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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. lawrence s

    also, it is awesome to see how all you "christians" judge this person and shame her...
    true hypocracy, pat yourself on the back

    January 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Lunchbox

      I totaly agree. I believe in being respectful of others beliefs no matter what they are. But a lot of people just arent.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • the AnViL

      lunchbox: why should anyone be respectful of what are absolutely delusional religious beliefs which impoverish all of humanity?

      what has any monotheistic religion done to deserve any form of respect from anyone?

      January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Lunchbox

      You clearly dont care if people are respectful of your beliefs.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • the AnViL

      lunchbox spittled: "You clearly dont care if people are respectful of your beliefs."

      when the prevailing religious ideology has no respect for the const.itutionally guaranteed equal rights of those who they deem immoral – why should that particular set of beliefs deserve respect?

      when xians work overtime to secularize their theistic ideals, should those who do not subscribe to that particular form of idiocy – or those who reject all forms of idiocy – just sit still and be quiet – and respect your "religious beliefs"???

      while we watch delusional ignorant xian zealots attempt to disguise their lame mythologies and insert them by force of law into our public school science classes – should we just stand back and allow them because there is some divine right to respect for that sort of behavior???

      should women just respect the ignorant retarded theistic morals which would forcefully be imposed on them because – it's your divine religious belief???

      i don't think so.

      phuque you if you don't like it.

      who the hell should respect the abject ignorance of xianity which has retarded humanity for waaaaaaay too long?

      why should people be tolerant of the racism, bigotry, ignorance, division and discrimination inherent in ALL monotheistic religions??

      because your imaginary man in the sky is real to you???

      srsly??

      January 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Lunchbox

      Im not rising to this bait. Im glad you feel as strongly as you do. I wish I believed as strongly on one side or the other.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • the AnViL

      vae victis

      January 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Lunchbox

      You really put me in my place lol

      January 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  2. virginia

    Religion is illogical...

    you got it right Riligion is Illogical cause Religion is emotional...it has and don't claim to have logic only it must be part off through faith...the believe in a creator through faith Religion is where our emotions come to become manifested to others our to ourselves through prayer or self discovery.

    Relligion is a good thing and as much as the none believers say themselve to be atheist they are part of a Religion when they gether with groups of people of their own believes and believe me athiest don't like to be loners so they gether in groups all that time so this lady saying she'll raise her kids with God she won't be able to cause she gethers among other groups where God can be found or a relligion of people gether....

    January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      First... By definition, atheism cannot be a religion... Second, atheists do not gather is groups and discuss our beliefs or non-beliefs... We just live our lives according to logic and common sense.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Keep trying to convince yourself of that. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • the AnViL

      *facepalm*

      January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Religion is indeed illogical. It is indeed an emotional reaction. And as there isn't proof of the existence of any god, isn't it time believers stopped pretending that their morals are somehow superior?

      January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • virginia

      A God is not need to form a Religion only the same shared belief even when that believe is a nonbelieve of a creator or God...people gether to feel part of this believe the reason why Atheist call themselves atheist is cause they want to be part of a group of people with the same believe systme a Religion, this article by this mom wanting to belong and be part of this new Religon of atheist to feel like she belong with the same beleive as the Religion a group of people with the same believe in this cause a nonebelieve of a creator a God....

      January 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Lunchbox

      @Tallulah13 You seem like a person that would be fun to have a religious talk with. You seem grounded in your belief and willing to speak RATIONALLY with others. Its refreshing to see people like this posting.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a se xual position.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Virginia
      You are jumping to a bunch of false conclusions about atheist. If you believe in a god, then you are used to jumping to illogical conclusions, but let me tell you with cretainty, atheists do not gather in groups to feel somoe sort of fellowship, that's your religion again. We do not believe in ghosts, alien visitation, or a whole host of other things men made up, like your bible and your god.
      Atheism is not a religion, and it is insulting to say it is.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Eric

    To FreeFromTheism I just moved you up to the top of the list. If you are not concerned then stop posting. If you honestly believed that my prayers mean nothing you wouldn't have said anything. Sounds a bit like you are concerned to me.
    The fool says in his heart there is no God.

