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May 24th, 2013
04:46 PM ET

Has the Oklahoma atheist been saved?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Just days after she announced to the world from tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, that she is an atheist, it looks like Rebecca Vitsmun has found salvation.

Not from the Lord, mind you, but from other atheists and friends of atheists.

An Indiegogo campaign titled “Atheists Unite,” launched late Thursday by stand-up comic Doug Stanhope, is raking in dollars to help her family rebuild. Less than 17 hours after going live, it met its 60-day goal of $50,000. A little more than an hour later, as we prepared to publish, donations were at $55,000 - and growing.

“Holy @#!%!” Stanhope said, by way of hello when he answered his phone Friday morning.

Vitsmun, whose home was destroyed in Monday’s deadly tornado, unwittingly became a sensation Tuesday after participating in a live TV interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. When Blitzer asked if she thanked the Lord for the decision she made that saved her and her 19-month-old son, she stammered before saying, “I’m actually an atheist.”

She and Blitzer laughed and moved on. But that TV moment took on a life of its own, spreading online and through social media.

It also inspired this outpouring of atheist love.

“It's important that our community shows that we have your back when you come out publicly as an atheist,” Stanhope wrote on the Indiegogo page. “Let's show the world that you dont need to believe in a god to have human compassion nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion. Let's get this courageous woman and her family back in their own home.”

While a serious matter, the campaign offers “Perks” for giving – including a “Get Out of Hell Free Card” for a $50 donation, a “First Class Upgrade” on “the flight to the afterlife” for $500 and, just because, “Full Access to God’s Planbook” for $5,000.

Stanhope said he often weaves his beliefs, or lack of belief, into his stand-up routines. While Christian missionaries run around Third World countries – feeding the poor, Bibles in hand – he bemoans how atheists do nothing.

“We sit around in a dark bar and mock them,” he said. Meantime, “that book [the Bible] is a lot more appealing when there’s a bowl of rice under your nose.”

He saw this as an opportunity to do something, and his 2,021 contributors – and counting – clearly did, too. This wasn’t the only group to get into the atheist-supporting game.

On the website for FreeOK, Oklahoma's freethought convention which is scheduled for June 22, T-shirts are being sold to benefit Vitsmun and her family. The shirts are emblazoned with her quote, "I'm actually an atheist."

And as Stanhope's Indiegogo campaign reached its goal Friday afternoon, a press release came in from the American Humanist Association – announcing that it just forwarded to Vitsmun a whopping donation of $10,000.

“Rebecca Vitsmun’s courage to speak forthrightly about her atheism inspired humanists and others who are good without a god across the country to help her through this difficult time,” said the association’s executive director Roy Speckhardt, in the written statement. “Natural disasters are a product of our environment, not supernatural forces, and we have a responsibility to help those affected by them.”

While we are in contact with Vitsmun through sporadic e-mails, we were unable to get a reaction from her before publishing.

But the American Humanist Association shared a statement from her in its press release.

“People from all around the world have reached out to us and the people of Moore and Newcastle and we don’t know how we can ever thank everyone enough for their generosity,” she said. “It is really hard to even know where to begin, but having so many here to embrace us while we figure it out makes the path ahead less intimidating. Thank you all so much.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (453 Responses)
  1. Belief blog cha cha cha

    The CNN cha cha cha

    First blog post
    Atheist metronome
    Cha cha cha

    Second blog post
    Anti christian syncopated beat
    Cha cha cha

    Third and fourth blog post
    Repeat the syncopated beat
    Move the body
    Move the foot
    Impeach God
    Cha cha cha

    May 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  2. keith a dewey, Chairman

    I carry my God-Rock so I can show any believer of any God that my Rock will do what their God will do. No one has ever proven me wrong. And I have proof.
    Me: "See the breeze move the leaves on that tree?"
    Them: "Yes."
    Me: "Did your God do that?"
    Them: "Yes."
    Me: "So did my rock."

    May 30, 2013 at 5:38 am |
    • Ann

      I have a god rock, too, but it's invisible. Prove that I don't have one.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  3. faith

    "Veronica
    Saying that the bible proves that god is real is the same as saying that comic books prove Spider Man is real." lol

    dodo, will u stop, please? i'm beggin u darling please, dodo, uve got bent over peeing my drawers, witch

    May 30, 2013 at 2:48 am |
  4. Sockratease01

    The NONES are now at 30% of the US populationa and growing. The Fundies are at 25% and falling. Praise the Lawd!

