Godless mom strikes a chord with parents
A CNN iReport essay on raising kids without God draws record-breaking number of comments.
January 18th, 2013
06:32 PM ET

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

Deborah Mitchell remembers the time, when her boys were younger, and another mom asked her about her religious beliefs.

Mitchell was raised Catholic but moved away from religion in her early 20s. She told the other mother that she didn’t go to church and didn’t even really believe in God.

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

“She used to call my house and tell me she was praying for me. She’d leave me messages and leave cards in my mailbox with scripture,” Mitchell says. “I do realize that she meant well, but at the same time, I know my views were seen as wrong. I needed to be ‘saved.’”

Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas who feels “immersed in Christianity,” started a blog about raising her children without religion because she felt frustrated and marginalized. She didn’t want to feel so alone, she says.

This week, she gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she's not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen journalism platform.

It starts:

When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

Mitchell posted the essay detailing her seven reasons for raising her children without God on CNN iReport because she felt there wasn’t anyone else speaking for women or moms like her. As she sees it, children should learn to do the right things because they will feel better about themselves, not because God is watching. She asks questions like: If there was a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why would he allow murders, child abuse and torture?

Lots of people disagreed with her. Tons. They flagged her iReport as inappropriate and criticized CNN for linking to her essay on the CNN.com homepage. But there were plenty of others who wrote thoughtful rebuttals, respectfully disagreeing with Mitchell while not foisting their own beliefs on her. Take, for instance, a Methodist dad, who said faith can be hard to nail down, but “not to avail ourselves of the power of something we don't completely understand is silly.”

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

“Presentations such as these seem to ignore a substantial percentage of believers - well-educated, compassionate, liberal folk, Christian and non-Christian alike - who, I feel, are able to worship without being blind to the realities of the world, or without lying to their children about their understanding of these complexities,” wrote commenter RMooradian. “I'll be raising my children with God, but I understand those who cannot!”

But Mitchell’s essay also struck a chord with hundreds of like-minded parents raising children in a world where lack of belief puts them in the minority, often even in their own family.

“Thank you for writing this. I agree with everything you say, but I’m not brave enough to tell everyone I know this is how I feel,” a woman who called herself an “agnostic mommy of two in Alabama” posted in the comments. “Thank you for your bravery and letting me know I’m not alone.”

It’s a growing group. One in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion, and that number has grown by 25% in the past five years, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of that group, 88% said they were not looking for religion, although 68% of the unaffiliated said they believe in God. 

Brittany Branyon, an American graduate student and substitute teacher living in Germany, was also compelled to express her thanks to Mitchell. Branyon was raised Southern Baptist in Georgia and Alabama. In high school, when she began to question the theory of creation and befriended gay and lesbian students, she says her mother tried to perform an exorcism.

“She opened all the windows and doors in the house, brought me to the door, held my shoulders and shook me while screaming, ‘Satan, get out of this child!’, ‘Satan, leave this child alone!’.”

After moving away from the South, she and her husband “became more comfortable in our secular ways,” but still take criticism from family members. They are now expecting their first child.

“Though we are elated to welcome our child into the world, we can’t help but dread the religious uproar that is to come from our families,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Such an uproar is familiar to Carol Phillips, a stay-at-home mother in northern Virginia. When she gave birth to her first child, she said her family was shocked that the baby wasn’t baptized. She said her mother-in-law cried and told her the little girl’s soul would not go to heaven.

Then there are the comments from strangers. Last year, Phillips said she and her daughter were at a birthday party when a tornado warning sounded.

“We were all in the basement keeping safe. A little girl was saying baby Jesus will keep us safe. My daughter asked who Jesus was. The rest of the time was spent hearing ‘I'll pray for you sweetie, we can take you to church with us if you want,’” Phillips told CNN.

Commenting on Mitchell’s iReport, Phillips said, “To live out loud and to speak freely about my beliefs brings many clucking tongues. I would think it’s easier to come out as gay than atheist.”

