different than yours but to them, just as correct and valid. And if one of them managed to kill you, than by your belief system,. they;d be the one that was right.

      So...you choose wisely to impart a morality system to your children that was bequeathed by centuries of Judeo-Christian overlay – as it sometimes was executed, rightly or wrongly, by flawed men – on Western civilization. And as you and future generations evolve away from that paradigm, all I can say is, beware the new rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to fill the emptiness in the breasts of those who follow you.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • AK

      Paul, I tolerate DAM just fine. Her right freely to express her opinion is something I'd have no other way. Take her right away, and mine goes next.

      She thinks I'm nuts, and I think she's shallow. That's not intolerance.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • the AnViL

      " beware the new rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to fill the emptiness in the breasts of those who follow you"

      *whispering* too much LDS back in the 60's

      *wink*
      .
      .
      .
      .

      yak yak yak

      January 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • flare68

      I left the lie of religion for my own morality, however flawed. Please don't judge those of us who don't need punitive threats from invisible beings and a book written, rewritten and reinterpreted by men....such as yourself who are sure they know what is best.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • visitor

      Little blondie mom? So little blondie moms don't have the right to an opinion as say, some pastor Billy-Bob with the 8 kids?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  2. virginia

    forget about saintology the new Religion is OmniScience the "ALL KNOWING GOD" there is only one at this time who knows it all that is OmniScience God....the new religion to the God particle of an ALL KNOWING GOD OF THE BIBLE OUR heavenly father in heave...

    Religion only means cangregation of people of course if always helps to be selective with what type of individuals one want to relate to in a crowd...so find the Religion that best suits your belief but God is only one even jesus called him the father of the heavens our creator...

    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 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I suppose that makes as much sense aes it can, virginia.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • keagz

      what?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Donald

      Home schooling left you a few scoops short of a sundae, virginia.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  3. the AnViL

    those of you who believe in the abrahamic god – or any gods for that matter, are delusional.

    and that's a flat fact

    January 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Austin

      Really is that why Islaam and Israel dont get along? it isnt a sibling rivalry between ishmael and isaac? where does the word israel come from. Have you ever heard of Israel?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • the AnViL

      austin, you are clearly suffering from delusional thinking.

      you're a fine example of everything we've all come to detest in organized religion.

      congratulations.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  4. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQw9sNmNEeA&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Austin

      godofloounatcreation......how is Jesus, or God the Father evil?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  5. Laura

    I am so tired of atheists who think that, because they volunteer at a homeless shelter or give money to a cause, they are stellar human beings. And then they throw out the argument that since wars have been fought based on religion or that some Christians have no desire to pay extra money to an unethical and corrupt government, that religion as a whole is evil. What a ridiculous, simple minded argument.

    There are plenty of selfish atheists who don't care one bit about anyone but themselves. And there are plenty of Christians who give their time, talent, and money to serve others (many of whom oppose higher taxes).

    January 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm so tired of poo sandwiches not obeying the laws of themodynamics.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      Atheists hate their fellow man, but love their pets. That's what makes them "good" people. LOL!

      Fluffy = Good / Jesus = Evil

      It's sick, isn't it?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Gir

      Laura the Strawman!

      Able to leap from conclusion to conclusion without any evidence or relevance to the issue!

      It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a pile of bullshlt!

      January 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Athy

      I'm tired of Christians that do the same thing.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • GBfromOhio

      True, the point should be that you are involved in primitive and silly dogma and are often judgmental of others who do not buy into your brainwashed viewpoint. I get it, no one wants to die and we all would like assurances that we will persist after death.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      My yorkie comes when I call him. Jesus has never learned to do that.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Jen

      And.....vice versa

      January 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Laura

      Wow. My husband is an atheist and I am a Catholic. He is a wonderful person and we share many of the same values. I have nothing against atheism and he has nothing against Christianity or any other religion. He understands my beliefs but questions them too much to believe himself. And that is fine.

