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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. dpollisme

    When did it become a CNN's correspondence job to quiz victims of tragedy on their religious beliefs? In some communities not having a religious affiliation opens you, and your children, up to alienation and ridicule. There was not good reason to ask that question, it comes down to either Stupid or Evil.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • OMG

      He probably talked to hundreds and hundreds of victims of this tragedy that talked about trusting in God during this time of need.

      All he did was ask a question. He believes in God.

      Sorry if that is not 'politically correct'.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      it's the Bible belt. Wolf was just trying to squeeze out a magical TV moment to boost ratings.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Rationalintn

      I'm so glad he asked the question, awkward as it was. Her response was refreshing, considering the number of people who credit god for sparing them - without giving a thought to what they are saying. What about the 10 dead children a couple blocks over? I guess they must have done something really bad, since god didn't see fit to spare them. I bet it makes their parents feel great to hear others credit god for their survival.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    I am amazed at all the disclaimers and technicalities and obscure Bible references that Christians are coming up with to explain how it wasn't actually God who caused the tornado or maimed and slaughtered the poor innocent elementary school children and the other god fearing Christians in this part of the bible belt.

    – "God gives us free will" - not sure how our free will changes that God created a tornado and sent it on a path to kill
    – "Satan is the lord of the air so he did it" - OK ... Satan bad and God good ... maybe read all God's slaughter in the Bible
    – God doesn't want to interfere" - then why is he worried about who we sleep with and all our sins and our daily adoration?

    The list goes on and on, each explanation more pathetic than the last.

    This is from a God that Christians are usually only too willing to proclaim his omnipotence and power to create the universe and the earth and all the miraculous creature on the earth ... and the eye ... for some reason Christians love quoting that one?

    What a joke this religion is. Brainwashed from an early age, Christians deny logic, deny fact, and have no hope of reality.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • crowdecker

      nobody asking u to believe ...we as catholics do and that's all that is necessary for us .....quit hating for goodness sake...ur believe is ok with me and I hold no grudge against u.......therer are no walls in heaven that separate catholics from all others ,none.......have a nice day all of u............

      May 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Doobs

      @ crowdecker

      Please point out where DyslexicDog is "hating", you poor, poor, persecuted christian.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • c-lo

      DD...I am curious, are you a parent (or apparent :-)). Whether or not you are, this may help you understand how some of us belive and understand God. As a father we want the best for our children, we want them to be happy, safe and successful, regardless of how you measure success. Most parents try to provide them the tools to have an accomplished life. Some children take those tools and use them with success, others use them and fail (Westborogh Baptist ring a bell?) some find other "tools" and "succeed." Some ignore all tools and fail. I believe God has provided the tools through first the Torah, providing the basic skills, rules and laws, like when teaching a toddler to not cross a street without holding the hand of an adult. As we have grown as humanity, He sent the Christ to effect changes in the Old Law, like turning over the keys to a 16 year old.
      You, as a parent, have done all you can, provided the tools and knowledge but at a point you have to cut the cord. Even when your kid is 30 or 40 years old, when he/she cries out to you for help, you will do what you can to be there. Why He doesn't "prevent" "bad" things from happening is one of the hardest tenents of belief to accept, explain, or even for most of us, understand. But using tragedy to blame God or explaining there is no God is similar to a 20 year old getting hit by a car because he was jaywalking and blaming his dad or saying there is no "dad."
      Maybe this make sense to you, maybe it doesn't, but as an overview, that is how I understand and believe in God-human interaction.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      If god wants to be like a father, he shouldn't be so invisible and undetectable.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • c-lo

      Cpt. O–maybe he isn't, maybe some just choose not to see/detect. Happenings (miracles) with no scientific/logical explanation can be chalked up to God for those who choose to believe. Secular example would be cash that shows up in the mail from a dad whose kid wanted nothing to do with him and throwing away the letter that accompanied it. "Hey, I got some much needed cash, don't know or care where it came from, but I guess because I exist, I deserve it."

      May 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • G to the T

      c-lo – this analogy would only work if it was obvious there was a god. Even if I've never met my father (say I only have a journal he supposedly left behind), I can still be pretty sure he existed because I have evidence of the existence of other people having fathers.

