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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 • Faith Now • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Michael

    "All Christians need to be is private."
    Not gays. Not minorities. Not atheists. Just Christians.
    Can you please let me know when you will start releasing the lions so I can get a head start?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • bobs your uncle

      Seems to me that gays, minorities and athiests are as vocal as they are because certain christians wont shut up and stay private.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      As soon as the xians quit consigning atheists and other non-xians to h*ll. atheists will stop protesting your foolishness. I have never heard of an atheist threatening anyone with eternal retribution for their beliefs.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Rafael

      The groups you named are vocal out of a reaction to being subjugated by this culture. They are not religions. In American culture Jews are private, Hindus are private, Buddhists are private, Sikhs are private. Religion should be a private matter. Instead, we have Christian fundamentalists trying to insert Christian beliefs into common law. I know this is hard for Christians to understand, but DO YOU GET IT NOW?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  2. Theo

    Wow there are some scared bible thumpers around here, just read these posts.

    I know the sky is blue if someone posted an article about it being yellow i wouldn't care because i know im right. Now
    if i wasn't too sure about my belief that the sky was blue i might be insecure enough to post a anti yellow sky rant.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • The Truth

      The religious claim the sky is yellow because they are standing on the roof trying to pee in your eyes...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Canada

      Except.... the sky isn't blue. you may think and argue that the sky is blue, but it is not. Why is it not blue you ask? have you still not been able to see things for how they really are? Are you so weak in your flesh that you cannot see the true colour of the sky? yes, you are. you cannot see the true colour of the sky because of the restraints put on you from birth. yet there are species on this Earth that do see the sky in its true colour. Do some research and see that the sky is not blue, but of colours you cannot even detect. would you have known this without greater scholarly knowledge and understanding? So too is my life as a Christian.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      * don't trust anyone who can't spell color correctly. Sneaky Canadians...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • JFCanton

      This (unintentionally) leads to the epistemological problems that science itself has. Look up Nelson Goodman...

      ...which doesn't favor either side of this argument, but raises the bar on how rigorous one should be with an argument before feeling comfortable with it. Arguments about God tend to be had on a level equivalent to high school, if that.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Canada

      Reading excerpts from Goodman, I think I will largely agree with him. Thanks for the Suggestion!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  3. Katherine

    It makes me really sad that people treat the terms "evil" and "Atheist" as though they are synonymous. Why can't we believe something different if we want to?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Theo

      Hey its a free country also according to religious people as long as you believe what they tell you to.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Skegeeace

    What a bunch of WHINERS. Religion being shoved down your throat is someone with a gun saying, "Believe or die." Or being forced to live in certain areas away from everyone else. You people have NO concept of persecution. Somebody putting their beliefs on Facebook (where you're FREE to hit "Unfriend") is not "shoving religion down your throat". Gimme a break!

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jens Gessner

      "Religion being shoved down my throat' is creationism getting any time in our school's curriculum. It is children having to attend prayer at a public school. It is politicians having no chance of getting elected if they admit to not believing in a deity. It is irrational religious worldview shaping public policy. It is faith-based organizations receiving public funds for missionary work that is only disguised as social work.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Rafael

      I don't think that's what they mean, but thanks for playing.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  5. Lisuya2009

    To those religious people who firmly believe this godless mom and her children, along with other atheists, will be sent into hell, that's the biggest problem with your religion to me. Such a god, who will punish people based on their beliefs not their action, doesn't deserve any respect. If God is loving and forgiving as you claim, how can he drop good people into hell just because they don't believe in him. What's the difference between this god and a tyrant?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the christian God becomes very petulant if you don't tell him how wonderful he is on a regular basis. it's like dealing with a teenager! what a foundation for a belief system.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      he also gets very angry if you don't sing to him and give him money every sunday

      January 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      What a great wealth of knowledge you two are on God. Please expand so we can soak up your stunning wit!

      January 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Matthew

    I'm on the edge between Athiest and Agnostic. i was raised in a christian home, but in my teens began questioning the thigns I was being taught. I personally beleive the ideas of loving thy neighbor, forgiveness, and having good morals are all great, but the church establishment has perverted these ideas that Christ gave to us for their own gain and control of people. I feel the movie Dogma captures my idea best.

    Rufus: He(God) still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the $h!1 that gets carried out in His name – wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.
    Bethany: Having beliefs isn't good?
    Rufus: I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier...