      You all are bad people not because you are atheists – but because you just seem to be bad people. You may think that I believe in a "fairy" in the sky, or whatever misconception you have about my beliefs. But I can tell simply by your sad, thoughtless comments that you are all missing something in your lives that have nothing to do with religion – morals.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      Sounds like Tom Tom's parents taught him praying was like wishing on a star. No wonder he's confused and angry. I would be too if I was raised by Santaria parents like yours

      January 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • kenny

      are you a good person because god wants you to be one and you'll get to heaven or because its simply the right way to live and let live, golden rule etc? if there was no heaven or heeelllllll would you be a good person or a bad one? you have a problem accepting reality and you make bad decisions based on your deluded beliefs that hurt others. the iraq war happened cause xtians elected a feeble minded moron and he thought it was a good idea to start it. but i bet you couldn't care less about muslim civilians being killed or even soldiers .. right???

      January 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Laura

      You are all bad people because you don't agree with me. I'm not judgemental; it's just that every last one of you is horrible evil devil-sodomizing pigdogs. Which isn't judgemental You're the judgemental ones.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      LOL @ Laura. You've got the whole dialogue down for the dog lovers. Too funny.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Laura

      @kenny – you don't even know me, yet you assume that I am some war-mongering Christian? I'm not sure where you get that from my comments. It's like people make these ridiculous statements because they think it will be true if they type it or say it out loud. Doesn't really work that way.

      I am a good person because I am supposed to be a good person. My faith and my religion taught me how to be a good person, but I don't rely on my belief in heaven to act the right way. Again, a common misconception that atheists seem to think. And really – does it matter why someone acts right toward their fellow man? I would say that the reason behind it is irrelevant, so long as it happens.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Human

      I'm so tired of people who.... just act like people. How's that for summing it all up?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Jen

      Laura, my husband is Catholic and I am agnostic. We have different beliefs but mutual respect. For you to say everyone on these boards is a bad person is a misconception, and reveals that you are in fact a bad person.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • For Laura

      You have too much "all of you" blanket stereotyping and hatred to be able to claim you are good, Laura. Indeed, in just a few posts, you have become what you claim to despise.

      Nice one.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Laura

      @Jen – I was only referring to the people who were making rude comments in response to my post. I am Catholic and my husband is an atheist. I do not think that everyone here is "bad" and I certainly have no problem with atheists. I was referring only to those who were disrespectful.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Laura sez:
      "some Christians have no desire to pay extra money to an unethical and corrupt government"
      please identify this "government" you are referring... Possibly the US?? ... WOW if so

      January 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Paul

      Name me a war fought on behalf atheism. I'm equally sick and tired of religious zealots spewing their hatred for anyone who does not agree with their supersticious beliefs.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Laura

      I'd like to make something clear (that I probably should have before) – my earlier comment about "bad people" was in reference to those being disrespectful to me simply because I express my religious beliefs. It is not a generalization to all atheists or agnostics, or to any particular group. I am simply pointing out what seems to be a fact based on certain remarks made only be certain people – and I am referring only to those certain people. Geez.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      good for you, laura.

      go meet jesus

      January 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Jen

      Ok fair enough. You should clarify that. I don't like either side making sweeping generalizations about each other. Pretty much every Christian I know in real life is a fantastic person. A lot of people on these boards don't seem to be (but not all of them).

      January 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Laura

      By "all of you", I only meant "certain people". Really. It's not that I got busted and am now trying to pretend I didn't say what I said. Really.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • flare68

      Wow, your sarcasm is hard to conceal. I am an atheist who does volunteer and I have never once thought of myself as a stellar person. In fact, I am more apt to look at my own behavior simply because I'm not puffed up by belonging to the "right church" or the "right god" or the "right bible." Please, before you judge other people, perhaps you should read that book you love so much. If I am not mistaken the Jesus of that book was a humble person who preached love and practiced tolerance....none of which I see with your post.

