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. Marie

    Why are there quasars?

    January 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bet

      Because on May 29, 1974, Motorola, Inc., sold its television manufacturing division to Quasar Electronics, Inc.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  2. Marie

    Why is my vagina dry and dusty and filled with cobwebs?

    I wear panties in the bathtub so that I don't look down on the unemployed.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™


      January 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  3. Marie

    Why are circles round?

    January 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Why don't you have any worthwhile questions?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Marie

    Why is water wet?

    January 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Because wetness happens to be an emergent property of many H2O molecules bonded together. Take some chemistry or something.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  5. Billyy McMahon

    a response:


    January 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Not much of a response

      January 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Billyy McMahon

        Ha! Good one. Not sure what you're looking for... I pointed out that she has a very narrow understanding of what Christianity is- namely that all Christians are John Calvin-worshippers who believe in predestination. I also offer a challenge to Christians who are outraged at Mitchell and habitually marked the article as inappropriate.

        January 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Bet

      I guess it's good that it didn't say flat out to dismiss the article, and that maybe a little further inquiry was suggested. It was sort of wishy washy about it though.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      A "a very narrow understanding of what Christianity is"

      Ask 10 christians what "christianity is and you will get 10 different answers. Christianity is so broad Christians argue about what a "real" one is. Christians complain that atheists don't "understand" what christianity is, no surprise there, christians don't either. It really didn't matter what definitions she applied, a large segment of christians would disagree. That is not a problem with her view of christianity, that is a problem OF christianity.

      I agreed with your point about christians trying to stiffle the dialogue.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Billyy McMahon

        I don't see why we are arguing... I'd agree with you! Haha. Perhaps she should have asked more Christians about their viewpoints...

        January 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  6. PJ

    K, I'm done. Peace & love to all, even those lost in a 2000 year old book of confusion. Not to say there aren't things in that book that are worth keeping in our lives, just not most of it. Would love to meet some of those like minded out there. I must admit I feel a lot better having read some of your well worded posts.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Bet

      Nice chatting with you.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  7. some schmuck

    Wow, the responses are getting a lot crazier as we get into the afternoon. I guess all the insane religious people don't get up until after noon. Must not have jobs. Especially not good jobs where they can sneak off once in a while to look at a new website.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  8. austin

    ok people lets chat did I kill a cat when i had a dream? cat was at porch. had evil dream a demon showed me it was dead. woke up cat was 550 feet from house ran over. what is the insane part? i had a dream? tormenters, flesh tearing followers. that was 5 years ago.

    the jail was one year ago. i had multiple dreams leading me. it lit me up. for example, one kid who got back from work every day he shared candy and invited me to play chess. he was the first one i talked to about the dream about Jeremiah, where i dreamed there was this arm that reached down into a whole that was chizzeled out of beautiful patio and pulled out a leather bag full of gems. the next day i read (never read it before) "and the word of the lord came to Jeremiah in taphanes saying take large stones in your hand and hide them in the mortar in the brick, at the enterance to pharoahs house in taphanes.." ok to i showed him the dream i wrote down and showed him the bible verse, and he immediately hated mee and was throwing trash on my bed when i wasn around, and starting a whole thing agianst me with followers. anyway, that night i had another dream that there was a motorcycle gang trying to run me over, the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn taped to his seat of his bike, he couldnt sit down cause it was a huge horn...the gang was eating rotten meat and scraping the grill off with a mop that had fish gills taped to the mop stick,. next day i read into the book of Lamentations........2:3 every horn , Lam 2:17 the Lord has exalted the horn of your adversaries.

    few weeks before that had a dream i let 2 snakes out of a cage., wrote it down , one was a rattler, one was a viper
    went down to bible study an hour later on sunday morning the pastor immediately read about not drinking .....prov 23 32 do not look upon wine when it sparkles in the glass, atlast it stings like a serpent and bites like a viper. the dream before that i had was about having a bunch of mercury in my beer..

    it happens to me frequently, the synchronicity of the Holy spirit.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Your lucky that these "visions" are confined to your dreams. That's how the subconscious works out what it cannot understand in the waking life. If these vision spilled over into your waking life, I would recommend seeking treatment from a health professional.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • The Truth

      You are either a troll or really need some professional help and I hope you don't own any firearms because I would hate for you to open up the wrong scripture and decide that means you should start killing the unbelievers.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Get help now!

