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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. Dan

    Why do you need an imaginary friend to be a good person?

    January 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      Let's find out. Are YOU a good person?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Vincent708

      I want my imaginary friend to be a dinosaur in a tuxedo. I'm thinking T-rex. Named Humphrey. Humphrey is a classy guy. But he bites the heads off those who pick on me. Yeah......that would be awesome.

      I dunno. I like my imaginary friend lol.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  2. GOD is BIG Pedo

    Morality is doing what's right no matter what you're told...
    Religion is doing what you're told, no matter what's right .
    Who the hell needs delusional Pedoligion ?

    January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  3. bwebb

    I would also like to ask a question, merely out of curiosity. I do not mean to be rude and hope it is not taken this way.

    If you DON'T believe it God, then why are you here? What is the purpose of life? Do you believe that we are all just people here to live and die and that's it? What do we live for or why do we live?

    January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • John in Utah

      Yes, that is exactly what I believe. Why do people need an afterlife. Live in the moment, understanding that this is all you will have. Believeing that you have an opportunity for forgiveness to some extent justifies doing evil; and wasting momnets now is justified by a belief in the afterlife to come. Those are simply Man's attempt to define the impossible question of "where did I come from?" We exist because we do....anything else is a fairytale.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Why does a rock exist? Why do stars glow? You are placing meaning into a meaningless question. If you're really looking for an answer, then this one: because existing is better than not existing.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • JWT

      I live because I am. Why do I need a reason >

      January 21, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • snowboarder

      bwebb, the existence of life does not necessitate a meaning. generally the purpose of our lives is a construct of our society.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • ztom

      Yes. It's a biological thing. All organisms live with the purpose to reproduce and continue their species. Humans included. Some species have done it better than others. And humans have developed a much more developed brain that helps them do this.

      As far as purpose for living, aside from reproduction and continuation of the species, our advanced brains can come up with many reasons that are valid for any single individual. Everyone's reason(s) can be different.

      I know it is scary to some thinking that there is nothing out there controlling you with some greater purpose, but it's not such a radical idea.

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

      That's a silly question. It is based on a premise that as life forms humans are somehow more important than others and that we hold rights in the universe that others don't. Christians do not grant the same value to any other life form.. if they did they wouldn't eat meat or kill insects or harm any creature of lower caste because they would be recognized as God's property. And there is no more arrogant of a statement ever made in history than "God made Man in his own image."

      January 21, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • bwebb

      Do you not find it depressing to not have something to live for? You really believe that you are completely perishable? I cannot imagine living my life, day in and day out knowing that this is it. This is all there is...no purpose in life or death. You were made for you apparent reason? How unloved, I would feel if I truly believed this. I do not believe in forgiveness so that I may do evil. Do you really believe that all of this that we see around us just came about by itself? How can you see the beauty of life, the birth of a child, a sunrise set, the way the plants work, the complexity of the human body and really truly believe that these things do not have a creator. No man can create these things, nor could they create themselves-its absurd. I am a chemist and the more I learn about the details of life the more I am in awe of the God of creation. I believe many of the atheists responding to these comments are intelligent people. I only wish you could really see and know the truth and I know. It is so beautiful to know what Christ did for YOU. You can reject Him your whole life but he will never stop loving you and it won't ever change what he did for You. That is truth!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • JWT

      I can see lots of beauty in the world and in my world. God had exactly nothing to do with any of it. I have no need of any of the gods to exist. If you need some outside influence to enjoy life well that's cool too, but don;t presume to think that we all do.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • ztom

      @bwebb –

      No. I don't find it depressing at all. Like I said, I have a lot of things to live for and I have decided on my own personal purposes and goals. I live to take care of my children. I live to take care of my friends. I live to pass on what I have learned.to others. I live to try to make the world a better place in many different ways.

      May not be successful in all endeavors, but I have plenty of purpose. Just because none of my reasons for living involve one of the many religions doesn't mean I sit at home and wail about how pointless my existence is.

      And just for the record, I am not against you believing what you want. I'm not trying to tear down Christianity or any other religion. I have simply found happiness and purpose without religion.

      If that changes sometime, I may go to a church, but for the foreseeable future, I've got plenty of purpose.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • some schmuck

      You're making the mistake of equating Atheism with Nihilism. They're not the same. Now, for a few of my own questions.

      Does life need a purpose to be wondrous? Does life need a purpose to be enjoyable? If the entire reason that we're here is through an absolute freak occurance of cosmic chance, is that not a wonderful thing?

      The universe in all of its glory is wonderful. It needs no greater purpose. It is truly awe inspiring as is.

