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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. Jebus

    "I'm actually an atheist....but I don't blame anyone for thanking the Lord" indicates the kind of civility our nation lacks in religious dialogue.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Our nation doesn't lack this kind of civility. It happens every day.

      Perhaps not here on the Belief Blog, nor from David Silverman and certainly not from proselytizing, right-wing fundies, but it is out there.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it also represents atheists not being able to say how they really feel, having to pitch it underhanded so the christians at work don't all ostracize you. people should have respect for other people - but i don't have to respect your ideas if i think they're crazy. just like you wouldn't respect a cult down the street that prayed to a toaster.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Hooked on the dialectic?? no thanks old, old, neo socie, Frankfurt hot dog.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      This is an example of tolerance. Atheists feel no need to announce or defend our beliefs until something like what Wolf said brings it out of us. Or when ridiculous assertions are made on blogs like this.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • susie

        whats to defend i thought you believe in nothing

        September 5, 2013 at 7:45 am |
  2. J. Mark Lane

    The thing called "athiesm" is a joke. No rational, intelligent person can affirmatively assert that there is no God. To do so is the very epitome of arrogance. We do not know. We may know someday, or we may never. We don't even know what the concept of "God" might refer to. People who claim certainty in the non-existence of God are laughable fools. There are two things that are defensible: faith, and agnosticism. Period. .... That said, I think this woman (who is probably really an agnostic) handled the "interview" with grace. Blitzer should be ashamed of himself.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "The thing called "athiesm" is a joke. No rational, intelligent person can affirmatively assert that there is no God. "

      We don't assert that, what we do assert is that we do not see evidence to support a god. Theism is more of a joke, it assert there is a god and they do so based on faith (belief without evidence). Personally I care that what I believe is based on verifiable evidence.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Agnosticism is a lack of esoteric knowledge. You can be both. Since god is invisible and undetectable, his existence is irrelevant. Belief can "soothe the emotions," but nothing else. When there is no proof of any gods or ways to detect any of them, it makes more sense to disbelieve (and be an agnostic atheist) than to believe. God is Santa for adults.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "No rational, intelligent person can affirmatively assert that there is no God."
      how can you prove a negative? please explain that first. atheists are basically saying since there is zero evidence for god, and the idea of an invisible sky fairy is so ridiculous, there's only a .000000000000000000000001% chance of there actually being a god, so let's just call it zero - like the evidence.

      better question: why do you believe in an invisible sky fairy when there is no proof? there is just as much proof that my left nut is god. so bow down and worship my left nut.

      the burden of proof is upon the one making the claim. i don't need to prove there is no god - you need to prove there is. you made the claim - now prove it.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • J. Mark Lane

      Perhaps I have misunderstood it, but as I have always been told, athiesm is a "belief" in the absence of God. Not a question of evidence, but an affirmative postulation that there is no God. In that sense, it is the same as "theism", which may be said to be the affirmation that there is a God. Both are logical leaps. That's why I said there is, rationally, faith and agnosticism. Faith says, "Fine, I know there is no evidence, I make the leap for reasons that are not based in science or rationality." I respect that (although I do not adhere to it). Agnosticism, as I have always understood it, simply says, "We cannot know, either way, at least as we presently exist." That is the ultimate, scientific, logical, intelligent position. At least at this point in time.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • pastafalooza

      I've noticed the definition of atheism has been changed on a number of dictionary websites. This is an outrage!
      Instead of being a lack of belief, it is now defined in many places as being a "belief". This is incorrect and must be changed!

      May 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • G to the T

      True Mark – but for the most part, no one can live as just an agnostic. Agnostics tend to fall on either the theist or atheistic sides. I don't believe there any way to provie conclusviely either way, but based on the evidence I have seen, I find the probability of their being a god to be fairly low. This probability can drop even further for the gods of specific religions as they impart their gods with specific attributes/qualities that can fail when compared against what we do know about reality.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • pr0gress

      You need to understand something: atheism is not an "assertion that there is no god." It is an acknowledgement that, to date, there is not a single shred of credible evidence for the existence of supernatural deities. That's it. That's all. And that's FACT.