      Jesus kills cats to prove his existence to you. Right.

      Here is a clue: you are reading a book that talks about snakes, you dream of snakes, soon after someone you read the book and find a passage about snakes. Or, in plainer language, previous reading of the bible put biblical images into your dream, and later readings of the bible say the same thing. It's a closed loop.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • austin

      the Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit bears the truth of Gods word on a persons heart.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bet

      Oh fer the love of ceiling cat...

      I watched a couple of episodes of S.ex and the City, and that night I had a dream that I was Carrie Bradshaw. The only unusual part about that is that I'd never had a dream that I was another person before.

      The next morning I was laughing about this dream with some friends when I caught one of the guys looking at me a little strangely. I said, oh it's nothing, I was watching SATC last night. He started laughing and said, "Now it makes sense. I thought you said you dreamed you were Terry Bradshaw!"

      January 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      I'm not certain Austin's loop makes it all the way back around to the beginning.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Zingo

      Not sure about the loop, but austin;s elevator definitely doesn't go all the way up.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • austin

      dreamed i was on the third floor of a brothel and i turned on a water spigot and let all the water just gush out, left it going, went down to the basement where there were nude women everywhere, then the p i m p kicked me out because the water was gushing out of the ceiling. woke up, and notice that all four of the dreams i wrote down that night had water in them. so I did a verse study on water. found prov 5 :15-16 drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. should your fountains be dispersed abroad? let them be your own, let your fountain be blessed. for why should you be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced by the arms of a seductress.?

      if i had not been writing them down i would have never thought twice about it, but i had been praying in jail that I would start getting tangled up with any of the women in there cause we were all packed into a coed jail. and the holy spirit was trying to tell me something. my dream was a proverb.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Carl

      @The Truth
      "the wrong scripture"?

      The whole Bible is about putting the pain onto nonbelievers, so pinpointing which are the "wrong scriptures" could be pretty difficult.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • austin

      typing error..........that i would NOT get tangled

      January 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • austin poe

      A co-ed jail cell – yeah sure.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • austin

      coed jail, not the dorm room though, different pods.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  9. 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 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bob

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

      I love the jack@sses on here. They behave like jerks and justify their behavior by declaring their jack@ss-like ways as the truth.


      January 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • the AnViL

      bob – if you scoff at the fact that all monotheistic religions are literally predicate on ignorance, division, bigotry, and intolerance – you are beyond ignorant.

      educate yourself.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  10. 1 John 2:18

    almah was used 6 other times in the o.t. and they all meant virgin. the rebuilding of the temple was that "will be torn down and rebuilt in three days"? talking about his body.

    January 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • 1 John 2:18

      posted in the wrong place idk

      January 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • 1 Yoda 4:17

      "And verily, since it is in an old book, it is true."

      January 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

      King Arthur: What an eccentric performance.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • The Truth

      So Jesus' prophecy about the temple being torn down and not a stone being left upon a stone was a prediction of his own demise? Stop posting as a scripture and try actually reading the bible, you will likely become an atheist or at least agnostic.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • St. Montius of Pythonia

      Doubtest thou the verily verilyness of The Gospel of Tim the Enchanter?!?!?!

      Blasphemer! Or is that heresy? Those old words get confusing.

      Verily shall thoou most unexpectedly run afoul of the . . . the . . . the . . .


      January 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Brother: And Saint Attila raised the Hand Grenade up on high, saying:

      "O Lord, bless this thy Hand Grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

      And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu..
      Maynard: Skip a bit, Brother.