    January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • OTOH

      Matthew,

      One can be both:

      Atheism = no belief in a god(s)
      Agnosticism = no knowledge of a god(s)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • It's just simpler to say I'm an atheist

      In the strictest terms I'm agnostic because I don't think it is impossible for a thing with some god like attributes to have ever existed. However if I tell a christian that I'm an agnostic they will assume I think their god might exist, which it totally wrong. There is too much evidence against any of the popular gods that I don't believe any of them exist. It's just simpler to say I'm an atheist.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  7. FSM

    Dear atheists,

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster has revealed His existence to all. Do you eat pasta? Know that when ever you do, you are consuming the Holy Visage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! In doing so, you glorify His Name, even without knowing, because you have an internal spirit that drives you toward the Truth of His existence!

    I pray that you allow His Noodly Appendage to come into your life - or onto your face, if that's how you like it.

    In the Name of the Pasta, the Parmesan, and the Holy Fettucine,
    R'Amen.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • ztom

      Way ahead of you. I'm an ordained Pastafarian minister. Finally received my certificate a number of months ago. You should look into it.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  8. virginia

    The reason why Athiest deny Religion is cause they deny their emotion the attempt o supress Religion as much as they attemtp to supress their own emotions, logic tell them that emotion make them weak the one thing they fear the most...they hate Religions people cause they believe being religious and exposing their feelings or emotion make religious people weakminded....athiest fear the feeling and emotions that make us human....

    January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      How many strokes did you suffer while writing this nonsense?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Virginia
      I'm afraid you've confused Atheists with Vulcans.
      Live long and prosper.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Jessica – i'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you are an idiot.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Theo

      Im atheist and i can tell it is for none-of them reasons, even as a kid i thought the idea of men wearing robes and praying to a god was silly, as an adult im ashamed to be a human where adults dress up in costumes and sing and prey to an old man in the sky and hang statues of a dead man on a cross in their houses as a talisman to ward off evil. IT IS RIDICULOUS thats why people are atheist's silly bible thumper

      January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      virginia
      why do you keep posting lies about your fellow man? I doubt you even know any atheists. I know christians though, they are ubiquitous. Not one of them can give me a logical or reasonable explaination for what they believe, and many are just going along with it to appease another. Atheists know we don't have to appease others with what we believe, and you will find more and more of us out there, that will gain the courage to stand up for their true beliefs.
      Christians on the other hand think it is a mandate that they push their religion on everyone else, and will never listen to reason. Very arrogant, and very pompous, very rarely humble.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That was funny Doc

      January 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Kotawolf

      Virginia, your very outlook is the cause of many issues. Most Atheist don't hate their fellow man. I've seen more hate from people who proclaim they are Christian then ever from Atheist. Please go out and look... if you are in a large city.. go somewhere else... you may just learn something by not looking at just your community.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  9. shadalee

    I agree that religion should be left at home or in the church. I'm so tired of people shoving their beliefs down my throat. It's everywhere, especially on Facebook.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • GoBlueGirl

      Yes at home or in the church – it gets rammed down my throat at work! But have finally got the owner to stop 'lecturing' – at least to me...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      GoBlueGirl ... you shouldn't work at Chick-Fil-A then. :-)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  10. Katherine

    My only hope, as is Mitchell's, is that Atheists may someday be granted the same respect and tolerance as everyone else. I do not desire to debate the existence of God or stop others from worshiping. All I want is to be able to "come out" as an Atheist without being shunned by society, deemed selfish and evil, or discriminated against. Thank you Deborah Mitchell for speaking for those of us who fear expressing our beliefs out of fear of being bullied and ostracized.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • religion,,

      atheist were among those that taught religions how to behave,,

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Stan

      Another "class" and I suppose you should get preferences to get into Harvard as well? Why not? Get all you can with your "class."

      January 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • The Truth

      The problem is that every religion believes they hold the patent on truth, justice and righteousness and have been fighting over trademark infringement for centuries. Now along comes a group that disregards any and all claims of ownership and decided they do not owe any religion anything so finally the religions have something to agree on, that atheists are the wrost kind of people because they refuse to pay and are just pirating already claimed morality and truth.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Typical christan with a very tenuous grasp on truth

      religion,, "atheist were among those that taught religions how to behave"
      You mean atheists were fighting crusades, having religious wars and burning people at the stake before Christians did it?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Rafael

      @stan: I didn't realize that religionists were so bad at reading comprehension.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  11. JFCanton

    Lots of people use religion as a shortcut, but lots of religious people are also not comfortable with that. It's a symptom of a bad or lazy thought process, which is something that nonbelievers can be just as subject to. A parent has a responsibility to prepare a child to interact with the surrounding world. That world contains religion. An atheist parent is thus remiss if the teaching of the child doesn't include preparing the child to deal with religion on the terms in which religion is likely to be encountered.