      You CANNOT show one piece of verifiable, reproducible evidence of deities in any form or fashion. Not by even the barest minimum of scientific standards. It is entirely in the realm of faith, which is utterly subjective.

      To put it all another way, atheism is a "belief" like "off" is a TV channel. We simply do not subscribe to unfounded myth. PERIOD.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  3. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    By examining history of religions, word religion did not exist in languages spoken by Moses, Easu, son of blessed Mary and Mohammad, spirit of truth, Pbt, religions, such as to day is handy work of hindu atheist, crook self centered, to manipulate and subordinate humanity to few, as their hindu santans, crook man gods , in form of kings and their hindu Prophets, fortune tellers by forming fundamentals of hinduism racism as religions.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  4. STFU

    God hates insurance companies, so he punishes them by sending tornadoes.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  5. Karen

    I am an atheist, but I've also lived long enough to know that life can throw horrific events at you. Until you've lived through a traumatic loss, it is hard to comprehend real pain and suffering. I completely understand why people turn to faith, religion, and spiritual communities for comfort. I think religion is a way of putting personal suffering into a bigger story and trying to make sense of it.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  6. Andrew Vrba

    Deny him in this life, and he will deny you in the next.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • faithful1

      AMEN!!!!!

      May 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Brendon Clarke

      HA!

      May 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Carlos Marin

      Your statement clearly illustrates why I cannot believe in your God. 'Believe in me or I will condemn you to eternal torment'. Somehow you are capable of believing that such a position could be taken by a not only just by even loving and compassionate God. Actually, you believe in a cruel sadistic monster.

      May 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  7. GIUK

    God has no place at a disaster scene. He let it happen, so he shouldn't come round looking for thank yous and pats on the back. He doesn't have to go away mad...........just go away.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  8. Really?

    I love it how if anyone good have people take credit for it but if anything bad happens let's all blame God.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Really?

      happens*

      May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Kip Wendell

      Reallt, Really? From what I've seen it's quite the opposite. People praise "him" for the little good that is left after disasters while overlooking the fact that "he" wasn't there to prevent it in the first place.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Larry L

      Not so. Religion has developed sound-bites to counter logical questions about God's apparent willingness to allow tragedy to happen to those he's ostensibly trying to help. "He works in mysterious ways"... "He let's us make our own choices"... etc.

      When a kid with cancer goes into remission God get's the credit rather than the enormous level of research and work medical science expended on the effort. "God answered our prayers..." Really? Does that mean your god must be begged before he'd save a kid's life? Nice guy... It's all nonsense.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  9. No fool

    Who was it who said: "God created man in His image. Man sure did return the favor."?

    May 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  10. Sidairfoil

    Two things. First, events like this seem to suggest that belief or lack of belief in god really don't determine whether you live or die. Second, they really need to stop grouping atheists, agnostics and "unaffiliated" in the same category. Atheists do not believe in god, agnostics are not sure, and unaffiliateds are theists who don't follow a particular religious system. By what logic do you put atheists and theists in the same category?

    Sid

    May 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      You made an error. Atheists do not believe in God but we are also not sure. That means we are agnostic too. Beleif and knowledge are not the same thing.
      I can't say there isn't a first cause deistic type being...only that I see no evidence to suggest such and thus no reason to believe.
      The Christian God however is completely made up. That god doesn't exist due to logical contradiction and inconsistency.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Sidairfoil

      Atheist Steve. I disagree, but the explanation is bit difficult. In short...it is not reasonable to say that humans cannot be certain of ANYTHING, including the non-existence of god. What's the point of having a concept called "certainty" if humans are, by definition, unable to achieve it? To me, "certainty" is what I achieve when I rationally take into account all the evidence available to me and draw a conclusion (i.e. there is no god). But I acknowledge that, being both finite and flawed, my conclusion MAY be wrong, and I remain open to new evidence. But that does not make me any less certain. It just means that I have the certainty of a human, not a god. You claim that I can not be certain because you define "certain" as "god-like, absolute knowledge" which, again by definition, no human can have. By that definition you are correct, but I reject that definition as meaningless for humans. I am as certain about the non-existence of god as a human can be. And that IS "certainty" as far as I'm concerned. To my understanding, agnostics are not certain about the non-existence of god, even to the level of being as sure as a human can. They haven't decided yet. I suppose that means that I consider a lot of people atheists who consider themselves agnostics because they still cling to theistic definitions. I believe that we non-believers need to not only reject theism, but to also reject the entire epistemological structure and vocabulary of theism.

