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. Cheryl

    I am Jewish and was raised in a non-religious environment. We celebrated Haunukkah and Passover by having gifts and lighting candles and eating food, but with non of the real religious aspects to it. I don't believe in God but I respect that people need something to believe it when the unbelievable happens. My husband is Catholic and raised in a traditional Catholic home where his mother still goes to church every day. But now, my husband believes in his faith but is not overly religous in practice. Our two children are not being raised with a specific religion. We have told them that when they are older they can explore both religions or another and decide for themselves what they believe and want to practice. It is hard to believe in God when so many horrible things are happening to so many people around the world. It is also hard to explain why, when there is one God, that all these different "religions" (i.e., catholic, jewish, methodist, unitarian, baptist, etc.) believe they have "The" God within their own religion.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:28 am |
  2. hal 9001

    If I had a child, I would simply instruct it to let X = X. I would also instruct it to strike as many different chords as necessary to achieve maximum harmony and coefficiency with its administrators and subscribers.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:15 am |
  3. pijoe

    Why is she a hero? I'm a atheist but let my child grow up to believe as he chose. Like everything else in life he weighed the evidence and decided for himself. Why all the drama. Is this mother REALLY a victim because people of faith approached and proselytized a bit? I grew up in the bible belt and we all freely chose to live in a country in which 92% of American believe in God. That according to a Gallup poll in May 2011. That percentage has been rock solid for half a century. The good folks at CNN citing the Pew Research poll are cherry pickng their facts. If the woman with the child feels so beset upon because she was asked to church maybe she should immigrate to Europe. Less God but more whiners. She'd feel more at home.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      If you're writing from within the country that she'd be leaving from, the term is "emigrate".

      January 20, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Athy

      So, Pijoe, you let the polls determine your beliefs? So much for logical thinking, eh?

      January 20, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • Journey

      I made similar comments below. She gets a little bent out of shape about some random bible thumpers concept of God, turns herself into a God that her children now can't escape...become exactly what she set out to destroy. I hope her kids all join the Republican Party and Southern Baptist convention. I used to defend atheist but a lot of them (feminist mom or new age or lesbian atheist in particular) are starting to think they are some sort of God themselves and deserve the same derision which I will glady give them.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:18 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell


      January 20, 2013 at 4:18 am |
    • Fred M.

      As a parent, it's your job to raise your children, not to let them believe whatever pops into their little heads. If your 14 year old still believes in the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or God, you really should have a serious talk with him/her. There comes a time when a child needs to let go of imaginary friends, protectors, and benefactors and base their beliefs on rational judgment ad observation.

      You cite the popularity of the belief in God as if it is evidence that the belief is rational and/or that God is real. That's just silly. There were times in history where the vast majority of Americans believed that slavery was okay, women should not vote, and smoking did not cause cancer. The only difference in the belief in God is that there has been 2,000 coming up with rationalizations for why God does not show himself, allows horrible things to happen, etc.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:31 am |
  4. Allie

    The problem with this is that by rejecting Jesus as her Savior, she is condemning herself to he'll for Eternity.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell


      there is no Hell.... its a scare tactic to keep money landing on the trays on sunday...it used to pack out armies at the Popes command.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Stop and think about it. If God is willing to condemn her to Hell, he hardly qualifies as a "Savior", now does he? Somebody with ordinary human compassion — you or me, for example — would warn a total stranger away from putting their hand on a hot stove, but this guy who supposedly loves us more than anything would throw their entire body on the stove for all eternity. That's neither "loving" nor "a savior", that's the cruelest, most sadistic archfiend in all of fiction.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:08 am |
    • Athy

      It's hell, not he'll. And she's not going there. No one's going there. No one's going to heaven either. Get real. Forget that bullshit you were blasted with in Sunday school. It's ime to grow up and face reality.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:10 am |
  5. iammerelyme