    January 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Actually, studies have proven that prayer has the opposite effect due to the fact that it provides a person with a false sense of security... Sorry.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      I want to be on the top of the list.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Eric, I assure you that the only thing I care about is having fun and constructive discussions. Your threats of supernatural ideas, to me, are silly and I actually am here thinking "wow.. this guy is a moron"...
      Anyway, look up the "Harvard prayer study".
      Have fun praying.
      =)

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

      Think about it, "Eric". You are a Christian for the same reason you believed in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. Because your mommy and daddy told you to. If you had been born in India, you'd be Hindu. Saudi Arabia, you'd be Muslim. There is nothing "special" about your brand of delusion. It has led you to be the narrow minded individual you have become today. Cast off the chains of religion, and your world will be a better place, I promise. How do I know? Because I did. I was just as deluded as you, and no less convinced an invisible sky daddy was watching my every move. Loose your religious bigotry, and you may just come to care about your fellow humans the way Jesus instructed us to. Ironic, isn't it?

      January 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Art

      To "Religion is illogical".......would you please point us to some of those studies?????

      January 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      @Art, "Harvard prayer study"

      January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Art

      Eric,

      Keep the Faith, brother. It amazes me that so many feel the need to criticize and name-call others just because of their Faith.
      You can have no religious faith without resorting to ridiculing those that do.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • lawrence s

      best line ever "keep the faith" (above comment)

      faith?? keep the faith in the amount of atrocities commited every day in the name of GOD?

      wouldn't want you to have to think for yourself, keep faith in THOUGHT

      January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Eric,
      "The fool says in his heart there is no God."

      A snappy little slogan from your old book of fantasies and superst-itions.

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  4. BillyD1953

    Belief or non-belief both involve our full selves and all the complexities that each of us is comprised of. They are not choices we make. I'm virtually incapable of believing in God, just as many believers are virtually incapable of not believing in God. If I accept reason as a basis for forming beliefs then reason and logic simply don't allow me to believe in the conventional god of mainstream faiths of the world–a god who is supposedly omnipotent and all-loving and all-just and omniscient and still allows innocents to suffer and face terrible injustices at the hands of others. The response from religious people is often that we cannot understand god's ways, but then what is the point of trying to blindly serve and please a god that I can't even understand? The whole idea just seems silly. I don't think god exists, but I acknowledge that god might exist. If god does exist I'd be very disappointed if he turned out to be the simplistic, fairy tale god of most mainstream, dogmatic religions. I want god to be at least as smart as I am, not some silly, petty, judgmental, simplistic Republican super being.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  5. Guillermo Pérez

    If she decided to stay "away from God", she took his own decision... BUT why is she forcing her children to stay away from God?? only because she decided God is not good for her??

    Regarding the WHY... (If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?)... it's not that God like to do these things, or that he plans to do that... it's the result of our conduct... the response to this is deep... but is she really looking for answers??? or is just trying to justify herself??? trying to make God guilty...

    January 21, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Well, of course the problem of evil is to show that the triple-O god is a contradiction... but you did not know that until now. So, you're welcome.
      Next, she's trying to be the best parent she can by being honest with her kids (you might have to reread the article to get it), along with other reasons that I don't care for elaborating at this point.
      Cheers

      January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • aydon

      god will understand.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • I wonder

      Guillermo Perez,

      A real smart and loving god would be able to make itself known to every kid – everybody – regardless of what mama or papa says.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • omorteau1

      "why is she forcing her children to stay away from God?? only because she decided God is not good for her??"

      She is not forcing her children to stay away from God because "God is not good enough for her". She wants her children to be free not to believe in God, which means that she does not want her children to be brainwashed into believing, but to learn to think by themselves and make free decisions about what to believe and not believe in. This is also the way my wife and I are raising our daughter. Raised as a catholic, I feel that I was being brainwashed as a child and do not want my daughter to go through the same ordeal.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Dave

      The real problem stems from the view of God as the ultimate cause of the universe. If this is so, then God is the ultimate cause of everything, including evil. For example, we are clearly not the cause of our own nature-i.e. we are not in control of our essential characteristics. If it is in our nature to act in a manner that we recognise as evil, and we believe that God gave us our nature, then God must be the source of the evil aspect of our nature. How do we reconcile this with the view that God is good?

      January 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  6. Lunchbox

    The religion debate will alwasy boggle my mind. Being someone who believes in a higher power, but not affiliated with any religion, I find it hard not to believe that there is at least SOMETHING out there because of all of the un-explained things in the world, but would I ever try to shove that down someones throat? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Too many times has a religious debate erupted into a fight of whos right and whos wrong, who has better beliefs and those who dont are going to hell is absolutely ridiculous! Aethiests, more power too ya because you are following what you believe, but be respectful or shame on you. People who are religious, more power to ya for beleiving what you believe, but again be respectful of others beliefs because in every religion you are taught to be understanding and forgiving! How are any of us so absolutely right that we can shove this in other peoples faces or rub their faces in it? In my belief we cant. I have had many discussions with aethiests and buddhists and wickens and others. You want to know what that gave me? A RESPECT for peoples beliefs and their RIGHT to believe that. It has also helped to mold what my belief is. Im sorry but I may be wrong and everyone out there should entertain the fact that THEY may be wrong, and on the same side you may be right. It's all about being RESPECTFUL of one anothers beliefs no matter what, because I for damn sure dont have all the answers and could or would NEVER press others into my beliefs.