      And your definition of "miracle" if fairly milktoast in my estimation. Amazing that god's miracles went from creating the universe to parting an ocean to getting a dad to mail his estranged son some money. Do you see the difference? Miraculous vs mundane?

      May 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  3. {*}

    If you're an atheist, your not allowed to find anything bad here. After all, we are only biological machines produced by the blind (and stupid) watchmaker. This being true, we are completely at home in nature and should be completely satsified with everything that goes on within it. There is no "good" or "bad". This is just "what is". It is as acceptable as a lion tearing apart an antelope. No need to be compassion faced about this.
    Nature has also produced the human freak. THis is a product of nature who then turns on nature and makes judgements against it declaring that tornadoes and destruction are "bad" like disease.

    Atheists, your beliefs have implications. You should stare them in the face instead of blinking, turning aside, and laughing at religion.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • sam stone

      Christians, your beliefs have implications. You should stare them in the face instead of blinking, turning aside, and laughing at rational people.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Religious kooks unite

      Your predicate is false. Atheists are not machines. They are human and humans have feelings of right, wrong, what is just, what is sad or happy. Of course, there is no god necessary for any of that.

      Nice try, but your argument is juvenile.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I'll continue to consider the implications of my disbelief in some 2,000 odd gods AND continue to mock people who stupidly believe in ridiculous mythology. Thank you very much.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I am an atheist and what you wrote makes no sense. Of course all these things are part of our environment. Of course we have to live with them. They are part of our world, the good and the bad. All accepted. What's your point?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • fintastic

      yet you fail to understand the simple fact that an atheist is simply someone who has no belief in god.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      hey {*}:

      You don't get to decide how other people think. You aren't qualified. You should at least put a little effort into your own thought process before pretending to think for others.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • justbecause

      Wonderful Answer !!! I am going to copy and forward this to everyone.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • justbecause

      i was talking to {*} in my reply and not to the other replies

      May 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • ME II

      @{*},
      "If you're an atheist, your not allowed to find anything bad here. ... There is no "good" or "bad". This is just "what is"."

      Incorrect. There is no absolute good or bad, but there is definitely good and bad.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • RGE50

      Silly, silly.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Doobs

      You had me at "compassion faced".

      May 23, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • G to the T

      Nothing is OBJECTIVELY "good" or "bad" but I can certainly have an opinion about how I feel about something as being good or bad to me... Is that really so hard to believe? Every society defines their own good and bad.

      May 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  4. roike

    If CNN can't pitch white against black they the will pitch atheist against christian. And like the well trained puppets we are we fall for it every time. It's time to wake up and realize the Media is not interested in helping this country. They are doing there best to keep everyone fighting.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I disagree. The media, like all powerful organizations, is simply interested in getting more power. They enjoy the debate because it's a hot topic and keeps people intrigued and provoked. I enjoy the debate for the same reasons, but my desire is that people become greater critical thinkers and stop compartmentalizing their brains into sections that are ruled by logic (buying a house and paying expenses) and sections that are not ruled by logic (belief in astrology, unicorns, and gods). I want people to apply the same standard of reasoning to all areas of their thought life.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • justbecause

      EXACTLY!!!

      notice how the reporter pointedly asks this question twice to extract and answer?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  5. William Demuth

    No Jews died

    Perhaps they were aware the storm was coming! Lets Blame the JEWS!

    No Muslims Died

    It is a conspiracy, lets blame the sand blacks!

    Little Christians babies drown in a basement of a poorly built school in a town that was hit with a MASSIVE tornado less than a decade ago that was then flooded with Federal Tax dollars to rebuild.

    It can't be the corrupt Christian Local Government, lets blame Jesus and his unfathomable recklessness that we must never challenge!

    Before 2025 they will get hit AGAIN, and blame everyone other than themselves

    May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  6. Me

    I was baptized Lutheran, and attended Presbyterian church as a child. I am a devout Atheist for this reason:

    Religion is a crutch.
    Just as a man with a broken leg cannot walk without help,
    There are people that do not have the emotional strength to get through life without help,
    I don't blame them for it, I don't belittle them for it.
    However, just as if a man with crutches decided to attack me with them.
    You come swinging your Bible at me and I'll beat you over the head with it!

