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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. Vinay

    I spent years trying to convince my mother that this god idea was nonsense, till one day she told me that she chose to believe because she liked the story and the comfort it gave her, she never asked me to believe and never asked me to have a faith. I was raised with both in my family- my grandfathers, father were atheist my mother and grandmothers believed in god. Neither questioned the other about why they did or did not.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • meifumado

      Sounds like a well grounded family, I wish you and yours all the best.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  2. meifumado

    If you have not seen it ,check out this.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22633937

    May 23, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Topher

      Foolishness.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Gloppy

      Religion is indeed foolishness

      May 23, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Topher

      actually ... now that I have thought about it, I realize that there is no God and I have been a fool all this time.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Only a believer azzhole like Topher would classify murder as foolishness.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Topher

      How can you expect anyone to trust you or your worldview when you propogate dishonesty? Way to go, secularists.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      Finally you have seen the truth. The stories in the bible are impossible if you know the history of mankind. Blindly believing the dogma or a radical religion is, as you say, foolish.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Badda Bing

      PseudoTophu, you don't need to make a fool out of Tophu. He does it just fine all by himself.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Topher. Delighted you have woken up from your dream. Wishing you a long and fulfilling life in the real world.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Kroth the Bunny-Hammerer

      Topher accusing others of intellectual dishonesty?

      BWA -HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You just knew that after months and months of being slammed for intellectual dishonesty, he would try to use the same schtick on others. Chaddy does the same thing.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, what dishonesty are you on about? Be specific.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • lol??

      You cannot control God, no matter how often and how big of a vote you have. How is beating up on the bride gonna be gud for you??

      May 23, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      What dishonesty are you talking about?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Science

      When is Chad going to chime in ?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • meifumado

      I dont think thats topher.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • meifumado

      It's chad's sister and brother in-law so I dont think he coming

      May 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      topher
      you said "How can you expect anyone to trust you or your worldview when you propagate dishonesty? Way to go, secularists."
      How can you expect anyone to trust you or your worldview when you propagate dishonesty that is the bible? The bible is nothing but propaganda...all of it.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  3. Emery

    Dyslexic doG

    I am really 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. Very wells said. Thank you.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      welcome. 🙂

      May 23, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • lol??

      YOU cannot control GOD. You will be judged for your portion in destroying the earth. Science has proved to be quite reckless in your hands. Why not work on that instead of spreading your antichrist hate??

      May 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • OMG

      I'm a Christian.

      Care to enlighten me on how I was brainwashed at an early age?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Kroth the Bunny-Hammerer

      Are you denying that the majority of religious adherents were not subjected to religious indoctrination from a very early age? Indeed, some get there through train-wrecking their lives as well, and a few will just chose it, but the vast majority are parentally indoctrinated from birth.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • lol??

      "1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

      May 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • OMG

      No, Kroth, I don’t deny that.
      He indicated I was brainwashed.

      He also indicated that I don’t use logic, facts or have hope in reality.
      Maybe he has been brainwashed, especially if he thinks he has some kind of exclusive access to “reality”.

      Talk about being a victim of indoctrination…

      May 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Kroth the Bunny-Hammerer

      So the problem for you is a quibble over the use of the word "brainwashing"? Do you not see that the heavy indoctrination of children is effectively brainwashing? Do you not see all those Muslim children being indoctrinated into their religion, same as you, are being brainwashed?

      Do you not realize that if you had been born in rural India, you would be just as certain that Hindu was the true religion, thanks to your brainwashing?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      OMG: Telling a child that they will go to hell if they don't believe and making false promises of heaven is indeed brainwashing.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Kroth the Bunny-Hammerer

      What kind of "brainwashing" occurs in our school? Are we just born pro-American, capitalist, convenience seeking Repulicrats?

      Some Christians have practiced some from of brainwashing. And some Muslims have practiced brainwashing. And this may come to a shock to you – but some atheists have practiced brainwashing, too!

      It is a human problem. Not a problem that can be solved by taking belief in a diety out of the equation.

      How can you be sure you are not brainwashed? Are you an atheist just because you were raised in a wealthy, secular country with intelligent parents that sent you to a good school?

      What is the difference between you and a person born in rural India?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Truth Prevails 🙂

      @ Telling a child that they will go to hell if they don't believe and making false promises of heaven is indeed brainwashing.

      Is that what they do in church? Did you go when you were a child?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • @chad

      @OMG

      Just because you may have come to find jesus differently does not change the fact that by and large the majority of Christians were indoctrinated from an early age, and fed the same “sinners and heathens go to hell, good christians go to heaven” BS.