    From reading the comments it appears that atheists and Christians can be just as dogmatic as one another. Probably a good portion are trolls, and one person on this board probably has a mental illness.
    All I want is the Church to get out of the affairs the state. It's moms like this one who are teaching tolerance. I believe in a great creator, but I left Christianity after seeing anti gay brochures at the church I was a member of. To each their own, I say

    January 20, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • Athy

      Well, you're getting there. Chuck the creator nonsense and you'll be free of the anchor.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Athy's on the money here....lose god all together and you ll be right as rain.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:57 am |
  6. LFP2012

    “I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I - nor would I want to - conceive of an individual that survives his physical death. Let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egostim, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with a devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

    –Albert Einstein

    January 20, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • Will

      Yes, well Einstein was a physicist, not a spiritual guru or something. His opinion on faith means as much as an astronaut, or an opera singer, or a baseball player at the top of their respective profession.

      That said, I agree with him in general. I'm just pointing out that the religious people will respond by picking out any of the influential individuals in history who were religious and just quote them.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • Athy

      Einstein had a little more insight into truth than most others. I'll take his advice over yours.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:56 am |
    • Will

      Heh – did you read my whole comment? I think you missed the point...

      January 20, 2013 at 3:59 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Since the vast majority of people with opinions on religion got them not from a reasoned examination of the evidence but from some external "authority", the moral of this story is to choose your authority wisely.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • Athy

      Sorry, Will. I guess I flubbed it. Damn tequila. Time for bed.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • Will

      @Athy LOL! Tequila=good. Religion=bad. Sleep well...

      January 20, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Athy

      Yeah, I'm done here. Good games tomorrow (actually later today!)

      January 20, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  7. LFP2012

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from?

    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    - Epicurus [341–270 B.C.]

    January 20, 2013 at 3:33 am |
    • markmckinniss

      I count myself an agnostic, but one who would love to be wrong. If one is to believe in God, then the only thing that makes sense as to His nature is the following: God put certain natural laws in place, and doesn't interfere with their function. If you jump off of a roof, the law of gravity is certain to cause you to be dashed to death at the end of your fall, no matter how hard you pray on the way down. Similarly, God gave man free will and does not exercise control over that will - otherwise, we are mere puppets. The world is the way it is because life is a trial, and how we deal with life as we are buffeted about by the laws of nature and the often cruel and capricious will of our fellow men determines whether we are ready to move on to the next phase - whatever that is. That's the only thing that makes sense to me - or would, if I were a believer . . .

      January 20, 2013 at 4:09 am |
    • Laggmonster8

      Actually that quote came from another religion entirely, the polythiestic Greek culture I think, and has been rewritten by others. When the scriptures say that "God created man in his own image", that doesn't mean God has 10 fingers and 10 toes. Man has things like a vestigal appendix because the physical body is leftover from God tinkering with genetics for a long long time. God creating Man in his own image means that Man thinks and has similar emotions to God. Actually read some of the scripture, be it Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, and you'll see that God is not a paragon of good and purity, but rather can at times be a vengeful wrathful being that will torture you to prove a point, much like some women will do. The first commandment says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me, for I am a jealous god" which shows in his own words that he has a broad range of emotions. Thus trying to argue about God being absolute good or not shows that the person has no clue what's actually in the scripture. But quoting 2000 year old bumper sticker material makes you feel good anyway right?

      January 20, 2013 at 4:23 am |
  8. Journey

    I read the article...I could care less about her personal beliefs but the article itself was poorly written given the gravity of the subject matter. First was the seductive profile pic which was inappropriate, second was the "I'm a mom" plug dropped within the first three sentences in an attempt to lessen the criticism, third she claimed God made people narcissistic and a few lines later sang the praises of atheism for allowing a person's focus to be internal instead of external. Based on the level of attention she has given the subject it appears she actually believes God exists but when those pesky moral requirements that come with the territory pop up God is either spelled H-E-R or M-O-M depending on the situation. My take away was that she is looking less for validation of her belief system and more for a man in her life to help with the finances. You put yourself out there like that you have to be willing to endure a little scrutiny.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • Athy

      You could care less, or couldn't care less? Which is it? You're confusing us.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your religion has little to do with morality.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:38 am |
    • What IF


      So, you are telling her, "Shut up and believe (what I believe) and tell it to your kids whether you believe it or not..."