    It's such a pain on the ass to deal with Pin headed Bible Thumpers and their idiotic push for world domination.

    May 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • faith

      "Sockratease01
      The NONES are now at 30% of the US populationa and growing. The Fundies are at 25% and falling. Praise the Lawd!
      It's such a pain on the ass to deal with Pin headed Bible Thumpers and their idiotic push for world domination."

      hate speech and why we r exposing this piece of garbage for the anti-Semitic and anti-christian Nazi fascist god-hating rag to encourage advertisers to stay away. all christians, jews and others who oppose the filth cnn promotes here, boycott their sponsors. from now on, do not buy or use anything advertised on this dump. tell all your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, radio show hosts. dig it

      May 30, 2013 at 2:37 am |
  5. ChrisA

    On one side you have atheist screaming there is no God, on the other side you have christians yelling repent because judgment is coming. Either could be right, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    I love America but its sad to see history repeating itself. Anytime a nation thinks it's invulnerable, it's leaders become arrogant, and it's people complacent and blind to what's going on around them, that civilization ultimately collapses. Babylonians, Assyrians, Rome, and Egypt all gone or shadows of their former selves.

    The answer isn't to try and remove God (which is pointless), instead we should look at ourselves and admit we could do better.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Makes Sense

      "The answer isn't to try and remove God (which is pointless), instead we should look at ourselves and admit we could do better."

      I agree, we should look to ourselves and both admit we could do better and then actually try. There is no action require to remove any God, just stop worrying about whether there is or not and get to work making this a better planet for all.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      Normally, you don't have atheists screaming that there is no god

      May 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Ted

      Sam is correct. Atheists tend to be better educated and more rational than their theistic counterparts. Screaming doesn't have much appeal and receives little respect.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      Ted: Same goes with the empty proxy threats that the pious regularly spew

      May 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • ChrisA

      @Ted
      some of the most vocal atheists I've seen, are very combative and at times demeaning. Just take a look at your comment, "Atheists tend to be better educated and more rational than their theistic counterparts. " That's just ridiculous. Both atheists and Theists have lead advances in chemistry, biology, neuroscience, medicine, physics, ext. A persons religion doesn't correlate with their IQ.

      You saying that Atheists are more rational, a statement made without proof, Is no different than a christian saying, "Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life because the Bible said so".

      It's this kind of "irrational" thinking that will prevent Atheist's and Christians from ever seeing eye to eye.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > On one side you have atheist screaming there is no God, on the other side you have christians yelling repent because judgment is coming. Either could be right, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

      Actually no. If one side is saying there is no God and one side is saying there is, then there cannot be middle ground.

      > I love America but its sad to see history repeating itself. Anytime a nation thinks it's invulnerable, it's leaders become arrogant, and it's people complacent and blind to what's going on around them, that civilization ultimately collapses. Babylonians, Assyrians, Rome, and Egypt all gone or shadows of their former selves.

      First of all, who's saying America is currently falling by the wayside. Second of all, who says that we think we're invulnerable? You're rambling isn't making much sense.

      > The answer isn't to try and remove God (which is pointless), instead we should look at ourselves and admit we could do better.

      What we could do better is to think rationally. And unfortunately that means not believing in a God or Gods until such time evidence comes available for their existence. And to date, no evidence exists.

      May 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ChrisA

      1) When I said "the truth lies somewhere in the middle" i wasn't talking about God's existence. I was talking about America's future.

      2) If you don't see that America has some problems, than your in denial. 16 trillion dollars in debt, a declining value in the dollar, health care issues, and housing just to name a few. Nobody would deny that we've made improvements, but we still have a ways to go.

      3) Which leads to my last point, which is removing God is a wasted effort and will do absolutely nothing to improve America .
      In fact, all evidence actually points to the contrary. Don't believe me? Okay name me one Atheist superpower now or in the past that's ever prospered.

      May 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  6. saggyroy

    Have you ever noticed god only sends us tornadoes in tornado season and hurricanes in hurricane season? I guess god is seasonal.

