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

Godless mom strikes a chord with parents

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

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

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

Then, she says, the recruiting started.

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

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

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

It starts:

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

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

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

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

Others said Mitchell presented a simplistic view of religion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She ended her essay:

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • iReport

soundoff (15,081 Responses)
  1. Doug Matheson

    I grew up the child of missionaries in India; Christian educated through college. But kept reading and learning. I applaud this woman for: choosing to be honest with her kids after first being honest with herself, and for trying to promote true acceptance of diversity of belief. I think however, that things may be getting more urgent than she yet realizes. To meet the challenges of our times we need a mental approach that says "I have a changable mind, evidence matters. You can convince me of things; show me the money, the evidence." That's fundamentally different than "I know what I believe, and I believe what I believe. End of story." One can solve problems and realistically address challenges, the other can't get out of the ditch. If anyone is curious, visit actuallythinking.com

    January 27, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • .

      no you are a useless wolf, so is your website, and your little india christian seduction is going to be what you are held accountable for. get out of here.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  2. apolloyon

    get ready for the next one.

    9:3 Then 1 out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power 2 like that of the scorpions of the earth. 9:4 They 3 were told 4 not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people 5 who did not have the seal of God on their 6 forehead. 9:5 The locusts 7 were not given permission 8 to kill 9 them, but only to torture 10 them 11 for five months, and their torture was like that 12 of a scorpion when it stings a person. 13 9:6 In 14 those days people 15 will seek death, but 16 will not be able to 17 find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
    9:7 Now 18 the locusts looked like horses equipped for battle. On 19 their heads were something like crowns similar to gold, 20 and their faces looked like men’s 21 faces.
    dont laugh.. when the Angels were kicked out of heaven, they planned to corrupt human dna so that the human body would be inadequate to have any spirtual "homeostasis" (and to prevent the messiahs blood line). gen ch 6 talks about the giants, "nephilim", and then the flood. right after the flood Nimrod "began to be" a mighty hunter, possibly meaning that they were mingling genetically.

    January 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Damocles

      Whoops! Sorry, I laughed. A lot.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @apolloyon

      You said, "get ready for the next one."
      It's time to up the dose. Your delusion is showing.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Damocles

      I'm not so sure if more drugs are the answer here. Maybe less would be more helpful.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • dollie

      your trying to say there should be some engineered human species?

      January 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • dollie

      apoloyon is the name of the burning mountain that is going to hit the earth. If you read the book of Enoch it says that after 70 generations (biblical terminology) that the demons at the top of the chain, who were jailed under the continents will be set loose.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Damocles

      You said, "I'm not so sure if more drugs are the answer here. Maybe less would be more helpful."
      Whatever apolloyon is on, it's not working. A change is in order. A padded room might work.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Damocles

      A padded room is worth a shot. Some nice quiet time in the dark.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • .

      250,000,000 padded rooms.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      There's a reason that for many former Christians, reading the whole bible, cover to cover, was the last step in realizing that this really was just nonsense. When you're protected by a pastor, cherry-picking the prettiest verses, and creating nice contexts, nice stories, it works much easier.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  3. apolloyon

    get ready for the next one.

    Rev 9:3 Then out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power like that of the scorpions of the earth. 9:4 They were told n’s faces.

    dont laugh.. when the Angels were kicked out of heaven, they planned to corrupt human dna so that the human body would be inadequate to have any spirtual "homeostasis" (and to prevent the messiahs blood line). gen ch 6 talks about the giants, "nephilim", and then the flood. right after the flood Nimrod "began to be" a mighty hunter, possibly meaning that they were mingling genetically.

    January 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Went down this road years ago...also mixed in with my occultic activities...next you'll be talking about Aliens/UFO's...I get it but, 1) Too much speculation...and...2) I would definitely stick to the Gospel message (Presenting the Person & Finished Work of Jesus Christ...and HOW He is received unto salvation-i.e. By grace alone, through faith alone)
      John 1/Romans 6:23/Ephesians 2:8-9

      January 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • dollie

      no aliens. i agree with you . then there is also the entire gospel which is all about the garden , the evil side included. If you read are anything, it is clear to me that the whole spectrum is good knowledge. you know for a fact that those locusts/ horses are going to torture people. no that isnt the gospel. i heed that. i think God reveals evil to people too though as a blessing and reality check, when they refuse to listen to Him.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Damocles

      @dollie

      So evil is a blessing?