    May 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • ME II

      Not sure how one can be a "devout" atheist.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  7. NISHTHAR IDROOS

    Mother nature is impotent,imbecile and terribly imbalanced, she has no power of her own to cause such destruction, those who think so are retarded, plain and simple. Honestly atheists have no coherent or plausible narrative or deduction on this issue. These kinds of disasters simply add to their confusion and increase their atheism. On the other extreme there are those who think God is wholly and exclusively love and he is simply incapable of anything but love. This segment have the potential of becoming future atheists because of their incorrect understanding and lopsided creed. To understand God you got to know His names and attributes, to know this you got to go to His last and final testament- Al Quraan , bequeathed to all mankind, the black, white, yellow, brown and the jinne. May Allah guide all mankind.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Heretic

      I know God by many names.

      The Liar.
      The Rapist.
      The Murderer.
      The Slaveholder.

      I am sure there are many more apt names...

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • roike

      More important than that Heretic is what name does God know you by.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Heretic

      I don't care.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      It's rather pointless to wonder if god has names for things because there is no rational reason to believe that any god exists.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • derp

      "May Allah guide all mankind"

      Yea! Suicide bomb vests for everyone!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Who is God's God

      Do you really think that your religion is the right one? Every other person that believe in another thing is wrong? Delusional...

      "These kinds of disasters simply add to their confusion and increase their atheism. " Your Rhetoric has no point. Stop regurgitating false claims and think for yourself.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • mamerto.chifundo

      "who think so are retarded, plain and simple. Honestly atheists have no coherent or plausible narrative or deduction on this issue." It appears you are a Christian, in fact I am sure 100% you are a Christian. In this matter, the lady who admitted that she was an atheist shows the true Americana, whereas you are the reason why some many are becoming more honest to themselves and leaving an organization that preaches hate, tyranny and treason. In our America, we are a secular government, a free society, and we believe in the rights of all to follow whatever they want to follow. I would rather follow this lady's honesty and not the flatulent brain that spits such hatred. Of course, it is you ... Christian!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  8. Edwin

    Yes, thank the Lord for the destroyed lives and dead children.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • William Demuth

      Amen

      May 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  9. Vic

    In response to:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/22/this-oklahoma-atheist-isnt-thanking-the-lord/comment-page-16/#comment-2363581

    Science CAN NOT even find the Origin of Matter, let alone the Origin of Life! That's why the Scientific Community is "DESPERATE" to find the "ELUSIVE" Higgs Boson Particle, aka "God Particle," and the Higgs Field which are believed to give matter its mass. Without those, the Origin of Matter is "UNKNOWN" as far as Science is concerned, and The Particle Physics Standard Model is rendered "INCOMPLETE;" mind you what's missing is the "CORE!" That's in a nutshell!

    Evolution Is So Improbable That It Is Biologically Impossible!

    Mathematically, anything less probable than 10^49 IS IMPOSSIBLE!

    http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-biologically-impossible/

    Need not mention the flawed Fossil Record! Here is a clue:

    "As is now being admitted by my evolutionary colleagues, the fossil record gives no clue that any basic type of animal has ever changed into another basic type of animal, for no undisputed chain of in-between forms has ever been discovered."

    http://www.icr.org/article/biggest-problems-for-evolution/

    Life CAN NOT simply spring out of inorganic matter without a Creator!!!

    Can Science create a single living cell or atom, animate matter, or even reverse engineer/repeat or continue/resume Evolution?!

    Read about Cell Biology, DNA and Why Abiogenesis Is IMPOSSIBLE!

    God created the universe and life in it and gave them a jump start and the Nature they have and set them in motion! The Natural Process is "Automatic" thereafter on every level of this existence!

    This Universe is intricately designed (Science Shows Design) and fine-tuned that its Anthropic Constants are accurately measured to enable Life here on Earth.

    This Universe and Life in it ARE "Prima Facie" Evidence of God

    And, speaking of Logic, here is Scientific Logic:

    The Occam's Razor Scientific Principle, which has been used by both sides of Creation vs. Evolution Debate throughout history, postulates that the simplest of competing hypotheses should be chosen! Therefore, Creation should be chosen over Evolution!

    May 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good grief...

