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May 22nd, 2013
06:20 PM ET

This Oklahoma atheist isn't thanking the Lord

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) – Behind her were ruins, a tangled mess where structures once stood. Cradled in her arms, the mother’s 19-month-old son played with a snatched microphone, unfazed by the chaos swirling around him. And in front of Rebecca Vitsmun stood CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who – after asking her about the decision that saved her and her son's lives – had one more question:

“I guess you got to thank the Lord, right?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she mumbled, smiling and looking down.

“Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?” he continued.

“I, I, I,” the 30-year-old stay-at-home mom stammered before adding, “I’m actually an atheist.”

She laughed, Blitzer laughed, and the moment passed seamlessly on live TV. Except it also became a clip heard across the Internet and social media – one that pointed to a reality about faith in America that exists even where, and when, people might least expect it.

Vitsmun, who chronicled her decision to flee her house with her son on CNN iReport, is one of 13 million atheists or agnostics in America, according to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

See Rebecca Vitsmun discuss her decision with CNN's Wolf Blitzer

While only 2.4% of Americans are atheists, they fit into a broader category that is on the rise in the United States.

Nearly 20% of adults – and a third of those under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated, the Pew report found.

This group, which has grown by roughly 5% in five years, is often referred to as the “nones.” It is a term that extends beyond atheists, who believe there is no God, and agnostics, who believe it’s impossible to prove or disprove God’s existence. It includes a greater proportion of people who see themselves as nothing in particular, which means they might be secular, spiritual or believers – but simply don’t identify with an organized religion, said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center

“When we ask people questions about their religious identity, when we ask them about their religious beliefs, there are relatively few who are atheists. But I’m speaking in percentage terms,” Smith said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of them around. And they’re certainly all over.”

Oklahoma included.

In fact, when the Pew Research Center last drilled down to uncover the religious landscape of affiliations on a state level five years ago, 12% of Oklahomans were religiously unaffiliated. And just as the numbers ticked up nationally since then, it stands to reason that they did the same in Oklahoma.

We tried to reach Vitsmun by phone Wednesday but were unable to connect.

Her friend Waylon Flinn, however, shed some light on who she is. She and her husband, who Flinn said is also an atheist, aren’t the sorts who advertise their beliefs or throw them in people’s faces. When she agreed to go on camera, it wasn’t for that platform; she didn’t even see the Lord question coming.

But that she responded to Blitzer the way she did is no surprise to Flinn, who opened his home in nearby Norman to Vitsmun’s family after theirs was destroyed.

“She handled it in her style, which is very honest and true to herself,” he said.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • iReport • News media

soundoff (2,486 Responses)
  1. Islam

    Allahu Akbar.... All I want to say

    May 23, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Oh my?!

      No thanks, I'll pass on worshipping satan thank you. Good luck with him though, you will see he doesn't care about you.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • madmanmoses

      murderers !!! thats all i want to say....

      May 23, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  2. Ursula

    I thought it was an odd question for a reporter to ask.. but i say kudos to wolf for showing his faith where it is not popular for people in the media to do... Also i cannot blame her for being honest about who she is.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • HotAirAce

      It was incredibly unprofessional for a supposed professional journalist, unless said journalist was pimping for a Babble Humper station.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wolf Blitzer is jewish, by the way.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  3. 3rd P

    God bless her! Wolf is a jerk for asking.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • seriously

      "their beliefs" have caused a countless number of deaths.

      If there is a god. I hope he has an excuse for being such an a-s-s-h-o-l-e

      Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
      10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
      9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
      8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
      7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
      6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
      5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
      4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
      3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
      2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
      1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

      May 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  4. Apple Bush

    The wrinkles in his fingers smelled of gasoline
    Tremble and swallow and wipe and push and beep
    The little smear looks more like a face than his face does
    Shut the visor. Up. Tap.
    He is staring at them and wondering. Do they have smears?
    He should have been smart enough to die before 50.
    He should have been just that stupid.
    Which pill switches this off?

    May 23, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  5. Saudi lady

    I live in Saudi Arabia and I wish I could convert to Christianity legally without being punished to death 🙁
    Atheists in America should definitely convert to the most wonderful religion in the world! Jesus was so amazing

    May 23, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Atheist do not want or need religion. We accept reality.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • tanha

      True , but Qur'an Says : "Behold! the angels said, 'Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. He shall be (in the company) of the righteous... And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel'" (3:45-48).

      May 23, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Apple Bush... The fantasy world Atheists have created (the one where God does not exist) is NOT reality...