      Huh, strange, for a second there I could hear the sound of boots goose-stepping down the road. Ah well, must have been my imagination.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • dollie

      on another note, books like Enoch, and Jasher are mentioned in the bible. Enoch is "quoted" by Jude (Jesus half brother), and Peter also talks about it. this makes it worth reading. it was found in the caves of qumran with the dead sea scrolls (isaiah). the book of Jasher and Jubilees, as well as Macabees were insightful reads.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • dollie

      @domacles
      no just being able to see and hear spiritually, even if it is being able to discern the reality of evil. but, if you read the psalms David praised the Lord for the righteous judgments that the Lord would give. David was in the Dog house at the time. What that means is that discipline produced sanctification. and God has promised blessings to us all, so David was looking forward to that restoration through the judgments. God also uses Satan as a tool of judgment which is what the world is going to go through.
      But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that even while we were still sinners Christ died for us/

      January 26, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  4. End Religion

    Morganucodon "Morgie" is an early mammalian genus that lived during the Late Triassic. It is our ancestor, a survivor of the meteor strike which decimated the dinosaurs and allowed us to take over the planet. Thanks, Morgie!

    January 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • beavis.

      i looked that up and morgie may look like your mom but not mine.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  5. ricky

    @ franklin. study the "masonic astrology of the gateway arch" in i t we find that many dates such as Jeffersons authority to take possession of the Louisiana purchase came 6 months after it was signed, because of plieades occulting the moon, on oct 31 1803. first thanksgiving 11/22 11 + 22 = 33 masonic prime numbers. the bush's speeches about going to war in iraq were both given on the same masonic date only different years (if i remember that one right) masonic dates coincide with stars and culminations. alot of them have to do with the piramid of Giza, such as the st. louis arh being positioned to point out the culmiination of a star that is at its hight, simultaniously at a time where a star culmintes over the piramid of Giza. Thats why there are phallus and ovum all over the place . our capitol buildings proclaim the mythology of egyptian astrology, where Joseph and Moses played large roles. my question is with the legend of Hiram Abiff, being the grand architech of solomons temple and the piramids of giza, does that mean the masons are carryin out the possession of land for the devil, or for God?

    January 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @ricky & Franklin...I hope both of you will purchase,and read, "The Gospel In The Stars" (by Seiss), and "The Real Meaning of the Zodiac" (by D.James Kennedy)...if you haven't done so already...

      >>>I also hope you both realize that the God of the Bible does not deny egyptian astrology but forbids it and tells them so after He delivered them out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 18, etc...)
      I was heavily immersed in this Occultism (Egyptology, etc) from'84-'89 and I know my word of warning to you will probably be received with mocking, but I give it to you anyway, and hope you will heed it from someone who was there.
      Btw...The "Magi" (i.e. "kings" from the east), were most likely Persian Astrologers (possibly "Egyptian" as well), and what did they do with "Jesus"?...They BOWED DOWN AND WORSHIPPED HIM. I hope that is where your occultism will lead you.
      JesusNotReligion

      January 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • ricky

      I agree with you one hundred percent, and i simply bring this up as manifestation of the extreme grip, and thriving deceit and manipulation that the devil has going . Athiesm is so oblivious to this that it is freakish. Evil and athiesm simply compliment each other. if you scroll down i was explaining the book you were talking about how back around the flood the atmosphere was such that each star had an intense glow around it and brought out the figures in the stars and that the gospel is portrayed through them. I also appreciate the help with the JW refuting my claim that Christ is our creator.

      January 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • I wonder

      JNR,
      "The "Magi" (i.e. "kings" from the east), were most likely Persian Astrologers (possibly "Egyptian" as well), and what did they do with "Jesus"?...They BOWED DOWN AND WORSHIPPED HIM."

      Did they? Odd that you only hear about it from a couple of biased 1st century cult writers.

      Didn't Persian Astrologers know how to write?

      January 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • ricky

      really so herod was killing a bunch of babies and the magi were going broadcast over their own kingdom that they were going to worship the Christ. that is brilliant.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      I do apologize for not checking out the context in which you were writing. Praise God!
      Also...My JW post is exactly how I handle them when they come to my door...not that they come around much anymore...I'm probably black-listed. Cut & Paste it and send it around to those you know in the faith...too many believer's hide when they hear the knock at the door...whether JW's or Mormons...