      May 23, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • I Am God

      Nice false information. You fail to understand that evolution cannot be created in a matter of minutes or hours. Evolution takes hundreds upon hundreds of years. I suggest you lay off the propaganda sites for once.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No proof; no god. If existence were proof of god, we wouldn't be debating it, we'd all just know it. Nobody debates that 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Science

      Laws of Association Vic and the red horn-y Devil ?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • derp

      "The Occam's Razor Scientific Principle, which has been used by both sides of Creation vs. Evolution Debate throughout history, postulates that the simplest of competing hypotheses should be chosen! Therefore, Creation should be chosen over Evolution!"

      Creation isn't the simplest hypothesis. It is the dumbest.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Science

      Hey Vic

      Do a simple search on Prof. Higgs.

      It is what creates the mass for our asses !

      May 23, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Jeff

      That's not occam's razor. Occam's razor is that the hypothesis WITH THE FEWEST ASSUMPTIONS is the MOST LIKELY.

      Seeing as you are assuming an all powerful, all present, all knowing deity with no origin and no supporting, observable and repeatable evidence, creation through God is no where near the most likely.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      The ICR is obviously biased and not scientific.

      "Principles of Scientific Creationism

      The physical universe of space, time, matter, and energy has not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity."
      "The first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start."

      "The Bible, ... is ... infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free from error of any sort, scientific and historical as well as moral and theological."
      (http://www.icr.org/tenets/)

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • richunix

      Vic you are WRONG and wrong in the worse way. NO ONE, believes in the tripe your passing. Most of the scholars your quoted and reference HAVE BEEN discredited as either luntics or religious whack -jobs. Your better off reading Dan Brown books and use his conclusion. Here is how the text has changed over the years:

      2nd Thessalonians (circa 1605-10 KJV NT)
      Chapter 1

      Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power;

      Translation of P46 (Konic Greek, circa 250CE)

      εἰς ὃ καὶ προσευχόμεθα πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καὶ πληρώσῃ πᾶσαν εὐδοκίαν ἀγαθωσύνης καὶ ἔργον πίστεως ἐν δυνάμει,

      For this reason also, we are always praying about you, so that you would be worthy of the calling of our God and would fulfill every delight of goodness and every deed of trust with power, so that the name of our Lord, Jesus, would be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the generosity of the God of us and of Lord Anointed Jesus.

      Chapter 2 verse 3 (circa 1605-10 KJV NT)

      Let no man deceive you by any means: for That day shall not come except there come a falling away first
      And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

      Translation of P46 (Koni Greek, circa 250CE)

      Εὐχαριστεῖν ὀφείλομεν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί, καθὼς ἄξιόν ἐστιν, ὅτι ὑπεραυξάνει ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν καὶ πλεονάζει ἡ ἀγάπη ἑνὸς ἑκάστου πάντων ὑμῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους,

      No one should trick you by any means, because unless the Revolt should come first and the person of lawlessness be revealed – the son of destruction, the one who opposes and who lifts himself up above all things that are called a god or august, so as to seat himself in God's temple, displaying himself that he is a god.

      Mark Chapter 1 verse 17 Original Koni Greek P45, Codex Sinaiticus 4th century (330 CE) (not listed as spoken by Jesus)

      καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων

      and to say himself come here to my place to make you become a fisher of men.

      KJV Standard Version 1605/10 (Listed as Spoken by Jesus)

      And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men

      When you understand the orthodox corruption of the scriptures, then you will fully understand why your above statment id just foolish

      May 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • One one

      So, Vic, how do you go from not fully understanding the origin of life to the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humanity because a rib-woman was convinced to eat from a magical tree by an infinitely sadistic being disguised as a talking snake with legs ?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • RGE50

      As usual in these debates on creation your side depends on not challenging the issue of "who created god?". When you factor that into the Occam's Razor equation evolution wins, because you have no answer there.

      Science is the search for truth, that's why we get excited about it. As Carl Sagan pointed out if religion provided better evidence, better answers there would be no debate, no atheists. So do you have some new evidence you've been hiding from us or just the same old junk?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      Quick translation: Vic doesn't understand, therefore god must exist.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • JMEF

      Google life created at hydrothermal vents, you may want to look at information beyond Christian apologetics web sites. Try Vic there is much knowledge out there for an open mind.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Time+Matter+Chance

      Vic, right, evolution is a theory with gaping holes!!!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Science

      Fact Vic

      Chondrite dust from cutting chondrites and distilled water grows GREEN SLIME left out in the sun for a week or two !