      If you believe the stories in the bible are in any way factual, then you are indeed challenged when it comes to logic.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • OMG

      I just asked how I was brainwashed at an early age – I didn't say I found Jesus differently.

      How is being an atheist any different?

      You don't have to literally believe the poetic and literary aspects of the Bible.

      Nobody has ever asked me to do that (except for some TV star evangelist or an atheist posting on this site)

      May 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • OMG

      I believe the Bible describes our human nature – which hasn't changed in thousands and thousands of years.

      if you think it is a history or science manual – you are reading it wrong.

      We are human beings – not robots – so it speaks to our hearts. That is why a lot of it is poetic and musical.

      It is beautiful and honest.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • @chad

      @OMG

      You’re missing the point. He did not say “I know for a fact that every single person on this planet that believes in Jesus was indoctrinated at an early age”. It was a general statement that is true for more Christians than not.

      I was brainwashed at an early age, but thankfully I’m not the type of person to take ’god did it’, or ‘just because’ as an answer and I looked deep enough to find the truth about the plagiarized myths and characters in the bible.

      If you don’t at least take the Adam and Eve myth literally, then you don’t have any basis for the rest of the Christian beliefs. No Adam and Eve, no original sin. No original sin, no need for a savior.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      OMG: Guess you missed my earlier response to Mark about my Mother being a devout christian...of course I went to church as a child. And yes sadly, it was rammed down our throats.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Truth

      How did you get un-brainwashed?

      Do you consider your mom to be a child abuse? Is she still ramming her ideas down the throats of innocent kids?

      May 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    Why are people slamming CNN for this Belief Blog?

    CNN puts this on the web because the rest of the world thinks it's hilarious that American Christians are so delusional about their bronze age religion. This gives them hits from the entire planet.

    Thanks for the laugh American Christians! Keep trying to bring the US to reality Atheists!

    May 23, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • lol??

      Did your master not take you to the doggie park today?? You should be on the menu.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Science

      Dyslexic doG

      Blitzer asks atheist if she thanks God

      Someday they will get the FACTS maybe ?

      Peace

      May 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @lol?? ... and you usually have the funniest comments of all ... hence your name I suppose. Keep up the good work. 🙂

      May 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Maybe CNN should post this story instead:

      US 'faith healers' charged over second baby's death

      "A Philadelphia couple said to reject medicine in favour of faith healing have been charged with the murder of their infant son.

      Herbert and Catherine Schaible withheld medical care from the seven-month-old boy, who died in April of pneumonia and dehydration, prosecutors said.

      Four years ago, another son died under similar circumstances."

      From BBC

      May 23, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Snoop Dog

      One minute atheists are saying Christians are torturing and threatening atheists for not believing like they do. The next minute they are saying Christians are so few and powerless that everyone just laughs at them. Please keep your delusions straight.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Snoop Dog

      Lie much?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • ME II

      @Snoop dog,
      In this context it's pretty simple. While numerous in the US, the conservative Christian view that invites ridicule is not so overwhelming world wide.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Snoop Dog

      Dys doG – said all American Christians.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Snoop Dog

      Im glad you aren't as delusional as doG. Why do you allow his dumb comments, buT get mad at a Christian for doing the same thing????

      May 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • @chad

      @Snoop Dog

      Dys doG – said all American Christians

      The word 'All' does not appear anywhere in D. Dogs original post. Am I missing something, or are you?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Emery

    NICE!

    It is you religious zealots who want to hurt and hate everyone. This lady didn't even seem to want to talk about it until she was pressed on the whole "LORD" thing. What is your proof of the existence of God? All that crap you spouted was NOT proof . You ROCK! Well said

    May 23, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • OMG

      They both laughed. It was funny.

      It wasn't about somebody trying to hurt and hate on someone.

      He asked a question. Freedom of speech!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Laughter can indicate discomfort; it does not always indicate "funny."

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

      She felt uncomfortable.

      Oh my. Poor thing.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So I showed you how your assumption was wrong, it seems. Where's the thanks?

      May 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • OMG

      Somebody asked me a question that made me uncomfortable DOES NOT EQUAL trying to hate and hurt somebody.

      If somebody mistook me for being an atheist (it happens, I don't look like a stereotypical Christian) I get a little uncomfortable, too.

      But I'm not going to be a baby about it. I'll handle it like this atheist lady did. With respect.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • G to the T

      OMG – if you have no problem with this, than you lose the right to be upset when someone wishes you a "Happy Holidays".

      May 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Vinay

    Atheism is not a belief system, it is a journey that only an individual can take by combining our current but changing knowledge of the universe with our perception of it. It is not easy, for it is far easier to believe that one's destiny lies I with the supernatural. So a true atheist will not try and make you leave your faith, he may help you if you want to. After all most belief systems are great stories and giving up one's delusions is always hard especially if the new one does not promise you much!

