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. my explanation

    Magnificent web site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

    May 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  2. my response

    You made some decent points there. I seemed on the web for the issue and found most people will associate with along with your website.

    May 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Kebos

    If only 2.4% of Americans are atheists, a whole lot more churches would be needed to fulfill the irrational needs of the religious.

    The % of non-religions people in America is far, far higher. But many don't bother claiming to be non-religious. Even more don't care or give it much thought.

    May 26, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Okay

      Forcing someone to believe or not believe in something is an impossibility.

      May 26, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Reality

      The global picture:


      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      May 26, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • myweightinwords

      A good chunk of the American people, if pressed, will claim Christianity, even though they do not actually attend church and don't really understand the religion. They have a vague belief in a god and they think they believe in the Christian god because they've been raised in a largely Christianity oriented society.

      May 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    My belief in Godly kingdom domains being the internal dominions of spatial relationships does not go against the Biblical Scriptures but magnifies them! This Belief also cannot be relationally misconstrued by the sciences either! Except that much of mankind has become blinded by its scientific ordainments of adherent ever-changing sanctimonious literature excluding the rationalisms of a species we call upon as being Gods when such godly beings are as mortal as the next species of celestially manifested life forms in all varieties of cellular dimensioning within atomic relativities!

    Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that He also [is] flesh”.

    May 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Kebos

      Zeus and Thor are proud of you.

      I hate to disappoint you but the Sun won't go supernova for another 5 billion years or so. By then you and I will be dust and completely lost and forgotten. By then you're twisted logic will be then known as rational as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

      May 26, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  5. lionlylamb

    It is biblically written but seldom read that, "The kingdom (domains) of the Godly is lain within (inside) us all". We are Gods' living buildings made flesh, in the likenesses of the Gods onward-moving generations ever living in multiplied abundances deeply inside all mannerisms of celestially-based Life augmentations. Humans are the Inner-Gods’ Lifeboats where-when mankind’s Time is nearing the earth’s sun going super nova, they all scurry aboard their Human Lifeboats; flying off into outer space and escape the sun’s wrath! Rah!

    May 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Jason

    Regardless of whether you're atheist or a believer, you have to admit, when things like this happens, usually the most immediate and overwhelming, though not exclusive, support comes from Christians or other people of faith.

    May 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      Do you have any proof? I'm an agnostic and I donate to several charities.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      immediate? ..no.

      Where was the immediate aid for N.O.?


      no...the red cross and our federal government (believe it or not) still trumps religious organizations for speed and amount of aid given.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • alanrlow

      The first to "pray" for you maybe, but there many more people doing constructive works first on the scene.

      May 26, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Kebos

      Jason – Bull crap! Support comes from people in the community that care about their fellow citizens. If there is a church behind it then be wary of what else it seeks after disaster recovery. Membership in the church, funding through donations, etc.

      May 26, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • myweightinwords

      That can not be quantifiably proven. Many people who are not Christian will utilize existing charity structures to donate in situations like this, simply because it is faster and more efficient than trying to start something new.

      Besides that, it shouldn't be a race to see who can give faster or more. It should be a race to make sure that all of our fellow citizens are taken care of.

      May 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  7. lionlylamb

    What does mankind know that the Gods do not know? Maybe that spatially concise are the differences between the atomic and the celestial chasms of cosmologic orders which did together establish and make thru creational wisdom, the many so many variations of cellular cosmologies wherever sanctification is made a plausible relationship of congealed bimolecular physiologies. We as in humanisms are mere portrayals of atomic platforms radiating with abundant measuring; personalized perceptivities for and against Godly ambassadorial contrivances made unto physiologic manifestations of spirited soulful rationalisms within regulated psychologies reaping and benefitting the socially encrusted egoists.

    May 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Kebos

      Somewhere out there, there is a ledge with your name on it.

      May 26, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • evolvedDNA

      LL ..Total nonsense. you try hard to obfuscate any post to make it appear it has value.. but alas... it is still new age mumbo jumbo. You cannot offer any poof for your god which ever one you may think it is. You claim you abhor abortion, yet you take liberties with the English language.

      May 26, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  8. mama k

    Recently we learned from CNN of a child dying when their parents, members of a Christian sect in Philadelphia, as part of their faith, refused medical care.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create more extreme divisions as time goes by, constantly subjecting others in its crossfire.