    May 29, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • Colin

      He also seems to only cure medical conditions that are susceptible to miracle cures. Never amputees, for example. Our capacity as a species for self deception is quite stunning.

      May 29, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • Makes Sense

      "Our capacity as a species for self deception is quite stunning."

      If we didn't then QVC and capitalism as a whole would fail. It's the lie that keep's most people getting out of bed in the morning.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  7. GOOD NEWS

    This is the end of Atheistic Delusion;

    for GOD is absolutely Real,

    Here is the Ultimate Evidence:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    So all Atheists, this is the time for you

    to truly return to the LORD,

    and you will thus really be saved, now and forever!

    May 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      As your god is not proven to exist, how could we ever have been with it and how could we return?

      May 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Sammy

      GOOD NEWS
      A bit of advice, that website is too old looking and it requires visitors to download files (risky due to viruses) in order to view the content on these "miracles". These are two things that usually throw people off right away. Just sayin'!

      Also, I don't consider people's pointing to "miracles" to be much of an argument as, for every unexpected outcome that is really positive, there is at least one where it's the exact opposite. One where somebody dies during a routine operation, has the wrong limb amputated at the hospital, just happens to be standing in the wrong spot when a car veers onto a sidewalk, or some other stupid, anti-miracle. When you look at the big picture, there is roughly the same number of "saves" as stupid losses, rendering the significance of the saves moot.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You want me to be saved, from a threat that your god created, just to threaten his creations with...silly story. Clearly the product of men's overactive imaginations in response to his own ignorance. The bible makes no sense.

      I prefer reality.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Veronica

      Saying that the bible proves that god is real is the same as saying that comic books prove Spider Man is real.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

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

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

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

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

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Me: "We do?"

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

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

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

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    May 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Science

      Dyslexic doG...........over 250 millions years ago .

      Rock Where India Crashed Into Asia And Pushed Up The Himalayas [PHOTO]

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-hadfield-himalaya-satellite-photo-2013-5#ixzz2UdQgGr1G

      http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-hadfield-himalaya-satellite-photo-2013-5?nr_email_referer=1&utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Science%20Select&utm_campaign=1-SCIENCE_SELECT_NEW&utm_content=emailshare

      May 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Science

      Hello Dyslexic doG....................to simple for creationists bible thumpers to figure out........solution to their problem is

      big data !....................lmfao.

      Over 20 billion tons hit the rock billions of years ago .and created the gold we mine today.

      ASA's WISE Mission Finds 'Lost' Asteroid Family Members

      May 29, 2013 — Data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to a new and improved family tree for asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529214902.htm

      AND..........all creationists.

      lol??/cadie/faith the peachy one.......................EVOLUTION WINS THUMBS UP NO horn-y red devil !

      Apes Get Emotional Over Games of Chance

      May 29, 2013 — Like some humans, chimpanzees and bonobos exhibit emotional responses to outcomes of their decisions by pouting or throwing angry tantrums when a risk-taking strategy fails to pay off, according to research published May 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alexandra Rosati from Yale University and Brian Hare from Duke University.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529190933.htm

      May 30, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  9. Monica

    I'm christian and I believe that everybody has a right to believe in their convictions. I am thankful that people came together to help her out.

    May 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I can help her out...which way did she come in?

      May 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  10. M. Urban

    The same voice that thanks god for sparing them in this natural disaster, must logically credit god for taking the lives of people, including children, in this same disaster. Can't have it both ways. But, religious beliefs are not the product of a rational mind.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • George Karlson

      Why is it such a problem for people to believe that God has his hand in some things and not others? There is only one way about it. Nothing in this world is black and white, yet Atheists insist that faith should be judged as so.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Why is it such a problem for people to believe that God has his hand in some things and not others?"

      Why is it such a problem for believers to see that an omniscient god and free will are inconsistent?

      As far as black and white, theists seem to judge stuff in the same manner

      May 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • George Karlson

      "Why is it such a problem for believers to see that an omniscient god and free will are inconsistent?"
      If God exists outside of time, how does that infringe on the free will of ppll?

      "As far as black and white, theists seem to judge stuff in the same manner"
      They would be wrong as well. Although I am sure you don't mean all theists. Religious ppl may not have faith in God and vice versa.