      Brother: And the Lord spake, saying:

      "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin.
      Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less.
      Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.
      Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.
      Five is right out.
      Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

      Maynard: Amen.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Inquiring minds don't really want to know

      If Lucifer is evil, and he has an evil twin, does that mean lucifer is a second-rate evil, or is it a double negative thing where the twin is actually good?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • 1 John 2:18

      no i was trying to figure out which temple prophecy when he said "kindof hard to rebuild the temple when it was still standing"
      off the top of my head there were two prophecies about the 3 day tear down build up, and the other prophecy about not one stone being left...........then it fell in 70ad... i like it.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Lisa

      1 John
      Try this article. It clearly explains why "alma" does not refer to a virgin.


      January 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Lisa

      1 Yoda 4:17
      I guess that means that older books are even more true, right?

      Better brush up on your ancient Egyptian.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  11. End Religion

    REPENT! The End Times are here! The dead are risen...


    January 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Too many zombies, not enough sticks.

      Jesus has arisen! This time we double tap . . .

      January 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  12. austin

    the Lord prepares the soil of ones heart for the seed, and in your daily life I pray you can find those who are ready, ready to ready to receive His testimony. and there is power in the Word. but there are some places where you will possible be up for a spiritual battle. have mercy and love. and keep looking straight ahead. He will put them in your pathway.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam

      Goodness knows there's plenty of fertilizer spread around by the faithful.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • meifumado

      You could not be more wrong.
      Everything you said has nothing to do with anything and is just a fairy tale.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Zingo

      Had any more of your DUI demon dreams?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Athy

      Typical religious nonsense. Totally meaningless.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • austin

      you arent ready?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • meifumado

      You have been brainwashed?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Bet

      There's plenty of fertilizer in austin's bed, or so he's mentioned.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Vincent Vega

      Why would you be so crazy as to spend $4,000 of three eight-foot Jesus signs on your front lawn?

      Were your neighbors upset? I bet they were. I bet they wished there were CCRs.

      Do passersby stop and laugh and point fingers and take pictures of your personal insane asylum?

      When you were in jail for DUI, what did you say to the others that made them hate you so? Did you pester them endlessly about Jesus? Why did you feel so high-and-mighty self-righteous when you were in jail on a DUI?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      "the soil of a man's heart is stonier" – Li'l Stevie King

      January 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      If you believe that – then why are you bothering people? They'll go when they're ready, and pressuring them before your god has set them up shows a distinct lack of faith.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      ::::::: the Lord prepares the soil of ones heart for the seed, and in your daily life I pray you can find those who are ready, ready to ready to receive His testimony. and there is power in the Word. but there are some places where you will possible be up for a spiritual battle. have mercy and love. and keep looking straight ahead. He will put them in your pathway.

      So – you're posting here because you have no faith in God to do this, so you're bothering people instead of waiting for god to do it?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • PJ

      @ Susan – I thought you were on the side of religion. I must have misread something you posted. Regardless, refreshing to see.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bandini


      I wish I had time to regale you with the tales of the World of Lawn Fairies that are in my yard.

      Oooh, the battles, failures and triumphs that go on under there are simply amazing.

      The good fairies try so hard to push up those nice green blades of grass, but are constantly besieged by the little evil ones.

      The Holy Sprite guides me in witnessing them; and it is truly a world of wonder!

      BeLeave in Garden Fairies. They feed the world with their crop managing.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  13. FACT

    Jesus told me to do unto others as I would have others do unto me, and honestly, I like it when people spout stupid lies about me!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      I keep trying to give hand jobs to random people I meet but for some reason they don't want to be treated as I do...