      January 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @ricky...had problem posting the following. Trying to figure out which word is being rejected. If it goes through then I guess I found it and had to mispell it so it passes the CNN police...

      Btw...Regarding "Mormnism", check out "Utah Lightouse" website and a great DVD called "The Bible vs. Mormnism", hosted by former Mormon Archaelogist's who prove there is no archaelogical evidence for the "civilizations" found in Mormon writings...No bones, weapons, coins, writings, etc...NOTHING THAT EVERY OTHER LEGITIMATE CIVILIZATION LEAVES BEHIND. On top of that, "steel swords" (BEFORE STEEL WAS INVENTED) were supposedly used at the supposed great battle between the Nephites & Lamanites supposedly taking place at "Mt. C umorah" (upstate NY) where supposedly 230K people were killed – NO BONES!, NO STEEL SWORDS (or any weapon of any type)!, NO COINS! NO GRAVES!...NOTHING! No archaelogical evidence of any kind...anywhere! I hope that any Mormon reading this post will watch this DVD stated above and visit "Utah Lighthouse" website.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • I wonder

      ricky,
      "really so herod was killing a bunch of babies"

      There is no verified historical evidence of this event ever happening. I realize that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but you don't get to claim that it is true either.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @I wonder...And if the evidence you require is unearthed by some Government sanctioned archaelogical expedition, will you become a follower of Jesus? Doubtfully...Jesus is quoted as saying that "even if one is raised from the dead they will not believe..." (Lk. 16)

      January 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • I wonder

      JNR,

      It sounds like Jesus is not too creative and is pretty inept and impotent at providing acceptable evidence...

      January 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @I wonder...Sorry you feel that way about someone we wouldn't LOGICALLY be speaking about if 1) He never existed...and...2) He wasn't raised from the dead...and 3) Individual lives, Nations, Countries, & History was most effected by FOR GOOD (False Church's like Roman Catholicism/Constantine/Spanish Inquisition, etc, notwithstanding)...
      Btw....Jesus answers you in the same Luke 16 passage: " they have Moses and the prophets"...There is the evidence that Jesus gives you...BELIEVE IT OR NOT...

      January 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • ricky

      how many more missing links of evolution would there be in this world compared to Jewish babies? had the flood not occured there still would not be any.

      January 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • ricky

      the soil is tilled and ready. today is the day for salvation. He said, I am the bread of life. Men live not on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

      January 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • SHrUb...gOd wIlls iT,,,,

      Clear proof that boredom is also a driving force behind religion....

      January 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  6. JesusNotReligion

    James(the JW):
    QUESTION: Who did John the Baptist come to "prepare the way" for?
    [I'm sure you answered "Jesus"]
    Now read Matthew 3:1-3 IN YOUR "NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES" bible...
    Notice the quote from Isaiah being contextually applied?
    So, WHO did John the Baptist prepare the way for?...JEHOVAH! (Isn't that what your bible says?)That is Who Jesus is. You can try your best to make this passage say something different than what the contex demands, which is unfortunately the JW way, but you will just be mocking God and heaping up His wrath on yourself for being a false teacher of His Word.

    QUESTION: What does the commandment say about "worshipping" JEHOVAH God and "bowing down" to other false gods?
    [Worship God alone...Do not bow down to any other god...and do not worship,"angels"....Correct?]
    The Book of Revelation (the very Book JW's love to reference) has angels, elders, etc BOWING DOWN and WORSHIPPING "Jesus" who is seated on the Throne! Is Jesus really "Michael the Arch Angel"? Then all of heaven is sinning against God by bowing down and worshipping him!
    WARNING FOR YOU: If you are not WORSHIPPING Jesus on this side of heaven (along with those mentioned above who are worshipping Him even as I type) THEN YOU WILL NOT BE WORSHIPPING HIM ON THE OTHER SIDE...You will be eternally cast away from His Holy Throne & Presence.

    QUESTION: Who is the "Repurchaser of Israel"?
    [I am sure you will answer "Jesus"]
    Turn to Isaiah 44:6 and read it in your JW bible...note who the the "Repurchaser of Israel" is...AND...note who the "King of Israel" is...AND...who the "first and the last" is!
    >>> Now read Revelation 1:8 & 17-18 IN CONTEXT, along with Rev. 2:8 & 22:12-13 IN CONTEXT!