    May 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • lol??

      Can't sleep unless you do a nasty deed?

      "Pro 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause [some] to fall."

      May 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Envisioner

      Yes, it is a belief system. It's an evidence based belief system. Nihilism is technically the only non-belief system.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • OMG

      A true atheist?

      Atheism just means you don't believe in god or gods.

      What is the difference between an atheist and a true atheist? Is that like being dead or truly dead?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      - Penn Jillette

      May 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • OMG

      “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

      – Martin Luther King, JR

      May 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • ME II

      "So a true atheist will not try and make you leave your faith, he may help you if you want to. "

      Atheism is a single negative position. It is not an ethical system and therefore there is no behavior associated with atheism.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Atheism is a religion, like OFF is a television channel.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • OMG

      Belief in Jesus Christ is not a religion, either.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • lol??

      Of course there is behavior associated with atheism. it's firmly intertwined with lies which you just proved, ME II.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @lol??,

      lol

      May 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • The Dismal and Disappointing Arm-Wrestling Results of Cluckles the Boneless Chicken

      Actually, "off" is my favorite TV channel.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    Perhaps an analogy might be helpful.

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    May 23, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  8. NonDoD Fedup

    Consider there is a very large jar of marbles on a table. There is an actual unknown finite number of marbles in the jar and that number can either be odd or even, as there truly is no other choice. If you were to be asked, "Is the number of marbles in the jar odd or even?" You would be absolutely correct to say "I don't know, I don't have enough evidence one way or the other." That is the 'Null Hypothesis'. Now consider someone comes to you and says "There is an odd number of marbles in the jar". You have no way to know if he knows the true number in the jar, so you would be correct to reply "Where is your proof?" He then turns the table on you and says "Where is your proof that the number of marbles is even and not odd" ... Sound familiar?

    May 23, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Lamb of dog

      It's definitely EVEN!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      False analogy

      In the case of the jar of marbles, the answer MUST be even or odd, AND the chance is 50/50.
      In the case of god's existence, the answer might be anything, AND we don't know what the chances are of any of the possible outcomes.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Dave

      I think he was just pointing out the flaw in Christian reasoning when it comes to their request of atheists to prove there is no God.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  9. Science

    Is it popcorn time ?

    May 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    I am really 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 11:22 am |
    • Landru

      Yes but they certainly are a peaceful group.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  11. Lamb of dog

    I wonder if he will ask the parents of the kids who didn't make it the same thing. Mr Blitzer you are a moron.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  12. Emery

    pauleky

    Your post makes no sense because they "answers" you speak of are from an invisible being in the sky of whom there is zero proof. You're welcome to your fantasy world, but leave the rest of us out of it. I was raised Southern Baptists and was a believer for a lot longer than I've been an atheist. If you truly are seeking answers, then you'd be an atheist, too. Well said.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  13. Envisioner

    Even though it was completely innocent, It is amazingly offensive to ever assume that someone still maintains an archaic mythological belief system. How degrading can a news personality be and not be likened to Howard Stern or other shock oriented people?

    May 23, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Wolf BlitzHer

      Wolf – "We are standing here at what can only be described as the end of a rainbow. I see a woman coming though here with a child, let's ask her if she was able to catch the leprechaun and get his gold before he disappeared... Um, Ma'am, did you see the leprechaun who made this rainbow?"

      Woman – "Um, no"

      Wolf – "Do you think he was just to quick for us this time Ma'am?"

      Woman – "No, I don't believe leprechauns exist or that they make rainbows."

      Wolf – "What? Are you some kind of crazy person?!"

      May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  14. wildth

    Wow, CNN will stoop to any level to promote their pro-Atheist viewpoint. CNN should re-name this the non-belief blog.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Dave

      Nah, they should just rename it the "Silly Belief Blog" where any and all with silly beliefs can come and share them with other silly people believing other silly things.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Wildth
      Actually, this is more of an example of CNN reinforcing the prevailing Christian worldview in the US.
      The interviewer's presumption was that the interviewee was a Christian and must have been thanking God for her good fortune.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Envisioner

      No such thing as "no-belief" system aside from Nihilism. Just because it's not your particular belief system doesn't mean there isn't one there.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Arch Stanton

      Christians sure are threatened by anyone saying "I don't believe this." That's because all your belief is... is a belief. There's nothing to support it, so questioning it is met with fear-driven anger.

