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

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

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

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

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

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

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

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

It starts:

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

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

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

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

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She ended her essay:

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. jbloe

    I cannot understand why someone is upset that this mother would not teach her kids about their invisible friend.

    I don't believe in invisible friends.

    I choose not to believe where there is no evidence. The funny thing is, I live closer to the ten commandments and the golden rule than most so-called christians.

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

      Good. Can we go through them and see if that's true?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      I'd tend to think that there are several of the Ten Commandments that the OP isn't following.
      The first three are largely concerned with keeping the believer in the faith.
      No other God before me, no idolatry, no bad mouthing God....
      The rest of them are, generally speaking, good advice.
      Take a day off once a week, respect your parents, don't envy others' possessions, don't lie, steal, or murder.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      I was not upset that she didn't teach her child about Jesus. I find it crazy that she obviously lives in a community where her childs friends are from Christian familys. Why should Carol Phillips be shocked in any way that the question has come up. She doesn't have to take her to chruch to explian there are other familys that believe differently and here is what the believe.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  2. Inciteful

    Deborah Mitchell wrote, "....our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair..."
    On what planet does she live!? Talk about irrational! This woman is delusional! And she says she doesn't lie to her children!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    Things to bear in mind during these debates:
    Your enemy is never a villain in their own eyes. Keep this in mind and you may find a way to make them your friend. If not, you can dismiss them quickly and without hate.

    Emotional arguments do not allow for rational answers – and there is no emotion more powerful than faith.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Very well said, Doc.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Daniel

      There actually exists no "enemy" in a debate "Doc". I may add that to have a debate, both parties arguments must stem from logic and fact in order to receive the upper hand. Thus "debating" with a man/woman or religion is very much like talking to a lamp or other inanimate object. There is no point.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Daniel

      Also just so you know, and this is quite hilarious.

      "Emotional arguments do not allow for rational answers – and there is no emotion more powerful than faith."

      read this a few times and understand that you have COMPLETELY contradicted yourself with your foolish, fumbling use of the english language.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And my point is lost in a fog of semantic arguments.
      I reckon ya'll done gots more gooder english than I has.
      Let's try this again.
      "Those against whom you are arguing are not villains in their own eyes. Keep this in mind and you may find a way to make them your friend. If not, you can dismiss them quickly and without hate."

      "Those making an emotional argument are unlikely to accept a logical refutation – and faith is the most powerful of emotions."

      January 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  4. Gabriel Being

    Darwin Loves You.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  5. Whateva

    Ah Free Will. Perfect in its purpose. Although not every flower will bloom. The ones that do are exquisite.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Saraswati

      That purpose being to have an invented concept that justifies the Christian idea of eternal damnation? Funny thing is, a lot of people keep clinging to this incoherent idea after giving up religion, without even realizing where the idea originated.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • One one

      The doctrine of free will is inconsistent with the doctrine of prayer. When people pray to god for help, favors, or anything to alter the course of events they are asking god to interfere with someone's free will.

      Example: if a person prays to god to prevent a gunman from harming her, she is asking god to interfere with the gunman's free will.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Ax

      @Saraswati

      I've had debates with people who never have consider themselves Christian and they still cling to Christian ideals. Christian ideals are so embedded into our culture from movies, books, news, etc. most people don't realize they are Christian ideals.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  6. cdmaj

    Curious why people dont want their kids to believe in Jesus, but they promote Santa Claus before the child can even sit
    up on its own. You will to lie to your child about that , irony

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

      But at the age of 8 or so,the story fizzles.Good point !

      January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • geenabeana

      I have never told my children that Santa is real. I never told them about Santa. They learned it all from their peers and I just played along so they could live the fantasy of it while they are little. Eventually, they came to realize that he wasn't real...

      January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Daniel

      Santa Claus has very little to no long-term effect on a child's upbringing, and later on in life the child readily understands that Santa does not truly exist. Your comparisons are null.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Austin

      I can personally garuntee every one of you, as the Holy Spirit has testified within me, that the seed of Abraham, the seed of faith in God, and salvation through atonement and redemption is true. The calling of mankind. but the only way for you to find faith, is to SEEK God within yourself, and He will provide faith for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • One one

      Santa doesn't send people to hell if they don't worship him.

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

      But how many people raise their kids to believe in Santa as adults? For many, the Santa belief is seen as about as harmless as having a childhood imaginary friend. It's only when little Johnny is in college and still talks to his invisible buddy does anybody think that some landmark in maturity hasn't been reached. All we're saying is that it's about time that all adults drop their invisible friends.