      Chondrites: Meteorites from asteroids that did not completely melt

      http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/meteorite/explore_meteorites_chondrites.asp

      Peace

      May 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Joey

      For something to be impossible it can't have a 1 in 50 billion chance (or any other giant number you want to use). A 1 in 50 billion chance just means it is unlikely, not impossible. 1 in 50 billion is not the same as zero.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  10. Angela

    Everyones talking about what's right and wrong and there isn't an answer. What I see is a bunch of judgmental people who are ignorant of both sides of the fence. I don't see any good in people who do nothing but ridicule others. Yes I'm Catholic but not all Catholics think alike, just like I don't blame all Muslims for their actions. Like I said before, having faith is different. Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, yes there is no such thing but whats wrong with allowing my children to believe and look forward to something.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      But do you want your child to believe in fairy tales as an adult?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Angela

      No but eventually I will tell them the truth ( I don't want them to get killed in school), sounds hypocritical because I believe in God but there is no right or wrong answer. It's a value that I have, just like the morals my parents instilled on me. Never put anyone down for their beliefs, if you see anyone that needs help you do the best to help them, always believe in your family and friends, never talk down to anyone and what the heck pray that you win the lottery.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • derp

      "Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, yes there is no such thing but whats wrong with allowing my children to believe and look forward to something"

      Yet eventually you will expose the lie and tell them that Santa and the Easter bunny are not real.

      When will you tell them that god is not real?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Angela

      I won't tell my children that God isnt real but it's a faith I have just like it's yours not to believe in him. I will most definitely let them make they're own decision when they're older, to believe or not. I won't force my faith on anyone.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • derp

      "I won't tell my children that God isnt real"

      There is equal evidence of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as there is for god. You are perpetuating a story that is no different than the tales of old St. Nicholas.

      " it's a faith I have just like it's yours not to believe in him"

      No, it is not.

      There is nothing similar whatsoever about your faith and my lack of faith. They are completely opposite intellectual concepts.

      If I said that I believe in leprechauns, in spite of the complete lack of any evidence to support their existence, then that would be the same as believing in god.

      Belief and non belief are not similar in any way shape or form.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Allowing children to decide for themselves is the only responsible position. And honestly, could you stop them from making their own choices as adults?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Rationalintn

      Yes, what could possibly be wrong with teaching your children from their earliest moments, that their mother is a liar? Kids LOVE it when they finally find out that the people they trust the most have been playing a joke on them for years. Telling your kids that they're being watched by creepy old men who they can't see - now that is the definition of great parenting. Enjoy your healthy relationship with your children!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Angela lives in Canada and I'm not sure about the province but I do know that an option in the Ontario high school curriculum is a Comparative Religions course. I would hope that all parents regardless of belief would encourage their child(ren) to take the course and decide for themselves.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Bender Rodriguez

      @Angela

      "never talk down to anyone and what the heck pray that you win the lottery."

      I view the lottery as a "stupid tax" – go ahead and pay it if you want. To actually pray to win the lottery is doubly stupid – and I will tell you that time and time again.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • dmetz5301

      If there was a god, we'd all win the lottery. Every day.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  11. SmarterThan I Look

    This story screams "Lets make something out of nothing". What a waste of space.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • derp

      "Smarter than I look"

      That's not very hard.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  12. treblehook66

    Since when did CNN get in touch with their inner Jesus during interviews?

    May 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Eric Frederick

      Blitzer did the same thing, basically, in an interview with Mitt Romney after the Boston bombings. They had a back-and-forth about God. I don't remember the exact exchange, and I couldn't find it on YouTube.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Jason Ruggels

      That was my initial reaction. Such a wierd question to ask someone, let alone to be persistent about it.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  13. jj

    Wolf Blitzer is an ignorant fool for even asking that type of question.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Ann

      Agreed. It's an intensely personal question. I admire the woman's courage for answering honestly, but I worry that she's going to get negative feedback from her religious friends and neighbors.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • ztom

      OK is in the Bible Belt. I'm sure that there were a ton of people whom he interviewed that referenced God or Jesus. He got so used to it, that he just went with it and assumed everyone was religious. That was funny though. She handled it well.