    Remember NOT TO ADD OR TAKE AWAY ANY OF THE WORDS IN THIS BOOK...
    I hope to read your next post about how you have left the Charles Russell Taft JW cult in order to become a worshipper of Jesus in the here and now, unto eternal life with Him. MAY HE, "Jehovah of armies" BE MERCIFUL!

    January 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      To james the JW:
      CORRECTION: The Charles Taze Russel JW Cult (not Charles Russell Taft posted previously)

      January 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Carl

      In context, doesn't that line in Revelation only apply to that particular book? The writer had no idea that what he wrote would become so popular that it would eventually be part of some canon of Christian scripture, right?Why do people apply it as though it's a warning about the whole of the Bible?

      January 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Yes Carl...You are correct...I was not using it that way. I was using it per my "Revelation" references that I had mae right above it...Totally agree with you otherwise...

      January 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • james

      I would answer your questions but it seems you already have all the answers that you believe. However there are so many incorrect comments that I will just say I am so sorry you have been so misled about me as you do not know me and as for your knowledge of Jehovah's Witnesses also I again am so sorry you have been so misled and wish you well in your search for truth.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @james...I spent many hours with JW's, as I think you know. God gave me heart for them many years ago, to the point that I would look for them on Thursday's and Saturday's. I purposefully bought their (your) bible and studied all the translations, comparing to the original Greek. I am able to somewhat know you by your beliefs, James...It is time to stand up against this cult that hold its people prisoners to their organization with lies and threats. Try and leave JW without being threatened with hell (Your "salvation" is tied to "faith in" & "works by/through" the JW/KKingdom Hall/Watchtower organization and not by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus (The LORD) alone...

      Try to confront your leaders without being threatened. They'll take you into a dark room to sit in front of their kingdom hall counsel and then you will KNOW what you are involved with. My heart breaks for you because they probably came alongside you at just the right time of your life when there was a great need, conflict or trial going on, as with most stories that I've heard. I bet I know you more than you think, but you I'm really not looking to come across as if "I really know you" no more than you know me (though you seem to think you have me figured out too). Just study to show yourself approved of God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed..."

      Btw...There has not be one JW that I have spent time with who had solid "Biblical" answers for those 3 questions I asked in my post. Start the qwest, my blogger-friend...start the qwest.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Sorry...qwest was my phone carrier...I meant quest!....and I apologize for the typos....using my tablet, which is difficult to work with at times.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Commenter

      JesusNotReligion,

      It has been my experience (not extensive, however) that when Jehovah's Witnesses abandon the cult they abandon The Bible. Also, I understand that they do not threaten apostates with "hell", but with just being dead eternally.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      @Commentator...You are correct..."Hell" for JW's is annihilationisn...the soul is destroyed and ceases to exist...more bad Bible...but good clarification on your part.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      ...Btw...JW's are bound to uphold extra-biblical, "Watchtower" teachings, much like Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Christian Science, etc...Each of these man-made religious organizations claim "new revelation", whether through "pope", "church magisterium" or "prophet", etc. So,...it's the "Bible" (their version) plus "new (extra-biblical) revelation(s)"....

      January 27, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • james

      Gal. 6:7 be careful what you are saying since you have been so misled and should look into these things more deeply before you parrot what someone is telling you. One thing I can see from your comments is that you do not know what you are talking about so again, "Do not be misled God is not to be mocked"

      January 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      james...Your warning of "mocking" to me will most assuredly come back on you. I do know what I am talking about and you've falsely accused, which, in this forum, is your only solace.

      ***If there are any former JW's out there in CNN bloggerland, please validate what I have written about JW's and confirm that james' words are but an empty attack on me, and a cover-up of the truth he is trying deny and avoid. Thanks...

      January 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  7. samuel

    Luke 11:11-13
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    January 26, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  8. truth be told

    All so called atheists are horrible and useless liars, what of waste of human potential. The best any atheist can do for society is to decrease the population by one... itself, asap.

    January 26, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Pete

      "All so called atheists are horrible and useless liars"

      More lies from the xtains – 150!

      January 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • thomas

      if the Son set you free you shall free indeed. The eye is the lamp of the body, if the eye is good your body will be full of light. If your eye is not good your body willl be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Non existence and metaphorical "darkness" are two different things. The soul does not exist, and therefore cannot be enlightened or "dark."