Mitchell said she spent years studying the history of religion and does believe it has “an important place in our community.” She has told her children that she’ll be fine if they decide to join a church when they are older.

She ended her essay:

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

After her post ran on CNN, Mitchell said she was encouraged by the number of people who agreed with her, or who disagreed but wanted to have a respectful discussion.

“I’m not saying that everybody should think how I do. I’m saying the people that do should have a place in our society and have acceptance and respect,” she said. “I just want to have children grow up and be able to not be afraid to say ‘I don’t believe that,’ or ‘I’m not part of that.’” 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. james

    for any who care, I believe the original creator gave life to the spirit world then flesh blood and bone received this amazing ability all with free will and one spirit led the way in taking this and deciding for itself that it wanted the worship of man and woman and was believed by them when it accused God of lying. God allowed these their desires and so we have a spirit that claims to be God but has failed in its attempt to rule man independant of the Creator. The time is almost up and our original creator will soon take his love, power, wisdom and justice and begin what was intended from the beginning. My hope is for any who love truth and want true justice and peace on a paradise earth to seek Jehovah with all their heart. Just my thoughts and for all Bible lovers this can be backed up with scripture for all the non-believers and for all the atheist scientist worshippers,a quote I read recently.. "one in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues Intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication" from the (British Medical Journal, Britain) and I would ask, How is that Piltdown man working for you? again just my thoughts which I have found I am allowed on this page. thanks for reading. j

    January 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #6 – If you routinely ignore physics, geology, astronomy, biology, etc., and are happy with “god did it” then you are mentally retarded.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bet

      one in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues Intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication

      As opposed to the 100% fabrication of the bible's myths?

      January 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      "backed up with scripture"

      of course the key is always self-reference; circular logic. as the song says 'the circle will be unbroken' because there is no way to validate that which is within by going outside.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • james

      so far just what I expected, no substance, just out of work comics, clowns and morons.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • the AnViL

      cool story bro

      January 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • PJ

      This guy probably doesn't believe we have a roving probe on the surface of Mars. How do you think it got there? From information in the bible? No. Complex mathematics and observation by humans about how things work. Not meaningless dribble like that above. Oh, and how are dinosaur bones working for you?

      January 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • james

      pj, one time, who put those planets in place so that man can decide where to send their probes to? so much precision in the universe that I can not believe that all the non believers do not at least think they are not the pinnacle of intelligence. your egos seen to follow that of the original spirit creature that put itself above the creator and are headed for the same outcome. too bad since the Creator deserves so much more.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      So you think that your "creator" put those planets, and all the billions upon billions of stars in the sky.
      How horrible that every one of the local planets is named for a different god than "your creator'
      Even the days of the week are named for other gods.
      And you james, you cannot even say the names of the days of the week or say the names of the planets with out breaking one of your "commandments'.
      It amazes me that otherwise rational people would believe in ancient myths.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • james

      Richard, you are so wrong and that is what i have been trying to share. those commandments were of the mosaic law which was fulfilled when Jesus was impaled. He left us with 2 commands. read Matthew 22:34-40 or I can share vs. 37-39 which says in part,"you must love God with your whole heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself" in part. more lessons upon request. like I said I realize there will be the critics but I know there are many that are seeking real truth and I believe it is possible. Just ask.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      So who created your god? If a god can be eternal why can't a universe?

      January 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • james

      indeed, why not?

      January 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • james

      hey guys I have to go for a little while but will check back later and for those who are serious about what the Bible really teaches just go to jw.org to have all your serious sincere Bible questions answered or I will just thank you again, also Zephaniah 2:2,3 are good verses to check out while I am gone. j

      January 22, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • hmmm..funny

      "a quote I read recently.. "one in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues Intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication" from the (British Medical Journal, Britain)"

      This comment is word for word repeated on at least 10 different creationists sites.... but i came up empty when i actually searched the BMJ site..... go figure...