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    May 25, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Science

      Morning mama k..........the legal end ?

      Learn About the Law
      Find a Lawyer
      FindLaw Answers
      Legal Forms

      Legal Pulse

      CNN logo CNN 3 weeks ago
      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      Hey Buffy..............from Bing.

      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it... Full Article at CNN


      Hey Vic and Chadie

      Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths

      by Vince Lattanzio posted on May 25, 2013 02:45PM GMT


      Have a great life.


      May 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  9. Vic


    May 25, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Vic


      May 25, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Vic


      May 25, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Our Lady of Whirlpool Model# WTW4800XQ


      May 25, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Observer


      Did you look at the picture you sent? The cross-pieces don't align at all.

      This picture looks much more like barbed wire than some broken cross.

      May 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  10. mama k

    Bill Moyers interviews Daniel Dennett, an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, science & biology. He is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University.
    Dennett: "[not all, but for many, the dangerous thing about religion is that] it gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking."

    May 25, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  11. John Wang-Fitzpatrick

    One can spend a lifetime in pursuit of God through or outside the various religions and the good scientific atheists will agree that it is impossible to prove the non-existence of God anyway...it's a crazy thing to try to do.

    Should there be a God, and I highly doubt the existence of a personal God who is always in our hearts and minds, even though it would be kind of nice if one existed, for life is sometimes very lonely, albeit just a loving God who never interferes etc...but if one does exist then I would expect such a being to be rather bright and open-minded.

    Yes, bright and open minded and generally happy with the work done, with a broad sense of humour, although noting some big errors of judgment...with the notion that God never makes mistakes a bit of a silly arrogance; still, a Great Being not living in the past...thus a bit like....hmm....a bit like.... me; come to think about it...

    I find the great books of the great religions far too serious in so many ways. Look around, there is real humour in the world, yet none of this seems to be reflected in any of the great books of God at all. Being so serious all the time, eon upon eon, goodness me, where is the fun in that? Fun sparks the Creative far more than righteous role and misery.

    I would imagine that if God was a worldly type King then he would have, at his right hand, not Jesus or Mohammed etc but rather the court Jester as his best adviser about these quirky difficult yet sometimes lovely and oft times meaningful humans...these creatures, many with big brains and big hearts yet nothing much that they do with them except make up some really silly religions.

    May 25, 2013 at 5:33 am |
  12. Observer

    Just the Facts,
    "all they have is just an opinion. All they have is just a theory. An opinion and a theory without a shred of evidence to back it up. And without evidence to support it, it is a theory and opinion which don't mean a thing…"

    That sums up Christianity very well too. NO PROOF. Just wishful opinions and often a huge amount of hypocrisy..

    May 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Observer… Any fool who could read my post and come up with the idiotic conclusion you did, is a fool indeed, and is not worth responding to…

      May 25, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Observer


      Speaking of fools, Jesus said that people who called others "fools" were headed to hell.

      Oops. Thanks for demonstrating the HYPOCRISY I talked about.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • fred

      fact; God fearing people with a God centered world view continue to drive our civilization. It is your atheist opinion this is without measurable results. Thus what you think is real and supported by "evidence" produces nothing. God supported with no "evidence" has produced a superpower called America and dominate World View. Simply the idea or illusion of God is the foundation of belief for the majority of the population of the world today.
      Sorry you are the one living a belief that empty based on results and or affect upon the world

      May 25, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Observer


      " It is your atheist opinion this is without measurable results"

      Please make at least some effort to tell the truth and stop MAKING UP comments that I never came close to making.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Observer… You've taken the scripture out of context. The scripture you quoted does not apply to you. It does not prohibit me from calling you a fool. The scripture you quoted was referring to people who are saved. Jesus prohibits people who are saved from calling other people who are saved "fools". I can tell by the way you talk, you are not saved, Observer. So I am free to call you a fool if I want…

      Proverbs 24:7 – Wisdom is too high for a fool:

      Ecclesiastes 10:14 – A fool also is full of words;

      Psalm 14:1 – The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "fact; God fearing people with a God centered world view continue to drive our civilization."
      ... off the cliff. Don't forget that part. Without it you seem to be making a claim that there is some sort of redeeming value to mass delusion.