      January 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  6. missy

    Please read the book Proof of Heaven

    January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      It convinced you, so it will convince EVERYBODY. Because you are John Q. Public, the aggregation of all experiences and the viewer of all perspectives.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Couldn't I just put sand in my eyes instead?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Toutle Mom

      except it says that the Earth is flat and that bats are birds, rabbits chew cud, and that if you show a pregnant cow a striped pattern, then it's calf will be striped.... How is this in any way the truth?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  7. Devoted Christian

    As for me and my family, we will service the Lord.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Allah?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Devoted Christian

      You said, "As for me and my family, we will service the Lord."
      Taking turns on your knees?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • kenny

      what are you the aristocrats? that is sooo dirty... lol

      January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Austin

      when you hear a scientist speak of intricate details about the brain, and you know they truly dont believe, that they are committed to unbelief, you just thank God for the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith. And you realize that you are called to suffer with Christ even in the face of death. And you speak of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who bears the truth on the heart, and you know that this very spirit, is the one who in 100% of Christians, is responsible for salvation. It can come when you least expect it. Stand on the word of God.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Paul

      That's illegal in some states

      January 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Austin

      You said, "Stand on the word of God."
      A step ladder will give you more elevation.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      lol@Paul

      January 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  8. Esmerelda de Ville

    LOL! Someone thinks that Gates and Buffet have given more than all Christians combined. That's pretty pathetic, especially since you have a computer and can look that falsehood up for yourself.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      It's an accepted fact. We know how you can't accept those.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Gates has buffet for lunch, chicken yoghourt is for lemons and truckers only.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      Hitchens! He's not only bald, but pushing up daisies. What a loser. Drunk, dead, loser.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Nothing to see here folks. Just another religious loony. Move along now. Don't feed it.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      So is Jesus. I wonder how many times he shat himself on that cross.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  9. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_530nHUmz1I&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Austin

      explain to me how God the Father or Son are evil...

      January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Toutle Mom

      @Austin Global genocide doesn't count as evil?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  10. missy

    How does a three year old know about heaven and seem spiritually in tune and adults seem to lose that? Jesus told us to have child like faith.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And Harry Potter told us "Expelliarmus".

      January 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Gir

      Yes. The way to heaven is childish thinking and foolishness. (1 Corinthians 1:27). That makes sense.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You mean faith like that of a child. Children are born atheist and have no reason to believe those closest to them will lie. That is kind of like faith, isn't it?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Jen

      My three year old doesn't know anything about heaven.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Human

      Most of them think Heaven is in the North Pole. And that Jesus rides shotgun with Santa. So, um.... yeah. Go with what a 3 year old believes. Unless they're a Muslim 3 year old, Or, Buddhist. Or, mine – they just believe that people are essentially good, and that the world's pretty nifty. You shouldn't believe what any of them believe, right? Because it's not what you believe. So, they all must be tiny satans.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  11. Jeff

    As for me and my family, we serve God.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  12. Carex

    If there is a God, I doubt if She is petty enough to care whether I believe in Her or not.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      And we're even less interested in what you have to say than God. So be gone. LOL!

      January 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Esmerelda de Ville

      Horse dogs taste of granulated farts on Winter evenings yet Fu Manchu wears a smoking jacket to garage functions.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  13. David

    I do not like or agree with ALOT of organized religion, but the vast majority of it preaches good, moral characteristics. The vast majority of all religions have progressed through the years and are not bigotted or biased, they preach tolerance and forgiveness and equality.
    Islam is a major exception to this, but that is another topic for another day.

    The bottom line is, I do not understand how people can think there is no God. How can you possibly think our existence came to be because of a couple particles exploding into one another and then everything evolving froma single cell? That is SO MUCH more far fetched than a "God".
    Personally I believe in a GOD and evolution, it only seems logically. I do not believe in a controlling God, more of a creator who just let it all go as it may.

    BUT, if someone does not want to believe, especially in some man made religion, so be it.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Gir

      Nice jab at Islam there. What's that saying in the bible again? The one about logs and specks in people's eyes?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Esmerelda de Ville

      David, to the atheists being nice to stray dogs is better than feeding the poor. They revile Christians groups that do that, but love animal shelters. A sorry lot.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Christianity is just as evil as Islam.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rn6lRtMm0o&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Esmerelda de Ville

      You forget that bits of stars play ping pong with Hitler's lampshade.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Gir

      "That is SO MUCH more far fetched than a "God"."

