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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. ThisAgain

    This story.. again? When you raise a post about religion naturally it is going to pull in tons of comments on if that person's view is right or wrong. The original story was showing an opinion about religion and because it pulled in comments suddenly it becomes a hit?
    The story goes back and forth so much it is like the writer is unable to make up her mind where she stands. To teach religion to her children she would have to brainwash them to believe stories, but she doesn’t want religion to go away. So if religion is like brainwashing why would she be ok with her children joining a church or having religion around? She understands why people need God or heaven, but that need isn’t for her. She wants her children to put faith in our schools and our government even though most Americans realize how poorly both are being run.
    If you teach your kids about Santa apparently that makes you a parent with questionable judgment? If that is true how many parents in American would be perceived as having questionable judgment? Things can get twisted and used to support either view. Any post about religion will spark a debate in the online community and this is no difference. I feel like this rehash of the blog is just a way to cash in on the popularity of the original to make a popular article.
    Religion will always be a heated debate by both sides the blog post was no different.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  2. Jennifer Leonard

    I am a kind, considerate, responsible, connected human being raising a kind, considerate, responsible, connected young boy. He doesn't need the "training wheels" of religion to develop an ethical character. I think religion is fine if it comforts people and gives them structure. Some of us, including people like me who were raised in highly religious environments (and are hence QUALIFIED to talk on the matter) simply do not think that illogical and often hypocritical male-written teachings of so long ago should have such power in the world. Especially since many concepts (in Christianity think of the Virgin Mary, in particular) are only "revamped" stories, tales, and beliefs that began during our ignorant early human days. We have learned and grown throughout the millennia and can now take off the training wheels and be good people without an invisible parent. It's time we grew up–there's already plenty of wonder and awe in the universe.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • snowboarder

      well said jen.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • janey33

      Jennifer Leonard...Yes, you can be ethical without believing in God. But, no, you are not qualified to talk on the matter. It's very obvious that you never had a personal relationship with God. Just because you were brought up in a highy religious environment does not mean that you know everything about it. It just means that you are not saved. If you accepted Jesus as your Saviour you would never leave Him. It's up to you what you believe but you are not qualified to talk about that which you do not know.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • ksocreative

      @janey33: lolz.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Moon

    So you're telling me that Mary was a Virgin and an angel was the father of her baby who was not really human?

    - The prosecution rests against The Utterly Stupid your Honor :)

    January 21, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • janey33

      an angel?? You obviously have no clue. Try reading the New Testament. And your beliefs are no better. You have to have just as much faith in your belief of how the universe was formed. So you are just poking fun out of something you know nothing about just because you don't believe it. Utterly stupid.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  4. StayOUTofmyuterus

    I so agree with this mom. I grew up in a fundementalist family who could not hold a converstion with anybody who didn't agree with their way of thinking. As a child I knew something wasn't right and questioned early. For that I had the pleasure of enduring an exorcism from a preacher who later molested me. I also was able to enjoy the harsh judgement of those "good christians" for acting out after the fact. I've learned over the years to realize there are good people of all religions and non-religions and to put my faith in the good I see and feel. I do not and will not go to church and niether do my children. I teach them to treat others with love and respect if they want the same in return. I tell them to think, empathize and question. They have brains and it is my hope that they actually use them instead of taking what someone tells them at face value. Obviously, this doesn't work out so well in a church setting.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • catholic engineer

      It's the old "think for yourself" schtick. Thinking is hard work. It takes discipline and endurance. Just because a person is thinking for him/herself doesn't mean they are thinking accurately. An idiot thinking for himself will think idiotic thoughts. And whatever you "think" has already been thought by someone else anyway. An original thought is rare.

      I'm interested in your moniker StayOUTofmyuterus. Is that the "mommy" talking, or the unborn person? After all, an unborn child, if if survived, could accuse the abortionist of breaking and entering, and the "mommy" of complicity.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • StayOUTofmyuterus

      Of course thinking for one's self is harder and questioning anything that goes against the grain makes it much more difficult. It's not a question of whether one has the most "original thought", but whether one takes the steps to research, examine and use critical thinking skills. Even if I disagree with someone else's conclusion, I can at least respect the fact that they came to said conclusion if they've looked at all sides unbiased and open-minded. Thats not a common find.