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

    I do not believe the island of Tasmania exists. The platypus is a totally ridiculous imaginary creature. 17th century French poetry is a complete hoax.

    Obviously these statements are 100% sarcasm by me. My point being, that merely because I have not sought after these things does not render them false. If you do not take time to look for or study something, then you will not find it nor learn anything of it.

    Our five physical senses do not detect all that is around us. Magnetism, radiation, radio waves and x-rays are all very real and in use by millions daily. Yet, we do not touch, taste, see, hear or smell any of them. We all experience gravity but we still struggle to understand the elementary physics behind it. As more exo-planets are discovered we are rewriting our theories of solar system formation. Again, my point is there is much beyond our basic senses and current understanding that is very real.

    Let me attempt to put these ideas together. I believe we have another sense, which for argument I will call the spirit. What is "Mother's Intuition"? What is deja vu? How many of us have "just known" something with no previous information to draw upon? Have you ever had the feeling to call or visit someone only to find out they really needed help at that moment? To me those are examples of our 6th sense, our spirit, detecting something around us and responding. My belief is this other sense, our spirit, IS capable of discovering knowledge. But, we also have to take the time to look for that knowledge. If we do not think or believe there is anything to discover, we will not invest the time and hence discover nothing. But, if we experiment upon the word, i.e. scriptures, and give time, effort and thought about the things of God, we will begin to discover how Heavenly Father teaches us and what there is to learn. If I sincerely want to learn about 17th century French poetry, it is there for me to find. If I do not seek after it, those works still exist. The same with God. He exists whether we seek after Him or not. I testify He desires nothing but to help us learn at His hand so that we may increase in wisdom.

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

      if we experiment upon the word, i.e. scriptures
      -----
      Study scripture if you wish, it's not going to bring you closer to knowledge of God. Biblical scripture is the creation of human beings, essentially a collection of opinions concerning the spiritual. Is it "truth"? Certainly not universal truth, otherwise all equally-created humans on earth would have equal access to it.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Meadow

      Nice write. I enjoyed it. : )

      January 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Matt in Hawaii

      Opening line is a little ridiculous seeing how the 'bible' is a real object but the content isn't proof that those things really happened. You say take the time to study it but you know that wanting to believe it while studying it will lead to falling in love with the idea/true believer in something that you cannot see, touch, or speak to. Theists...

      January 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Daniel

      Hey Jeff, you are ignorant to the fact that although these forces cannot be felt by the human sensory system, they can be measured very readily in this day and age. Nice try, but logic prevails yet again.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Billy

      It's good to examine things as much as possible. Like knowing that someone probably messed with Josephus' words. But of course the really old stuff is just off the wall.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Keith

      I can visit Tasmania. I can go and look at a platypus. I can hypothesize the existence of electromagnetism, and then build instruments to confirm its presence. There are no such criteria for God – please don't equate them. And I assume that when you say we should educate children about God and let them decide for themselves you mean we should educate them about ALL Gods, past and present. Otherwise it's not really about education and choice at all.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Daniel

      Also Jeff, you can see 17th century scripture with your own eyes, and I can book you a flight to Tasmania today. Even if you do not seek, they still exist. Your arguments are so weak its almost pitiful...

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

      You have it backwards, it is the strange and unusual that tend to be true once discovered but a belief does not make something "actual" in a realistic form. There very well may be more to the universe, but it has been mans mold in which god has been created among us and with plenty of versions. You can convince yourself to believe, I do not doubt any ones faith; however, when you look history, and include all religions it is apparent the better you understand the facts, from earths formations, to the pagans and the rise of egypt until the fall of rome, and the birth and life of the man Jesus, few could doubt these are facts even though I did not witness them. What is well known to me is how religion has evolved and that in itself has demonstrated to me it is man made. If God exists it is surely not in the conscientious form we are taught nor in the principles we have stridently tried to pass on to the masses to bring civility to our lives,, In that, I would say religion is not bad, but the teaching of religion is no more than a white lie at best.