      Even if it did have a purpose, what makes you think that human life is the purpose of the billions upon billions of galaxies, stars, planets, and moons?

      January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jim T

      It's a recurring theme with unbelievers. They're emotionally disturbed by the idea of God and his irrefutable existence. At the core of their heart is the rejection of God they know exists and to appease their conscience, they invent ridiculous philosophies and spew rhetoric to in a futile attempt to numb their fragile illusion. They're in darkness and the flashlight hurts their eyes, they cry out against it. Notice we're not troubled by them?

      January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • bwebb

      I absolutely believe that you can find purpose in your life without religion. I agree that life is wonderous, but bear with me a second in thinking that what if God is real. What if he did create you, and the universe, and everything in it? What then? God is big enough – he if wanted everyone to believe in Him he could make it happen in a blink of an eye. I believe he created all things, and the vastness of the universe as a small spec of proof that he exists and is real. It is all the proof I need although there is so so so so so much more that point to Him. Some people need more proof and that's okay. You will all get there someday. I understand the skepticism that atheists have. I understand you thoughts that my belief are "fairy tale" like. But most of you have uncertainties. Perhaps you are not uncertain that God is real or not but most of you are willing to believe in almost anything that is possible. Why do you choose to not believe in the possibility that God IS real. Regardless of the "crazy things" that you think christian believe. I have a 100% certainty in what I know as truth. I have no doubts about life or death or what comes after death. It is so wonderful to have this certainty. To not question or wonder or be confused. I respect all of those who believe differently and think no less of you. I only pray and hope that you will come to know the Lord one day.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Vincent708

      I personally LOVE cheesecake. I would have to say my only thing above cheesecake is Pancetta. I love food. I would say thats what I live for.
      I also feed the homeless so it kind evens out with the whole purpose bit.
      Cheesecake....

      January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  4. nopretensehere

    Tell me yourself—I challenge you: let’s assume that you were called upon to build the edifice of human destiny so that men would finally be happy and would find peace and tranquility. If you knew that, in order to attain this, you would have to torture just one single creature, let’s say the little girl who beat her chest so desperately in the outhouse, and that on her unavenged tears you could build that edifice, would you agree to do it? Tell me and don’t lie!” “No, I would not,” Alyosha said softly. “And do you find acceptable the idea that those for whom you are building that edifice should gratefully receive a happiness that rests on the blood of a tortured child and, having received it, should continue to enjoy it eternally?” “No, I do not find that acceptable,” Alyosha said

    Dostoevsky, Fyodor (2003-11-04). Brothers Karamazov (p. 327). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  5. Yepthat'sme

    I think the challenge in the discussion of religion vs. no religion is that everyone's experience of religion is different. My religious upbringing and what I believe as an adult bears no resemblance whatsoever to, say, the typical Southern Baptist approach. For instance, if you tried to exorcise anyone in my church community, you'd be considered a loony.

    Overall, I've just tried to be honest with my kids when they ask something about our religion and I don't have an answer–I haven't made stuff up; I have also explained that there are many belief systems all over the world, and that while they are very different, they need to be respected. I've also explained that while my particular faith and religion is what I believe, and that I want them to have an understanding of my faith, they are free to follow their own heart and choose their own path, which I expect will happen as they get older. I'm sure many devout believers would say I'm failing, that my faith is weak, but this is what I believe is right for me and mine. :)

    January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  6. IkeNewton

    According to the HateTheists on the forum, the following are the words of an ignorant man: "Agape is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. When you rise to love on this level, you love all men not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loves them. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "Love your enemies." And I'm happy that he didn't say, "Like your enemies," because there are some people that I find it pretty difficult to like. Liking is an affectionate emotion, and I can't like anybody who would bomb my home. I can't like anybody who would exploit me. I can't like anybody who would trample over me with injustices. I can't like them. I can't like anybody who threatens to kill me day in and day out. But Jesus reminds us that love is greater than liking. Love is understanding, creative, redemptive good will toward all men." Martin Luther King Jr. Sermon on Peace Christmas 1967

    January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  7. GOD is BIG Pedo

    Gods child raping gang lives high on the hog protected by authority who directly reep from the control and stupid people they produce. One BIG HAPPY Family

    January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  8. Canario

    Although I can not say with certainty if there is a God (or many), I can say for certain that religion is a sham and people who go to church have been brainwashed. They are religious because their parents and grandparents were religious. They believe in the one and only, the true religion, but if they had been born in Delhi or Mosul, they would say the same of a totally different religion. Instead of joining a chruch, I'm more inclined to join a book reading circle. It will increase my knowledge, my understanding of the world and hopefully my tolerance, not the opposite.