      Sid

      May 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sid

      While I agree with most of what you said the problem remains. Secular and Christian definitions of certainty differ. But if I ask someone if they believe in God they must answer with a yes or no. It's a binary question. If they say they don't know then I respond with "I didn;t ask what you know but what you believe." Certainty doesn't play into it. You are either a theist(one who believes in god) or you're not and therefore an atheist. Like you I'm quite certain that no gods exist but I cannot discount it as an impossibility. However the specific claims linked to the Christian God do posit an impossiblity and that god I dismiss entirely as fictional.

      May 22, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • ToobyooLlurr

      AtheistSteve, atheism is only defined as being without a belief in any gods. It can then include those who yet believe in the supernatural or spiritual, but it doesn't say anything about that, really.
      The word itself is only concerned with gods (theism) with the lack of same (the "a").
      It says nothing about level of knowledge and says nothing about who might qualify. It is very limited in scope, but popular usage has brought anti-theists under the umbrella as well as being a catch-all used by ignorant people to include all forms of agnostic and gnostic variants of atheism, supernaturalism, and whathaveyou.
      I am a secular humanist who responds to the atheist label. Did I mention yet what I believe or my level of knowledge? No.

      I lack a belief in any gods. -Okay, I qualify for the atheist label.
      I know there are no gods as gods are described. – Now I have stated my claim to knowledge and cannot qualify as an agnostic in this case. I am a gnostic atheist who is also a secular humanist. Secular is a political term about systems of government. Humanism is to be human and support humanity.
      Humanism is more like a religion because it has the widest effect over multiple topics, but it is not a belief. It is more like a statement of intention or purpose regarding human interactions and values that support those sorts of things. At least that's how I see my side of it. Carry on.

      May 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • ToobyooLlurr

      Sidairfoil, you said it better. Good show!

      May 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Rlandry

    Who cares if you believe in God or not. She's safe, her son's safe. In the grand scheme of things it was a horrifying tornado and sadly a lot of people died. God or not the whole thing sucks for those poor people.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jeff

      Muslims care. They will kill you for not believing in their god. Religion is a wonderful thing.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    God delights in the suffering of this planet and the torture of humans.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Please provide proof to back up your claim. Just what I thought. You have none. All you have is an opinion. Which doesn't mean a thing...

      May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      The proof can be found easily enough. Take a look in the mirror.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Sidairfoil

      JTFs: I think he was being sarcastic by pointing out that it's hard to reconcile a benevolent god with senseless deaths.

      Sid

      May 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Observer

      JustTheFacts,

      Looks like you've learned something today.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Sidairfoil… And what proof do you have that any death is "senseless"? In the eyes of God, all deaths serve a purpose. Even as a warning to others….

      May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Patines

      That man Castro is considered a monster for what he did to those three women and your god delights in the suffering of humans, what can we call him, a monster, an assh#ole, a sycko?

      May 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Please provide proof to back up your claim."

      9 innocent children who did not deserve death should be evidence enough.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      "Truth Prevails"… And how do you know what they deserved? Who made you God?… Furthermore, by your statement, you're assuming God allowed the children to die only because of their own actions. What proof do you have of that? Answer: you have none. I could well have merely been payback for the actions of the children's parents, their grandparents, or even their great grandparents, that God allowed their deaths. Or he could have allowed them to die as an example. Or don't you know scripture?...

      Deuteronomy 5:9 – ...I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

      May 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Joey

      Why would you worship someone who is such an immoral azz

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  13. Elcoguy

    Shame on Wolf for even asking about thank the "lord" Journalists should keep their religious views to themselves. I was amazed as to how polite she was, I would have torn a strip off him right there on camera. Bad enough the American media use the word "miracle" which denotes a so-called supernatural event every time someone survives some tragedy. Also- I didn't think there WERE any Atheists in Oklahoma.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  14. Joakim

    " It is a term that extends beyond atheists, who believe there is no God"

    No. Atheists don't necessarily believe in "no god". They don't believe in A god. That's a crucial difference. Besides, Atheism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      That's because most atheists are too stupid to even know what a "god" is. They wouldn't know a god even if they saw one. All kinds of gods exist. Yet, there's is only one god that's "eternal"...