      See? there are tons of atheists out there who aren't evil and out to belittle religious people. It's just that you only hear about the ones that are looking for attention, or the trolls who post nasty things on message boards.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • jj

      ztom - I wouldn't be so generous in letting Wolf off the hook by saying he likely assumed she would answer accordingly simply because she's in the bible belt. He's supposed to be a journalist (ie. Situation Room), which means he should be concerned with facts. If he wants to make assumptions, then I suggest he ask CNN for an info-tainment show so that he can freely speak his opinions/assumptions in an attempt to generate ratings.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  14. Barney

    We have to stop putting our faith in man, and using that to discredit Christianity. I central tenet in Christianity is the admission of sinfulness and imperfection. Do not base your opinion of Christianity on man....man is flawed so it seems it is very easy to be a critic. Base your opinion of Christianity on the ministry of Jesus Christ and His path for us, who was given by God to die as a ransom for our sins. That's how much God loves us. Would you do the same? Follow him and you follow truth and love with the result being a close relationship with the creator, peace, joy, and love.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Heretic

      So he created sin, and is now selling us the cure for it?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • fhelms

      Well said Barney!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • M

      But the description of God from the Old Testament shows that God is flawed (demands sacrifices, kills animals, damns all for the sins of 2 people), and believing in such a flawed god does not make sense. Honestly, could you explain how it does – I just don't understand.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Jake

      God loved those 10 children so much he butchered them with an F5 tornado.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Heretic

      God gets 10 points for creativity.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • TheDerf

      Christianity is the following and belief in Jesus as the savior of man. The people are christianity not Jesus. We have to judge christianity by its followers.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • richunix

      Tell me (all of us) his name and maybe, I'll think about it. Remember..the word God comes from the 6th century (CE) Germanic word Gott. So again his name is?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Jeff

      "My love for you is like a tornado in Oklahoma" -God

      May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • sam stone

      "Do not base your opinion of Christianity on man."

      Why not?
      Man created Christianity
      Man is the only being that adopts Christianity

      May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • sam stone

      "Jesus Christ and His path for us, who was given by God to die as a ransom for our sins."

      Letting someone else be punished for your actions is about the most immoral stance one can take

      If you had any conscience, you would deny Jesus's supposed sacrifice and take your punishment like a man, not hiding behind a scapegoat

      May 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • skeptic4life

      Stop spewing your religious bafflegab. It's quite pathetic and alarming when people living in the 21st century embrace medieval belief systems born out of fear and ignorance. Wake up to the modern era. There is no god, only human reason in developing an understanding of the natural processes here on our planet, one of trillions of places in a godless universe. Appreciation of the beauty and complexity of life does not require belief in a fairy tale.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • sam stone

      bafflegab? i like it

      May 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • I like your Christ

      I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

      Mahatma Gandhi

      May 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  15. fhelms

    Yes Wolf, there are hundreds if not thousands of Christians around you in Oklahoma thanking and praising God and you don't have a clue why. You seek out the one rare bird in an attempt to diminish the faith of the many. I can remember when you were dodging bombs in Bagdad a few years ago; I bet you were saying a few prayers at that time.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • richunix

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

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

      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?

      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why is he called GOD?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Heretic

      Epicurus was a wise man

      May 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • I Am God

      One rare bird? He didn't even know she was an Atheist you dolt.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • richunix

      @ hertic,

      when I cut and pasted teh comemnt, I failed to credit the author:

      -Epicurus 33 CE

      Thank you

      May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • ME II

      @fhelms,
      I don't think Blitzer was searching anyone in particular out and he certainly didn't seem to know that she was an atheist.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Eric Frederick

      Blitzer was not trying to promote atheism or diminish anyone's faith. Trust me. If you've watched him at any length, you know that.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • ME II

      None the less, it was a stupid and leading question.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  16. caw

    If God is to be thanked for saving people, then he must also be blamed for the deaths of the others.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • sam stone

      sounds reasonable

      May 23, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Heretic

      And with that in mind if he did exist and revealed himself to you, would you really want to worship that?

      May 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • TheDerf

      I like to use a verse similar to that. I can't remember where I heard it but I use it a lot. If a winning team's players are thanking god for the victory, doesn't that mean the losing team can blame god for their loss? 🙂

      May 23, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • sam stone

      "And with that in mind if he did exist and revealed himself to you, would you really want to worship that?"