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

      @Jeff

      You make this too easy. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. By the way, education really will clear up your misconceptions. Really.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • snowboarder

      jeff, there is no reason to respect the supersti tions of primitive men. christian doctrine is simply absurd.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Holy than thou

      By your argument Unicorns, Trolls, Zombies, Vampires and hundreds of other creatures must all exist. Keep praying perhaps you will find yet another specious argument to justify the reason God exists that can contradict the evidence that proves otherwise.

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

      But we have to be skeptical of all ideas because of what we know about the human mind: it can generate nonsense, it can be deluded, it can be insane, it can corrupt information, it does not faithfully model reality... Because of this, in order to be considered reliable, ideas must be put to the test.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  8. bananaspy

    I was never asked by my parents to believe one way or another, though I was told early on that God and heaven were real. In my teen years I decided to start reading the Bible for myself after becoming worried that people I knew would burn in Hell. Ever since then I've had no religion. I've read other philosophies, even picked up a copy of the Qu'ran. It's all the same nonsense put in whatever format would best appeal to its culture. After 30 years, I finally discovered my own mother didn't believe in God either. But not once did she ever influence my decisions, she simply gave me the freedom to inquire on my own.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  9. angeldebalboa

    Good for her. Religion is all about power. That is why all the religious people here start complaining when someone is bold enough to tell the truth, because they can feel their power slipping away. Then their money starts slipping away. Google religious business directory and you will get millions of results. But google nontheist or atheist business directory and you will get like two results.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • bananaspy

      So if you believe that prayer actually influences things, do you not believe that whatever plan God has already in effect is good enough? If his plan is flawless, prayer is not needed.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • nontheist.biz

      These were our thoughts exactly when we started nontheist.biz, it is for people who want to exercise consumer activism by only doing business with nontheists.

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

      Thanks nontheistbz, I will check it out now.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • angeldebalboa

      bananaspy, but I don't believe that prayer has led to the success that religions have seen. Their success comes from a long history of oppression and tyranny, beheadings, imprisonment, and warmongering. Then, after they gained all their power, they kept it by controlling the economy and the money-supply.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  10. Eric

    Ok then how about instead of praying for everyone to believe that I just pray earnestly for everyone who doesn't believe to die. I mean if it doesn't matter my prayers will mean nothing. I think I will go with that approach for now. I will be grabbing names off of these comments and add them to my prayer list.

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

      well, that sounds like something your god might actually support...
      yeah, go for it
      actually, do that for everyone that disagrees with you on anything, especially if they try using things like facts and reason against your poorly constructed arguments
      knock yourself out

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

      Don't forget your voodoo doll.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • some schmuck

      Go for it. I'm in no danger of death. It just reveals you to be the petty, scared, and evil man you actually are.

      You see, that's the difference between an atheist and a Christian. While I wish Christians would stop believing in absurdities, I bear them no ill will. Meanwhile, most Christians would love to be able to strap me to a post and set me on fire. You do realize that's what Christians did to Atheists for centuries right?

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

      Eric, if praying for me to die makes you feel better, be my guest. I find it sad that you detest your fellow humans that much, but if my lack of belief in your "god" makes you want to telepathicaly tell that "god" to smite me, I have no fear. You keep on praying for me, and I'll keep thinking for you.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Holy than thou

      Way to spread the love of your faith...

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

      ok, you go right ahead and do that. see where it gets you.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Daniel

      By doing so Eric, you will be breaking the rules of the religion which you so violently support. You sound like an uneducated, sad little human being to spout things like that. Then again, you are likely highly religious and have little to no common sense.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Gabriel Being

      Please feel free to pray for me all you want... It's your wasted breath, it's your wasted time. No god will answer because there is no god. You mind as well pray to the Abominable Snow Monster or Fred Flintstone.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  11. JustTheFacts

    Fact: the Christian claim that an omnipotent creature can "sacrifice", or even would need to do so, to save anything, is stupid and false.

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

      Have you never sacrificed for your friends or family?

      January 21, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Jeff: Family and friends are REAL and can usually be proven to be, no god has ever been proven with any form of evidence to exist.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Daniel

      Again, @jeff (who should change his name to JeffTheAbsurd) an omnipotent being would likely have no friends, especially in your case since you believe there is only one. Saying "have you ever sacrificed" is comparing human life to that of your "God" and that is pretty funny. Once again, your weak arguments are highly amusing and easily belittled.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  12. caw

    I am an Atheist and my wife and her family is very religious. We broached the subject of religion before we got married. We agree that our children would go to church until they were thirteen. After they turned that age, my wife would no longer 'force' them to go. My wife agreed to never discuss religion with me or with the children over the dinner table.