      You said, "It is your atheist opinion this is without measurable results."
      No, no, no. The results are very measurable. Children needlessly dying because their parents relying solely on their imaginary friend to heal them. Pseudo science being taught in schools. Airplanes into buildings. Bombs in the street. Discrimination in our laws. The effects of religion are here for all to see.

      You said, "Thus what you think is real and supported by "evidence" produces nothing."
      The horrors of the cancer that is religion on society are real. Unfortunately.

      You said, "God supported with no "evidence" has produced a superpower called America and dominate World View."
      Bullshit. Just because the majority of the people, at the time of the rise of te US, were believers doesn't mean that there is any correlation between the two. It proves even less that the object of their mental illness is real.

      You said, "Simply the idea or illusion of God is the foundation of belief for the majority of the population of the world today."
      Just because most people are too fucking stupid to comprehend anything beyond what they are spoonfed from birth doesn't mean it's real.

      Education and access to information will slowly erode the stranglehold of the dominant delusions in the world. But untill everyone has access to that, that cancer of religion will be able to spread. You may notice that in the parts of the world that has access to information and education religion is in retreat, while it still flourishes in the less fortunate areas.

      Unfortunately, education and access to information can only work on those capable and willing to use it. The rampant stupidity will remain a major obstacle for rational thought until we find a cure.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Kebos

      JustTheFacts – When the religious types have their back up to the wall the typical response is "you have taken the bible out of context" Then they go off spouting verses that make no sense and have little to do with the discussion. As if that's suppose to lend some credibility to their argument.

      What the religious types don't realize is that that the bible is one big "out of context" writing. Written by man, for man, when the earth was flat and fairies lived in the meadow. The bible is no longer worth the paper it's written on!

      May 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • sam stone

      freddy: amazing how you desire eternity with a being you "fear".

      spriritual stockholm syndrome

      May 28, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  13. The real Tom

    Just a Lie (it calls itself "Just the Facts", but wouldn't know what a fact was if it walked up and kicked him in the nuts, assuming he has any), imagines it has a following here.

    Sheep wouldn't follow FTF if they thought he had food in his pockets and those pockets had holes the size of JTF's anus.

    May 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  14. The New Normal

    You aint' seen nothin' yet...if the Supreme Court makes f^ggot marriage the law of the land in June, count on massive judgments from God on this wicked nation for tolerating this nonsense q-ueer agenda.

    May 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Answer


      Let your delusion make you commit suicide. Bye bye maggot.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gee, like what? Tornadoes that kill a dozen kids in their school? Murderers who hack a soldier to death with cleavers?

      You brain-dead dolt, there's enough hell here already to make up for any sins. If you think some vindictive twit of a god can make people behave by inflicting pain, why hasn't it worked?

      You people are so dumb, it's painful.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      New Normal… The sad truth is, these things are bible prophesy and has been prophesied about for thousands of years, and must happen. Jesus himself said, these things must happen before the end can come. So don't expect things to get better. Expect them to get worse. Eventually, gay marriage will be accepted in every state. Count on it. I'm just glad I likely won't be alive and around to see it. I would hate to live in such a world.

      Not to worry though. None of the wicked shall escape. They may rejoice now, but they shall all receive their reward on Judgment Day when they are cast into the lake…

      May 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Blah, blah, blah, Bible prophesy, yadda yadda yaddy and more yadda.

      Please. You're a silly sod and an embarrassment to humanity, doofus.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ New Normal: What a lovely, sunny disposition you have! You must a real joy to be around! Now, do us all a favour and go away.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What is truly amusing is that New Abnormal imagines a god observes state and national boundaries! Really? So he'll punish Maryland but bless Tennessee? Shower heavenly favors on the US but smite Canada? Or vice versa?

      What a crock of smelly poo. You are daft. The "god" you worship is a petty little tyrant who deserves to be ignored.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      You think this is "hell"?… You don't know what hell is...