      May 23, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • LinCA

      @JustTheFacts

      You said, "The fantasy world Atheists have created (the one where God does not exist) is NOT reality..."
      Do you have any evidence to support your outrageous claim? Care to share how you know your imaginary friend exists?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Apple Bush

      @JustTheFacts

      When I need information from someone without knowledge I will let you know.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Athy

      Atheists created a fantasy world? Wow, that's a switcheroo!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well., at least you are allowed to come to an American religious blog via your computer. I'd say that's greater freedom than many people have.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • ROO

      There is no evidence showing Jesus anything more than a fictional character that people like to believe is real.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:11 am |
  6. Thinker

    Seriously how could Islam have 1.5 billion followers?

    May 23, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • tanha

      Islam is unlike any other religion because it is not merely a belief to which one adheres, but rather Islam is a complete way of life. Muslims put their beliefs into practice on a daily basis. Islam provides guidance in all the spheres and activities of life. Furthermore, it is unique in that it is not named after any person, tribe, region or culture. Islam is named after a belief in one God, Allah, and submission to His will. In other words, Muslims put Allah’s Will before their own.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • TAHNAEGO

      @tahna – You are beyond arrogant if you think islam is the only faith that is a way of life. ALL RELIGIONS ARE A COMPLETE WAY OF LIFE. Why are you muslims so freaking arrogant, childish, self focused and self attentive. You people are so obnoxious. I've had to live in the same building as you loud heifers. Screaming and yelling and carrying on, all of you. You are so disruptive. Go back to where your people came from. The dirt.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Tanha… Any belief that does not follow the teachings and will of Jesus Christ is of the devil. And Islam is of the devil, plain and simple. You're following the teachings of a man named Mohammad, not the teachings of Jesus Christ. Mohammad didn't die on the cross for you. But Jesus Christ did. Mohammad can't save you from your sins. But Jesus Christ can…

      May 23, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  7. San Francisco husband

    There are plenty of scientific and historical evidence that Jesus Christ existed.... How could someone who is mentally healthy and have heard about wonderful Christ, read the New Testament clearly, and is still not Christian? Wow!

    May 23, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Because you have to be mentally ill to actually believe The Babble!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Dippy

      The bible is too old to be valid.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Apple Bush

      @San Francisco husband

      How can a mentally competent person not understand what the Bible really is? Jesus was a guru, nothing more.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Raider

      How could someone mentally healthy worship a deity that is vicious, cruel, vengeful, approves of slavery and the repression of women, narcissistic and just plain all around evil? Because that's your god for you. It's a good thing he doesn't actually exist!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • LinCA

      @San Francisco husband

      You said, "There are plenty of scientific and historical evidence that Jesus Christ existed."
      Just because he may have existed, doesn't mean he was special in any way.

      Just because some guy was deluded into thinking his mother had been impregnated by the then popular imaginary friend, doesn't make it so. It is far more likely that she wasn't willing to admit to an extramarital affair Your Jesus dude isn't likely to have been special, in any way. Millions of sheeple falling for the ruse, doesn't make it true.

      There is no rational reason to assume that Jesus is anything other than the bastard son of an adulteress.

      You said, "How could someone who is mentally healthy and have heard about wonderful Christ, read the New Testament clearly, and is still not Christian?"
      How could any mentally capable adult not see that the beliefs in gods is no different from beliefs in the Tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Chris

      I don't think anybody really denies the existence of Jesus. We deny that he is a God or that God exist. To believe that God sent himself (or his son) to eventually be killed for the sin of man is truly idiotic and only such a lame story can come from the ill-educated people of the Bronze Age.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • topcat

      stories about stories (the bible) is not "scientic and historical evidence". and you say mental .

      May 23, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      San Francisco husband... You are absolutely correct. There always has been plenty of evidence that God truly exists – only it's not the kind of evidence that many people are willing to accept. And one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to see it either. Except in the case of most atheists, however, who seem to have been born completely devoid of any brains. So keep up the good work and don't be discouraged. Glad to see there are still some intelligent people left in the world...

      May 23, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Evidence? What evidence?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Naturalist

      San Francisco Husband,
      Jesus Christ definitely existed, and he was a wise good man. This fact has nothing to do with existence of God. Have you ever thought why God saves some and gets credit and could not save the others. I wonder how the unlucky ones feel when a survivor next door thanks god for saving them. Could you please explain why God saves some and couldn't save others? You will say there is some divine plan at work. But for children who perished, I don't know how divine that plan would be.
      I remember someone being thankful to God for being saved when a bullet missed her just an inch. That missed bullet killed a 6 year old girl just next to her. God bless God.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • LinCA

      @JustTheFacts
      Ironically, you have nothing of the sort.

      You said, "There always has been plenty of evidence that God truly exists – only it's not the kind of evidence that many people are willing to accept."
      If it doesn't coerce, it isn't evidence.

      You said, "And one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to see it either."
      If it isn't evidence, it can be anything. The sky being blue is not evidence for your god. Nor is water being wet.