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

      Um. So you believe that santa claus is the same as Jesus? Think about what you say FGS

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • tschmal

      The difference is that everyone accepts Santa as being fake. There's no stigma attached to not believing in Santa, so it's harmless to tell a kid Santa's not real - eventually they'll figure it out. Jesus, however, many, many people think is/was real. A child may be stigmatized at school for not "knowing" this.

      I think the real irony is that you don't realize the stories of Santa and Jesus are the same: neither are real and are stories drummed up to control. With Santa, there's a naughty/nice list. With Jesus, there's a collection plate and the zombie-like behavior that comes with worship.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      Your point is that if people are willing to lie about a fake Santa to make kids happy they should make them happy with a fake god too? What kind of god do you think makes kids happiest, and at what age do you recommend removing the illusion?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • HarryJ

      jon
      I still have a picture of Santa with a big "Believe" on it. Both he and Jesus/God are supposed to live in some distant, mysterious place where they can easily hide from scientific understanding. Santa being able to deliver gifts to many millions of children around the world i a single night, undetected, is held by children with as much faith as any Christian understanding of how God can be omnipresent. There is a long list of similarities between the beliefs in and actual characters on both. You tell me how you see a real difference.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • The Dude

      The irony is that you unfailingly believe in this concept of Jesus, a man who supposedly rose from the dead and walked on water, but you are quick to dismiss a fat man dressed in red who climbs down chimneys and rides flying reindeer. Both sound pretty preposterous to me.

      I for one will not raise my children in the church for the same reasons the writer pointed out. I understand certain people's need for faith in times of uncertainty, but religion is just stories and parables to help guide you towards being a good person. And if all of these bible beaters were truly religious and Christians then they would accept the beliefs of people like me and stop proselytizing and spewing their rhetoric. Religion is a PERSONAL belief. Keep it to yourself.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      tschmal- For you maybe they are the same story but for many they are not. Christians can have a personal experiance with God, or witnessed an event where they believe God was present and at work. That makes it very real.
      Santa, well if you send you kids to public school you either go along with the game or explian to you child how they should handle the Santa coverstation when it comes up. I would seem to make since if you are athiest to explain to your kid that some people believe in God/Jesus and how to handle that conversation.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      Personal, emotional experiences that you attribute to god may convince you, but are not actual evidence of god. They are just evidence of personal, emotional experiences.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  7. Erty

    Wait until one of her kids gets shot in the head at school...

    I think she'll turn to god then...

    It's always that way... Sunny day atheists ...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • SDFrankie

      Ding-ding-ding! Winner! It ain't getting any crazier than this.

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

      The arrogance and hate from Christians just takes my breath away. Can you get any more repugnant?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I know an atheist woman who lost her child to gang violence.

      She was heartbroken and raged at the insanity of it. She cried. She was justifiably more protective of her remaining children for a while.

      Not once in the entire time from the notification that he died through his burial and onward did she question her lack of belief in gods. She questioned our gun laws. She questioned the lack of police presence. She questioned her choices to live where she lived. Never once did she question her understanding of gods (or the lack thereof).

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • ??

      Chicken dinner !! LOL.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • geenabeana

      What if someone gets shot at church? They say children are getting shot at school because "we took God out of school" yet people are getting shot at church too...

      January 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Daniel

      Wow this comment is absolutely insane in it's nature. Your words reek with lack of education and compassion. Go back to the Bronze Age.

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

      Atheists – they have no reason to turn to that which does not exist. What a silly concept.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Gabriel Being

      Funny how Christians always seem to use violence as a means to promote their agenda... If innocent people get shot (mostly by conservatives), then believe in the god that conservatives espouse! What a great selling point...!!!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • .

      @Erty

      If my child being murdered caused me to "turn to (your) god" it would be to spit in it's face for allowing the murder to occur when it had the power to prevent it. You display an unbelievable combination of arrogance and ignorance.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • HarryJ

      Why would you think that anything you wouldn't do, or believe in, unless you were utterly desperate would be something that you'd do, or believe in, on an ordinary day?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • moosemessier

      you are an idiot. of course we all want to believe in something BUT believing for the sake of believing is not believing. the idea of a god (one that watches over us) is simply risdiculous and childish. why, in every other aspect of life, logic rules except with god and the afterlife? simple – people know it is bunch of lies but will not let go because the need for an afterlife is very strong. i had being atheist. know my kids will simply rot one day and i will never see them again has made me seek mental help. there is no answer other than the one i didnt want to hear. we die and that is it.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  8. It is Called

    NEWS FLASH:

    Principles are facts.
    Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

    Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

    00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
    02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
    09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
    17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
    29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
    42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
    46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
    Education works best !
    Principles too !