      In regards to my name, I am not speaking for a fetus. I am speaking for any woman who lives in a society where her health and choices are limited or controlled by govt. intrusion and not between her Dr. and herself. By your moniker I would assume you disagree, and think it's perfectly fine to let women die (gods will of course)by not getting the procedures needed, thinking of the case in Ireland btw.... Also by your moniker I can see that making a comment on my name rather than the mention of molestation in the church is more important. You ignored that completely, much like all those priests did in the past. Thanks for the compassion (sarcasm)

      It's the old "think for yourself" schtick. Thinking is hard work. It takes discipline and endurance. Just because a person is thinking for him/herself doesn't mean they are thinking accurately. An idiot thinking for himself will think idiotic thoughts. And whatever you "think" has already been thought by someone else anyway. An original thought is rare.

      I'm interested in your moniker StayOUTofmyuterus. Is that the "mommy" talking, or the unborn person? After all, an unborn child, if if survived, could accuse the abortionist of breaking and entering, and the "mommy" of complicity.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Jen

      Of course he has no compassion for you. Once you are out of the womb he couldn't give a crap about you. It's only embryos that are worth anything.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • janey33

      StayOUTofmyuterus...So you are only concerned about a woman's choices. How very selfish of you. The baby (yes, it is a baby..even science proves that it is a baby) has no choice in the fact that it is being murdered. Very sick. And I am NOT Catholic.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Colin

    Posting a priceless piece from jhuger.com

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    from Jhuger.com.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Mike

      Brilliant!!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • PJ

      Mis-posted before: Colin, that was beautiful.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Colin

      Thanks guys – not my work, though. I cited to the source.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You mean you're spreading the story of someone you don't know and have never met? Can you even prove he exists? How do I know this isn't something someone fabricated just to influence my behavior and control me?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  6. Doc Vestibule

    Woe be unto them who reject (INSERT HOLY BOOK) as the word of (INSERT DEITY) for they shall not be welcomed in (INSERT AFTERLIFE).

    January 21, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  7. AntiReligous

    Why is it when a new religion forms(in this case scientism), must hostility always accompany it? Why are humans, always so hostile to those who do not think like them?

    January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Not sure what "scientism" is exactly.
      The scientific method is the best process we have to explore, doc/ument, and explain the workings of the universe in which we live.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • HarryJ

      Science is based upon reason, which makes it the opposite of a religion. If somebody told you that they had "faith" in an investment scheme based upon buying stocks at a high price and selling them on a low one, wouldn't you consider them an idiot? Many religious claims are just as illogical.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • janey33

      HarryJ...You are so wrong. Have you actually read the Bible? It has many referrences to science. Science and Christianity are very compatible. A Christian believes that God created the Universe and science. After that, everything else is pretty much the same. I have taken several science courses and had no problem with most of what was in them. It takes just as much faith to believe the universe was formed without a god. No one was here when it began. No one knows for sure how old the universe is.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  8. Jim T

    What's even more amusing is that my incoherent ramblings were found by many to be worth the time and trouble in writing a witless pathetic response. Although I have personally read everyone's comments here and found few worth more than a yawn. Thank you everyone. You prove my point more than you realize. Good day.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • the AnViL

      vae victis

      January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  9. coyote123

    My dear nonhypocrite, I am sorry if I came across as scolding, I didn't mean to and realize you are well meaning. I meant to inform the atheists and the non-religious. Buddhism is atheistic, no creator god, in fact, the Buddha said it was simply a delusion to believe such. Buddhism has no belief in a soul either. Buddhism is not a religion in that sense although over thousands of years many cultures have introduced a rather religious flavor that can obscure the teaching.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  10. Colin

    It is quite amazing to me that, in the 21st Century, we find it odd that a woman DOES NOT want to raise her children to believe in some hokey Bronze Age Palestinian Sky-Fairy.

    If that isn't evidence that our education system is a train wreck, I don't know what is!

    January 21, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  11. Cat

    Religion isn't God. Man created religion, not God. This woman doesn't even understand that she's railing against manmade rules, not what God teaches us in the Bible. Study the teachings of Jesus and you see a benevolent God that wants the best life for us, not a rule maker who threatens us to follow His ways.

    God offers us an invitation to include Him in our lives; it's not a directive. She is free as are others to eschew God from their lives and those of her children, but she doesn't understand the basic principles she wants to eliminate are not from God but rather manmade religion.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • the AnViL

      >> man created religion, and god.<<

      there – i fixed your post for you!

      you're welcome cat!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Steppan

      Many things you said are wrong. Jesus condemns a lot of people and behaviors in the bible.
      Regardless – if god is inviting us, as you say, then I presume he's cool with the fact that we reject this invite.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Steppan. That's funny. I'd say yes, God will be the one staying cool. LOL

      January 21, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Justinian

      Not everyone in the world has the leisure time available to "study" a book for answers. If God exists, he needs to make it more self-evident.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Colin

      I can't help you, cat. Your kind is too far gone. You've utterly missed the point. Sorry to have to say that. Please just.... Rethink

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Steppan

      But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matt 5:21-22).