      January 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  2. ¿¿lol

    from religioustolerance.org:

    * * * * * * *
    Satan did it to deceive: Various early church writers, such as Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyons; circa 120 CE to ?) Justin Martyr (Christian apologist; 100 to 165), Tertullian (Christian theologian; circa 160 to 220 +) concluded that the Pagan/Christian similarities were a Satanic attempt at "diabolical mimicry." Satan was said to have use "plagiarism by anticipation." That is, the Devil made a pre-emptive strike against the gospel stories centuries before Jesus was born. The reason was to confuse the public into thinking that Jesus was merely a copy of previous god-men. The goal was to demolish the credibility of Christianity in the people's eyes.
    * * * * * * *

    LOL. So the early apologists explained away plagiarism by early Christians (of Pagans, and there was a LOT of it) by saying it was a pre-emptive strike by satan?? LMAO!

    January 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • the AnViL

      the damned diabolical mimicry of plagiarism by anticipation!!!!

      drats! xianity FOILED!!!

      that dastardly satan!!!!


      January 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Bet

      Apparently satan is much smarter than god.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Which God?

      Bet said: "Apparently satan is much smarter than god."

      Why do you think goD kicked him outta heaven (snickering at the whole thing)?

      January 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Bet

      @ which god?

      I thought god was just jealous of satan's fabulous wings.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  3. PJ

    Everything everyone knows, experiences, or thinks they believe in, is within the context of being a human on the planet earth. What do you actually think it will be like in this so called afterlife? If i'm to burn in hell, what is it that will be burning exactly? Will there be day and night, or gravity? What WILL one do with themselves? I see people posting about a "meaning for life", but what is the meaning of afterlife? What's the point? Finally, how is it that I am to ready myself as a human on a planet, for such a nebulous place as an afterlife? How is this experience helpful at ALL for such an supposed eventuality?

    January 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • james

      pj; I replied to you elsewhere but if you are serious you may care to know that an eternal fire for humans called hell does not exist except in the lies told to control people. The God of the Bible did not create this in fact he says it did not even come into his heart, see Jeremiah 7:31 and so many other verses tell of where this place "hell" is which is mistranslated from hades, sheol, which mean the common grave of man. if you are serious please continue. if not thanks for the opportunity to share bible truths. j

      January 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Ann

    You're making my point for me about this being a viper pit.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      Who is?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Funny how you can see so much hatred from people disagreeing with you – obviously you're quite unused to people feeling able to actually state a contrary opinion to the one that you hold. It's a very common thing for someone in what used to be an unquestionably privileged majority – it's the same hatred the white man saw from the black people expecting equal rights, the same reason some men call women expecting equal rights feminazis.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Considering you're not answering anyone, posting stuf about atheists being horrible and then somehow feeling morally superior is like driving around a synagogue in a nazi outfit yelling at jews how horrible they are and then getting angry when they ask you to go away.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ann

      Not you, Dale. The godless devils who responded to my prior posts.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Not so much a viper pit, but certainly a hang out for trolls like yourself. Do you serve any useful purpose?

      January 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Someone get a bottle for this poe. I only need one more turn in.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Not you, Dale. The godless devils who responded to my prior posts."

      Ann, you want to know people better before pulling this crap. Noone says stuff like that, even the most simpleton among the Christians.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  5. dale

    Luke ch 16
    Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my fathers house(a ghost), for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets;let them hear them.' And he said,
    No father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"

    January 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • I wonder

      Gee, dale, you'd think that an omniscient god would know *exactly* what to say or do to convince *everyone*, according to their needs.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • dale

      well then God
      would be 7 billion personalities to cater all of the fallen souls, that actually is what the devil will do just for you.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  6. Ann

    Atheists are like movie critics: they want to criticize, put down, and belittle everyone else's movies, but they can't make one of their own.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      What does that even mean? Atheists are fully capable of making up fairy tales and telling others to believe it or be tortured forever, we just choose not to.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Thank you for admitting your religion is a made up story. You are on the right track.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You're still a troll

      January 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Most christians are like mentally and socially retarded sheep.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • dnsbubba

      Even though I'm an atheist, I'm going to tell you how to keep every atheist, agnostic or otherwise, from making a single comment about your religion. Ready? Stop trying to convert everyone, and stop trying to make everyone, either by law or social pressure, conform to your religions tenets.