    January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  9. Sam neil

    It's funny. As the percent of people who do not believe is God increases, it also seems so do violent social outbreaks. There has to be a study on that somewhere. If not, there sure needs to be.

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

      Quite foolish to say things like that when some of the most violent events in history were directly related to religion...

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • JJ

      It only seems that way because you are looking for something to re-enforce your world view. Funny that mostly atheist countries are the most stable and non-violent as in most of Scandanavia.

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

      yes sam, no doubt you can correlate any two things statistically if you know a few nasty tricks –

      but remember one thing, dummy – correlation != causation.

      but never you mind that nasty flat fact... please – do get to work on that, champ.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • nopretensehere

      WOW. you really demonstrate the religious mind with your statement! You make a statement based on your belief which in turn seems to be based on the news you watch with no attempt to check the validity of your proposed corollary :

      "As the percent of people who do not believe is God increases, it also seems so do violent social outbreaks."

      I have to hand it to you though, at least you ASK if there is a study.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • sqeptiq

      t's funny. As the number of people increases and more kids are left adrift as both parents work, it also seems so do violent social outbreaks. Could it be that the depersonalization of society have anything to do with that? There has to be a study on that somewhere. If not, there sure needs to be.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Religion is illogical...

      The opposite, of course, is true... Violent crime in this country is at its lowest level in generations.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • SDFrankie

      Scientists are smarter than you. They understand a principle called 'confirmation bias'. You think there's a connection, so you see one. The rise in school shootings also coincides with the increase in the number of wild card teams in the MLB playoffs. Maybe someone should study that.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Andy Harris

      atheist countries Officially no religion : China under Mao Killed more than 7 Million, Russia : Under Stalin Killed more than 9Million Oh the peace and love of being an Atheist country......

      It is nothing to do with religion having one or not, humans have tendency to find violence even in the situation where none should exist, ever watch any Scandinavian movies? the most violent and abusive portrayal of human life.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Jon

      Yeah, because the crusades were so much fun...Most fanatics and wars have been of religious background, jihad is clearly the work of atheists (sarcasm), and the pope has always been a good voice of even jesus's teachings (also sarcasm)... Look back at pope sixtus. Religion is not something that makes people bad, but it is not what makes people good either. Stop ascribing a label of good or bad as a product of religion. Most gang bangers attend church. They want to believe things can be better than they are. Treat others the way you want to treated... If people abide by this, fewer people die, and then all religion offers is hope for an afterlife.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • fr33m1nded

      Yes, gone are the good old days of the past when we had no wars and no social unrest.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  10. jaana

    she's full of it..
    if she wants her kids to really decide then tell them about all sides including god and let them make the choice.. why is it ok when atheists force their kids into atheism but it is not ok when christians/muslims/jews/etc pass their beliefs down? this is NOT an open minded woman she is just as closed minded as those "classic" religious who refuse to accept any other form of thinking...

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

      Jana, I do not thing she is full of it. I do think that you are angry when people challenge your faith though.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • geenabeana

      I don't remember reading that she was forcing her kids to be atheists. I do believe she said she would let them choose. I am the same way with my kids. All of my kids have been allowed to go to church with their friends and all of them have decided it's not for them. I did not force them in anyway. I can't help but have my own disbeliefs and I cannot shelter them from it. They will be allowed to choose just as I chose, I just won't make them feel badly for it like my mother always did.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Where did you see force mentioned, jaana?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Jaana may be angry but her point is correct. Carol Phillips is just as big a hypocrite as a person who believes in any religion. However, the age of her daughter is never given. So we don't know if this was a 4 year old birthday party or 8 year old. I wouldn't think she would have the need to explian to a 4 year old. If she realizes that a large number of the population have religous beliefs, which her kids will hear about. It would seem logical by explain by 1st or 2nd grade what her beliefs are and why they don't agree with others.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      I believe janna meant guiding instead of forcing. However, when athiest challenge Christians for "Brain Washing" their children the same term, force, is often used. By not exposing her children to both sides, or at least expliaing both sides, there is no choice.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Funny how almost everyone reads with rose colored glasses. No mater what side you believe, it affects how you interpret what you read.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Jaana, There are thousands of existing religions, and millions more imaginable. No one can tell a kid "all sides" even if they spend years and deprive the child of sleep. You always have to start with what you, yourself think most likely, and then give the kid the analytic tools to investigate what makes sense to him or her-self.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Saraswati- It doesn't sound like Carol needs to explian every religion for the area in which she lives. Common sence would tell you if you live in a Christian commuity, that would be enough or the best place to start.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • mudhut

