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February 5th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

The new Christian abolition movement

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) —The truck-stop hooker is no Julia Roberts, the trucker in the cab with her no Richard Gere, and this truck stop off the highway could not be any farther from Beverly Hills, the staging ground for “Pretty Woman.”

The woman sports baggy shorts, a white T-shirt and frizzy hair. Her fat middle-aged pimp sits in a beat up red Honda, watching as his “lot lizard” moves from truck to truck, in broad daylight.  If this pimp has a cane it is for substance, not style.

She moves through the parking lot, occasionally opening a cab’s passenger-side door and climbing in.

The trucker and hooker disappear in the back for 10 minutes.

Danielle Mitchell watches from the other end of the parking lot and shakes her head.

“We know from talking to other victims and other agencies that girls are taken to truck stops and they’re actually traded,” she says, sitting in her car, a shiny silver sport utility vehicle, keeping a healthy 50-yard distance from the pimp.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Mitchell is North Carolina human trafficking manager for World Relief.  World Relief is a Christian nonprofit attached to the National Association of Evangelicals and is best known for its efforts to combat global hunger and respond to disasters around the world.

Mitchell is trying to tackle a disaster in her home state.   And she is not alone.

Motivated in large part by their religious traditions of protecting the vulnerable and serving “the least of these,” as Jesus instructed his followers to do in the Gospel of Matthew, World Relief and other Christian agencies like the Salvation Army are stepping up efforts and working with law enforcement to stem the flow of human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

“Jesus didn’t just go around telling people about himself.  He also healed the blind and healed the brokenhearted, he freed captives, and I think that it would be ridiculous to walk up to someone who is hurting and tell them, ‘Let me tell you about the Gospel,’ and then walk away while they’re still hurting,” Mitchell says.

In North Carolina, the result of those efforts can be seen in the number of victims of human trafficking being referred to World Relief for services, up 700% in 2011, Mitchell says.

“It’s not that North Carolina is all of a sudden trafficking more people,” Mitchell says. “It’s that we know what to look for and we’re actually identifying and rescuing them.”

Truck stops and sweet potatoes

North Carolina’s rich soil makes it an agricultural hub. It produces more sweet potatoes than anywhere else in the country.  The state acts as a crossroads for three major interstate highways. The mix of accessibility and low-paying farm jobs make a good working environment for traffickers, Mitchell says.

This truck stop is the type you think twice about.  It’s grimy and run down.

How badly do I really have to use the bathroom?  I bet I could hold out for another 12 miles.  That kind of place.

Mitchell walks in and politely asks the women behind the register if they have tape.

“Over there, honey,” the cashier says, pointing to a dimly lit portion of the store.

After paying for a roll of industrial packing tape, she tucks it in her purse and heads for the restroom.

In a stall on the far end, she shuts the door behind her and pulls out the tape and a poster with words in English and Spanish.

“Need help?” the poster asks. “Are you being forced to do something you don’t want to do?” There’s a toll free number, 888-373-7888, for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, run by the nonprofit Polaris Project.

More on the fight against modern-day slavery at the CNN Freedom Project

“A lot of times when girls are being trafficked they’re being controlled,” Mitchell says. “They’re often not allowed to get very far from their trafficker.  And we’ve found one of the very few times girls are alone is when they’re in the bathroom.”

She used to ask if she could hang posters in truck stop restrooms. Now she just hangs them.

That toll free hot line number is plastered on combs, lip balms and nail files that Mitchell and other anti-trafficking workers can slip discreetly to men and women they suspect might be victims. Slipping a potential client an anti-trafficking business card could be dangerous, even deadly, they say.

A comb, nail file and lip balm feature the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

But it’s not the only way Mitchell gets in touch with victims.  Law enforcement is reaching out to her more and more.

When North Carolina law enforcement breaks up a trafficking ring, they call her.

She helps the victims get safe places to live, food and job training,  along with just being a conversation partner.

Since 2010, North Carolina has had a statewide coalition to fight human trafficking. Law enforcement officers are now trained in what to look for. The program includes rapid response teams made up of representatives from law enforcement, service providers, hospitals and charities. When a potential victim comes into a hospital or is discovered through an arrest, the team springs into action.