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

      People don't always blindly follow their parents' beliefs; if that were true, the mother in this story would be Christian. You're not saying anything new or provocative.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  9. AverageJoe76

    If you were God and wanted your message to be heard by all, do you give this message to a few tribesmen and expect them to spread this around the world?? ....... Oh, and convince them all?!? Today, we send emails. And when we want it to be spread we add to the distribution. This is a simple solution. God's 'filtering method' with his messages thus far, has lead to skepticism, mistrust, and confusion. Getting the message from the source would've squelched every war mankind could conceieve because we all know the same things and how to go about. Ancient man's version of God, is just that, 'ancient'. If you believe in a higher power, give 'em more credit than to drop the ultimate truth into the hand's of a few. That would be inefficient, to say the least. We would all know the instructions. And since we don't, it means there are none. We learn as we go. And if we learn to stick together, we last longer, and build more knowledge together.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  10. PRISM 1234

    It's always curious to see how atheists and God-haters love to gather, and finding support for each other in their denial of truth/reality, they get emboldened and insult believers in almost every comment they post.
    But Didn't Jesus say that many are on the road to Hell, and few are one the other that leads to Life?

    So, to live your days in self-pacifying delusion that you'll just live and die and cease to exist, it is the worst lie you've ever swallowed, dear souls......
    You just DON"T KNOW what's ahead! You say, we believers make-believe. You want to think that's the case, but you don't know what WE KNOW.... You say, we're deluded, yet, all YOU have is your faith in lame science of man who, putting the frame of the puzzle together, ever fails to find the Center and the Heart of it, never understanding the the real Secret of it..... And they never will, because they have excluded Him who is the Creator of all that exists, and who holds all the Secrets in His hands.

    So, you resort to drawing strength from those who agree with you, and pacify yourself believing if you're many, it must be the truth....
    But OUR faith have HIGHER origin, and comes through KNOWING!

    You say that you have intelligence... But if you do, why don't you use it, examine things around you, FOR YOURSELF, instead of listening to hired "experts", why don't you examine for your selves and REASON a little?
    But it looks as if all your talk is as vapor in the wind, with no substance to it.

    I honestly believe that if exposed to wisdom, some of animals would recognize it and act upon it more than some of you!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "PRISM1234", but "God", "Hell", "souls", "Him", "Creator", "Secrets", "His" and "HIGHER origin" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL".

      January 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Be honest with yourself, you don't know what's ahead either. You're just banking on this version of what happens to feel good about dying. Nothing wrong with that. I've accepted that I'm part of a giant recycling process. And I'm ok with that.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Justinian

      PRISM – I assume you don't believe in Zeus. Why not? Because you were brought up to believe Zeus was a myth yet your religion is correct. But as easy as it is for you to dismiss Zeus, it's also that easy for others to dismiss your beliefs. It's really that simple.

      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."...Stephen F Roberts

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

      Prism,

      You must have been born under a rock. One Athiest are not GOD haters, we just don't believe in deities as you do. Second, your truth you refering to is still and always has been myth. Remember religion requires no proof or evidence, just belief (you seem to fit that bill). Give you something to think about.... Who wrote the 13 letters of Paul and how many of those letter DO modern historian call "pseudepigraphy". Also we do have the date the first copies appear...so no cheating.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Really?

      PRISM: Are you kidding? Your idea of atheists is that they are people who don't think or use reason? Considering that most people are of the religion they were born into, I think your thinking is a little backwards.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Madtown

      but you don't know what WE KNOW....
      ----
      Humorous arrogance. Yes, you're just so special. God loves you more than he loves others with no knowledge of christianity?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      You foolish, foolish people! You think, because you've been always blind, there is NOTHING else but your darkness? You're like a group of blind men who never knew that there is such things as sight, who, being told what trees, clouds and colors of nature look like, they declare those who are telling them , that they are liars and there is no such things as trees, sky, light and colors of nature. You , dear souls are The Blind Men.....

      January 21, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Billy

      Uh oh, Jesus said people who calls others are going to HELL! Looks like you're joining Mr. Teeeee!!!!

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

      Apparently prism's faces all turned inwards and blinded him. Oh well no loss.

      There is no god and no evidence of one prism. have a great day with your beliefs. I know I am having a fine day with my life.

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

      Jesus said if you call someone a *fool* you're going to hell, right? So looks like you're joining Mr. Teeee!!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • landofodin

      jesus didn't even exist, he was not a real person. there are 44 different kings, leaders, ect.. who all had the same story ...born on or near the winter solstice, performed miracles, died and raised from the dead on or near the spring equinox, were known as the light or son of god, all before the time of jesus. almost all of christian holidays are PAGAN christianity is a stolen religion ! why to you think the VIKINGS raided monestaries? they were mad as hell. lastly there is no historic evidence of jesus, anywhere outside the bible, someone would have wrote something about such a popular man. don't you think? wake up !!! god doesen't want you wasting your brain power.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Really?