      I have one of my own for those who consider themselves "englightened" by some magical and invisible force: arrogant presumption is often ignorant bliss.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • samuel

      the occult deals with black magic. God, and the Holy Spirit, is not a force. He is God. the Holy Spirit is a person.

      January 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      In church, growing up, we had a song: "They'll know we are Christians by our love" – an obvious lie, since here we see the Christians by their not so subtle suggestions they wish for the atheists to die, and all kinds of other hate filled posts.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      To clarify – some Christians.... I know many people who are Christian and are good people as well, who manage to avoid being judgemental and hatefilled. But – IMO, that's what the religion points many people to do.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  9. Sarkastik1

    What do you think you are accomplishing for your cause, other than burying more sensible posts beneath a walking artillery barrage of banality. Do you have any idea how pathetic your non-arguments look to those you are apparently here to convince. Better yet, can you even understand these questions?

    January 26, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • *

      Sarkastik1,

      Maybe you can give us a clue as to who your are addressing there?

      January 26, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  10. roman2819

    This book, Understanding Prayer, Faith and God's Will, is dedicated to all who believe, and to all who haven't. http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431
    There are 12 chapters in this book:
    1. Inner Doubts
    2. What does the Bible mean?
    3. Prayer: What did Jesus Intend to tell us?
    4. "Why doesn't God answer more prayers?"
    5. To Pray Again
    6. Does Sin impede prayer?
    7. Faith in God
    8. How does God call people?
    9. Understanding God's Will
    10 Being in God's will
    11 Journey of the Bible
    12 Reading the Scripture Fruitfully

    January 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Athy

      Sounds like it will placate the religies, alright. We atheists will just chuckle.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chapter 13: Why everything contained in this book is baseless assertions.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  11. james

    Sat. A.M. when they come knocking on your door, If you want to know what the Bible really teaches, just ask your questions seriously and sincerely and give them a chance to show you and you are under no obligation but can have a free home bible study or discussion or whatever you want to call it on a weekly basis or however often you would like at your convenience for however long you want and if you do not like the answers be reasonable show a little class and just tell them not to come back and they will put you a list and will not bother you again. If you want to know what the Bible really teaches. If you do not want to know or really do not care, again kindly just tell them and they will make your desires known to those who will take care of the matter and you will not be bothered. If they do not come this week just go to jw.org and again you can ask and someone will take care of your desires to know what the Bible really teaches with the same help stated above. Please do not take this offer lightly but freely express your desires in a kind manner and you will be treated in the same way. For those who appreciate the word of God, a few scriptures for you to enjoy Rev. 21:1-4; Phil. 4:6,7 and John 17:3 will give you something to think about or just read those chapters in entirety for some encouragement. And one more for those who would respond in a negative way at this time, "Do not be misled, God is not to be mocked", Gal.6:7

    January 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Will they explain at jw.org why the church prophacies have failed time after time?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Samuel

      like which specific one?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • james

      cheesy; Yes they will.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Samuel

      Jesus and Satan are not brothers though.
      Jesus IS God.....He came clothed in a robe dipped in blood and they called His name the "Word of God." REV 19:13
      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.

      John’s Witness: The True Light

      6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[b]

      10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

      The Word Becomes Flesh

      14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Samuel

      james i dont thiink this is the place to talk about the brother thing pass that up.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Samuel

      cheesy yes they will..indeed.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • james

      sam; no one said Jesus and satan were brothers but you left out the "a" Jesus is a god, not almighty God. Jesus had a father and creator see Col.1:15 and never claimed to be the father or creator but the son of God.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Then you should know why nothing they say should be trusted

      January 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Samuel

      Lets pray for each other James. i think i had you confused with the mormons however I have questions that i dont want to get in to about your statement. I am not as worried about your doctrine, and i do not doubt you authenticity. I also look at JW as a great cause.! good luck. the Holy Spirit bears the truth in out hearts. Jehovah Shammah!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Samuel

      read the next three verses in colossians , and the first fourteen of John. Christ is the creator. there is plenty more support of that i, that there is one God with 3 essence. all fully god with distinct personage.... the term son of God, does not mean there is another God. THE angel of the Lord is the person of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that Jesus is limited to being an angel.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Samuel

      back to that statement of deceptive religious mimicry. the mormons do believe that satan and christ are brothers, misled by the term son of God. the trinity is hard for our mind to grasp.