      Some benevolent preacher, huh?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • dctouristsandlocals

      You do realize that men wrote the bible, don't you?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • ed galbraith

      Cat, Jesus is " not a rule maker who threatens us to follow His ways" (your words)...REALLY? are you kidding? what's the heaven/hell crap all about?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • sam stone

      man wrote the bible, man created god

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  12. mudhut

    We need to start to tax religious organizations. They are a service industry and should be treated as other service industries. People go to church to receive comfort, just as they go to the movies to be entertained.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Chris

      Amen to that.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Colin

      Amen

      January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • HarryJ

      When Pastors do the same jobs as councillors, lecturers, and entertainers then why shouldn't they be taxed like them? Charitable work only accounts for a fraction of any church's activity, like the charitable work being done by other businesses. Churches should keep separate books, claim what they're ent_itled to fairly claim, and stop acting as though everything that they do is done without the members' own personal salvation in mind.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  13. Karen McCormick

    How sad, to send children out into the world believing there is nothing more than what they see, no one to answer to beyond themselves and no hope for anything better. Because she had an empty upbringing, she decided to pass that emptiness to her kids. This is why millions of babies are killed each year for convenience, people are so quick to grab a gun and snuff out the lives of others on the smallest of offense. A godless world reaps what it sows.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • JJ

      Why do your priests rape thousands of children within the walls of your church? Doesn't sound like they have cornered the market on morality to me but you Christians always come to their defense.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Justinian

      Most of the people who are "killing babies" and snuffing out the lives of others would claim (in this country, at least) to be Christians.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Not a catholic brain washed citizen

      You can believe what you want, but you have no right and position to blame or critcize!
      You may not believe it but there maybe many "other" reasons why there is violence in our world, poverty, political and RELIGiOUS corruption, mental illness, lust, or greed to cover just a few!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • the AnViL

      spoken like a true member of the westboro baptist church.

      thank you for your input, karen... we are all thankful for your superior moral insight.

      thank you so much!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can't give away that which you do not have.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Colin

      Karen, go away, you bigot. We are not empty people and how dare you talk to us that way.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • smell the coffee

      How sad to send out children into the world full of imaginary ideas and not an understanding of reality. Because you were brainwashed, you decide to pass that ignorance on to your kids. This is why millions of babies starve each year without the help of an imaginary ghost. Relaying on an imaginary ghost reaps what it sows.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Chris

      Keep drinking the cool aid, more death and destruction has occurred in the name of God than any other motivator in human history. We've come along way since the Bronze Age why not leave its literature behind too. I'm happy to see some kids spared the crazy, we need more rational people in the world that's the real solution.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • JWT

      So Karen you'd prefer to fill her kids with mindless BS. Yuch.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Josh

      You mean like all the godless indians you christians slaghtered to make this country? Or the blasfimus Muslims who's families were slaughtered with impunity while those who did whe offered exemption from religous backlash. It his her right to raise her children as she see's and it is un-Christ like of you to criticize her. Besides if all of you religous folks were right wouldn't there only be one god universaly worshiped by all mankind? Not hundreds or thousands worshiped every where?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • jonnylynchy

      Karen, isn't it ironic how most of the comments on this page are anti-faith, as is the norm for the bulk of the Internet regardless of content, yet agnostics and atheists act like they are the oppressed. They liken it to another civil-rights movement.

      I digress.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Kling

      Amen, Karen. Well said – one needs to look no farther than surrounding posts to witness the sadness of the finished product of children raised without the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

      (see http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/01/13/thank-you-mr-president-for-these-pro-life-marching-orders/ for the irony of Pres. Obama's comments on giving all children a chance)

      January 21, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Roger that

      I guess you missed this article?

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/16/survey-few-religious-groups-want-roe-v-wade-overturned-despite-belief-abortion-morally-wrong/

      January 21, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      How sad, Karen, that you call curiosity and the desire for truth "empty". How sad that you can't understand personal responsibility. If your morality is dependent on supernatural threats, then you really aren't a good person at all.

      Stop pretending that christians aren't partially (if not mostly) responsible for abortions and mass shootings. The political religious "right" has done it's best to remove from schools any meaningful education about birth control. History shows that abstinence has never worked. And the political religious "right" has also done it's best to make sure mental health care is unaffordable to most Americans, while at the same time keeping guns as available as possible.

      Your outrage is hypocritical, and the only empty thing here is your claim of superior morality.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Joseph

      "This is why millions of babies are killed each year for convenience, people are so quick to grab a gun and snuff out the lives of others on the smallest of offense."