      Do you teach your kids about Kinich Ahau or the host of other gods? She is just not teaching them about one more than you. I don't do curling so I'm not teaching my kids curling either.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect jaana didn't actually read the original article.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  11. Jeff from Upstate

    Unitarian Universalism is the answer.

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

      ... breaks the "uni" rule.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  12. john thomas pulcine

    Yea the dominant Abraham religions are the main ones who go about killing others. Look deep into history & you will find someone made it up & told Abraham that he was god's chice. During times of crisis everyone looks for the best easy way out. A redeemer is needed, hunbug if you must. To understand life , you must know truth, of which is very little in the bibles. Hebrew stories reenforced by Greek story tellers, please. If you really want the truth, start in the begining wisth the nostic beliefs. Most religions are for control of the population.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  13. Tina Braggs

    I think the media is Godless you promote hysteria everytime you get involved....How about not trying to be an expert on people and their beliefs period///You promote more hate than anything out there///She has a right to her beliefs//I think that's why the founding fathers incorporated the separation of church and state//History shows that people always use religious the wrong way// if more people took the time to read the bible they would know that some of those people in the bible did some horrendous things but they still were chose by God to do some good////I'm not an expert but people have wrestled with their religious beliefs since the beginning of time// After all we are animals and watch the animal channel and national geographic and you will see we are not much different///I think we humans are prone to do whatever it takes to survive just like those animals///So let's be realistic///We all have the same ending when its over we will all know if there is a GOD//////I for one believe in God

    January 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  14. AverageJoe76

    @LinCA – I concur.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  15. JMysh

    I understand why people think they don't need God. I understand why people think they don't need heaven. It is a relief to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will just cease to exist. The idea of no God and no afterlife gives many a sense of freedom from ultimate accountability for our actions.

    I do not want atheism to go away. I only want atheism to be kept at home or in private 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 to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—according to the wisdom of a very real and loving God.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • snowboarder

      very true. hence our secular nation and society.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • jimi

      You want atheism to be kept at home? Huh? You're the one with the imaginary friend.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Roger that

      I want my children to be free to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—according to the wisdom of a very real and loving God.

      If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12

      Loving god?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • @JMysh

      AMEN!!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • GMysh

      I understand why people think they need God. I understand why people think they need heaven. It is a relief to think that we are not alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will just continue to exist. The idea of a God and an afterlife gives many a sense of justification with ultimate accountability for their actions.

      I do not want Christianity to go away. I only want Christianity to be kept at home or in private 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 to think and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—according to the wisdom of a very real and proven scientific law.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • HarryJ

      You want us to just stay in the closet? Really? Would you do the same?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  16. child of midian

    I just saw "The Hobbit" Middle Earth is real, just like Heaven.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  17. AverageJoe76

    Each night I gaze at the stars (cloud cover permitting) and wonder about the great beyond. How could a limitless God give the truth to only so few, and expect to rest of us to follow without touching us all the same way. That's why I know we haven't found it. Our experiences amount to nothing next to all of reality, but we're an important part of it's tapestry, because we are here. Saying we know the 'ultimate truth' is putting the cart before the horse – big time. We're still a young race, we crawled before we flew, yet we're working backwards from an ultimate truth?!? These truths have yielded nothing but discourse and separation. None of them bind us together. ALL OF US. So they cannot be true, because we have doubts amongst ourselves. I ask you this, "is the sun hot?" That is a truth NO human disputes. Find more of those that bind us, these are 'ultimate truths'.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • LinCA

      @AverageJoe76

      You said, "How could a limitless God give the truth to only so few, and expect to rest of us to follow without touching us all the same way."
      Probably because it isn't limitless and because it only exists in the mind of the believer.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • james

      through much study and personal experience I would ask if you have given any time to discussion with Jehovah's Witnesses? if not go to jw.org and please do not dismiss them from something you heard but put personal time in to the beliefs and where they come from. please do the research yourself. you do want truth? all my questions have been answered and I am not uneducated.