      May 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      George, Because if god is omniscient, then it knows all that will happen, so humans cannot exercise free will to choose what will happen.

      May 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Kate

      This article is sad and is a great example of what America has become... An atheist country... No wonder things are getting worse by the day and yet when bad things happen they always find a way to blame God yet they wont believe in him. It's funny to me because if you don't believe in prayer or in God why do you waist so much time mocking? Why do you curse his name and not your own... If you sincerely don't believe in it, why not put your own name and curse on it. All these people who have made a comment on how God doesn't exist... I am sure that most of you not once have ever actually tried to bow down on your knees and pray because most proud people who think so highly of themselves have a hard time doing that. To think that one day you would have to stand before the one that you don't believe in and give an account for all your actions.... Its doesn't matter how much you laugh, scoff or belittle it doesn't change the fact that it will take place. I would rather believe in God than think I came from a monkey. If evolution is real why haven't the human body developed more organs... wings, seeing through walls and building... No wait we have made ourselves god and do things in labs... its working out just great. One more thing God is omnipresent, omnipotent and yes, he knows everything, everything our little minds don't know how to comprehend because we want to see and touch to know its real. I want to feel you in on this God want's free lovers, just like you want someone to love you for you, he want's people to love him for him... Not what he can do, but for him. Maybe if you took the time to actually seek instead of laugh and point you would see.....

      May 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @kate.............You mentioned how bad things have become because of atheism. I'm sure some of those homes destroyed were owned by Christians. Why didn't god spare those homes? It's comments like those made by you the reason you hear/read strong comments like you do. Why do comments unflattering to god bother you? Let god handle it. If it don't bother him, it shouldn't bother you.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Kate

      @ Ken... I wasn't just talking about Oklahoma but about the whole country. Light and darkness cannot co-exist, when you turn off the light it gets dark, same as you turn the light in the darkness it becomes light. You take everything that has to do with God out, nothing but darkness will be left. I know that God is not mocked and that what a man sows he will reap. It's just sad to watch because I love our country. I'm not here to argue or to fight, its pointless. But I am here to show support for those who think like me. 🙂

      May 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
      • learn yin yang

        I dunno if your simple mind can handle this but...Ever heard of a shadow? Every light casts a shadow.

        July 21, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "No wonder things are getting worse by the day and yet when bad things happen they always find a way to blame God yet they wont believe in him."

      Getting worse day by day? Since the founding of this Nation I suggest that we are ever making a better and more perfect union as was intended by our founders. We have discarded sanctioned slavery, attempted to reduce racism and bigotry, given women a vote, improved working conditions and safety for millions of Americans and raised the average life expectancy by nearly 35 years. If that's worse, then give me some more of that please.

      May 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @kate.............I hate to say this, but it seems that your perception that things are getting worse might be because of a black president. We are the #1 country in world period. Cubans go through shark infested waters to get here. Mexicans risk dying in the desert to get here. Their are literally lines stretching around the block in countries where people are trying to get here. Everyday. Trust me, if we're as bad as you think, you'd leave.

      May 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Kate

      Color of the President has nothing to do with anything. Please don't throw that low racist card. If you can't seem what is going on in our country maybe you need to find a better news course. I can't repost and I have been trying.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Kate blabbers: "If you can't seem what is going on in our country maybe you need to find a better news course."

      It's "source." And why don't you explain just what it is you think is "going on," Kate? Noobs like you have been yammering about the end times and the second coming and evil for over 2000 years. Knock it off. It's not even close to being anything but a laugh. This world is as it has always been. I think you need to read a bit of history before you start clamoring about the horrors of the present.

      Silly bunt.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "If evolution is real why haven't the human body developed more organs... wings, seeing through walls and building..."

      Oh, never mind. I thought you were an adult. A stupid one, but nevertheless, a grown-up. I see now that you're a high school dropout who's all of 15.

      Have a nice night.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @kate............I still don't understand why you think things are worse off? Are you worse off? Their always have been people that didn't believe in god. Was the country worse off then? We've had natural disasters even during the "good 'ol days" when people prayed all the time. We've had disasters since earth existed. So I don't see your point. Outside of people not believing in your god, please give specific examples of how not believing in god has made things worse off?

      May 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      "If God exists outside of time, how does that infringe on the free will of ppll?"