      Isn't that what heaven is for?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • sam stone

      which god, karen? the folks who flew the planes into the world trade center had god in their lives,too

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • sam stone

      despite your protests, karen, this is not a "godless world".

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • janey33

      the AnViL...Just because someone expresses their beliefs, you conclude they are a member of the Westboro Baptist Church?? And you know this how?? And your beliefs are no better than anyone else's. Just because you don't beleve in something you poke fun out of it. I know atheists who have much better manners than you and would never put someone down because they believe differently.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • janey33

      JJ...Your posting shows how ignorant atheists are about Chrisianity. You put down those who don't believe as you do, but have no knowledge of what those beliefs are. You are confusing all Christians with Catholics!!!! Protestants do not have priests!!! They have nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • janey33

      Justinian...They would? Did you ask them? None of the Christians I know are doing that.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • janey33

      Chris...Have you actually read the teachings of Jesus? He teaches us to have love, compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance. That sure doesn't seem crazy to me. If we all followed His example, this would be a much better world.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Krampus

    The world will be a much better place when scientific reasoning is the norm, not fairy tales and mass mind control

    January 21, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • TruthTeller

      Amen!

      January 21, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Julia70

      The universe did not just happen, there is a Grand Creator, God the Father, he had a son Jesus, who arose from the dead thousands of witnesses were there, he then rose into heaven, and prepared a place for us with his father, Reality, things just don't happen from nothing, Carl Sagan in order to create an apple pie from scratch you must first create the universe, only one Grand Creater created the Universe, God

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • the AnViL

      julia – there is no evidence to support any of your assertions.

      none

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • JasmineGrrrrl

      POST OF THE DAY!!!!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Stare into you TV. Do not adjust the picture. We control the vertical, we control the horizontal. Repeat after me "Science is morally neutral"

      January 21, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • janey33

      the AnViL...Just as there is no evidence to support yours. No one was here when the universe was created. You have to have as much faith in your belief as a Christian does in theirs. The evidence that you believe to support your point of view can just as easily point to a God that created everything.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • the AnViL

      janey33 – the propensity of delusional people to attempt to use argumentum ad ignorantiam to support their beliefs or answer sound, reasoned criticism, is all pervasive and stupid.

      the onus of evidence still rests firmly on the shoulders of those who posit the existence of imaginary men in the sky.

      you're not dealing with that intelligently.

      evolve.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • janey33

      the AnViL...Those who know God have nothing to prove. Those who don't know Him will never understand what it's like, no matter what. Your belief is no more provable than that of a Christian, and no more plausable.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • janey33

      the AnViL...Christians have nothing to prove. Those who know God know that He exists and those who do not will never understand. But you will find out one day that He indeed does exist. Sorry it will be too late for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  15. jonnylynchy

    I respect this lady's views and agree that she has a right to live free in our open society without feeling shunned by the Christian community. However, as a person who claims "reason" and "logic" as her base of understanding, it appears as if she doesn't have a passable knowledge of the basic principles of Christianity, as also with many who are posting comments here.

    To all you Atheists out there, I respect your views and to a large degree, have a solid understanding of where you are coming from. I've read Hawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennett, all of whom I admire and respect on an intellectual level. Their work has given me much reason to pause, think, and ask questions I would have otherwise only glazed over in a "zombie" religious state.

    I'm curious though, as a person of faith who has studied the banner-men of the Atheist community, are there any atheists out there who have seriously studied or considered arguments on the other side of the coin? For quick reference, I'm talking about people like J. Ed Komoszewski, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Gary R. Habermas, Michael Licona, Tim Keller, etc.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • dnsbubba

      Personally, I've taken two college level comparative religion courses, and I've read all the major texts of the major religions. And, I have read some apologetic books. However, they all fail at the exact same point, and that is that they simply can not show evidence for the existence of whatever deity they claim exists. If they can't show that their particular view of a god exists, anything following from that is pointless.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • mudhut

      I was a religion major in college, went to 12 years of catholic school. The more I studied Christianity the more it fell apart.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Most atheists and agnostics that I know have studied religion extensively, and not just Christianity.