    Not knowing who Jesus was/is supposed to be is an example of insufficient parenting. Whether Jesus actually existed or not, most of the world thinks he did, and you can't prove otherwise academically, let alone to a child. The kid should therefore be given a precis of what it is that everyone else believes.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • TheSchmaltz

      Most of the world? You may want to verify that. Most of America, sure.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Christians and Muslims alone add up.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Kotawolf

      When I was a child in school.. they taught us that ALL dinosaurs were cold blooded. We know that wasn't true. Why should we teach children that Jesus who may not have existed at all... is the truth?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  12. It Would be Funny if it Weren't so Sad

    I find it sad that earlier I posted (what I hoped would be) something that I thought we could all agree on: that people need to stop with all the hate bashing and just "live and let live" in peace. I did single out atheists in my post because, as a Christian, I constantly find my faith under attack by this particular group. Oddly enough, rather than people agreeing that we should all live in peace with one another, I was personally attacked. They seemed concerned more with nitpicking semantics from my post rather than understanding the big message. So this is what we have become? I weep for the future when I realize that we can't even seem to agree to live in peace; that we would rather attack each other in the name of peace rather than live it. Now, I understand that there are trolls out there who like to stir things up because they have nothing better to do, but I many of these posts are too well written for your typical troll. This leads me to believe that I am witnessing a glimpse into the mindset of the general populace. Please don't bother attacking me. I won't bother to read it. People claim that if "x" would just be removed from the world (be it hate, guns, religion, Justin Beiber...it's a joke people, etc) that we would all live in peace. Sadly, these comments here (and on countless other threads across the internet) prove otherwise. Call it Satan, human nature, genetics, whatever, the simple fact seems to remain that we as a species are seriously screwed. I wish all of you the best, and I pray that I am wrong, but my outlook is bleak. To one person in particular, Jessica, I meant no disrespect. I respect you and your beliefs, and I wish you nothing but happiness in life. I did not mean to imply that you are either Christian or Atheist. I simply was attempting to directly confront the main group (Atheists) who seem to be the most concerned with how a Christian chooses to live his/her life (at least from what I've witnessed from these comments).

    January 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @so Sad,

      "I did single out atheists in my post because, as a Christian, I constantly find my faith under attack by this particular group."

      How so?

      Your faith can only be "under attack" from one place – your own doubts.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @so Sad,

      "I was personally attacked."

      The bias in your own statements was pointed out to you. Nowhere were you "personally attacked".

      January 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • jim

      Live and let live is great as long as religion is kept as a personal matter. The problem is it being forced into government, science class rooms and foreign policy. (People in Africa dying of aids because god is against condoms for some strange reason)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      The problem is, you think all opinions are the same. An opinion that is informed by belief in ancient mythology will never be valid. NEVER. So start evaluating your beliefs and coming up with proper arguments, or be silent.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • There is no such thing in christianity as live and let live

      The problem with "live and let live" is that most christians really mean "live by my rules and I and my god will agree to let you be alive"

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  13. Rebecca

    One day soon we will all be kneeling before God, what will you say then ?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • religion,,

      kneeling?? how silly.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

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

      January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      one day soon the human race will look on your God and Jesus the same way as we look on Zeus and Thor and Ra (and santa claus and the tooth fairy) today. What a giggle!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • JWT

      I can guarantee you one thing – I will never be kneeling before your version of a god.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • The Truth

      Well I guess it would be hard to say anything at all when your mouth is full...

      By the way, when Adam was created did he have a penis? Just curious since if Eve wasn't created until later I would just wonder what the penis would have been for. It would be like inventing a nut before the bolt...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Brian

      Why do you subscribe to an ignorant, inhuman, immoral and brutish belief system? This is stone age thinking.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Rafael

      Which one, and how can you be sure? You might have some 'splainin to do...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • TheSchmaltz

      What kind of petty narcissist wants people to kneel before him?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Stander

      Look at you kneeling and laugh?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Can I have a pillow to kneel on?"

      January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • masterochi

      I will say:

      WHERE WERE YOU?

      Where was God when religious ignorance was used to torture "non-believers" and when (in several societies) genocide was carried out under the pitiful excuse of doctrinal superiority?

      When in England and Ireland two groups of "Christians" fought violently as a result of Henry II's refusal to accept the Pope as spiritual leader, where was God? he could have settled the matter in a day.

      or in Spain, when Christians tortured and murdered Moslems and Jews in the name of Jesus, where was God then?