      It must be understood.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Samuel

      15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

      John 1:3 All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry, but I find that "Get the fuck off my property with your sick beliefs and never come back!" more clearly sets expectations.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • lol??

      I told em to stick with Paul and they'd do fine. That was it, gone.

      January 26, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • Sarkastik1

      "If you want to know what the bible really teaches..." Which one of hundreds over the centuries?

      January 26, 2013 at 2:16 am |
    • End Religion

      Sam, James, the bible is meaningless medieval goat herder mumbo-jumbo attempts at explaining the natural world which they did not understand. There's nothing magical or supernatural about it, and we now understand it is a complete fraud. Grow up.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • james

      sam; look at the comments besides yours and you will know we are on the right path. I should know better than to respond to them but can not help but try if you see what we are dealing with. like cheesy, hotair and endreligion,etc.you have to feel sorry for them but only holy spirit can reveal to them where they are going wrong. as far as doctrine, we know the One true God and his Son will complete the separating work, make all things clear and the hearts will be read before the end and I know there will come the ridiculers but when you see their comments, wow you just want to help. keep up the good work. j

      January 26, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • james

      also for mr sark, if you read a few you will see they all contain the same message. and if you really want to know what that is, just follow my earlier directions.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • james

      endreligion; you really need a free home bible study and you will see how accurate your name is since it is what the book of Revelation says will happen soon ...The end of all false religion.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • samuel

      For it was the God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, who shines in our heart to give us the light of the kowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We beheld His glory, full of grace and truth..

      Have a great day. Everyone, His mercies are new every morning.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Franklin

      I have a simple sign on my door that says we are not in the market for a new faith.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • james

      frankie; is it that hard to get up off of that couch and be a little kind to someone?

      January 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Is it that difficult to refrain from pestering people who value the privacy of their home ?

      January 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      Apparently the "one true god" is so weak he needed to create a son to do his business. So this means he is not "one" and not a "god" since he created more help and a god is omnipotent. I would say the only other part of the title remaining is "true" but we've known for thousands of years that isn't true either. So please, in the future, please refer to your wimpy worthless weakling washout waterboy as the "multiple false farce."

      January 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      It's my house, my private property – perhaps they should consider that if I wanted to know something, I'd come knocking at their door. If they come to my door, they must be looking to hear my perspective, and if they expect me to hear theirs, they must trade equally, and listen to mine first.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      And person after person proves you a liar – you can politely tell them "No thank you" – and they'll keep coming back over and over again, even if you call Kingdom Hall and request no visits, no matter what you do, I've heard this from countless people who are dealing with this today.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Why do you mock god, JWs? The Bible also says that GOD will open someone's heart, when HE is ready – not you. Going to people's houses and pushing, invading people's homes and privacy and waking babies and stopping showers and waking people up from naps and disturbing people who are home sick and miserable – it's not needed, you could be available to those your god has made ready by just being available in public places.

      You're bored and don't have enough to do, or you're looking to make brownie points and show others up or whatever – heck, I don't care the motivation – but you don't have to bug us at our homes, let alone so persistently, let alone ignoring no soliciting signs (yes, you are soliciting, you are selling your religion, your way of life). By the Bible, which I have read, you don't have to do it – you're cherry picking bits and pieces, and ignoring plenty that says you're in the wrong here.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  12. ricky

    witchcraft: the use of majical powers, sorcery

    January 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • ricky

      divination: fortelling the unknown or future through supernatural means
      soothsayer:one who predicts the future
      omens:phenomenon reguarded as a portent of future good or evil
      Portent: an augury of a future event
      Portend:to give an indication or warning in advance
      Augury: A soothsayer, to predict from signs; omen; presage
      Premonition: an advanced warning
      Profane: debasing what is sacred,secular, worldly
      cult: obsessive devotion to a principal or person; group of persons sharing interest

      January 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Franklin

      The Bible is filled with references to astrology. The star of Bethlehem was most likely a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Taking this as a "sign" of some significant event is part of astrology. The Temple had the 12 signs of the zodiac in it's floor, according to Josephus.

      Then there's "And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as SIGNS to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth." And it was so." (Gen. 1:14-15) Clearly, the belief was that God intended the stars to be used in astrology as a way for him to communicate with people.