      "Belief Blog" means it's about belief... not promoting belief. One side of belief is *not* believing in something. CNN isn't promoting an agenda, just discussion. If they weren't respecting religious beliefs, they wouldn't have a section for it at all (I know I wouldn't), and their reporters wouldn't be trying to demand that people "praise the lord" for stomping on their home and almost killing them.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      CNN puts this on the web because the rest of the world thinks it's hilarious that American Christians are so delusional about their bronze age religion. This gives them hits from the entire planet. Thanks for the laugh!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Dave

      "No such thing as "no-belief" system aside from Nihilism."

      The term is not "non-belief" but "disbelief" and it does exist outside of nihilism. I have disbelief in your God, which is to say you have provided insufficient evidence (as in zero) for God, and thus I am in a state of disbelief.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  15. Heretic

    If a problem comes along, you must whip it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkpL3vgTR50&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DMkpL3vgTR50&has_verified=1

    May 23, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  16. Reality

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    May 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  17. dukemantee

    Thank you Rebecca! I think we, as atheists, should do this more often.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  18. Luiz Penalva

    Hey Rolf. In you tiny mind this atheist lady should thank God for being lucky and alive. So, people who lost their kids, spouses and loved ones should say what to God? Any believer could explain to me how the God wheel of fortune works? It sounds that believing in him is not a criteria to be blessed.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  19. magnum12

    If God had not intervened, there would have been more devastation and death.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Sadiegirl

      Really? How about God preventing it in the firstplace?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • LinCA

      @magnum12

      You said, "If God had not intervened, there would have been more devastation and death."
      If your god had an ounce of decency, the tornado would have happened. See how easy that is?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Don

      Lol... You can't possibly be this deluded.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • fsmgroupie

      if god hadn't fallen asleep at the wheel for a few hours he could have prevented the whole tragedy

      May 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • B

      How did he intervene, exactly?

      May 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Luiz Penalva

      Time to put your bible aside and get an education.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • One one

      That's an interesting thought.

      I imagine god thought: "lets see, I'll allow these people to be killed and these homes to be destroyed. Ok, that's enough, I'll stop the death and destruction now"

      Is that how you figured god handled it ?

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

      o WHERE WAS YOUR GOD(S) WHEN THE FOLLOWING TOOK PLACE:
      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      May 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you must be trolling ... no one could be this big a tool!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Envisioner

      By definition there is no such thing as God "intervening" The Christian God is omnipotent and never absent. Sheesh people, learn your mythology.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Tony

      "If God has not intervened, there would have more devastation and death!" That statement acknowledged that God does not have control over how disasters are built up and where they struck. God could only intervene once a disaster event occurred to lessen its destruction. Or Pat Robertson would say God punished Moore, OK, over some 'bad' things that the town did!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Lamb of dog

      Magnum. You should read what you write before hitting post.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Where was God?

      For everyone who replied to magnum12,

      So everytime there's a tradegy it is because God didn't intervened? You blame God for everytime something bad happens but do you give credit to God when something good happens? Why is it that when something good happens it has nothing to do with God, but the moment something bad happens, it is autmoatically God's fault?

      Where do you draw the line in blaming God? Do you want him to make everyone immoral and live in a perfect world where there are no evil, death, disease, or sadenss? Will you blame God if you stub your toe on a table and say that God is evil because he didn't intervene to spare your toe from harm?

      Did it every occured to you that death is an inevitable consequence for all? It doesn't matter what shape or form. People, including children die all the time and everyday. In fact, all WILL die. So, if you want to blame God, you should blame Him for inventing death. You should blame him for not making humans immortals.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Kroth the Bunny-Hammerer

      Praise be god that he intervened in the Holocaust and kept it from getting really bad.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • OMG

      Nicely put, "Where was God?".

      Evil exists – I think God wants us to take a stand against it. And we do this by standing together and helping those in their times of needs.

      Evil exists to make us doubt God.

      Don't let evil win.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      OMG
      Since you think your god created everything, evil was created by your god. The bible proves he likes to exercise it often.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • OMG

      No, I don't believe that.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • G to the T

      OMG – then I guess you either don't believe the bible, or cherry-pick/interpret it to meet your own needs.

      Isaiah 45:7 – I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  20. noly972

    Wolf Blitzer is a fool. If she wanted to thank God, it should be spontaneous. It shouldn't be based on his prompting. How incredibly unprofessional of him, again! CNN needs to eject him.

    May 23, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • xirume

      The only fool here is you. It's irreparably foolish to believe in that childish, silly fairy tale calls the bible.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • pooh2

      Or maybe it is the opposite. His good reporter instincts have told him that an interesting answer was coming.

      May 23, 2013 at 11:15 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.