      Imagine living in a lake of fire (a lake hotter than the surface of the sun) and roasting and burning but being unable to die. Imagine screaming and yelling at the top of your lungs from the pain and agony but being unable to stop screaming no matter how tired you may be of doing it. Imagine, from the moment you die, never being able to drink another drop of water ever again, forever (there's no water in hell) no matter how thirsty you may get in the flames. Imagine, from the moment you die, never being able to eat anything ever again, not one drop of food or anything edible, forever (there's no food in hell) no matter how hungry you may feel. Imagine, from the moment you die, never being able to rest again, forever, not even for a moment, never to catch your breath or to lay down for a quick nap or go to sleep and to wake up refreshed (there is no sleeping in hell, forever) no matter how tired and exhausted you may feel. Instead, all you will do is just roast and burn and scream in pain and anguish, over and over again, forever. Yet, in the midst of that pain and anguish you will feel, you will have a perfect memory of everything you've ever did in life, of every sin you've ever committed during your lifetime on earth, of every chance you've had to get saved but rejected it. And yes, you'll even remember me and this very post I'm writing right now. You'll have a perfect memory of it, word for word, playing back in you mind over and over again, forever. And you will never be able to forget it. You will remember every smug remark you've ever made about the eternal God, every off-hand comment. Every statement you made that spoke evil of an eternal God you didn't know or understand. And you will feel worse than ashamed for the things you said. But now you are in hell, paying for it. And worse of all, you will know, in that place, that you are forsaken of that God. You will know that God is not there with you and does not hear your cries and screams or pleading. You will know that God does not care. And you will remain in that place forever. And by the way, Lucifer will be there with you, in those flames and roasting too, if that is of any comfort to you. And he'll be screaming too, just like you are. And if the word "forever" is something which seems beyond your comprehension right now, then you'll have an eternity in the flames to figure it out. And ultimately, you will come to know "intimately" exactly what forever is and what forever means. Because you will be there forever…

      So when you have experienced the above, only then will you have truly known what "hell" is. And trust me, even the "worst conditions on earth" right now – no matter how bad they are and no matter what your problems – is like heaven in comparison to the realities of hell. Yet, people are dying and going to hell every day…

      May 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hell is living in a world with idiots like "New Abnormal".

      May 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • The real Tom

      JTF, you're nothing more than a sick little sadist. Or a troll. Probably both.

      Booga, booga, booga!!! We're ALL gonna die, azzhole.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Real Tom… Any fool can call me names and say this and that about me. But "proving" it is an other matter altogether. You're nothing but talk. People like you are nothing but hot air with no substance. That is why your only recourse is to use profanity and to call people names. Small men feel the need to use big words to make themselves appear bigger than they are…

      May 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I'm not a man, dummy. I don't need to prove a thing, dear. Your asinine comments do it all. You're a dolt.

      May 25, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And of course, The New Abnormal and JTF can back up (prove) everything they say, probably using that fine bit of horror fantasy, The Babble. Too bad they can't even conclusively proof the existence of their god.

      May 25, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • The real Tom

      JTF loves thinking about torturing people. Sick fvck.

      May 25, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell


      Can you explain to me how we will experience that lake of fire without the means to do so?

      let me guess God will rebuild me from the ground up- complete with my memories from this trash heap, and then will provide me with a continually regenerating body just so I can experience His special brand of Love, right? You want to spend all eternity with this being, yes? in your case, watching you get your wish would be hilarious.....

      Ever play a game with all the cheat codes on? ...it takes minutes for that game to get stale....

      But then that's the problem with Gods isn't it? people never actually imagine what their sky daddy would actually be like....the horrors we see here on this rock would be just the tip of the iceberg for an Omniscient mind.

      May 25, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • sam stone

      "People like you are nothing but hot air with no substance"

      Back atcha pen-day-ho

      May 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  15. JustTheFacts

    God Exists. The Atheists Have No Proof. But The Christians Do.