      If god is omniscient, and knows what choice i will make, what is the chance i will choose otherwise and prove god wrong?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • sam stone

      kate: how does one blame something in which they do not believe?

      can you blame stuff on bugs bunny?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • sam stone

      "I know that God is not mocked"

      Perhaps, but god's snivelling sycophant followers can be

      May 29, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • sam stone

      "To think that one day you would have to stand before the one that you don't believe in and give an account for all your actions.... Its doesn't matter how much you laugh, scoff or belittle it doesn't change the fact that it will take place"

      You seem to play fast and loose with "facts" Silly gash.

      "I would rather believe in God than think I came from a monkey"

      No one is suggesting we came from monkeys. My gosh, pick up a book

      May 29, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • sam stone

      "One more thing God is omnipresent, omnipotent and yes, he knows everything"

      If he knows everything, how does free will exist?

      "everything our little minds don't know how to comprehend..."

      like you speaking of the nature of god?

      May 29, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Doobs

      No wonder things are getting worse by the day

      Ask anyone over the age of 60 how much technology, medicine, travel, and simple things like housekeeping or cooking has improved since they were children.

      Just one example: To get to that a restaurant, I don't have to find a phone book (a paper one) and hope it's listed. I don't have to call them up, ask for and write down directions, hope they are correct, then drive around trying to read directions in the dark and see street signs. I just say "Directions to Such and Such" and a voice guides me turn by turn to the doorstep with amazing accuracy.

      Even in third world countries, cell phone technology has improved lives. Many countries completely skipped from no phone service to decent cell phone service. This is due to a number of reasons, largely because the economics of installing phone lines was not profitable for the phone companies. But cell phone towers can be put nearly anywhere, so these countries suddenly had cell phone coverage with no big company holding the technology hostage to contracts, data plans, etc. They buy an inexpensive phone and pay as you use.

      Now people who may have had to walk a half of a day through the rain forest to visit a relative can pick up the phone and talk with them. Or call for help in an emergency.

      and yet when bad things happen they always find a way to blame God yet they wont believe in him. It's funny to me because if you don't believe in prayer or in God why do you waist so much time mocking?

      I don't blame god for bad things. Storms happen and kill people. Someone gets cut off on the freeway and shoots a family. These things happen because of human nature and the nature of the earth. No god causes them to happen.

      I am sure that most of you not once have ever actually tried to bow down on your knees and pray because most proud people who think so highly of themselves have a hard time doing that.

      You are quite wrong about that.

      So far you are batting 1.000 in the "Rookie Christian Assumptions About Atheists and Agnostics" category. There are more, but I feel like I'd just be piling on.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Sammy

      Kate
      "If evolution is real why haven't the human body developed more organs... wings, seeing through walls and building..."
      You're thinking of The X-Men, a comic book, although it does share one character with the Bible: Angel.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Kate

      @ Doobs…
      I understand what you are saying about how technology has improved in the last 60 years, yes that I know. That’s not what I was talking about. I was talking about the amount of debt this country is in now the present, printing money we don’t have everyday just to stay afloat. Even though the technology is supposed so advanced why is America #37 in the quality of health care compared to the rest of the world? Why do we eat GMO food? Why do we put chemicals in almost everything that we surround ourselves with? Why have we not been able to find cure for cancer? Or is it because it’s more profitable? Those are the issues that we should be talking about and trying to fix so that the next generation is able to grow healthy.
      See people put Christians into one category as well. You meet one person who only does lip serves, meaning says one thing but lives a totally different life style. Than you judge all, by that same perception.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  11. { ! }

    Is the hypocritical liberal media now asking, "Brother, has she been saved"?

    May 28, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Science

      Hey..........{ ! }

      And............Biggest JOKE under the SUN.................NO heaven or horn-y red devil..........never has been !

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-43/#comment-2372761

      PS Do a simple search for Prof. Higgs.............the church hates that = True Comedy Gold !

      May 28, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Science

      And.....{ ! }.

      Vatican: Pope didn't perform exorcism...............Never has been evil like the red horn-y devil !