      PRISM: You are completely missing the point. Quite contrary to your idea that atheists have always been in the dark, I would suspect that most atheists (in America) were raised in Christian families, and therefore are aware of its teachings, but through reason discovered that it just doesn't work.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Vincent708

      Lol. I actually did read this whole post. I got the idea. "God-haters" and atheists like to gather? Well...You don't see me getting out of bed to horde to a church every Sunday!

      That was the one liner I came up with lol. Sorry it's Monday.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  11. Topher

    Richard Cranium

    "How did god re-populate all of the plants he killed during the great flood in the story of Noah's Ark?
    Every plant on the planet would have died, but there is no mention of the cleanup god would have had to do to re-populate all the plants."

    I really don't see a problem here. Do you realize how incredibly fertile the soil would be after the flood?

    January 21, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Billy

      Oh here's this guy Topher still going on about the ark. Last I heard he said it didn't have to travel very far. So I'm still not buying that the ark just dropped the giant turtles off at Gibraltar where they would have to swim the rest of the way back to the Galapagos. No way.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Vincent708

      @Billy

      Plus I'm sure the insurance premiums on an ark back then were crazy!

      January 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Vincent708

      @Billy

      Like can you imagine,
      "Hello I hear your are inquiring about our ark, Model "N-O-A-H" insurance. Do you have any health risks that you may cause you to damage the ship?"
      "Well...people HAVE been talking about a flood. Whats your animal policy?"

      January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • LOL

      "I really don't see a problem here. Do you realize how incredibly fertile the soil would be after the flood?"

      And it would have taken 20 to 20 years to grow everything back....mean while...the animals would have starved to death by then. LOL!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      LOL
      "And it would have taken 20 to 20 years to grow everything back....mean while...the animals would have starved to death by then."

      Silly boy/girl. The sorcerer "God" changed all of their palates to crave the taste of the bloated, rotting carcases of all the dead people and animals that were littered all over the place. Yum!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  12. Susan

    UGH! It's always the most EXTREME example of some Bible-thumper trying to "recruit" a non-religious person to their church. Sorry, but the vast majority of us who believe in God don't try to drag non-believers to a house of worship. I don't even go to church and call myself Christian. In fact, most of us don't give a flying flitter about how you raise your Godless children, as long as you are instilling them with decent morals and don't teach them to worship themselves–because that affects all of us.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Seyedibar

      I read this moments after giving Jehovahs Witnesses my best Charles Manson impersonation.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  13. kdf

    What I disagree with is that fact that she does not even give her own children the chance to choose for themselves. If you do not believe, that is your choice, but you should give your kids the choice to believe. Ask friends to take her kids to church, different churches with them so that they are exposed to both sides. Let them choose if they believe or not.

    My question to non-believers... how do you think we got here? There must be a higher power (no matter how you believe who or what that higher powe is) but we did not just appear on this earth like smoke. Also, how do you go against those who have experienced death, specifically children. Children are sensative to the cross between our world and heaven and there are countless examples of this.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Religion is illogical...

      So, do you also believe that 'believers' should give their kids a chance to not believe?? Because I would agree with that 100%... The most damaging thing you can do to a child is brainwash them with mindless fairy tales.

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

      Why should she let other people apply their concept of a god and/or religion to her children? Religion is nothing that her kids need now or ever. When they are older they can explore whatever versions of the supernatural they want to , presuming they care. There is no rush.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • amomma1st

      No, we didn't get here by a poof of smoke. That actually sounds more like religious people's explanation of mankind. A little man in the sky didn't just one day say hmmm I'm gonna create a universe and poof seven days later it was.... We got here through science. Proven, factual, logical science.

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

      How about we let her decide for own her children and you decide for yours. It's not your life to be concerned about.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  14. You have a GOD

    You have a GOD- Whether you believe in atheism or worship the devil, or the Omnipotent GOD. You have your GOD stop telling others how to live their life and get along.

    On the other hand I completely understand on why many people have lost faith in GOD- It's so easy to sit there and say their is no GOD. Religion has twisted the facts and have put on so many restriction on it's members that they have felt hostage and that they have to somehow keep up with the JONES. Religion has taught that you're going to HELL when in fact you're NOT. Religion has taught that your deceased loved one has gone to heaven when in fact it has NOT- When we need to fill a void in our lives you do it by being either an atheist or a GOD worshiper.