    What the atheists believe is nothing more than a theory, is nothing more than an opinion, an opinion and theory without a shred of evidence to back it up. In contrast to that, what the Christians believe is based on truth, and is based on fact, and that fact is Jesus Christ…

    Jesus Christ was not a myth. He was a real man who walked upon the earth, and he was a fact. Real world history bears witness that he was here. Although the atheists may attempt to dispute that, to dispute that Jesus Christ was here, but in order to so, they'll have to argue with history and with the history books. And they'll have to do more than just "talk" to do it too. They'll have to provide "proof" that the history books are wrong. And to date, we've seen no such proof…

    Jesus Christ was also the Son of God. And the whole world (save a few atheists) has recognized him as being the Son of God. And he has been honored the world over as the bona fide Son of the the living God (witness the whole calendar of man switching over from BC to AD in honor of him). And rest assured, if the Son of God existed, then so also does God exist, and it cannot be otherwise, as no "Son" can exist without a "Father". And once again, the atheists may attempt to dispute it, to dispute that he was the Son of God. But how could they know that? How could they possible know he "wasn't" the Son of God? Who has given them the right or the criteria for determining who is or isn't the Son of God? And would they even know a Son of God if they saw one? The apostles and the people of the time believed he was the Son of God because of all the miracles and the incredible things they had witnessed. Things which only a divine person could do. And we believe it too. Nonetheless, the atheists still want to dispute it. But once again, in order to dispute it, they'll need to do more than just "talk" or to state an opinion. They'll need to provide clear and convincing evidence that Jesus Christ was "not" the Son of God as we believe. And the fact of the matter is, no atheist can do that. To date, we've seen no such evidence. To date, we've seen no such proof. Thus, all the atheists have is just an opinion. All they have is just a theory. An opinion and a theory without a shred of evidence to back it up. And without evidence to support it, it is a theory and opinion which don't mean a thing…

    May 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Jrilla

      Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth. Odin said he'd kill all the frost giants.

      When was the last time you saw a frost giant?

      Checkmate, Odin.

      May 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Jrilla... Is that the best you can do? LOL...

      May 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • The real Tom

      JTF, you obviously don't have any idea what the scientific definition of "theory" is. Look it up, stupid. It's not a guess.

      May 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Real Tom… And is that the best that you can do – change the subject and evade the issue? Everybody already knows what a "theory" is and we don't need you to explain it to us. The issue is that atheists don't have a shred of evidence to back up your claims that God doesn't exist. But that is an issue and topic you're trying hard to stay away from…

      May 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, dumbfvck, you obviously DON'T know what the word theory means when used in science, and you're too much of an azzhole to care to learn. Go stew in your own juices, idiot. You deserve to be ridiculed for your stupidity and willful ignorance.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't need to back up a claim, JTFvcktard, since I haven't made one. You, on the other hand, have. You claim your god exists. You claim evolution doesn't occur.

      Prove either or both. I have little fear you can do so. It's about as likely as your ability to qualify for Parent of the Year.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      "The whole world (save a few atheists)"
      What about the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Satanists, and agnostics? Just to name a few?
      You are deluded.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • DPonz

      Please keep your faith to yourself, religious freedom means the right to practice or not practice and to not shove it down anyone else's throats, least you want to be called a philosophical rapist.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      DPonz… If what you're saying is true, then that means I shouldn't have to listen to your drivel either. This is a free country and a free forum. Everyone is free to speak their opinion, even an opinion others disagree with. If you don't like what I'm saying then go elsewhere…

      May 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Casey


      Wait, this isn't a troll post? I see..


      1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.

      Theories are based on data that requires a proposition, a test and then correction if that test doesn't prove the proposition. Your sad little faith is based on a world two-thousand years in the past. Science and theories can change at any time. Gravity is a theory, smartypants. Is it POSSIBLE that gravity will suddenly reverse itself and we'll all start falling toward the SUN? Yes. It is possible. It is painfully improbable.

      Remember when Pluto was considered a planet? I know I do, but it was reclassified because astrophysicists got more information and determined it didn't fit the category anymore based on measurements of other planets.

      Your faith castigated early astronomers because they insisted that the earth went 'round the sun. That's the history of your faith. How many men and women were killed by the Inquisition, based on faith? How many moors were butchered because their faith and your faith, while PAINFULLY similar wasn't identical? That's what your faith has going for it in its history, little friend.

      People should believe what they wish. And people should not believe what they don't wish. But don't you tout the "history of Jesus Christ," like you were there. And why in the crap would you WANT TO PROVE ANYTHING? Have you no concept of what faith is? Faith is belief without evidence, trust without knowledge. It shouldn't take an atheist to tell you that not having evidence is the most important part of faith, so get your butt out of the science club, thanks.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Hello

      Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill then lets talk about the REAL god thing.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  16. Gerry from Bayonne

    I would have liked this self righteous witch to have said, "no, I don't thank God. There is no God. The people who died were nothing more than accidental organisms. Their lives had no meaning and neither does mine."