      "And there shall be SIGNS in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the Earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the Earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-27) More astrology, unless you think they were referring to billboards being placed up there.

      References to "The Morning Star" refer to Venus, and there are many other places where the Bible is talking about the use of astrology.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • ricky

      Franklin, I agree with you. there has been a biblical science that has been either intentionallly hidden or has been lost. before the flood , and thereafter the atmosphere was such that there were intense glowing effects to stars which brought out the figures that people associate the constellations with.. I believe that they were the gospel story in the stars. the branch of david, virgo, the snake.........ect ?

      January 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  13. The Real Marie

    Why wouldn't "something from nothing" sound like magic to anyone?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • ricky

      do you know what black magic is? do you believe in the occult?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo

      January 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • The Real Marie

      Thank you for the link to ex nihilo. Looks interesting. I will take some time to read it.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Franklin

      "Something from nothing" is the religious explanation of how God supposedly created the universe and yes, it would have to take something like magic to accomplish this. The best scientific theories do not propose that the universe came from "nothing".

      January 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Who is saying that something came from nothing?

      January 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  14. The Real Marie

    Why are my derogators everything that they accuse others of being (viscious, cruel, hostile, hateful, etc), as evidenced on 143 pages?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • ricky

      because A&A control the tone in here. Go back to page one, go to page two, I have seen people in here like Robert Brown, ect. who have come sounding like the most decent people, who get gang attacked and name called. its hard to keep a conversation on the ups with a crowd like that. people are people. its no big deal.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      You are trying to argue from a position of willful ignorance. What do you expect?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Here's one of your gems that I managed to dig up:

      "Why does quantum fluctuation sound like magic?"

      If that is a rational question to you, then you are beyond hope.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • ricky

      i cant get over all the evasive misrepresentations about the bible. like why does god want all the sacrifices for Him. why idoes he expect child sacrifce, why doesnt God speak of a globe, sacrifice should seem repugnant , am i right?,

      these are all short of understanding, and probably selectively so in a way to deceive yourself and MAKE it something sick. it never ends it creates a reason for reproof. why does Marie enlighten us with her questions? Why is there a soul and evil and God?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Sarkastik1

      The Real Marie: "Why are my derogators everything that they accuse others of being (viscious, cruel, hostile, hateful, etc), as evidenced on 143 pages?" Defense by persecution complex? FYI, those 143 pages are not all about you.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      The blinders on your eyes see what you are. Take the blinders off, you'll see a different world. Or just look up the term "projection"

      January 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  15. The Real Marie

    How many moles can do the conga dance while plucking bananas from a rock that, for some inexplicable reason, has bananas sprouting from it?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Samuel

      all of em?

      January 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  16. The Real Marie

    Why are they everything that they accuse others of being?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Another stupid question. Who is/are "they?"

      January 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • God's honest truth

      Because the religious are hypocrites my lamb

      January 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  17. The Real Marie

    How many licks does it take to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • ricky

      how many questions does it take to get the biblical discoveries of the bottom of the page?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Cherries

      3. The owl said so.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Owl Spit

      Cherries,
      "3. The owl said so."

      Wow! Owl saliva must be potent!

      January 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  18. bilderberg

    why were american companies selling bombs to nazi germany.
    why Did George bushes grandfather, walker, get money seized in the trading with the enemy act?

    January 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  19. ricky

    NGB4M
    Why did the creator of all things need animals sacrificed to him? We find the idea repugnant today, do we not?

    no the atrocity of man kind is not repugnant. the selfish depravity of society and personal insufficiency to obtain righteousness is not repugnant.

    shepherds were considered unclean because they got blood on their hands, but they actually loved sinning so they could keep on sacrifing animals, and encouraged it all the more. it was not repugnant. no one understands why Christ was of any value at all because it was all so pleasing. especially to God.

    January 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  20. The Real Marie

    Why did my algebra teacher tell me that there is no such thing as a stupid question?

    January 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • God's honest truth

      That was before she knew you.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There is no such thing as a stupid question....but there are plenty of stupid people that ask questions

      January 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Job security concerns.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      She was assuming a real question – one where you are actually interested in the answer, and listening to the answer. Go ahead, tell me you're interested in the answer, and listening to it. Willing to hear an answer that does not fit your preconceptions or what you want to hear. Willing to hear an answer (and you've had your questions answered) that goes against what you want to hear.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.