      In fact, most of them that left Christianity left because of what that they learned during that study.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Chris

      I have read most of the list you mention, familiar with Craig the most, the ultimate break point for me is faith, wrapping their arguments in pseudoscientific intellectualism they cloud the fact that without believing in a creator you have nothing, vrs physics which provides a pretty good understanding of what happened up to a few seconds after the Big Bang and has shown recently that the idea of nothing that is the absence of space and time is inherently an unstable environment
      Read Krauss "a universe from nothing, why there is something rather than nothing" for a good Everyman read of the recent developments in that area of physics and cosmology.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • ALM

      Yes, what they cannot explain or prove is why one needs religion/God to be a good person. In fact religion and belief in a deity or deities limits our choices, since all religions see the other as inherently flawed or simply wrong.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • tallulah13

      I was raised in a very christian town. Though my family was not terribly religious, I simply as.sumed I was christian. Much of my family and some of my best friends are christian. I believe that we are all free to worship (or not worship) as we choose. What I do not support is using religion as an excuse to harm or discriminate against others.

      That said, my atheism is something I came to by myself. I did not need to read the thoughts of others to realize that the concept of god is nothing more than the very human attempt control the unknown. Humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods, and there isn't a shred of proof to support the existence of any one of them. Gods always share the values of the culture that invented them, only travel where humans take them, and never emerge independently in two unrelated places at once.

      All the rhetoric in the world cannot change these facts. Therefore I don't waste my time reading christian efforts to twist reality to suit their belief.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • janey33

      dnsbubba...You completely missed the point. A Christian has a personal relationship with God and does not need to prove His existance. All the reading in the world is not going to make you believe in God if your heart is not open to Him. But you cannot prove that this universe was created without a god, either.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  16. FamilyD3v

    I am agnostic with three children, I teach my kids right from wrong and to always be a good person. I ask my children what is the most important in life, they respond "family is".

    January 21, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you mean the Corleone family or the Holy family?

      January 21, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • julie mckee

      This sounds exactly like my 2 children & I. They are also 2 of the most compassionate people I know.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Rog

      Explain to me what is right from wrong?
      We are conditioned to believe that killing and stealing are bad, but only because it came from religion to start with.

      Without religion, there is no right and wrong. It is every animal for himself...just like nature.

      Without heaven and hell there is no consequence for doing right or wrong

      Without God there is no Evil

      I'm OK with your not believing....but don't be surprised when the stronger bully takes your stuff and does as he wants.

      God is the basis for civility. Without him we will decend into depravity and lawlessnes. Don't believe me? Then you are truly blind and can not see what is happening daily around you.

      I don't go to church, but believe deeply in God and am scared at the direction you fools are taking our country and the world. While you argue about Christianity, the devout Muslims and Jews are taking over the world and stealing everything right out from under us.

      Selfish fools

      January 21, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • smell the coffee

      Hey Rog – relax man. Religion has simply hijacked ethics. Morality is actually something in the human being when they connect on a compassionate level with their fellow human being. It does not need to come from an invisible ghost or some book of rules imposed from outside. Perhaps if you connected with you fellow humans you may develop some compassion towards the other religions and come from a place of love instead of hate and fear.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Madtown

      Without religion, there is no right and wrong.
      -----
      So human beings were neither right or wrong, before they invented religion?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Chris

      ROG, the Christian morals you so desire us to live by presided over multiple inquisitions, the dark ages, genocides, crusades, justified slavery, treat women as property.... Sounds like a good code to live by, oh and the majority of human existence say roughly 200,000 years human societies managed to get by without your bible, which is a mish mash of separate Mediterranean religious traditions consolidated by the Romans at Nicea, not divine in any way, written by men for men.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • tallulah13

      Rog? It's very sad that you can't be a good person without supernatural threats and promises, but I as.sure you that most of humanity does just fine with empathy and compassion.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • janey33

      tallulah13...Funny you should mention empathy and compassion. That is what Jesus teaches us to have.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  17. bretbmf

    I don't understand the debate. I am going to raise my children as I believe. None of you know what I believe... none of you should know what I believe. My beliefs are mine and mine alone. I will share them with my children as I see fit. If they ask what happens when a person dies, I'll tell them what I believe. My parents raised me that way, sharing with me their beliefs about not only religion, but politics, social issues, etc. I don't believe what my parents believe(d) but their guidance led me to find out what I believe and what is most important to me in my life.

    As a parent now I have the right – nay, the obligation to share my beliefs with my children and encourage them to learn and gather their own information so that they, too, can decide what they want to believe and how they want to live their lives. Whether you are Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, or a member of any other of the many religions out there, you have the obligation to share your beliefs with your children. And if you don't believe in religion or if you don't believe in God, you have the obligation to share those (non)beliefs as well.

    No one should ever criticize someone for their beliefs, or lack thereof, because each of us has a reason for why we believe (or don't believe) what we do. Beliefs are personal. If you find someone who wants to listen to yours, and you want to share, that is something special that you are sharing with them. Tossing around comments like "everyone must believe or rot in hell" or "believers are uneducated morons" is the wrong approach and it makes the side your defending look that much more ridiculous to those who are opposed.