      January 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      People who use taglines like FACT or capitalize "truth" have little regard for either.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  14. uhhuhheybevis

    my religion doesnt believe in laws so i dont follow any. that means i dont break any.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  15. FACT

    Hitler got his philosophy from Darwinian evolution and some power from the Catholic Church

    January 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. ...Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross."
      – Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922

      By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. ...
      – Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • ME II

      among other articles
      ADL Blasts Christian Supremacist TV Special & Book Blaming Darwin For Hitler (http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/4877_52.htm)

      "Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler's genocidal madness.

      Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry."
      ( http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/5277_52.htm )

      January 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • truth be told

      Anyone who quotes hitler as truth has a few screws loose. hitler was an atheist and like all atheists unable to tell the Truth, even about himself.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • austin

      doc. Is christ the minister of sin. Is christianity the minister of sin? if there is a devil, what does he do? he impersonates God. do you know what a temptation is...........an attack with the intent to destroy.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Athy

      Hitler was a catholic.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      tuth be trolled
      The original post smacks of your lyiing troll ways. Likely you posted the original, and now respond with your same boring lies.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @truth be told,
      "...like all atheists unable to tell the Truth, even about himself."

      Obvious prejudicial propaganda....
      who's that remind you of?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
      He publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).
      Communist leaders like Pol Pot and Stalin would not have been charismatic enough to gain converts had they not learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion from religious inst/itutions.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary. Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones”.
      While they both sought to eliminate traditional religions from their kingdoms, they did so in order to divert the common man’s fervour to their own cults of personality.
      Each of those leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon. Atheism is not the prime cause for their tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.
      Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism – a trick they learned from their religious educations.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • 1 John 2:18

      Little children, in the last hour and as you have heard that the Anti christ is coming, even so many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

      so does hitler prove christianity and the bible is sick? or does he fall in line with the prophetic word?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • The Illogic of Religion

      God created Satan, and being omniscient, knew everything he would do. The evil is part of God's plan.

      God is responsible for all evil. He created it, fully knowing precisely what would happen.

      God is responsible for every evil thing done. He decided your path way back in the beginning, so you are just acting out a predetermined plan. You therefore cannot be responsible, since you had no choice. You cannot have free will if God is omniscient and has a plan.

      And of course, if God is omniscient, creating a pre-planned universe is totally pointless – why do it when you know the outcome to the last detail. How boring and pointless!

      God: it makes no sense at all on so many levels.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      1 John 2:18 in the King James Bible says:
      "it IS the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, EVEN NOW are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it IS the last time." (emphasis mine)

      The words were not prophetic – they were wrong! He was stating that THEN – 2000 years ago – was the last hour.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • 1 John 2:18

      doc you are too smart for that. what about all of the prophecies of the day of the lord and the melinneal kingdom? what about christs prophecy about the temple being destroyed in matthew in a precise matter? everyone knows they have terminology for time in days, weeks, and years right?

      January 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      o A lot of the core prophecies "fulfilled" by Jesus are up for debate.
      For example: They say that Jesus being born of a virgin fulfills the Isaiah 7:14prophecy.
      However, the Hebrew term in Isaiah “almah” which means a “young woman”. "Virgin" is a mistranslation.
      Christians assert that Jesus is from David's line, but tribal line cannot be passed on through adoption. Jesus cannot be "son of David" through Joseph. A tribal line also does not pass through the mother, and even if it did, Mary was not descended of David through Solomon.
      Furthermore, did Jesus manage to:
      1) Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Kind of hard to do since the Temple still stood during Christ's lifetime.
      2) Re-establish Jewish law as the only law?
      3) Save Israel? Lessee – just after His death (and Zombification)the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Jerusalem was laid to waste, and the Jews went into exile to begin a 1900 year long night of persecution, — largely at the hands of Jesus' followers.
      4) Establish a world government run from Jerusalem?
      5) Return all the exiled Jews to Jerusalem?
      Don't forget that during that time, there were MANY claimaints to the Messiah role like Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Vespasian, Simon bar Kokhba, etc. ad nauseum.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • 1 John 2:18

      christs prophecy about the temple being destroyed didnt happen till ad 40. we are in the "mystery of the church" time frame, the 70th week of Daniel. we can be expecting appoloyon and the rest of it. I hope im not around. i hope you arent either.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Say wha?