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/21/vatican-pope-didnt-perform-exorcism/#comments

      May 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  12. rc

    Everything else set aside, what amazes me is that a JOURNALIST would ask such a questions. His prodding for a specific response was very much personally based, and has absolutely NO place in journalism. Journalism is about reporting the news, not editorialism ... yet another reason why I no longer watch the "news" or buy "news" papers. Regardless, I do applaud her courage, and find the outpouring of support and help absolutely fabulous. Kudos to all ... except Wolf.

    May 28, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  13. Atheist Meme Of the Day

    What a wonderful chain of reactive events that have occurred since this devastating storm. I applaud this woman for having the guts to speak up when we all know how believers react when they find out there is a non-believer among them, I know from personal experience it can be almost a life threatening experience when they look at you like a evil "devil worshiping" heathen and find the need to attempt to "save you" every Saturday morning as they wake us up with their door knocking/ bible selling.
    The real "good news" is everyday people are opening their eyes to how evil the beliefs in these folklore storybook gods have been and are reverting back to the Atheists we were all born as before the child abusive brainwashing and indoctrination processes were completed on us. My advice to anyone is to read that bible you thump on, not just the cute verses that have been cherry picked for you, but seriously read the whole thing, then when you get done if you still feel this being deserves your praise and worship it only goes to prove what a insecure evil person you must truly be.
    Please visit us on Facebook and like our page !
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atheist-Meme-of-the-Day/190864071001365

    Take care and may everyone have a day full of peace & Harmony as we give thanks to those who gave their all !

    May 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Reality

      Well said !

      May 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Joe

      JW's knocking on your door on Saturday morn will never save you; they are lost themselves. A common mistake amongst professing athiests is that they lump all "religious" groups and people together. I have read the entire Bible more than once and I worship the Creator God; I am not insecure, nor evil, (altough interestiing that you would use the term evil, because as you believe there is no God then how is there good and evil?) If I met you I would extend to you a hand, see you as another human being just like me, and treat you with respect, regardless of what your beliefs are. Peace.

      June 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  14. Rational Thinker

    What is remarkable is that she wouldn't bow down to Wolfe's "do you accept the Lord" biased question. She hesitated and then gave an honest answer. And in OK of all places where she and her family are at higher risk of being outcast and threatened. She or husband may lose their job over "honesty", yet she was very kind concerning those who do believe. For that, she will need extra help in the weeks and months that follow, and I have tremendous respect for her response. She single handedly put atheists on the map in extremely religious Oklahoma, and will help countless others realize they are not alone in doubting the mass delusions they have been surrounded with.

    May 27, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Alias

      @required
      You need to read the bible. All of it.
      Even the parts about a flood that never happened, the children that wherekilled fo rliving inthe wrong place, all the people that are supposed to be stoned to death, and all the people who are going to hell who have never done anything wrong.
      The bible does not make sense. It contradicts itself.That is why therearethousands of christian churches – each with a different interpretation of what god meant by giving us a flawed manual to follow.
      Yes, there is a lot of wisdom inthe bible. There is also a lot of wisdom in the Koran and the teachings of Buddah. A fewgood lessons do not prove god exists.

      May 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      required
      The bible is a conglomeration of stories, many stolen from previous cultures. It is not the truth, though there is some of man's general wisdoms within it.

      Do you follow the bible?...how many people have you killed because they worked on the sabbath as required by your book?

      Do you make sure the women in your church do not speak, as required?

      Even Jesus says that the OT is valid in John 10:35 and then reinforced in Matthew 5:18, 15:3 and 15:6.

      How many stonings have you attended. If the answer is none, you are a horrible example of a christian.

      May 27, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Sammy

      You're right, I think that it's her bravery more than her being an atheist that's the most inspiring here. Not too many people would be brave enough to admit to being a nonbeliever when asked directly down in that part of the country. Bravo to her!

      May 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • required

      God is a spirit, so to get the best performance, you'll need the old style AV connector: Prayer 1.

      Paul at your local NT store can help you figure out how to patch in.

      May 27, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • required

      The Prayer 1 is the best, premium content too where available. Any other connector just isn't as good (literally).

      May 27, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Science

      Hey required.................reading for YOU !

      GOOD NEWS...............faith the peachy one......chad too.......you know all creationists too......... story = truth !

      http://www.ibtimes.com/atheists-fight-gideon-bibles-books-christopher-hitchens-richard-dawkins-georgia-state-parks-
      1271125

      Science books and education TRUMPS the 666 beast and the red horn-y devil !