      You said, "Except in the case of most atheists, however, who seem to have been born completely devoid of any brains."
      It doesn't surprise me that you are unable to do anything other than spout nonsense. You are a believer, after all. But, just for your information, there is a strong correlation between IQ and atheism. The smarter someone is, the more likely it is he or she is an atheist. There is also a strong correlation to education.

      You said, "Glad to see there are still some intelligent people left in the world..."
      Not nearly enough, but with education we can close the gap.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Chris… It is the way of all things that something must die for something to live. Without something dying, you would not be alive today. For example, if you eat a piece of chicken, a chicken had to die for that. If you eat a hamburger, a cow had to die for it. If you eat fruits or vegetables or rice or grains, those things still had to die to provide you with the substance and the nourishment to live. In the jungle, animals hunt things continually and will kill in a heartbeat to find the substance to live. Something always must die for something else to live. So how is it you think it strange that a man would have to die for you to have eternal life?….

      May 23, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Naturalist… Just because your mind is too feeble and too unintelligent to comprehend and understand the ways of God that does not make God any less than what he is: God. He was God long before you were born, and he will still be God long after you are dead and in hell and your body has turned back to dust. God does not exist to cater to you. Nor does he exist to run around saving people every time they get in trouble. If you think that then you clearly do not know God. We exist to serve him and to please him. If you fail to do that – to please him and to serve him – then he could care less what happens to you….

      May 23, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      SF husband, you sound oddly like Saudi lady. Are you sure you aren't the same person?

      May 23, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Dippy… How little do you know. The bible is perfect text written by a perfect God and will be valid across the ceaseless ages of eternity…

      Luke 21:33 – (Jesus speaking) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (referring to the scriptures).

      May 23, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Topcat… That's quite strange. You don't believe the words written by God (ie, written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost) and although those men are now long dead, they left behind the scriptures for us to read. Yet you DO believe the words written by a bunch of ignorant and unholy men who called themselves scientists and who didn't even believe in God or know God, and who are also long dead and left behind manuscripts for us to read. Personally, I'd much rather believe in the words of God than in the words of man. So your choice is quite puzzling and is strange indeed…

      May 23, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Observer

      JustTheFacts

      "How little do you know. The bible is perfect text written by a perfect God"

      Speaking of knowing LITTLE, the Bible had some good morals, but it's also full of errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense. Read it someday.

      Then tell us how good it is to support slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.
      Tell us how animals talk and the earth stopped spinning from 1,000 miles per hour down to zero.

      Read a Bible someday.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • seriously

      "their beliefs" have caused a countless number of deaths.

      If there is a god. I hope he has an excuse for being such an a-s-s-h-o-l-e

      Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
      10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
      9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
      8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
      7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
      6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
      5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
      4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
      3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
      2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
      1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

      May 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  8. Francsi Julian

    Howto we deal with tragedies, at least for atheists, my dears : On the fourteenth day of April in 1935
    There struck the worst of dust storms that ever filled the sky
    [ . . . ]
    From Oklahoma City to the Arizona Line
    Dakota and Nebraska to the lazy Rio Grande
    It fell across our city like a curtain of black rolled down,
    We thought it was our judgment, we thought it was our doom [3]

    May 23, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      When you pull an obvious quote, it's only good manners to list your source.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:11 am |
  9. Tina

    Atheists have had bad childhood, not being loved and have had horrible life, and now blame their creator for it. So sad!

    May 23, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You are so full of shit you are not even worth a Fuck Off!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • topcat

      maybe a very few. but you are just being obviouly ridiculous now. some were brought up in leave it to beaver family's without the sunday church.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Athy

      I had a great childhood and haven't missed religion at all. Many of my religious friends are the ones that seem fucked up.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Raider

      My childhood was perfectly happy thanks very much.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Chris

      Two words apply here: Misinformed and delusional!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Tina? Your ignorance is showing. You might want to cover it up before people start laughing.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Prawn Stars

      6/10 for making these suckers respond. That's the best I can do.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Joey

      If I had had a bad childhood I would have blamed my creators, namely my mom and dad. Luckily for me I had a great childhood and great parents.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  10. Pastor

    God gives people free will, and although he is loving and helping us all the time, but at the same time he may punish and warn us for our sins, and punish us to remind us that there is God in heaven.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Apple Bush

      According to the Bible, free will is impossible. I am sure you are joking.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, are you saying the OK tornadoes are an explicit punishment by your god?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Dippy

      Pastor, you'd have to be insane to believe such a line of bullshit. Grow up, get a brain. Thin.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Naturalist