      Probably would feel that it is better to be with that pr1ck than against it

      May 23, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Angela

      As a Catholic I totally agree. When someone so close to me dies or anyone for that matter, I always ask him why and how could he do this to someone so innocent. Where there's right, there's wrong, and when there's good there's evil.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • c-lo

      So does a poor person blame a charity that gives to the poor for being poor?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  17. M

    Christians do believe in evolution – they've been using it for thousands of years to adjust to the stressor known as "science."

    – Early Christian view of the world – everything revolves around the earth. Astronomy proves otherwise. Christians adapt and accept.
    – Christians believed in Adam and Eve. Genetics proves otherwise. Christians adapt and accept.
    – Christians believed in the Great Flood. Geology and genetics prove otherwise. Christians adapt and accept.
    – Christians believed in the Creation story. Geology, genetics, biology, astronomy, zoology prove otherwise. Christians adapt and accept.

    The truth is Christians have been practicing evolution for thousands of years in order to keep their religion alive.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • JustSarah

      Except that many hardline religious individuals do not accept any of the points you just made. There is still a large population who stand by the Bible as the only true word and any rational, logical or scientific reasons to believe otherwise are disregarded.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • ME II

      @M,
      Changing views are not an example of biological evolution. They are just views that changed over time. I think you are confusing two different definitions/usages of the word evolution.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • derp

      "Except that many hardline religious individuals do not accept any of the points you just made"

      Wait, there are people that still believe the earth is flat and the sun circles it?

      May 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  18. jimi

    This is a story? So what, millions of people would say something similar if he asked them if they thank Vishnu for saving them.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Robert

      The differance between the religion that Jesus taught, and "religion" that is practiced today, is that people that call themselves Christians and those that act like Christians are a small minority. It's no wonder that people get discouraged with organized religion. Really when you say you are a Christian you are supposed to act like Christ in public and at home. Basic true bible principles are no longer being taught. I blame this on the preachers, most of them want your money and that's about it. God's people are out there, but they are heard to find.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • G to the T

      It's the fact that a organized religion existed for over almost 2000 years that allows you to have an interpretation that doesn't require it anymore.

      NO ONE would pick up a bible (and having no previous instruction) come out with all the things believed in modern theology. At least in that respect the Catholics have it right.

      May 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  19. Heretic

    I love how Atheists are becoming more and more vocal and still garnering the shocked reactions. Last year I was asked by a hospital nurse what my religion was, i told her i was Atheist, she looked at me as if i was the devil in the flesh lol, it was amusing to say the least.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • WASP

      had the same reaction plenty of times. once a middle-aged jewish woman viewing my work cloths asked me " are you jewish?" i told her no and tried to leave it at that then she asked "well what do you believe?" i had to smile and tell her " i don't believe in god, i'm atheist."

      you should have seen her face. XD priceless.

      May 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Heretic

      It's wonderful, they cant burn us or drown us anymore.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • OMG

      You do realize there are believers in God that are oppressed by atheists? Right?

      Compare a Christian in China to an atheist in America.

      You got it so good, you should be kissing the ground and thanking whatever power breathed life into you.

      It is a human, not religious, problem.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • derp

      "Compare a Christian in China to an atheist in America"

      Christians in china are now rarely persecuted.

      Try being an atheist in Iran.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • OMG

      Even worse: try being a Christian in Iran.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • WASP

      @OMG: " thanking whatever power breathed life into you"

      i thank my parents for "getting it on" and having me everyday i'm alive, without those two humans donating equal shares of genetic material i wouldn't be here today.

      May 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • derp

      "Even worse: try being a Christian in Iran"

      Yeah, being a believer in Iran will surely fair worse than a nonbeliever.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • G to the T

      Most Chinese see christianity as synomynous with the West. Don't automatically assume it's a christian vs. atheist scenario. Far more likely it's an East vs. Western influence conflict.

      May 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  20. ed dugan

    It's interesting that most of these posts make sense for a change. Then we have "derp" , or is that "dope" who crawls out of his church hole to spout nonsense. "Sciency words"? This guy is pathetic as well as stupid.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • derp

      I guess you are too stupid to understand sarcasm.

      May 23, 2013 at 9:53 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.