    I honestly don't care what religion people belong to or don't belong to – if they are nice people and I get along with them, then they obviously are doing something right and I don't want to take that away from anyone.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Colin

      Bret, I wish it was that easy. See, as an atheist, I live in a world where my freedoms are constantly being threatened by the religious and I am constantly having to fight for social justice. Christians scapegoat our godless lifestyle for the worlds problems, simply by their labeling of themselves a Christians. So do Muslims. They will deny this, but it is undeniable. It is in the basic theology.i can't say Christians are anything other than retarded, because they have signed onto a belief that actually needs talking snakes to be a real thing. Same goes for resurrection and invisible people. It's is no less retarded than having an invisible best friend who is really mean to other people. Those of us who don't believe in your invisible best friend don't care if it is the invisible best friend saying hateful things about us, because we know it is really just the believer saying hateful things and passing off the the issues people take with their statements onto their gods. Gays can't get married because of The religious in so many places. That IS retarded, and it needs to stop. I don't care for religious people's feelings as long as they treat the rest of us like animals. Beliefs aren't meant to be respected. Beliefs are meant to be questioned. If I said I believe you deserve to burn in a fire for all of eternity, would you respect my beliefs? No of course not. You aren't the worst person on this board, but the things you are saying just don't work.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • samek

      You rock. Thank you.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Personally, I disagree with the idea that your obligation is to teach your children what you believe. Rather, I think it is our obligation to raise children who can think and reason and as they are old enough expose them to many thoughts and beliefs so that they can make their own choices.

      In helping to raise my niece and nephew, we never responded to religious questions with a single answer. We always opened it to discussion of what various beliefs might offer in response.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • samek

      And that was directed at Bret, NOT Colin.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Colin

      It's ok, I don't need your approval.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • the AnViL

      colin – you certainly do not need it, but you definitely have my approval... very well written.

      good form.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Joel

      Amen, Colin (no pun intended . . . or maybe it was).

      January 21, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  18. s

    I truly commend her bravery for speaking about about her beliefs. I also live in Texas, and I can attest to how difficult it would be to come out as an atheist. It must be incredibly isolating to be a mother who is not a Christian; I can only imagine the discrimination and judgement she faces.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • janey33

      You can only imagine the discriminarion and judgement a non-Christian faces? From whom?? Do you actually know any Christians? A Christian is a follower of Christ, who teaches love, tolerance, and forgiveness. They do not discriminate or judge sinners. Sin, yes, but not sinners. There is a big difference. It is Christians who are facing a lot of discrimination. And if you think Christianity is bad, what about Islam? With Islam you either convert to their beliefs or die. Their goal is world domination. You don't know how good you have it living in a Christian country.

      I truly commend her bravery for speaking about about her beliefs. I also live in Texas, and I can attest to how difficult it would be to come out as an atheist. It must be incredibly isolating to be a mother who is not a Christian; I can only imagine the discrimination and judgement she faces.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • samek

      Janey, there are lots and lots of people who say they are Christians but who don't really follow Christ. People who sit in church on Sunday in their expensive designer clothing and figure that's the sum total of their duty to God are not Christians. And there are a lot of those people out there.

      Christians in America are not persecuted; being asked to coexist with others who think differently is very far from persecution. You are free to pray anywhere, at any time, you just cannot force someone else to pray with you. No one's shut down any churches (or even considering that). Should taxation of churches come to pass, taxing your church does not take away any of your rights. You can buy a Bible in any bookstore and find it in most hotels (though in Nevada, you'll find the Book of Mormon, too). Tell me again how you are being persecuted.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Saraswati

      Janey 33, are you under the impression that your choices are to live in a Christian country or live in an Islamic one? The world's two largest countries (many times larger than the US) are neither Christian nor Islamic. Most of Europe is largely secular. I recommend getting your passport in order and doing a little world traveling.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @janey

      You can only imagine the discriminarion and judgement a non-Christian faces? From whom??

      From people who claim to know the mind of God. Have you ever tried standing in the midst of a group of Christians and disagree with them?

      Do you actually know any Christians?

      I have to wonder if you do. Many who claim the title are arrogant, condescending bullies that preach "turn or burn" theology and do anything and everything they can to make hell here on earth for anyone who believes differently.

      A Christian is a follower of Christ, who teaches love, tolerance, and forgiveness. They do not discriminate or judge sinners. Sin, yes, but not sinners. There is a big difference.