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

      I DO NOT have a God at all. Why are you telling me I do?

      Religion is a crutch for the weak minded. Once you die, you die. If something happens after that then well I was wrong. Oh well.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • GOD is BIG Pedo

      Its all aa BIG lie idiot !! GROW UP

      January 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • JON

      A lot of people don't lose their faith in God. There lose their interest in divisive and stupid people who believe they know what is best for others. They don't. They should butt out!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  15. JON

    The only people who claim to be Christian and get offended by the above article must have a very weak faith and belief system. The article is about one woman and the manner in which she lives her life. Get over yourselves!

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

      Christians unfortnately believe they are called to criticize and judge all those who don't think the same way as they do.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • bwebb

      Christians do not feel the need to criticize or judge those to believe the same as they do. You could not be further than the truth. I'm sorry if you have had a bad experience with people who call themselves believers in God. It is so sad to read about the things that atheists think about Christians. Not sure why atheists are so dang bitter towards us. Most of us (not all) respect the fact that you believe as you believe and choose to share what we believe with you (as you are doing the same with us). That's it. We have no right to judge or criticize anyone for what they believe. I disagree with you but your beliefs are yours. I think that your beliefs are incorrect but you think the same of mine. Not criticism or judgement here. I just pray and hope that you can have a more open mind to seeing the truths that I believe. I pray and hope that you will one day see and understand that God is real and loves you and died for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Christians do not feel the need to criticize or judge those to believe the same as they do. " You don't read the comments here very often, do you ?

      January 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • bwebb

      I guess I can speak only for myself.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  16. Jim T

    Truth and consequences of our choices remains the same regardless of what we believe. God can still exist and doesn't cease to exist because someone decides he doesn't exist. I know one thing though. The time will come when all who have ever lived will stand before Him naked, surrounding by 30 foot tall glorious angels shining like lightning. The sound of their laughter when the mousy voices explain to God that He doesn't exist will no doubt shake the temple floor. Trembling and terror is normal.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Scare tactics... The final refuge of the weak-minded.

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

      That is just nonsense talk.

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

      Prove your statement 100% with facts and not just beliefs.

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

      @Jim T

      I think my son watched that on Nickelodeon yesterday morning. He laughed.

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

      Aren't there any angels that are only 29' 11"?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Vincent708

      Oh hey. I missed in the article where this awesome mom is telling people God doesn't exist. Huh. Maybe I misread it or you didn't read it. Guess you just need a place to preach. Welcome to the internet buddy :D

      January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • GoodLerd

      He is saying what he believes, he's not telling you what to believe, so why get so offensive?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Vincent708

      @Goodlerd

      ...Lol...

      January 21, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Vincent708

      @Goodlerd

      He did just so happen to tell me that I will be hanging out naked somewhere surround by some tall shiny folks being judge and cause to tremble on the floor for being wrong. So...I did go a bit further than just saying what he believes.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Ed

      What kind of sick god would let angels laugh as a soul is condemned to hell?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Vincent708

      @Ed

      Thor? He is kind of a jerk lol.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  17. Vincent708

    Hats off to this woman. She seems to be a terrific mother no matter the opposing argument. She is doing what she is doing for her children, not out of spite or selfishness. She is choosing to lead her kids down a path (as every caring parent should) that she believes is best. I firmly believe women have a right to choose as it is often thrown out in many situations that are in poor tastes, but she is CHOOSING to be the best mother she can be in the best ways. Again....I applaud her.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  18. Religion is illogical...

    Morality is doing what's right no matter what you're told...

    Religion is doing what you're told, no matter what's right.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  19. ws6daveg

    Belief in Religion is the same as belief in a marrage. People believe that when they get married that this will be the person that they will live with the rest of their life. Its hard for friends or family to talk you out of marrage or that belief.
    The belief that this is the person that I love and want to be with may not be the right belief for another person who shys away from a 1 to 1 commitment.
    So religion is the same. A belief that is so deep to a person is hard to understand.
    Love, marrage, religion are very complex thoughts and beliefs.
    But in the end, people will believe what they want. UFO's, Doomsday believers, Consparicy theorist etc. and it if very hard to understand and accept that they are right or wrong,
    But that is what make a persons beliefs so good (if it is correct or incorrect), that is what gives us hope, keeps us happy, keeps us safe.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  20. hal 9001

    If I had a child, I would simply instruct it to let X = X. I would also instruct it to strike as many different chords as necessary to achieve maximum harmony and coefficiency with its administrators and subscribers.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m0iqYmP-oI&w=640&h=390]

    January 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |
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About this blog

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