“Victims are not going to self-identify,” says Mitchell, who has since left World Relief and is considering going back to school after a lack of funding threatened to cut her hours to part time. “ They’re not going to say ‘I’m a victim of human trafficking.’ So the burden is really on the service providers and law enforcement and the community."

In North Carolina, the partnerships between those groups, she says, “have helped to rescue victims.”

Church and state in an unlikely coalition 

Christian groups working to combat trafficking are providing law enforcement with some much-needed relief.

“Because of the limitations of our work, we like to partner with organizations that can provide services,” says Kory Williford, a victim specialist with the FBI based in North Carolina.

“Human trafficking isn’t the only victim population we work with, so to have organizations who can provide care to our victims on a longer term basis than we are able to is huge,” she says.

“A lot of sex trafficking is occurring in this state” and labor trafficking is on the upswing, Williford says.

The FBI in North Carolina has been partnering with World Relief for several years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand P. Ramaswamy, who focuses on human trafficking cases across the state from the federal prosecutors office in Greensboro, says he has been collaborating with local law enforcement on human trafficking.

“Those kind of cases have only recently been on the uptick,” he says. “As officers become more trained in what to look for, the number of cases goes up.”

The nation and the state are still working to catch up with the reality of trafficking, he says.

“Sometimes the victim was treated as part of the problem,” he says.  “In one instance a 16-year-old girl was charged with prostitution by local authorities.  So we have to go and sort of undo that.  That’s also the case where the person may have done something wrong, so they’re reluctant to come forward.”

Ramaswamy is keenly aware that his office and religious groups do not always have the same interests. His is in upholding and enforcing the law, while religious groups are interested in practicing their religion.

But the assistant U.S. attorney still believes in the partnership between church and state.

“On one hand the fact they’re a religious organization is not directly relevant,” he says. “However, if you look at the history of the abolitionist movement, it has always been religious communities and those are the people who are concerned enough to be active in it.

“And today with modern-day slavery the same is the case.”

The new Underground Railroad

Westover Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is imagining what fighting modern-day slavery could look like. The nondenominational suburban church is cut from an evangelical cloth and has 5,000 members and a sprawling campus.

In 2011, the church started a ministry called “Abolition!” to fight human trafficking. It focuses on prayer, awareness and resources.

“In truth we didn’t know what we were going to do. We just knew we had a really strong passion for it,” says Dianne Stone, an "Abolition!" member. “We didn’t want to be a group that got together and said, ‘Oh we feel so bad for this.’ We wanted to do something and we wanted to make a difference.”

In a bright room off the sanctuary, Stone, Cambre Weller and Jennifer Craver, all members the group, explain why they got involved. They seem unlikely fighters against trafficking.

They could easily pass for a women’s Bible study group as they casually chat about their children and church activities before turning their attention to trafficking concerns in their area.

“It’s another thing to realize this is in your backyard and that’s our responsibility to address that and protect those who are being exploited,” Craver says.

What's the role of faith in fighting slavery?

Craver says the things they have learned about trafficking are horrible and keep her up at night. “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that,” she says. “That is part of my calling.”

The group screens documentaries about human trafficking at other churches and sends out speakers to the Christian circuit. They also prepare emergency bags: canvas totes with a comb, brush, journal, pajamas, clean towels and other basics they learned that most trafficked women don’t have.

They keep a ready stash of bags for World Relief to distribute to victims, particularly those who are rescued during raids.

Mitchell says her faith has played a large role in her work to help victims of trafficking. “I don’t think I’m any different than anyone I work with, in vulnerability or dignity,” she says. “And man, I really believe that Christ saw everyone equally.”

Danielle Mitchell views her faith as integral to her work in fighting human trafficking.

“I could have been born in a brothel in India,” she says.

But there is a limit to how much personal faith she shares with clients.

“We’re completely client centered,” she says. “That means we’re not going to force our faith on anyone.  And I don’t talk to the clients about what I believe, unless they ask me.”

“If a client asks me and they want to go to a Buddhist temple, then I’m going to take them because that’s what they want.”