      How improbably you think it is is irrelevant. The fact is, there is EMPIRICAL evidence to back it. Where's the evidence for your totally rational god?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Austin

      hey godoflunatics.....how is Jesus evil? or do you want to deceive and take a cheap shot at the nobody misrepresentations that evil has caused, and say that changes who Jesus Is? that is frustrating.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • kenny

      you're clearly not a very intelligent person. all religions are the same. they were created by men to control other men. they are filled with man made ideas and concepts passed through the ages. if a "god" exists... it created more planets and suns than there are grains of sand and is SOOOO far beyond our understanding its ridiculous to believe the b s that religions preach. its nice to have religion cause it answers questions were are afraid of. living in heaven with all your friends and family is a much better idea than sleeping for eternity, which is what happens when you die.

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

    Tomorrow hundreds of thousand of Christians will staff homeless shelters, and hospitals, and orphanages to take care of people of all faiths, and no faiths, and atheist will pet their dogs and cats and convince themselves that because they "love" their pets that they're better than everyone else. LOL!!!

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

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwMyjKQ725E&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yet cats bark at elemental badgers, unaware that smelly desks waft in a undeniably obtuse vegetable.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'd like to hear the bit about rice paddies again.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • JJ

      And millions of athesits will take care of their fellow man helping to feed and clothe them without need to broadcast it to the entire world as Christians seem to have to do.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Reader

      Huh. And tens of thousands of atheists – like me – will volunteer with the Big Brother/ Big Sisters, work for social justice for the poorest of us (ironic how man "people of religion" demand lower taxes so they can afford Escalades, and the expense of the poor), etc etc. Meanwhile, thousands of Christians/ Jews/ Muslims/ etc will abuse children, assault altar boys, cheat on their spouses, murder in the name of "god", and sincerely believe they can get away with it because they "believe", In a myth. It's a horrific hypocrisy us atheists cannot get our heads around.

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

      Atheists do all that you mentioned as well. I know, I am one of them. AND FYI Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, both secular humanists, give more to charity than all the christian donors combined. Learn something before you speak. Oh and also my daughter did more charity work than anyone in her high school and she is an atheist and I am a proud mom.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      I worked Meals on Wheels. How about you esmerellda?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Nelly

      You forget that the majority of scientists who work endlessly to make life better here on earth for all people are also atheists.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Brian

      Yes, and hundreds of thousands of atheists, agnostics and moderate christians, jews, and muslims will also staff hospitals, homeless shelters, science labs, and work for various charities; while at the same time fanatically religious christians, jews, and muslims will kill people who have different beliefs. It's the fanatically religious ones who are dangerous. Fanatic atheists (if such a thing even exists) don't kill anyone. Nor do they try to make other Americans feel like they are not a part of this country.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Apatheist

      You seem to have an obsessive hatred for pets.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  15. Judy

    People get to choose their beliefs, and they get to influence their children to believe in something or nothing.
    It's free will. A God-given right.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fox4KabGGE&w=640&h=390]

      January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Thoth

      Prove any god gave anyone anything....

      January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Reader

      No – it's called being rational, and free. We earn that by thinking critically. Not because some magical unicorn/ leprechaun/ god/ jesus/ wishing well told us we could.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  16. john

    It's really interesting the number of reasonably intelligent christian adults who still believe 2,000 year old fairy tales, or in the case of muslims, 1,400 year old fairy tales, or in the case of jews, 5,000 year old fairy tales. In several hundred years, if religion isn't the reason we all died in a global apocalypse, mankind will be able to look back on this foolishness and laugh at the gullibility with same elevated viewpoint that they currently look down upon thor, zeus, baal, poseidon, venus, mars, apollo et al. All major religions should be taught in school. After a year or two of having ALL major religions taught to the kids, the fallacies of all religions will quickly become apparent. And yet the adherents think they are oh so correct….go figure. This front facing, chest out, loud and proud atheist is signing off to watch the playoffs. Peace!

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

      Today's religions are tomorrow's mythologies. That's how it's been and how it always will be. (Caveat: tomorrow may take a while to arrive)

      January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  17. Stop Hating (or try, at least)

    Why waste so much time trying to argue with and antagonize christians? People who are brainwashed by their parents and the churches are UNABLE to think past their own indoctrination. Leave them alone. Who cares what they believe. Yes, they often sound offensive and ridiculous but it's better to just ignore them.