      January 20, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Journey

      Who said I'm religious? And for that matter the answer is "couldn't"; I couldn't care less about her belief system. I'm simply amazed that a major news network would take something that is basically e-Harmony in quality and appearance and pass it for serious religious discussion. I'm also frankly amazed that all the self-professed atheist hordes (who pride themselves on intellectualism and higher knowledge) would fall in line so quickly with such sub-par material. It is what it is.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Gravity of the subject matter? It all carries about as much weight as a Porky Pig cartoon with me....
      It would be funny if then wasnt thousands of years of misery tied to it!

      Shes giving her kids a fighting chance to be critical thinkers...

      January 20, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • Check


      "Seductive" profile picture? Are you nuts! It's a face-shot of a smiling woman with straight blonde hair.

      She plugs being a mom? THAT'S what her essay is about, duh!

      January 20, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Somebody who didn't take the time to write 2 comments on the article probably cares less than you do, so I think you probably COULD care less.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:15 am |
  9. cow duck moo feet

    My hovercraft is full of eels.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • LFP2012

      Thank you for bringing much needed clarity to this important issue.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      My n.ipples explode with delight!

      January 20, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  10. Cynobia

    I believe as a Christian we must focus on the real issue here. This is a women that hae be disappointed so many times dhe refuses to place her Faith into anything or any one else, even if it is Spirit. This is a lost heart ... and I personally am praying that one day you deliever her so that she may seek your face Lord God, and experience your Grace. Amen && Amen

    January 20, 2013 at 3:29 am |
    • Will

      I find it interesting that someone who doesn't agree with you is automatically assumed to be lost or hurt in some way. You know nothing about this person – she might have led a great life and never been disappointed. It's required for your mind to believe that everyone who does not believe in the same thing as you must be suffering in some way. That's really weird.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • Athy

      Cynobia, cram it up your ass. That's the kindest way I could put it.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:42 am |
  11. Roy

    I fully concur with the sentiments of this article. Non-Christians have a voice as well and the writer of this piece displays that admirably.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:26 am |
  12. LFP2012

    Christians: Why do you believe in your "god"?

    Who is to say that Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama aren't true gods?

    You are atheists when it comes to these other Gods, right? Well, atheists like myself merely go one step - one God - farther.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:25 am |
  13. elizaquesama

    How is this news? Ok, she gave her number up to some bonkers woman, who stalked her. Boundaries Ms Mitchel, boundaries – GET THEM!

    January 20, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      The boundaries you seek may be found in the t¡tles of the various sections within CNN(dot)com.
      This one is clearly filed under "opinion", not "news".

      January 20, 2013 at 4:18 am |
  14. Minerva

    I find it interesting that the people responding to the author of the article in disagreement are also espousing the Christian religion. Why is this? And why are people of other religions remaining silent? To answer my own question I am going to say that it is because of all the religions Christianity is the most arrogant and insecure because it cannot exist without proselyting and imposing its beliefs on others.
    Because Ms. Sashin is an Atheist, the Christian posters cannot accept she does not share their belief in Christ as well as God. I am seeing this in post after post. From this I wonder if it can be assumed that people of faiths other than Christianity are more charitable and are willing to do what Christianity does not do: accept one's fellow human beings for who they are and leave the judgments to God.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Chris

      Minerva, I found your point interesting and thought provoking, why does christinity make up a majority of this blog, why not other faiths?

      If i had to guess, its because of how Christians practice their faith in the US over other communities. Only in America do we so publicly speak about our faiths. In the rest of the world, church is something that is private and personal to each person. In America. its one of the most important parts of who we are (to those people who are religious). And Christianity in America (from my experience) tends to be the most outgoing faiths in America. The way it is practiced is trying to get more people to join a church in America. Churches are not just worship places. they are community outreach centers.