Prostituted not prostitute

Back at the truck stop, Mitchell explains that she hates the term “prostitute” and despises the phrase “lot lizard.”  She says it strips people of their dignity.

Instead, she refers to a “woman or man who is being prostituted.”  It is a slight change in wording that reveals a starkly different viewpoint.

“A lot of people think of sex trafficking or prostitution, they think it’s glamorous and that you can pinpoint someone who is selling sex or being sold for sex,” she says. “Usually it’s just average people who maybe aren’t taking care of themselves."

The prostitute, or woman being prostituted, or potential human trafficking victim, gets back into the beat up red Honda with the overweight pimp, who drives off, maybe after catching a glimpse of a journalist and activist watching them from a safe distance.

Mitchell calls the police to report what she just saw.

A few hours later, they call back and say the alleged pimp and alleged prostitute are long gone.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • North Carolina • United States

soundoff (1,631 Responses)
  1. ReligionIs4Dolts

    Jimmy Swaggart would be opposed to abolishing prosti-tution

    February 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      However, I'm all for a bull demolishing my a-s-s!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Last post was also NOT me.....F V C K OFF @$$H0LE!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Grow up.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      No it's the real me. Quit pretending to be me, @$$-h-o-l-e!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  2. Peikoviany

    The Church continues to claim a monopoly on ethics the way it once claimed a monopoly on science.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  3. Observer

    "Motivated in large part by their religious traditions of protecting the vulnerable and serving “the least of these,”

    Guess gays are the EXCEPTION. lol.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • urafkntool

      who'd protect a f@g? I wouldn't, and I'm not even an xtian.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Who'd protect a bigot? Intelligent people wouldn't.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • urafkntool

      so because I think f@gs are disgusting, I'm a bigot? I happen to find men wanting d1ck to be sort of unnatural. Don't you?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Observer

      urafkntool,

      People who use crude mindless slurs against other people who are causing them no harm qualify as BIGOTS.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @Observer: well, you're a judgemental a-s-s-h-o-l-e. Does that make me a bigot, too?

      February 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  4. Don

    I love it up the ass from chinese monkeys.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Don

      LOL you have to love it when a truly stupid person cannot reason so they choose to belittle someone by trying to pretend they are that person saying something as pathetic as this person does. What a lame attempt there son, go grow up and then come back ok?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Don

      Stop pretending to be me, Fake Don. I'm trying to c-o-m-e out of the closet by admitting to being into h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l b-e-a-s-t-i-a-l-i-t-y so I can stop being so angry and bitter all the time.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  5. ReligionIs4Dolts

    NON-BELIEVERS' NEW ABOLITION MOVEMENT: Abolish all public displays of religion! Do what you want in the confines of your own home, but keep your stupid fairy tales and supersti-tions off the street!

    February 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      While your at it, abolish my a-s-s-h-o-l-e with a fat dick!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      If that's the way you like it, b|+ch!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bill the Cat

      You heartless ba$tard. this article shows only one small positive thing religion has done.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      If you couldn't tell, the poser turd who posted "While you're at it abolish my...." was not me.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

    • More masochistic posting. Believers do it. Non-believers do it. It must be a form of exhibitionism.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Sorry folks, someone's attempting to be me and trying to make me live a lie of not being g-a-y. I'm damn gay and I'm damn proud of it!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  6. Truth

    Few things are guaranteed in life. One this that is GUARANTEED is that you can go to an article on Christianity and the atheists will come out spewing hate and condescending comments all over the place. Cheers 🙂

    February 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Anon

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVXEmJRGns&w=640&h=360]

      February 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Don

      I truly think you put up a VERY good argument Anon, sadly the psychopaths will not listen to the truth or the reasoning in it because they are all caught up in being psychopaths. For all you christians, that means you are mentally deranged and incapable of understanding true morality.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    • [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14YM7MP6HzY&w=480&h=360]

      February 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Anon

      Up yours too invisible "no name".

      February 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer brings life
    Prayer brings liberty
    Prayer brings joy
    Prayer changes things

    February 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • notheism

      Here's a valid account of the effects of prayer: web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html
      Also, I would bring your attention to the second to last sentence of the second paragraph that says "The study also found that patients who knew they were receiving intercessory prayer fared worse".
      Enjoy.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      Never study studies studies are misleading study God

      February 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • JFritz

      Prayer changes nothing. Action does.