      It's that simple.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  7. Susan StoHelit

    It's funny – people seem to have a hard time understanding why evil in the world is a problem with a belief in a god.

    I've got two kids – they've sure got free will – and they sure create chaos. And – since I'm in charge, I allow free will – but I stop them from hurting each other. There's all the difference in the world between how life is if they're playing in a room together – and I'm there and they're playing – and no adult is anywhere around.

    The reason there is evil in the world is because some people are evil. It's not a hard question why there is evil if there is no all powerful and supposedly good being sitting there watching it, just as it's not a hard question why my little boy is hitting his little sister if I'm not there in the room. But if I am in the room, watching, able to stop it, as my little strong 2 year old has gotten his hands on a bat, and is hitting and hurting his sister – then yes, there is a problem – you have to presume either I am unable to reach them (God is not all powerful) or that I am indifferent to the children (God is not loving).

    If I'm not in the room (There is no God) then the answer is easy. If I am – then you do have to answer the question, especially if you're claiming these attributes for God, but then God does not act that way.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Primewonk

      But you aren't omniscient and omnipotent like your god claims. For example, if you were, you would know that on Friday, January 25th at 2:47 pm, your oldest child will grab a steak knife and stab the neighbor's poodle. And you would have known this before the child was born. And on Friday at 2:47, you stand there and watch him stab the dog. Then, after you did nothing, even though you knew exactly what would happen, then you take your son, and torture him for all eternity.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "but I stop them from hurting each other."

      What if you didn't stop them. Would that be moral to allow them to continue?

      Your god watches and does nothing.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • dale

      god abandoned the world to sin in its depravity, but also atoned for the soul.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Dale was that his only choice?

      January 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Blessed – I'm an atheist – my whole point here is that stopping my kids from hurting each other – first off, it's a moral imperative – anyone decent would do so – so if there is a god that is good that could do so – he would. It'd be an entirely and easily visiblly different world, if such a god existed. Secondly – it doesn't violate free will – my little boy still exercises his free will to try to hit his sister, even if I prevent him from succeeding.

      I keep seeing this argument – that God can't stop evil because it violates free will – and I think it's total BS. And then the follow up argument that if we think god would stop evil, that somehow we have to explain evil without god – which is simply pure nonsense. I figure taking the argument down to the parental level might make it easier to understand for those who are interested in debate, rather than merely trying to push their points.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • dale

      he could have put a stop to it i guess. ive noticed how the world is "so bad" that god doesnt make since all the killing.......and but yet, knowing that our children will hit eachother with bats, and so god couldnt exhist, we still wouldnt want to exterminate ourselves. God created us as eternal souls, the problem is what to do with those who refuse to be a part of eternal life. they are seperated from God. that is the torment. and the devil you follow is the one who torments you further. congrations on your bs atheism evolution morality

      January 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Great point Susan,

      Sorry I misread your position.

      I left christianity because I could never get over how a loving god needed to be feared and would punish people I wouldn't punish. That made me realize I actually cared and had more empathy for other people than that god.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "they are seperated from God. that is the torment."

      You spelled "solace" wrong

      January 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The free will argument is the biggest cop-out they have. You can usually guess at how much knowledge one has of psychology and the social sciences by how reliant one is on this mystical "free will", not to mention how little or much exposure one has had to people of diverse backgrounds. Don't believe me? Try discussing free will with people whose backgrounds you know.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  8. Ann

    You're the haters of God.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You're a troll

      January 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Ann, as you really have nothing to say, what is your motivation? If you're being paid by the word, you're not doing very wel.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • fintastic

      You're the haters of reason.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I don't believe your god exists,

      You are the one that claims he hates me.

      Funny how your god hates the very same people you hate.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      How do you hate something you don't believe exists? Do you hate bigfoot? Martians? Fairies? Santa?