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

      because it only exists in the mind of the believer
      -----
      Maybe. I think what Joe is saying, is that religion does not provide an "ultimate truth", simply because any 1 religion is not known by the entirety of humanity. An ultimate truth would have to be true for eveyone.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Jim T

      Psalm 8 1 Lord, our Lord,
      how majestic is your name in all the earth!

      You have set your glory
      in the heavens.
      2 Through the praise of children and infants
      you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
      to silence the foe and the avenger.
      3 When I consider your heavens,
      the work of your fingers,
      the moon and the stars,
      which you have set in place,
      4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
      human beings that you care for them?

      If I were God and I was going to create mankind, how big of a universe would I need to contain him? In my infinite wisdom and knowing what he'll be capable of, inventing the Hubble telescope and splitting the atom, I better make it big – so big he can't see the end of it for surely if I didn't, he'd go crazy.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • It is Called

      NEWS FLASH:

      Principles are facts.
      Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

      Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

      00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
      02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
      09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
      17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
      29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
      42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
      46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

      Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
      Education works best ! Principles too.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  18. geenabeana

    I was brought up going to church, at least while I was younger. There was never a time when I was comfortable with it, even as far back as I can remember going to church (maybe age 5?). I was afraid of most of it. I was afraid of the films they showed portraying the devil and hell. I was afraid of the life after death films they showed. I was afraid of being baptized (and never was). I was terrified of the dreams I had of the devil carrying balloons pacing outside of my bedroom window. My mom would pressure me to read my cute little bible and yet I dreaded it because the words made no sense to me. I tried being more religious as a teen when my life was falling apart and nothing good came of it. It was the worst time of my life. As an adult I chose no religion. It never felt right. I feel like I was born without the ability to believe in it. When I married my non believer husband, my mother came close to not attending my wedding because it wasn't going to be a "Christian" wedding. When I look at the world around me, I see a lot of bad things happening to good people, people who are committed to their god. My life is no worse off than theirs. In many ways, mine isn't nearly as bad as some of theirs. So those who say that I'm missing out by not believing don't really know. I can't pretend to be something I'm not just to fit in with the majority. That does not, however, make me a bad person. My mother used to call me a "sheep" for doing the same things as my friends, implying that I didn't have a mind of my own. I do have a mind of my own and I have the right to decide whether or not I participate in a religion, it is not mandatory that I do participate. It is not easy being in the minority, but sometimes that's just how things work out!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Danny

      Nicely stated!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • everyone is bad

      Everyone is a sinner, and nobody is good. Your logic is flawed. Jesus is the only way to salvation. It is a gift, and if you do not accept it, that is no one elses fault but your own

      January 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Brewers_Fan7

      That was very well said indeed. I try not to even discuss my beliefs (really lack of beliefs) with people of faith because by and large I've found that they're unable to have an honest discussion about facts. I don't say this to belittle anyone or their faith, it's just that I've found that among believers their faith and their book trump any argument you could possibly make. No matter how logical or how many facts you present they just can't accept anything other than what they feel. "Jesus love me this I know/ because the Bible tells me so" very nicely sums up this mentality. Or, in other words: God inspired the Bible and it's his Word. The Bible is true because it's the word of God. God is real because the Bible says so. It's simply circular logic.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • geenabeana

      I'm not looking for salvation. I live this life the best that I know how and am raising my children to do the same. I live my life for today, not dwelling on what will happen to me when it's over. I just try to keep it real.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  19. Ashley

    I love being an athiest, and have been ever since I was 13 years old. However, if I ever have children, they are welcome to decide what they believe, and I will do my best to tell them the truth and be as unbiased as I can.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  20. Paster H

    Jesus loves you.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Colin

      Was that before or after he said that I am like a stick that should be cast into a fire?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Pecos Bill loves you.
      And Paul Bunyan too.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • LinCA

      What's a "Paster"?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Reality

      No, Jesus does not love you because he died in the first century CE and his body is still a'mouldering in Jerusalem dirt. And his soul? Well, said soul( like all souls) was simply old time theology trying to differentiate us from our non-thinking ape and monkey relatives.

      Added details are availalble upon request.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Madtown

      A "Paster" is someone who applies paste, with or without eating it.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Gabriel Being

      Darwin died for your sins.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • SDFrankie

      A Paster is one who pastes.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Jason

      Impossible, I never met the man & he never met me...

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

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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