      January 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • The Truth

      "During the Roman occupation of Judea, the Temple remained under control of the Jewish people. It was later destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE during the Siege of Jerusalem." Not 40 ad...

      January 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Translator

      "mystery of the church" = "I know the Bible is wrong but I insist on believing it anyway."

      January 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  16. uhhuhheybevis

    I do not believe there are laws.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bet

      It's Beavis.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  17. FACT

    North Korea is an atheistic country

    January 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • uhhuhheybevis

      ya thats why they are having so much fun lately.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • uhhuhheybevis

      is that why you turned your name blue? isnt that the color of their uniforms?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • PJ

      Not sure what you're implying, but the problem with North Korea is with it's politics and leaders, not the entire populace or if it's atheistic or not.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • And then . . .

      Iran is a religious country.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • meifumado

      The North Koreans are not atheists they worship their great leader.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      More lies from the troll known as fact.
      Juche is the only religion allowed in North Korea. They in fact worship their leaders as gods.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • christianity and comunisum are the same

      In North Korea :
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of Communisum is bad and non communists are evil in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a CRIME AGAINST THE STATE!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of your life if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      I Christianity:
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of christianity is bad and non christians are evil in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a SIN AGAINST GOD!!!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      January 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Atheists Union Local 387

      You cannot become a full member of the union until you learn to spell and write correctly.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @christianity and comunisum are the same- missing an "m" aren't you. Stop being a bumpkin.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look. Fake Fallacy Spotting is trolling.

      Good job, dude.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He has to be, because I would never waste time pointing out a simple spelling error or call someone a bumpkin. That would be beneath a well mannered person that I am.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  18. Troll Warning

    Catch a clue, people! Marie is just a hit and run troll. There is no point trying to answer his idiotic fallacies.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • PJ

      My bad, but I can learn.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      The fun thing about those – they drive traffic, which provides income and hits to CNN, which means more articles about understanding the role of atheism, agnosticism, and generally non-religious families in society, trying to get around bigotry and prejudice.

      They're helping, on the whole. While no doubt it's the last thing they'd want.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • You are correct, Ma'am!

      Militant Christians are indeed the best recruiters for atheism.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  19. PJ

    Marie is really starting to sound like a scientist, asking all these why questions. The good book must not suffice.

    You're getting there, Marie. You're on the right path. Only, you need to observe, create a hypothesis, test it, and then reproduce the results. That's the scientific method.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Marie is really starting to sound like a scientist, asking all these why questions."
      More like a two-year old, really. Asking the questions is meaningless if you're not willing to listen to the answers.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • PJ

      @ LinCA: Yeah, you're right. But I see the good in her; I think we may actually be getting through to her.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Bet

      I dunno, PJ. Marie sounds more like a troll to me. Like that lol? creature or Chad, who poses the same question every day, but dismisses out of hand any response he's given. Most of the time I scroll right by, but if I'm feeling naughty, I might poke at one of them to get a reaction.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  20. Love Guru

    First dentistry was painless.
    Then bicycles were chainless,
    Carriages were horseless,
    And many laws enforceless.

    Next cookery was fireless,
    Telegraphy was wireless,
    Cigars were nicotineless,
    And coffee caffeineless.

    Soon oranges were seedless,
    The putting green was weedless,
    The college boy was hatless,
    The proper diet fatless.

    New motor roads are dustless,
    The latest steel is rustless,
    Our tennis courts are sodless,
    Our new religion — godless
    Arthur Guiterman

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

      I can't think of anything really wrong with the items in this poem, and many of them are great improvements on the previous norm.

      The only issue is that being godless isn't a religion. Otherwise, kinda cute.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:17 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.