      I don't believe in God – it really is that simple.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Ann

    You want to trash Christianity, but you still want it practiced on you.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why do you think atheists would want christianity practised on them? Do you think that morals and ethics rely upon a religon?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      No iI don't want christianity "practiced" on me.
      and you're still a troll.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  10. Ann

    You're just vipers in a pit, looking for something, anything, to sink your fangs into. That's your purpose in life.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Keep worshiping your hateful god.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      So is your purpose then to play the hapless whiner? Calling atheists names and then feel prosecuted when folks disagree with you.

      Dear, please, get yourself some atheists friends, or just expand your horizons a bit, you'll learn the true vipers nest is in the pew next to you.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  11. the AnViL

    those who would scorn this mother for being atheist and raising her children to embrace reality are malevolent, delusional, emotionally and educationally retarded cretins.

    all monotheistic religions are literally predicate on ignorance, division, bigotry, and intolerance.

    that isn't invective, it's the truth.

    those who embrace the delusional concepts of monotheism should be restricted from holding public office, voting, purchasing or owning firearms, serving on a jury, or teaching public school.

    there is no good reason to exclude delusional thinking from dsm... none. the excuse "oh well, everyone is doing it." is no longer acceptable.

    there is NO good reason to excuse or tolerate the 2000 years of conflict, division, racism and hate which has been propagated by monotheism.

    tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.



    January 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  12. hawaiiguest


    How about that your Declaration post merely is an appeal to authority to people who weren't authorities in logic, science (in most cases), or theology, and does absolutely nothing to actually demonstrate that a god actually does exist. Your position in this "argument", if it even deserves that term, is "Well THESE people say it was self-evident, and I think it is, therefore we're right and if you don't think the same then you're just blinded by yourself because you don't want to and I'm right about that because I am."

    January 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Ann

    Atheism is a cult bolstered proactively by anti-God propaganda and dogma.
    Devils stewing in a vat of their own vomit.
    Pitiful, wretched creatures filled with a hate that they taught to each other.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Chuckles

      funny, that comment seemed more filled with hate than any atheist I've met.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Athy

      Ooh. Kinda harsh there, Ann.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Explain why an omnipotent, omniscient god would create devils, atheists, hate, etc. etc.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Gerry

      What you're doing is called "projecting", Ann.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Ann

      Not hate, pity.
      You've trained yourself to react with canned irony, even when it doesn't really apply.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      my, my....how christian of you to say so.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam

      Ann, stop projecting your body issues onto other people and go shower.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      You worship a god who watches children being r@ped and does nothing to stop it, has ordered child sacrifice, murder and regulates slavery....and you claim he is the most moral being in the universe and and anyone who does not believe it deserves eternal punishment. You are in the cult, put down the kool aid.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • the AnViL

      in reality, atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods.

      not all that other stuff you typed.


      January 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ann, Do you actually personally know any atheists, not just people you see online?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Nursing home doc

      Time for your meds, sweetie. Don't get all riled up on the talky-box.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Wow – would you be willing for this to be published for use in a textbook as an example of projection?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      Wrong! Try again.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Why is there evolution?

    January 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Cal

      Where did God come from? Oh, He was just always there. So eternal universe, stupid, eternal God, only logical conclusion. That about right?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The fact that evolution happens does not mean there is a god with a plan. Why do you think it does mean that?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Is Deborah on a break?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Pastor Rasaun O. Sheet

      because thats how things are.....everything has a life cycle.... eventually we will be part of another Super mass ...it will go critical – Big Bang – and the process will start again...over and over and over...

      we are merely a product of our planet's mass, right amount of this element , that element, volcanos going off at the right time, ...the list goes on...remove or change any of this and we are not here..and something else takes the dominant position... maybe less capable, maybe more capable...

      January 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jesus

      Becasue my book about evolution says so of course.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Atheists are always preaching rationality, and how religion is so irrational, so why shouldn't there be a reason?

    January 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Reason to believe?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Doubting

      If I listened long enough to you ....