      Or in Persia, when the Arab conquerors slaughtered millions of Persians for refusing to accept the Arab's god, Where was this Allah, or any God for that matter? Millions murdered and 'converted' at the point of a sword, and God ignored this massive injustice?

      Where was God when Christian Klu Klux Klan followers would burn the homes and churches of blacks and immagrants (yes, they killed the Irish Catholics too, but no one remembers that!). Where was God?

      If there is a God, he either wants us to suffer, or he does not care.

      So, if there is a judgement day, I will ask 'God" why he made cruel people so rich, and poor people so powerless. Why did he create disease, bad genes, and all the other maladies that have plagued humanity from the beginning?

      If there is a god he is a really bad at his job.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • OTOH

      Rebecca,

      Allah, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Vishnu
      Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jens Gessner

      Well, as an Atheist I accept that I simply cease to exist after my death, except perhaps in the memory of those who know me. But should the improbable occur, and I meet a deity after my death, I would certainly ask why he/she made it impossible for reasonable and rational thinking people to believe.
      Theists forget that Atheists do not merely rebel against authority. Atheists gather the available evidence and conclude that there is not enough to justify a belief in a deity.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • rickinmo

      Hey man ! What's with the long hair and robe?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  14. religion,,

    there are billions of planets, like ours, in just our galaxy.. Imagine now the universe. Though no other life has been found, it sure proves luck and chance, better said as 'chaos'. Proof alone that a god wasn't involved, at least not a perfect one.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Gman

      so, out of nothingness, came something? Some atoms aligned properly, and BANG... universe... Out of nothingness came life.... Sounds like Genisis... and that has nothing to do with Christianity!!!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      @ GMan

      How did you you marshal BOTH of your brain cells to produce that comment?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Pourquoi?

      The French does a better than the English "why" of pointing out that some real arguments are needed. Chaos and luck don't point in a direction.

      On an odds basis, the apparent scarcity of life that has evolved to use EMR should actually be a point in favor of a universe that has some deterministic element in which we are significant. If it's just random we should expect a pretty good chance of someone else out there making noise.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "Chaos and luck don't point in a direction."

      You're right. And until the religious loonies stop thinking of themselves as some sort of ultimate purpose of the universe, they will never understand that.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm |

    • January 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Bob

    As others have said, explain Fatima, then if you can explain it without God, feel free to destroy yourself and your kids if you must, CNN has an obvious pro atheist agenda. They put this uneducated woman's opinion piecein the US News section, got TONS of negative comments and a few positive ones, then claimed her piece was well received. What a horrible "news" outlet.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Gir

      " then if you can explain it without God, feel free to destroy yourself and your kids if you must"

      WOW.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • religion,,

      already have ,,First, there has never, ever, been a miracle. Fatima.. the sun coming closer and dancing.. Look at the sun yourself and guess what?? The same thing will happen. Then bow down your head and pray (looking away from the sun so your eyes can re-adjust) and the sun returns

      January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Brian

      If you feel obliged to support a religion that condones slavery, killing of ones own children, genital mutilation of children, and many other immoral practices then that is your right.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Bob buys all his books from the christian book store and watches christian television. Oh what a frightening thing the outside world must be for you Bob.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Thoth

      Fatimah (Arabic: فاطمة ‎, Fāṭimah) is an Arabic female given name, commonly used among Muslims and is especially revered among Shias. The colloquial Arabic pronunciation of the name often omit the unstressed second syllable and render it as Fatma when romanized.

      There....Fatimah exlained ;-}

      January 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • rickinmo

      Why would I attempt to explain something I don't believe? If you believe it, then you do the explaining. And, by the way, your explanation must provide proof and sound reasoning. I'll hold my breath. I'll be the blue guy in the corner waiting for your response.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  16. Austin

    God provided a way. admitting we need His way gets in the way of pride and insatiable pleasure. and self worship.

    January 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      The why do Christians constantly engage in all three of those things??

      January 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • JWT

      God's way – pass.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Austin

      because there is one human race, and one savior for the sick. christians are redeemed through merch, by faith. not righteousness. we are fallen .