      Perhaps in theory there is. In practice? Not so much. If Christians do not discriminate, why the push to codify your religion into the law of the land? Why try to prevent people who believe different from you from living as they choose? If Christians do not discriminate, why are Pagan parents still losing their children to Christian exes based solely on religion? Or gay and/or lesbian teachers afraid to be open about who they are lest they lose their jobs? Or an atheist mother afraid to be open about her beliefs because she knows it will lead to bullying for her children at school? Or a thirteen year old girl bullied to the point of suicide because she is Pagan?

      It is Christians who are facing a lot of discrimination.

      Where? In the United States? That is LAUGHABLE. Obviously, you do not understand the meaning of the word "discrimination".

      And if you think Christianity is bad, what about Islam? With Islam you either convert to their beliefs or die. Their goal is world domination. You don't know how good you have it living in a Christian country.

      I know a few Muslims who do not care if I convert or not. In fact, we don't even discuss religion unless I bring it up to ask a question. How many Muslims do you know? Have you ever sat down and talked with one?

      This is not a Christian country. It is a country in which the majority of citizens claim Christianity as their religion. There is the difference.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • JasonInKC

      @janney33 – Really? I mean really? You are actually suggesting that I should be happy to have my rights restricted by the religious majority (based on NO FACTS), because I don't live in a country where the religious majority is trying to kill me. How about this...why don't you take your religion back to church where it belongs and keep it the hell out of the government, period. You're an idiot...not because you believe in a god, but because you believe this was a worthy argument.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • janey33

      samek...Yes, you are correct. A true Christian is a follewer of Christ and His teachings. But you are wrong in saying that I have a right to pray anywhere!!! There are a lot of places that have outlawed prayer and any mention of God. Open your eyes.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • s

      @Janney33
      Yes, I do know many Christians. I was raised in a Christian household, went to a Christian college and many of my close friends are Christians. When it comes to persecution, most Christians grow up hearing stories about Paul and the apostles, about the early church being fed to lions. They are told about missionaries in foriegn countries who die for their faith. They are then told that in their daily lives they will face persecution from "the world" that doesn't understand their beliefs. It makes you feel a "them against us" paradigm. In fact, 70-80% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, and believe they live in a "Christian nation". If they feel their beliefs are being threatened, they tend to view opposing opinions as an attack from the devil or from people who are blinded by sin and pride. Christians are very much in the majority, are well protected by the goverment, and yet act as if the world is out to get them.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  19. BlackCoffee

    Trying to understand those that separate scientific belief in the Big Bang from atheism, how do those that do not believe in the Big Bang explain existence? If everything requires an explanation, how did the world come to be if not through the scientific explanation?

    January 21, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Steppan

      Actually BC, the Big Bang theory was proposed by a Christian astronomer. Just to be fair.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • dnsbubba

      There is a very common phrase in science, and it's one that many people would do well to learn. That phrase is, "I do not know." Science can't explain everything yet, although it can be used to explain quite a bit. However, that lack of knowledge doesn't lend any credence to the theistic fallback position of "God did it."

      In other words, I don't have to know everything to reject what can't be shown to be true.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      A Catholic to be accurate

      January 21, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • BlackCoffee

      Steppan-I know. A lot of great scientists were religous. Contrary to folklore, Galileo was still religous even though the Church disagreed with his science. Throughout history, learning validates or condemns behavior. For those of us versed in science and believe in God, science is just the current state of knowledge for the mystery of civilization. There is no conflict.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Steppan

      What does his denomination have to do with it?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • BlackCoffee

      dnsbubba-don't disagree. I am sure however God did it, the science will be consistent and complete.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • HarryJ

      Steppan
      Catholics are less likely to oppose scientific truth. Well, as ling as they can still maintain the fuzzy idea that God is still pulling all the strings, even if in a way that totally appears as though he doesn't even exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • dnsbubba

      @Black Coffee I have no doubt you believe a god did it. I'm fairly sure you can't prove one did.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      BlackCoffee, you observed " Galileo was still religous even though the Church disagreed with his science. " But another thing has been swept under the rug: Galileo's fellow scientists were as hard on him as was the church. Astronomers who disagreed with him refused to even look through his telescope. They jeered at him because they had already decided what they would see through his scope. It might have been good that the church placed Galileo under house arrest (Sorry, Atheists. No burning, torture, or the like). Otherwise, his fellow scientists might have done to him what the scientific community did to Georg Cantor.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • BlackCoffee

      Thanks PrimeNumber. A little knowledge of history is dangerous. I have seen science evolve over my 60 years, and I never believed it to be static. I still haven't seen a taker on my original requests. As some atheists have corrected by one-to-one correlation between the scientific Big Bang theory and non-belief in God, I now understand the argument to rest in a required explanation of God’s existence. So, my question, if explanations are always required, and scientific explanation of existence through the Big Bang is not required for non-belief, how did all this come into existence? Is it just a faith that it was always there? I’s just sayin’, there are always questions.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Colin

      The Catholic monsenior was Georges Lemaître and he was indeed a practicing Catholic when he did his work. But, so what, he was also a Leo. Does that make astrology valid? Science is a verb, a way of approaching the unknown. Religion is a baseless answer. As Carl Sagan once said, "science is a question that will never be answered and religion is an answer that must never be questioned."