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      Have a great life and Memorial day.

      Peace

      PS...........by the way there has NEVER been a red horn-y devil.

      May 27, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Andrew Herzman

      @required:Your example is ridiculous. Without demonstrable evidence, you have no way of knowing if God is right. There is demonstrable evidence that water helps you live. You can't even compare the two.

      May 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • required

      The premium content is in the bible, where Jesus prays to God, the best connection. Visit your local NT store to find out more.

      May 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Atheist Meme Of the Day

      @required:
      IF you can provide me with some testable evidence this god exists then we can talk, but right now all you got is a old storybook and wishful thinking that it's genuine and true. I guess that's fine if you want to play pretend there might be a god, but until you can provide some actual evidence all you got is wishful thinking and if that's all you need to make something fact then heck I am gonna enroll my kids into Hogwarts this fall !

      May 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • AC

      @required, you are completely delusional, most likely insane. Religion is just a crutch for those who can't handle reality.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ required

      Your analogy is lacking. We can see, feel, taste, and observe the various states of water. We have documented evidence that we need water to survive.

      Other than a ratty old book of myths, written thousands of years before anyone understood how the natural world works, you can't say the same about the christian god.

      May 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Sammy

      required
      The Bible is a book, and Jesus prays in stories in that book. How is that any more compelling than the parts in Greek mythology where heros call upon the gods and goddesses to help them? And they do, according to the story, so what's the difference?

      May 29, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  15. Sammy

    "It is the opposite of ignorance – it is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it's hard."
    Todd Burpo, Heaven is for Real, (p. 75) on what it is to have child-like faith and the quality that allows being like a children to enter Heaven.

    I nearly squirted coffee out through my nose when I read that. Just toooo ironic! 🙂

    May 27, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 27, 2013 at 6:21 am |
    • P. R.

      Delusion.

      May 27, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Harry Grant

      Because making children believe that they should do as some crumby book orders or burn in eternal Hell fire is the model of mental health. Though I will totally agree that atheism is not healthy for plants and animals mostly because they are smart enough to look into the sky and not see some big old plant with a white beard looking down and judging them or some almighty squirrel that flooded the earth. But thank you for your physiological insight Freud.

      May 27, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Dustin

      Did you know that the only difference between a cult and a religion, in the eyes of the law, is the number of followers? It's because you're all a bunch of idiots that will believe anything.

      May 27, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • cinghoa

      If the wonderful book o fairy tales states that your gawd has everything written out, and has for since the day he created your fantasy, why would someone believe that prayer does anything? I'm not sure you understand your tall tales correctly, the perverse POS in the sky mapped out the happenings on this planet, long before you were ever conceived, he isn't changing it because you folded your hands and talked to your mattress.

      May 27, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Science

      GOOD NEWS...............Cap'y........you know where it gets sent !

      http://www.ibtimes.com/atheists-fight-gideon-bibles-books-christopher-hitchens-richard-dawkins-georgia-state-parks-
      1271125

      Science books and education TRUMPS the 666 beast and the red horn-y devil !

      May 27, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Science

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      http://boostnation.boostup.org/

      Education the trumps the red horn-y thingy

      May 27, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Science

      Oops forget the first the .

      May 27, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Chas

      My dog is just fine and so are my children. My children are more knowledgeable about the world around then and are not filled with the delusion that they are the only people that matter. Christian children usually lack empathy and think they are superior to others. I am sure that's not always the case, but in my experience unless you believe in god, Christians bully, harass and damn you to hell. I prefer to teach my children about all religions and let them choose. Knowledge is power!

      May 27, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things,
      Proven

      May 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      God is not healthy for children or other living things...His history shows he kills for no apparent reason.

      May 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Dustin

      So, how about citing us some of your proof, eh? Cause last time I checked, every experiment ever done on prayer has consistently proven it to be ineffective. So if you're hoarding some sort of hidden knowledge, cough it up. Woo me.

      May 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Atheist Meme Of the Day

      Prayer is like masturbation ! The only person it does anything for is the person who is talking to themselves and pretending there is a god listening that is going to alter their master plan just from their input on the subject. You prayers do nothing for anyone else, so enjoy your mental orgasm as you say amen but just know two hands working accomplishes more than a billion hands clasped in prayers so get off your lazy ass and do something if you want results !