      January 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Thomas

      A reason for matter and life.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Pastor Rasaun O. Sheet

      We are the result of evolution...we are here because we are here....the conditions favored our rise, -think thats something special do you? well guess what , we are changing our environment so that the conditions do not favor us..and guess what... we are all going to die from this..... just as if the earth was too close or too far from the sun.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The existence of matter doesn't make the case for a god. It is one possibility. But then what created the god? So the question just goes one layer down questioning why there needs to be a middleman.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Hones question here. Do you think the questions you poes on this forum actually sound smart? Seriously, do they make sense to you, because they are baffling everyone else (believer and nonbeliever alike) with their stupidity.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Johnnya

      You are misunderstanding the idea of rationality. In logic, whoever puts forth a claim must back it up with concrete evidence. All religions that make a claim that there is a god fail to put forth any evidence other than direct experience (which is really no evidence from a rational perspective). To illustrate, if I claim unicorns exist, the burden of proof is mine to bare. So, the atheist isn't necessarily saying there is no god, but that all definitions and ideas of gods that have been asserted to date fail to produce the burden of proof we humans require in all other instances of our lives. There are atheists who go further and say that there is in fact no supreme being, but most of them will acknowledge that they can't prove it. What they will argue is that one can explain existence without necessitating a god, and the holes that the idea of a god fill actually just beg the question. It is logically just as difficult of a problem to have a god that wasn't created as an existence that wasn't created.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Why would nothing put us here for no good reason?

    January 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Great point. So it must have been a man in the sky. Thanks for clearing that up.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The obvious fail is the assumption that there is a reason.
      Why do you think there is supposed to be a reason?

      January 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • mama k


      Otherwise, read that back to yourself slowly, and see if the question still makes any sense.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Adam

      Oh how little you know about the natural world. It might help to try some other books.

      January 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  17. lol??

    Progressive vegetables don't understand the Master Servant relationship, or so they imply while serving the underworld. That's why they'll make a leader out of a mom or their PUblic Servants! Christians just want faithful Public Servants that obey them.

    January 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  18. NGB4M

    And god so loved the world he condemned to eternal torture anyone who never heard of (the vast majority of people who ever lived) or could not believe in (the reasonable and rational) an absurd story from long ago and far away. What a nice guy. Religious people disagree with each other in ways large and small. From having a different name for their god, a different man made book they call "holy" or "scripture", how to "interpret" their book(s) and how pertinent that book(s) is to the faith or the times, to who's going to hell or if there even is such a place. Yet the one thing they really can't stand is someone who doesn't believe any of their hocus-pocus. All believers are also doubters in that they doubt others beliefs.

    January 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • lol??


      January 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Tod

      There are thousands of other gods and goddesses, but Christians dismiss them all without ever having to "prove" that they don't exist. They're all actually 99.99% atheist, yet they can't understand why anyone would ever dismiss their god. Amazing!

      January 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Zero

      Tod is a genius. That is the best explaination ever. Christians are told to dismiss all gods but their own because their god told them to. It's like saying that everything you read on the internet is true just because someone says it's true.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  19. E.B.

    My take on all the great comments today is simple organized or not _religion is just like politics – everyone has an opinion!

    January 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tod

      Yet, there is a difference between opinions based on facts, data and evidence, and opinions based on faith. Every person ever swindled relied upon their faith to guide them, correct?

      January 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  20. dale

    no one is condemned, or damned. no one is being threatened. you are all justified.

    why was satan allowed dominion on earth? where we are? as sin and death reigned, our sin was buried with christ in His death, and we will be glorified with him through his resurrection. we no longer die, we are baptised by the Holy spirit and raised from spiritual death into everlasting spiritual life. and the reality of that glofiries us all as sons and daughters of and eternal loving redeeming God. Glory to God

    January 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • hee hee

      I can think of two reasons most people will ignore your magnificent speech.

      1. It's trite and badly worded, and the content is kind of nuts.
      2. Satan.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • hee hee


      January 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bet

      @ hee hee

      3. Dale doesn't know how to use the "reply" feature.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:40 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.