      February 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • TR6

      Yes, it obviously brought life, liberty, and joy to the people above the fire level in the twin towers on 911. Without prayer and god’s obvious intervention that could have been a real disaster

      February 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  8. TRH

    As an atheist, it is refreshing to me to see evangelicals doing something positive in regards to human decency. Kudos!

    February 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • TRH

      I'll put this a different way, perhaps more succinctly: For every Fred Phelps I hope there are one hundred Danielle Mitchells.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Anon

      Yeah with a carrot stick.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      actually TRH, there are...it's just that Christians generally don't go out promoting their good deeds, so to speak, because it's contrary to Biblical principle. Having lived around Christians my whole life, and seen with my own two eyes the endless amount of time and charity given to those in need, I KNOW that there are at LEAST 100 Danielles for every Fred Phelps. They just don't make the news.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • TRH

      sockpeppet:

      That's good to know.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  9. somepeopleherearedumb.

    To:(notheism) and : (I am not an atheist.) If God was the moderator he would kick you off for your childish bickering. 😉

    February 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • notheism

      whatever, somepeopleherearedumb

      February 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • I am not an atheist

      Thank you! 🙂

      February 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  10. elsie

    See, this is the kind of thing Christians are SUPPOSED to be doing. Not running around sticking their noses into other people's marriage dreams and personal relationships. And absolutely not promoting laws that protect the rich at the expense of the poor.

    Good for this lady for doing what Jesus told his followers to do, instead of twisting Jesus' words around to support what they want to do, like Rick Santorum and too many others.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  11. Common Sense

    I don't understand why atheists seek out a belief blog, post hateful comments, and then claim that religion is being forced on them and that anyone with logic and a functioning brain MUST believe in atheism otherwise they're a moron. Seems quite contradictory and hypocritical if you ask me lol

    February 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mark

      Maybe because it's blazoned across the CNN's homepage. It's not like we need to dig to find it. It's right in our face on what is ostensibly a news site.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • TRH

      Please read MY two posts then. They should be right above.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • notheism

      I don't think religious people are "morons" but I do believe that they require suspension of rationality to support their beliefs. Those are very different things. Anyway, I think you know what I am saying. If not, just ask, I will expand about how there is not one shred of evidence to support the validity of a super friend or what he/she/it thinks and why morality should be based on our own reality, creating an objective understanding independent of a non-existing deity.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • GAW

      My guess that most of the atheists who post here are teenagers and early twenty somethings, male and geeks who enjoy trolling through CNN's Belief Blog and other news forums with religious topics. Most of them lack the ability to engage is civil discussion. For most of them there is only one acceptable position....theirs. In this way they prove themselves no different than the Religious Fundamentalists they so despise. The best remedy would be for CNN to require one to sign up for an account (With username and password) on all parts of the site. This might keep out some of the riff raff.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  12. Joseph

    What are the rich hiding that they won't share. Find out what we found! It'll blow your mind!

    Google the terms "Cash Simple Stock" and click the very first site! Go straight to the Penny' Stock section to find out how YOU can learn what the rich already know!

    It's the little guy's turn to make a ton of cash.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  13. The Flamingo Kid

    HI Moderator! Keep blocking me and I will keep finding new ways to post!!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Did you have something to say?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Allison

      Did many of the people commenting not read the same article I read? The lady in the article helps trafficked people b/c she feels that they need help. She takes Jesus example of helping anyone who needed it out of love in the Bible seriously and she happens to feel that she can best serve helping those who are victims of trafficking. She clearly says she DOES NOT SHARE HER FAITH UNLESS the person ASKS HER DIRECTLY. She doesn't care what faith those she helps are and says she helps them get to whatever safe place they prefer, even if it is not a Christian provided place. People should READ the article and POST about the ARTICLE and NOT about their own personal beliefs, opinions, and preferences.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Don