      I remember someone being thankful to God for being saved when a bullet missed her just an inch. That missed bullet killed a 6 year old girl standing next to her. God bless God.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Not surprised that someone with the screen name "Pastor" is preaching the sort of nonsense that keeps the money pouring in from the faithful. Nothing like a good disaster to keep the profit margins up.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:14 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!
    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.
    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    May 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  12. Yes

    She's a worthless, soulless, heartless and a true móron... She should have the child taken away from her and seek a physical doctor immediately.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      She should be praised for being honest. Outstanding.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Dippy

      What the hell is a physical doctor?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • UD

      I would like to be Lucy Liu's physical doctor.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes, given the absoluteness of your condemnation, I assume you have an absolute proof for your beliefs that you can share with us. Yes?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Chris

      You probably wouldn't be so mean spirited if it wern't for you religious belief.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • You

      You're a moron. You should not have kids. Or if you already have them, they should be taken away.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • mike

      Sincerely, Jesus.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Naturalist

      Just like taliban.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      One can only hope you are a troll "yes". Otherwise, you are just a malignant waste of humanity. Not that being a troll is much of an improvement.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Swimmer

      Yes: Something tells me you're joking.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:20 am |
  13. Dustin

    Maybe reporters (and everyone for that matter) should stop assuming everyone is a christian. This woman is brave to answer honestly, and you shouldn't have to be brave to speak honestly about your beliefs in America, a country that was founded on secularism. (Yes that's right, go read your history). How far we have fallen from that enlightened era.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • madmanmoses

      maybe the reporters should put down their mics and cameras and help somebody...eh?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Swimmer

      Dear Madman: as long as the reporters keep up with the human interest stories, that keeps the money flowing into the Red Cross, etc. Once they leave the scene, the money stops and the rest of us are on to the next new, new thing/event.

      As much as what I think today's reporters do is corny and lacks depth and contexts, they do play an important role in opening wallets...and that's likely more than you are doing.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:22 am |
  14. Beam49

    I am a Christian...I don't think he set her up as some are saying...he just expected her to respond that way because he had probably been hearing it for days. People thanking the Lord for saving them. I have been hearing it over and over again on nearly every interview they do. So he just expected it and had changed even how he was talking to her to adjust to that type of thought. He started out talking about what a 'blessing' it was they survived, etc. The use of the word, 'blessings' is pretty common word among Christians. He doesn't normally talk that way if you listen to him on TV, so obviously he had just adjusted to what he was hearing and trying to relate to these people. Clearly he was caught by surprised with her reaction. And she was just being honest. I don't know why they want to make a big deal of her views and do another interview about it..its not like we haven't heard this viewpoint before AND her stress level...like everyone else's, has got to be sky high right now. I say, don't push it...not now. Not when they just lost everything....my head would be reeling too! I would be much more concerned about figuring out how to take care of that little boy with their home gone and where to live, etc,...

    May 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Anna

      I think you're right. But people make a lot of assumptions about the people in that region of the country, including me. We are wrong to do it.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  15. topcat

    9 million children die before the age of 5 each year. the tsunami in asia that killed a quarter million is happening every 10 days to children under the age of 5. before you can finish reading this, some few children have died in agony and horror. all these poor parents are praying for thier kids but wont be answered. god cannot do anything or he does not care i dont know which but this scale of suffering would embarass the most ambitious psychopath.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  16. tanha

    And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed:
    "If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe."

    (Qur'an 14:7)

    May 22, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Raider

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Todd E.

      Idolator

      May 23, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  17. Stinky Pinky

    I would've slapped Wolf silly if he asked me that.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  18. Kim W.

    A gem hidden under all this hate-mongering religious propaganda is Vitsmun. In a singularly defining moment she made her stand, even though it wasn't a popular choice.

    All religion aside, her assertion of non-belief as a belief [under fire] is pretty awe inspring.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  19. Edward

    While only 2.4% of Americans are atheists??? You what?...... While only 2.4% of Americans are brave enough to admit it more like

    May 22, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  20. seems mighty twisted

    I have more respect for spiritually ambivalent people than for a lot of the zealots I run into. People not directly affected by this disaster can learn something from it about the falseness of a lot of fundamentalist dogma. If an all-powerful, all-knowing creator gets credit for every good thing that happens, he's gotta get credit for the bad things that happen. That's where vengeful-god-fundamentalist dogma fall apart... and they can only respond with some variation of: If a bad thing happens to ANYONE, they had it coming. Soooo, in their twisted, over-simplistic view of life, a minutes-old newborn, crushed by a collapsing building had to be held accountable for its sin. Remember... if we are Christians, we don't pay for the sins of others... Jeeeeeeeeeeeezus took all mans sins upon him for us. I have had a fundamentalist jerk tell me, in a similar crisis, essentially that so and so had it coming. It's a spiritual plague that has taken over many cults today.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:46 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.