      May 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Kateastrophe

      It's certainly healthier than religion. Atheists don't pray for our sick children; we bring them to doctors. We don't scare them with fairy tales as if they were fact. We teach them to take care of themselves and other people in this life, because no one gets another. If you think religion is healthy for children, I have one question: Please cite your sources.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Sam

      Odd. I have a couple of cats and a dog. They don't pray but they have been determined to be healthy at every vet check-up they have gone to.

      May 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      It sure changed Brandon Schaible's life.

      Sad.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      May 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  17. Caroline

    There are other atheist charities as well as Pagan charities working hard in Oklahoma but unlike Christian charities they do it because they actually care rather than for point scoring and bragging rights.

    May 27, 2013 at 4:06 am |
  18. Peter Knight

    This life long atheist has worked in Africa for a well known secular NGO, secular in that it is not aligned to any religious or political organisation.

    I've applied to religious NGO's for work but have been rejected because I don't believe in their god.

    Doing the right thing is not the preserve of the religious.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow.... Now I will say it is wrong to refuse help but at the same time you saying they do no good just because they rejected you.

      Question though.... all of these years of the outside charities coming in to Africa...you know digging wells and putting up mosquitoes nets and filling sandbags for the yearly rains, ...why is the China approach of building roads, building electrical and data grids and building concrete dams seem to be working much better?

      May 27, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • The real Tom

      Piddler, it's no wonder you can't manage to get that degree. Your reading comprehension is unbelievably lousy. It's almost as bad as your writing.

      May 27, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Khloe

      "Wow…. Now I will say it is wrong to refuse help but at the same time you saying they do no good just because they rejected you."
      Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, did Caroline state this. And China has nothing to do with her post, either; and zero to do with NGO's....why throw in THAT red herring?

      May 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Khloe

      Good gravy, girl, you have made some great posts today.

      May 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Mark, stop lying. Nowhere did Peter say that those organizations "did nothing good." Don't dissemble. It's a disservice to yourself.

      May 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Also, Mark, try complete sentences next time. Fragments like your first attempt only express a fragment of your intended idea.

      May 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Khloe

      Thanks, Doobs! Although I did attribute the root post to Caroline, and it should have been to Peter Knight. (Sorry, Peter!)

      May 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Mark wrote: "Now I will say it is wrong to refuse help but at the same time you saying they do no good just because they rejected you."

      What? Peter never said anything like this. You seem to want to simplify the beliefs of anyone who disagrees with you so you can pack them in a little box and go on believing your own simple thoughts. Good luck with that.

      May 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      They don't want you to help if you don't want to also sell their product.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  19. Grotoff

    $90,000 and counting. Go humanists!

    May 27, 2013 at 1:14 am |
  20. liberty

    Good grief. Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean they shouldn't get help and support in a tragedy. I wouldn't contribute to their 'Convert a child to atheism' campaign, but if they need help, help! It's not a sin to give to someone's needs!

    May 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • jillieve

      It's been statistically proven that atheist donate to charities (to benefit everyone) at a much higher rate than those who self-identify as Christian. what's the big deal if she gets the help everyone else 'praising the Lord' gets? It's not a negative thing but you are clearly a negative person.

      May 27, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • StephenD

      Erm, surely a children are BORN atheists, and are subsequently converted by their parents..?

      May 27, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • maynardfurgeson

      Wait, how exactly is Liberty being a negative person? He/she has clearly expressed that, regardless of ideologies, everyone deserves help when they need it. I think you are being harsh on Liberty.

      btw... I'm an Atheist.

      May 27, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • P. R.

      StephenD is 100% correct!!! EVERY human is BORN an atheist. It is through devious careful and thorough brainwashing and indoctrination, most often during childhood, that free Human souls are enslaved by oppressive dogmatic mythologies called "religions". This is, of course, child abuse and should only be viewed as such...

      May 27, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • Sammy

      "It is the opposite of ignorance – it is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it's hard."
      Todd Burpo, Heaven is for Real, (p. 75) on what it is to have child-like faith and the quality that allows being like children to enter Heaven.

      I nearly squirted coffee out through my nose when I read that. Just toooo ironic! 🙂

      May 27, 2013 at 8:42 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.