      Well Allison, it is posted under the Heading, Christianity, The New Abolition as it is a christian attempt to abolish something because they 'FEEL' it is wrong. So, where di they get the 'AUTHORITY' to Decide what is right and what is wrong?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • TRH

      Allison:

      When I was in high school back in the 60's (I'm old) my English classes seemed to place much emphasis on reading comprehension. In spending time on these forums I see amazing lack of that skill. Yes, You and I read the same article!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Don

      Sorry TRH, I understand you 'think' you are the Great Educator here, but you are JUST as self righteous as the rest of theose misguided who believe in myths. When you get over yourself come back and see us ok? One thing that is evident, with all the 'supposed' educators out there, with so many ideas being put forth as the truth, there are really some of these 'self appointed educators' who are lieing or have NO idea what the truth really is. Thank you for your input, but just like ANYONE else's opinion, yours does not carry anymore weight than anyone else's. But I bet you can SEE god form where you sit on your mighty throne can't you?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • TRH

      'TRH

      As an atheist, it is refreshing to me to see evangelicals doing something positive in regards to human decency. Kudos!"

      DON.....................The above is a cut and paste of one of the first posts on this forum @4:04PM.....by ME. Guess you missed it.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  14. I am not an atheist

    TO all Atheists : "I have not seen you, I do not believe you are real. So unless you can prove you exist, I'm not talking to you! " HAhahahahahaha!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • notheism

      @I am an Atheist, I am responding to your post, or do you think the computer is talking to you? Perhaps it is your imagination? Maybe you are the one who is not real. At that point, why would you even need a god?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • edwardo

      @ I am not an athiest - If you don't believe I'm real, come over here, pray that you get a bucket of ice water thrown on you, and I'll throw a bucket of ice water on you. Bet you could pray for your god to do that, and nothing would happen - but I would oblige.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Anon

      @I am not an atheist: Take a bible and ram it up your @$$.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Seems like a typical response from a religious person. *Fingers in ears, eye closed tight* "LALALALA... I can't hear you!" Ignore reality at all costs.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • I am not an atheist

      To all you guys who don't like my postings: You guys are entertaining! (it is sad though, you're so deceived and angry)

      February 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • TR6

      “So unless you can prove you exist, I'm not talking to you!”

      What a wonderful idea. May all your fellow Christians follow suit. In fact since the no one can prove they exist maybe all you religious types would just permanently shut up?

      Unfortunately it seems by your response that you are not a man of your word.

      February 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  15. thepeoplethatarepostingonheresuck

    First to the stupid people that are on here to spread your hate: Shut up. No one wan'ts to hear it. I see atheists on here that seem to think this is a great place to talk about how dumb christians are, and christians who are retarded and judgmental and inspire that kind of (deserved) anger and criticism. None of this relates to the article. This is an article about helping those caught in human trafficking. It is something anyone with a conscience can be for. The what the woman that is doing has proven that she is doing her "religion" correctly regardless of whatever other people in her religion do. aka(christians ). I would also like to point out that unlike most christians Jesus was the one that said love your enemy and pray for those that persecute you. Also the bible says: "with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition." And in this context it means humbly. NOT gentleness like; I know so much more than you: I will gently show the slow heathen the way.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Don

      Well then, SHUT UP! No ONE wants to hear YOU!

      February 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Don

      You CANNOT show ME the way because YOU are MORE LOST than I am.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Brian

      Jesus said this, god said that. You don't know what anyone said back then. It is all based on speculation and presumtion. The fact that you take every word in the bible as gold without knowing one person who wrote anything in the bible sums up every christian's mindset.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • nokidding

      Finally, the voice of reason.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Not all is as it seems. Believers troll non-theists and vice versa. It's not really possible to know if a post represents what someone truly thinks. Generally, the more extreme the ideas, the less probable it is that they should be taken seriously.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Adam

      "Jesus was the one that said love your enemy and pray for those that persecute you." Yet all you just said was "Shut up. No one wan'ts to hear it." Well guess what, I WANT TO HEAR IT! I WANT to hear what atheist have to say and if you want to CENSOR them for having a point of view I guess you your just being a symbol of what christians stand for and that's certainly not freedom of speech.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Don