    May 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      So you would like for the person to have "lied", is that it? The reality is, neither you nor the so-called "self-righteous witch" you mentioned has any clue whether God actually exists or not. So to make a flat statement saying "There is no God." would be an outright lie. But rather than to admit that "you don't know" whether God exists or not, you prefer to just tell a lie by making a flat statement saying "There is no God." – when the reality is, you haven't a clue whether God actually exists or not. Atheists never do speak the truth. Instead, they love to tell huge lies and make up outrageous claims for which haven't a shred of evidence to back it up…

      May 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Jrilla

      You sound like a witch yourself.

      May 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Jrilla… And who gave you the criteria for determining what a witch is or isn't? We'd certainly like to know...

      May 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why should anyone "thank god" for sparing them when others died? Why should anyone "thank god" when according to them god sent the fvcking tornado? Do you ever think?

      May 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why do idiots always claim that unless one believes in the same god they do, one's life is "meaningless"? What "meaning" do you morons think your lives have if you live them only because you think you'll get to heaven one day and not because you enjoy the here and now?

      May 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Real Tom… Don't you know bible?…

      Exodus 20:2 – I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

      Luke 4:8 – And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

      We didn't make the rules. The eternal God himself made the rules. We're just following them. The eternal God has clearly stated if you don't serve him and him alone, then you're going to hell. If a person goes to hell, I'd call that pretty meaningless…

      May 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You did make the rules, honey. You and people just like you 2000 years ago. You don't seem to grasp the idea, sweet cheeks, that people who don't believe in your god have meaningful, happy, productive lives without him.

      Makes you mad, I suppose, which is why you deny the facts. Oh, well.

      May 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Real Tom… Now you're talking nonsense. If a person is on their way to hell, I'd call their life pretty meaningless. Why? Because all of their accomplishments don't mean a thing. Jesus himself said, "What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world and yet loose his own soul." Even worse, what you call "life" is actually "death". Without eternal life you don't have life. You're merely a walking dead man and don't even know it…

      May 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Where exactly are these heaven and hell that you go on about?

      May 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  17. c-lo

    G–I can appreciate your deconstruction of my point, I will take the second half first–I was not saying that God provided a miracle in having a father send money to an estranged son...you're right, very mundane. I was using this analogy in response to Cpt. O in that something happens that is evidence of His existence, and we choose to ignore it (the money was evidence of the estranged kid's father's love, but he chooses to ignore it).
    As a personal example, our daughter was pregnant with twins and there was a major complication with her pregancy. She was sent to a specialist in another state for emergency surgery to try to save one of the babies. Obviously (or maybe not) I come from a community of faith and we had dozens, maybe hundreds, of people praying for them. Upon her arrival, it was determined that the complication had reversed itself and was subsiding. The boys were born healthy (though premature). Was she misdiagnosed? Was the situation not as dire as what was determined? Was this a fluke? Was this a miracle by God's, Zeus', Appolo's hand? I don't "know" but I know what I believe.
    Science makes all kinds of assumptions, the theory of evolution is still just that, theory. We have not witnessed true Darwinian evolution, just evidence that it MAY have happened. Has human kind seen a lizard molt and produce feathers, as science suggests happened with dinosaurs? Have we witnessed a fish growing legs and walking? Don't get me wrong, I do not discount these theories, but I recognize that there is NO definative link of this happening. We are continuously finding new evidence discounting "old science." Remember, it was science that said the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around us. Why is new scientific evidence accepted, but new diest evidence scoffed? So in response to the first part of your response, there is no evidence of a "missing link" but Darwinist choose to belive one MUST exist. That is the same logic many Believers have–there is evidence that it, He, etc. may exist, we just don't have that bird in the hand (literallist of the Bible excepted).
    I believe the two are NOT mutually exclusive–one poster's name is "Who is God's God" or something similar, my question is if there are "laws of physics" who wrote those laws.
    What is more difficult to believe, that there is some Supreme Being (whom I call God) that set all this in motion, or that all the matter and energy in the universe was concentrated into a pinhead and decided to spontaneously explode? I think both are a stretch for the human mind to comprehend, and again, not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      c-lo. You have a total misunderstanding of evolution and if you feel there is no evidence I suggest that you read, for example "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin. There are plenty of other sources explaining evolution and why it explains what we see in the world – as some posters often point out a few mechanisms are not fully understood but that does not detract from the overall picture.