    We've been married for twenty seven years and still love each other dearly. By setting the rules down before we were married, religion has never come between us. One of our children still goes to church religiously while the other stopped going. My in-laws have finally started respecting my views after it came very clear they weren't going to change them and that though a 'heathen' I am a very good husband.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  13. JustTheFacts

    Fact: there is no verifiable evidence for god, nor for the divinity of Jesus Christ, that anyone has ever been able to produce.

    Fact: the earth isn't flat, despite what the bible says (actually, it contradicts itself on that point and many others).

    Fact: the Christian god does not exist. This can be proven merely by considering the contradictory claims for its attributes.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  14. topconservative

    This is a good mother, not like the awful ,delusional, liar, catholic child molester supporting mother I had. I hope she never has to deal with a christian or muslim in her whole life.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  15. Religion is illogical...

    There are over 3000 religions in this world, nearly all of which worship a god... As soon as you come to understand why you reject all those other gods, you'll understand why I reject yours.

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

      red herring.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Religion is illogical...

      "Red herring"

      Not at all... Care to offer a logical explanation as to why you think so??

      January 21, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Daniel

      Seabass...just joking :)

      January 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  16. Ed

    How dare CNN put this filth on its page! How dare she speak out against God! She and her children will BURN IN HELL forever if she does not repent today! The United States needs to pass BLASPHEMY LAWS to keep this filth out of our eyes and ears. She has NO RIGHT to not believe in God. God loves her SOOOO MUCH that he will save her from HELL if she repents, but if she doesn't force herself to believe in something with no evidence, she and her children will BURRRRRN FOREVERRRRRRR!!!!

    If the above sounds ignorant and bigoted, it's because it is. You can sugar coat it all you want, but the fact is that the majority of the Christian Right in this country really feel this way. Saying it in a polite way does not make it any less obnoxious.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Somebody needs to sweep out all this straw!

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

      It would be interesting to do a demographic study on the "dissipation" of religion. Here in California I'd say that the average number of folks who visit any church regularly is pretty low except for maybe the Central Valley and Inland Empire. When I moved here 14 years ago from the Midwest, I was shocked that most people didn't go to church. 14 years later, I have shed my beliefs and am also raising a child without religion...but unlike Mitchell, in California I don't feel that alone!

      January 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Daniel

      @Ed....well this is going to be too easy! Your words are filled with hatred and violence, very "un-Christ-like" of you. You don't even follow the religion you so violently defend. Pathetic really. Get yourself an education or go back to the Bronze Age.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  17. lawrence s

    here is the problem...
    you cannot argue with illogical people who need a crutch to tell them not to sin, they will always play the "GOD, Jesus" trump card, and you can't argue with that

    looks like i am going to hell, THIS JUST IN, THERE ISN'T ONE!!!

    January 21, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Since Christian's generally define hell as a state where relationship with God is not present, I'm not sure what you are claiming. Are you saying that there is no state where relationship with God is not present? Or do you call that condition something else?

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

      bill, you are the only person i have ever actually heard say that. the overwhelming theme of the believers here is that nonbelievers will burn in the lake of fire.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • lawrence s

      bill, i don't understand what you are getting at

      i don't need "god" to tell me what's right or wrong, sorry
      god does not have a plan for me, i have a plan, and it is to be the best person i can by standards of respect for humanity which i am intelligent enough to create

      good luck, and i do not judge you, only your god does

      January 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  18. fr33m1nded

    Deborah, there are many people who think like you. And by that I mean people that believe that someone else's differences are not an insult or a danger for others just for being different. What is an insult and danger to all is the person who believes that only they have the truth and everyone else should be made to live and believe the way they live and believe. That is a recipe, and has been a recipe since birth of humanity, for war, prosecution, violence, racism, and all that is ugly in the human society.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  19. steve851

    I was raised a Christian, but no longer am. I regard most of the bible as mythology. However, putting that and organized religion aside, basic Judea-Christian beliefs are a great asset to civilization. Thus, I am somewhat uncomfortable with evangelizing atheism.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @steve851,

      with atheism, there's nothing to evangelize.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  20. sally

    It is so irritating to get accosted by religious fanatics. Yesterday, I was in a store and a perfect stranger came up to me proselytizing...this person was very nice but I couldn't help but feel she was trying to convince herself how happy she was. It was difficult getting away from her. At the same time, I wouldn't want my children to be ignorant of Jesus, Mohammad...any of the religions. They should know about them from an historical perspective if nothing else.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:49 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.