    If you really want to change this country, find a way to reach those who feel compelled to hide their non-belief for fear of religious persecution. Let them know they're not alone and that atheists/humanists/realists are good, kind and rational people who try to practice tolerance. We do good because it's right to do so, not out of fear of hell or a vengeful god There are miliions and millions of non-religious and it's a shame that so many of them feel they have to hide.

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

      You have no idea what you're talking about.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Reader

      Not a bad idea – it's time we all stepped up, and let the world know how many of us are true non-believers. Forward, my friend, forward.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  18. Godoflunaticscreation

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IKkfBKLApY&w=640&h=390]

    January 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  19. virginia

    Religion only means cangregation of people of course if always helps to be selective with what type of individuals one want to relate to in a crowd...so find the Religion that best suits your belief but God is only one even jesus called him the father of the heavens our creator...

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

      So.... religion is a mob of people who self-reinforce their views, no matter how nutty they really are? No thanks – I like thinking for myself. Liberty and freedom, my friend. Lots of us have fought and died for it.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  20. dogowner

    Why does CNN promote the hatred of people who believe in Jesus and the Bible?

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

      You seem like a reasonable person. Were you ever friends with Hitler?

      January 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Reader

      What? They didn't promote this – it was an ireport, there are thousand of those. What pushed it to their attention was the reaction of so many people of religion freaking out, abusing her, praying for her, claiming the ireport was offensive and needed to be taken down, etc etc.

      To paraphrase: I think you all protest a bit _too_ much. One is lead to believe you have doubts yourself, based on how you overreact to someone talking about their lack of belief.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • t2vodka

      They don't, they just offer other views, which no matter what that view is, Chrisitians view as hateful.

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

      Publishing an article that differs from your beliefs does not equal hate. Sorry, but your pastor is lying to you.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Laura

      @Reader – Christians protest too much? Those of us who believe in God protest too much? Note that most of the people on here are doing nothing except whining about people talking about God, thinking about God, believing in God, etc. They are offended when people mention God in their presence. They find it "absurd" and "unintelligent" when people believe in God. So who is really doing the protesting here?

      @t2 – Christians only view hate as being hateful. The fact that it is a different viewpoint from our own is irrelevant.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Why are christians afraid of people who don't share their beliefs? Why do christians think that they are above criticism? Why do christians think others should believe what they do, despite the fact that there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of their god, or any god?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Laura

      @tallulah – not all Christians think that. Atheists tend to overgeneralize religion, for some reason that escapes me. My husband doesn't believe what I believe, but I accept him because he is a good person. We respect each other.

      I would beg to differ with you that there is "no evidence" of God, but it would be a waste of my time. You can't force someone to believe in God.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Mark

      @Laura. Look at the original post. It was accusing CNN (this site) of hatred (not the posters). And in terms of representation, this isn't fox news or wall street journal where only certain a certain subsection of people can comment. Everyone can comment. If only religions had some way to get their story out other than by massive word or mouth or maybe if they had some kind of radio presence, or perhaps a network or hmm maybe hundreds of thousands of gigantic buildings where people could all gather together to reinforce their mass hallucinations. If you can't handle the dissenting comments of a couple hundred CNN posters you must be living in one hell of a bubble.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Laura

      @Mark – you severely overreacted to my comment(s). I could care less who comments and I don't get offended by them. I just think it shows a lot about a person by what they say on a CNN message board. Plus, it isn't so much about a differing viewpoint, as it is expressing that viewpoint in a respectful manner.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Mark

      @Laura.
      "You can't force someone to believe in God". But you can indoctrinate (brainwash?) them. Isn't that right millions of religious children?

      January 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Laura

      @Mark – teaching someone is not the same as "forcing." Do you have kids and do you enroll them in school? Are they "forced" to learn things while they are there? No – the information is put in front of them and it is up to them whether they are going to absorb it or not. My kids will be free to make up their own minds once I have provided them with the information. If they don't want to believe the same as me, that is their right and I will accept that. Not everyone holds that opinion, but I think it is the right one.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
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About this blog

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