      May 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ c-lo – you asked, "Why is new scientific evidence accepted, but new diest evidence scoffed?" What deist "evidence" are you referring to?

      As for why scientific evidence tends to get accepted, it is because the scientific method requires a rigorous scrutiny of said evidence, whereas there is no such standard for deist evidence.

      May 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • c-lo

      @Santa and undies...
      1. I do understand and actually agree with some aspects of evolution as well as understand and agree with the scientific method. I minored in physics and took astrophysics courses in college when I was at best a diest and at worst agnostic/indifferent. I contend the two are not mutually exclusive. The fact remains that many aspects of evolution require a level of faith to be fulfilled that there is a missing link. I can ask you to show me the missing link as proof evolution is absolute and all that can be shown is evidence on either side. Science still seeks the missing link as fervently as the faith community seeks "proof" of God for others to see.
      2. Even if the Big Bang and evolution turn out to be absolute truths, there is still the problem of what set each in motion. As I said before, what is more incredible, that all matter, dark and light, and all energy in the universe was contained in a pinhead and spontaniously exploded or that there is a Master Designer? Better yet, both?
      3. As for evidence of a diety, even doctors and scientist admit and agree there are unexplainable phenomena. Whether that is a humanoid in the sky, so to speak, an energy in the universe like some believe, or another form, it's hard for me to deny that there is something greater than ourselves. Additional scriptures found in the area of the dead sea, miracles like those my family experienced that only humans seem to be capable of conscience thought and cognative reasoning (id, ego, and super ego as Freud put it), that all "pure religion" follows similar paths and provides similar "moral guidance" bast@rdization by man not withstanding, are among the evidence I believe point to a greater being.
      We as men have always been selfcentered which is why He has been given a huminoid form in the minds if man.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • c-lo

      Additionally should any of these scientific theories be proved, it does not disprove the existence of God. It may disprove some religion (or even most) but I find it fascenating that words written and stories told over 5000 years ago follow generally the same steps of universal development as science today suggests. I do have issue with the whole age of the earth/universe. I do not fault any athiest/agnostic for their belief, or lack thereof. It is a difficult principle to accept and agree, that there is something greater than ourselves, especially one that chooses to not to overtly expose itself to the people of today.
      is my religion the "right one"? I sure hope so, or I wouldn't "follow " it.
      I find it heartbreaking that there are those who use religiosity to divide people and condemn others. I find it repulsive that people have used religion to oppress, kill, commit genocide, etc.
      These issues open up the questions of why we are fallible if we were created in His image, and why He "allows" bad things to happen. The quick easy and "dirty" answer is that He gave us free will initially and Adam and Eve blew it for the rest of us. For the faithful, many say it is a testament to His greatness and desire for us to turn to Him in our darkest hour, while punnishing the non- believer. Huh? I find that pretty arrogant. I believe that though He COULD prevent mtragedy, suffering is part of the human experience for without sorrow, joy would be meaningless, without hunger food. Jjj would have no flavor...tired axioms I know, but relatively aprepo.
      Sorry for the diatribe, but I hope this points to a "reasonable" voice from the belief side. Though I think any voice of belief is seen as unreasonable by many non- believers

      May 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  18. Juzo Itami

    Who shall the dead children thank? A merciful god?

    The idiocy of thanking god is that it implies that the thankful were spared because of their superior faith, and that those that died deserved to die because they lacked faith.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  19. Dicky30

    Time, the great enemy of man, and the atheist who thinks he is physically immortal. Both will pass, but onlu Time returns again.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You should find something else to do than blog. Really.

      May 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  20. two cents

    I love how she had to say it quietly out the side of her mouth as if to say "I breast feed my cat" and then to follow it with uncomfortable laughter. Listen, even the kid thinks it was an epic fail. Just say "no comment" next time.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
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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.