    Yea though I walk through the valley of ignorance and stupidity I fear no religious zealot nor any mythological god created by man for I have the truth in my heart and my mind and no amount of ignorance nor stupidity can EVER take that away from ME

    .I feel very much there is in fact a divine force in the Universe, bit NO Man has EVER known or spoken to this creator and NO man knows anything about the reasons for creation and why we are here. Nor has ANY Man been found divine enough to be given the words of the creator to pass onto ANY other Man. Christianity is NO BETTER than believing in Medicine men, in fact, those who believe in medicine men may ACTUALLY do a LOT LESS harm than many of these 'other' so called religions like christianity.They are ALL in the dark and just taking up myths to hold onto so they do not have to live with the overcoming fear they feel of the unknown.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Toby

      I actually talk with god on a daily basis.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Don

      Then you do realize that people who talk to imaginary people are considered insane, right? So, I guess we now know why NOTHING you say makes ANY sense.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • TRH

      DON...........................

      "I feel very much there is in fact a divine force in the Universe"

      I believe that would make you, by definition, a deist.....not an atheist.

      February 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  17. urafkntool

    see my name to see what you are 🙂

    February 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Fuck You, Moron

      February 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • urafkntool

      after I finish with your mom, sure.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  18. logan5

    I'm all for this woman and her organization making this effort to help others but what's the catch? In other words, does she do it out of the goodness of her heart or does she do it because she thinks it will please her god to do so? And does she and her organization do this in hopes of winning converts? If the latter is the case then clearly these people have an agenda rather then sincerely wanting to help others.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Toby

      Even if she does it to "please her god" what would be the problem? Even if an athiest does something like this, its to please themselves.. To feel better about their decisions. An athiests might do it to "better mankind" in which there would still be a selfish reason, as he is part of mankind and is bettering himself. Lets not get lost in semantics. Its a good deed and thats it. By the way, christians dont need to do anything to get "good with god", as they already believe they are saved.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Steve

      Who cares why? It's a good thing. Get over yourself.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Credenza

      You sound just like a bitter old spinster who lives alone in a trailer – hasn't got any friends [and wonders WHY????] – and only finds pleasure in looking for faults in anyone and everyone!

      Take up knitting; try bungee jumping, do a jigsaw or............anything really as long as it shuts you up.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Credenza

      Toby – I agree with your comment up to the last sentence, then you banjaxed it.

      Christians have NO guarantee of Heaven. Never have and never will; unless they are walking saints. Actually, it's more difficult for a Christian to get there because they KNOW the truth so if they deliberately seriously offend, they are TWICE as accountable. Peace, friend.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • ggm

      so you can forgive your own lack of action to help others by minimizing those who do believing they have ulterior motives? At least they make a difference in the lives of others regardless of their motives. You do nothing but talk about it, so yes they are better people than you.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • GAW

      If I'm going into cardiac arrest I usually don't care about the motive of the EMT technician trying to keep me alive. I just want them to keep me alive. But other than that personal point I see what you're trying to say It may be true that someone is being helped however they may also be converted for Fundamentalism because they are vulnerable and scared. This is a common tactic used by many cults. .

      February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Toby

      Credenza. I was simply relaying the idea that christians believe they are saved, and that no works they do here on earth can change that. A lot of athiests are saying christians do these things to win favor with god and get into heaven. Im simply relaying the fact that christiany as a religion says doing "good deeds" wont get you into heaven.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  19. googoogaga

    i aint gonna conform to ur way o'thinkin...and u aint mine...who cares

    February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  20. Vladimir G

    Wow, the whole set of comments got censored. God bless the USA.. There was no cursing, just difference of opinion... God made men what they are if you believe in God. And if you do not believe in God truly – stop lying to yourself and censoring meaningful comments.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • notheism

      @Vladimir G, "stop lying to yourself", who says we're (I'm actually only speaking for myself) lying to ourselves? What makes you believe that it isn't the other way around? I don't tell you, stop lying to yourself because you don't believe in Santa Claus, do I? That would be silly.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Vladimir G

      See conversation that was deleted. It expressed everything clearly, but Christ is pro censorship and feminist so it disappeared..

      February 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
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About this blog

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