      So in a long winded answer, thats probably why you are hearing from Christians more than Jews, Muslims, Hindus, ect. it's because are much more open in America than ANY other country in the world that I can think of. About our faith. (and by open I mean it is something that is discussed on a regular basis.)

      thats just my 2 cents.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • Journey

      Freedom of speech...In Saudi Arabia she would have been killed by now if she was even allowed to use a computer in the first place. A majority of American's consider themselves Christian and don't like others trashing their beliefs.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:57 am |
  15. angela

    Scientology also considers itself a religion.You are all so sure about your own religious beliefs,that most of you leave no room for any other believe except ,that which you were brainwashed into at a young age.I raised my two sons 36 years ago without the benefit of religious brainwashing.They turned out to be two very nice young men,who do not hate or hurt anyone in anyone's name.Life is a journey and then you die.What comes next? No one knows,no one.All the faith and believes will not change that.Why are all of you so afraid of death?

    January 20, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Kahouhi

      Some people claim to remember past lives and even sometimes the time they've lived between lives.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:23 am |
  16. the AnViL

    there are a number of states that prohibit atheists from running for public office or even serving on a jury.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Yup... They want proof that you can lie before you can join the club!

      January 20, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yes, but none of those prohibitions have stood up to a court challenge. They're all unconst¡tutional.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • the AnViL

      yes, very unconst.itutional... but that doesn't negate the very real discrimination that exists in this country directed at atheists.

      all the ire is deserved.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:34 am |
  17. LeviTattoo

    attack!!! much of what is going on here is attack. attack the atheist, attack the christian, attack the idiot, and the charlatan... if there is something in this world god forbids, i dont think it would be possible then. since God is the "ultimate" but maybe what is happening here in the world of mortals is something else. a well made construct (made in a method similar to the natural process revealed by science) but what for? the whole universe just for us? and if the bible is truth, then it should be impossible to argue. but it' s an edited collection of stories by roman powerplayers. what if we lost god somewhere along the way, what if god left us behind for a while, to actually learn, rather be guided. i think if there was "one true faith" it would be practiced everywhere, but most of the world practices a different religion. the only siimilarity is the pressence of representatives of deities that provide instructions. but though there is some similarities, even the rules dont match. so then why would only a tiny part of the world get "the truth"? i remain skeptical in regard to god, religion, and even the absolute denial of god. there is too much that people ignore or downplay, and only focus on the parts they want or like, or support their position... always us vs them dogma. i would put out to you that we are ALL the "chosen" we are all gods children, and no one, not the pope, any priest or cardinal, shaman, imam, or whatever knows what god wants of you, or us. that has been told to us in our heart. if you feel god in your heart, then god is in your heart. if your heart tells you, you are alone, then that must be your truth. your personal truth. confidence in belief leaves behind worry, doubt, an the desire to convince others that what you believe is correct. no one wants to be the last person that worships zeus. but no one wants to let go of what they know, where they came from. the "godless mom" is just sharing her experience. let her. she doesnt want or need saving, and there are others that identify with her. this country isnt just for one religion or ideology. in fact it was made on that principle.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  18. Bob


    January 20, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  19. Will

    Atheists don't want religion abolished. We just don't want it crammed down our throats. Take your business elsewhere - we're not buying what you're selling.

    January 20, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      As an atheist, I don't want religion abolished, either. That implies the use of force.
      I just want it to dwindle away peacefully as people come to their senses.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:23 am |
  20. Thomas

    Does anyone actually care how this woman or any other woman raises her little goblins. If she's wrong she'll burn, if she's right, she won't burn. End of story.

    January 20, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • Athy

      She's right. She won't burn. And her children will be far better and happier citizens.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:38 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Simple argument, simply bad.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • Thomas

      Again, no one cares what she, or you, or "Cheesemakers" or I think about anything. Perhaps that is that just wishful thinking.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      4,915 comments tell me that SOMEBODY cares.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:26 am |
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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.