      January 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Does judging others from a point of ignorance make you feel superior, Austin? Does lying about strangers make your god love you more? Are ignorance and mendacity the values of a true christian? I'm sorry, Austin. I was raised to value truth and knowledge. I don't have it in me to be a christian.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Austin

      because sin is in the blood. and the human race is in this together in one truth, one redemption

      January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • snowboarder

      there is no reason to believe that gods provided anything, simply the fables and myths of primitive men.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • snowboarder

      austin, inherited sin is an absurd concept. the fact that anyone is willing to believe such nonsense if astounding.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      God provided a way
      ----
      What way is that?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Austin

      tallulah, it is not within you, it is not within me. Paul, who wrote the majority of new testament, killed christians before he was given faith from God. i understand you. I love you too and the best thing for you is to struggle with the truth, but allow God to do what only God can do. ask for faith

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Jared Myers

    I read the entire article. If that article is the best that atheism can throw against Christianity (with red herrings, strawmen, and a lack of logic from beginning to end), that's almost sad. I would pay $$$ to have William Lane Craig, James R. White, and/or Douglas Wilson write a response to this ridiculously simplistic and logic-deprived blog.

    January 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Gman

      Right on!

      January 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Rafael

      I kinda doubt this article is the best that atheism has to offer. But whatever makes you feel better.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Greg

      “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

      January 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      You have to cite popular religious loony sophists, because you lack the skills to offer a rebuttal on your own.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Gir

      "If that article is the best that atheism can throw against Christianity"

      Now THAT'S a straw man.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Brian

      Why don't you read some Sam Harris. Maybe you could watch some of his "youtube" videos

      January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Religion is illogical...

      Obviously, it struck a chord with you or you wouldn't have responded with such misplaced anger... The world is slowly outgrowing religion... Isn't it about time for you to grow up, too??

      January 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This woman is speaking for herself, Jared, and explaining her own reasons. You may not be aware of this, but many people actually form their own opinions. You should give it a try.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Keith

      Your response sounds just CHALKED full of Christ's love! lol.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The author is a mom living in Texas – she doesn't claim to have written critically reviewed books on atheism.

      The purpose of the piece was about her sincerity, not that were arguments were well-constructed.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • texas atheist

      Let’s take a passage beloved by all Christians, John 3:16.
      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
      If I knew nothing about Christianity, I might read this passage thinking that God’s child saved his supporters from some impending doom. I might even fill in the blanks with a heroic story like that of Zeus sending Hercules to resuce loyal Greeks from the intensions of Hades. Overall, a positive depiction of the biblical God that merits eyeliner advertising on quarterbacks nationwide. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

      In context, this passage refers to Jehovah, a god who’s son, Jesus, was born to be sadistically murdered in order to overturn a rule that Jehovah himself created that condemned every man, woman and child to hell because an ancient decenant of humanity was tricked by a snake that (again) Jehovah himself created.

      In context, God’s “love” is too little, too late. A more honest passage might read something like this:
      For God so needed validation that he sacrifed his one and only son, that whoever worships him shall not be condemned to death.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Wow, if you can't tell the difference between a personal essay and an academic publication you might want to consider...college?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  18. Gman

    Our Congress opens with prayer... every session! Our innaugeration was filled with prayer, devotion, and recognition of God as supreme.... Wake the F up!

    January 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Rafael

      I know, it is a travesty, isn't it?

      January 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • flamenshamen

      Seriously! Wake up and smell the science, religion has no place in the 21st century.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Agreed, we need to wake up and get religion out of government.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • religion,,

      wow, Gman.. you proved how sad this country can be,, uncivilized at times.. Bet hitler had his masses supporting him too

      January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Everett

      It is interesting that our government is so corrupt, isn't it, Gman?

      January 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Maybe thats why congress is so inept

      January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      Such a travesty considering the last 236 years of history in the US. Where did all this Christian stuff come from?

      January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  19. Veronica

    Why do humanists expect Christians to be super-human? It's an unfair and unrealistic expectation. Christians are human, too, after all.

    January 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Gir

      They claim total moral superiority. On only wishes they'd exhibit it.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rafael

      All Christians need to be is private.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • flamenshamen

      christ can blow me

      January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  20. Gman

    Additionally, the idea of seperation of Church and State is completely misunderstood. This country was founded on the promise that the government would never tell it's citizens what religion to follow. The term "seperation of church and state" was from a letter written by Jefferson, I believe, that promised that the government would never prohibit a seperation of church and state.

    January 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • *

      * and your spelling of "separation" is completely misunderstood...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • ztom

      Actually, you find quite a number of passages in the Bible advocating separation of church and state. Even quotes from Jesus.

      Basically, if you believe in the Bible, you will find these passages that even though God created this world, Satan is the current ruler of Earth. All governments, even if you try to create a theocracy, are inherently rules by Satan. It's only in the book of Revelations that Jesus changes that all. Until then, trying to make government "more godly" will fail, and should not be attempted.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.