      January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • BlackCoffee

      Colin, I studied under Carl Sagan. The man was an idiot and showman. He was more interested in personal agrandizement than science.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • the AnViL

      blackcoffee:

      1) the big bang doesn't have anything to do with atheism or theism.
      2) you have precisely zero evidence of the existence of your imaginary men in the sky.
      3) your science is bad, and you should feel bad.

      those are three flat facts you'll have to deal with

      January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • BlackCoffee

      AnVil, You are wrong on one count. If atheists dismiss "imaginary beings that can't be explained," how do they explain the existence of man? At least scientist have the Big Bang Theory. Apparently, it is the total providence of atheists to define what unexplainable concepts are accepted or not accepted. Do they believe we are all just trapped in the Matrix?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • the AnViL

      i'm not wrong at all – on any count.

      as for explanations of "the existence of man" – or any other quandary we work to understand... the answer: "we don't know precisely"... is certainly the best answer we have.

      one thing you can be absolutely certain of is that the scientific method does not jump from "how" to "god did it" in one single ignorant bound

      January 21, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  20. alli

    For many years I was separated from God's love. I lived in the world apart from Him. I tried doing what the world said to do. How miserable my life had become. He now lives in me in my heart. He has literally saved my life! Jesus said He would make us a new creature and so He has! The beauty of Jesus Christ, is He loves ALL of us no exception.. All you do is ask Him to come into your heart. Peace be with you.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • JJ

      You tried doing what the world said to do? I think you would have found happiness by simply doing what you wanted to do and living for yourself and not for others. Sounds like you've jumped from the pot into the fire and are now doing what your cult says to do. Being delusional can make one happy too I suppose.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Lobelia

      I'm glad it worked out for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • HarryJ

      You have to admit that people who've "found" running, or some other form of exercise are just as likely to be as thankful for the life-changing affect that it has had upon their lives. Same goes for a bunch of other stuff and even atheism, for those of us who feel that dropping faith and religion has made us better, less stressed and less judgmental, people.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • janey33

      HarryJ...If someone drops religion for atheism, they obviosly weren't very religious to begin with. If someone has a personal relatonship with God, they know He exists and would never leave Him.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • alli

      Thank you lo. It has truly been a life altering experience. I came out of a pit of darkness into the loving arms of Jesus Christ! I had heard the song Amazing Grace many times but NOW I understand the message. It is so true I once was lost, but now I'm found! How beautiful.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Janey,

      HarryJ...If someone drops religion for atheism, they obviosly weren't very religious to begin with. If someone has a personal relatonship with God, they know He exists and would never leave Him.

      So, you can read the hearts and minds of others and know what they believe better than they do?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Jennifer Leonard

      Alli, your comfort is actually coming from within yourself, but you are doing it in a way that provides you an acceptable context. It is your will and internal resolve alone that are helping you improve your life and bring meaning, peace, and "salvation" into it. You are identifying this ability as a force known as Jesus, but, in reality, you are the agent of your own change. Give yourself some credit. Rely on your own inner strength as the person you are. That is all you need.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Manny

      janey33
      Is that like saying that, once you've become an alcoholic, you're always an alcoholic?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • alli

      Jen tried relying on self. Doesn't work. It's about surrendering accepting God's grace. What a true gift!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • HarryJ

      @janey33
      By your reasoning, C.S. Lewis was never really an atheist either, right? He started off religious, with God in his heart, and ended up that way which only suggests that he never really lost faith at all, despite all of his claims to have once been a nonbeliever.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • janey33

      myweightinwords...You will never understand a personal relationship with God since you don't believe in Him. If you have it, you would never leave. Those who do have that relationship know that God is real. There is a big difference between just believing in God and knowing Him personally. Those who turn away from Christianity and embrace atheism did not have that personal relationship.

      @Janey,

      HarryJ...If someone drops religion for atheism, they obviosly weren't very religious to begin with. If someone has a personal relatonship with God, they know He exists and would never leave Him.

      So, you can read the hearts and minds of others and know what they believe better than they do?

      January 21, 2013 at 4:24 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.