      May 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Abraham

      I believe you are incorrect. The term atheist means "no gods". From Dictionary.com we get: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings – and – a person who does not believe in God or gods – and – Under Origin:
      1570s, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."

      May 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Observer

      JustTheFacts

      "That's because most atheists are too stupid". Without doubt there are MANY atheists with higher IQ's than yours. Don't put yourself down so much.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Observer… Any atheists who is too dumb to know God exists couldn't be very intelligent. That don't see how that equates to a "high IQ" except that your logic is flawed...

      May 22, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Observer

      JustTheFacts,

      "Observer… Any atheists who is too dumb to know God exists couldn't be very intelligent."

      Speaking of dumb, you are supporting a book that talks about unicorns and talking animals. It's a book that supports slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      What was that about "dumb"?

      May 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • RAY

      To justthefacts http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/? My score is 73 find out what yours is.I am an atheist.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  15. Christopher Reid

    Rebecca Vitsmun, good on you Rebecca!

    May 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  16. Caiha

    Duh, there are a lot of corpses under the rubble that were praying to God right before they died.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • sickfit

      I'm sick of people thinking that those who pray in the lord actually believe that everything on "EARTH" will be good. People have been tortured for their believes, but they still have their believes. Christians believe the lord will protect their soul, not their earthly bodies... they do not believe they will live forever

      May 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • hypocrite alert...

      believes=beliefs

      May 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  17. zhenka

    at least more gays laws are passing on.. congrats

    May 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  18. Rick

    As an atheist, what if you're wrong? Stop, drop, and roll doesn't work in Hell. Just sayin.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • SHOCKWAVE

      And what if your wrong? Then you wasted an entire life on beliving in ghost stories.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Joakim

      Who has time to waste on compemplating the hypothetical consequences of unsupported propositions?

      May 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Rick

      You said, "As an atheist, what if you're wrong? Stop, drop, and roll doesn't work in Hell. Just sayin."
      Hell doesn't exist and Pascal's Wager doesn't fly.

      Pascal's Wager:
      In effect, Pascal's wager states that while we can't know with absolute certainty whether the christian god exists, a rational evaluation should lead to a belief. If having to choose between believing (in the christian god), or not believing, the reward for being correct, and the price for being wrong, tips the balance in favor of believing.

      It says, if you believe and are correct, you will gain heaven, while the price for being wrong is nothing. On the other hand, if you don't believe, it says you will gain nothing for being right, yet lose everything if you are wrong. So, belief results in a win/neutral, and non-belief in a neutral/lose position, tipping the balance clearly in favor of the "belief" position.

      Why Pascal's Wager is a fallacy:
      a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options.
      b) Pascal's Wager assumes the christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions.
      c) Pascal's Wager discounts the price paid for belief before death.
      d) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the odds for the reward and the risk of punishment.

      Positing only two options is ridiculous. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. Based on the evidence available for these gods, it is not reasonable to assume one is more likely than any of the others. To increase the odds of a positive outcome of this wager, the believer would have to believe in, and worship, every possible god. Including the ones that haven't been invented yet. Aside from the drain on the available time, it presents the problem that quite a few of these gods are pretty selfish. They frown upon believers believing in other gods. In some religions that is enough to not be eligible for the reward (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      Also, just going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      The price paid for the belief position isn't nothing. It involves going through the rituals, day after day, week after week. It may have severe side effects on physical and mental health. Sex life suffers, too.

      In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation of risk versus reward is in order.

      Risk is (simplistically) the chance that a negative event occurs, multiplied by the cost of that event. As an example, being hit by a meteorite carries a very high cost (probably death), but since the odds are extremely low, the risk associated with it is low. Similarly, the chance of getting rained on is pretty high, but the cost is very low, representing also a low risk. On the other hand the cost and chances of, and therefore the risk associated with, a traffic accident are high.

      The choice whether to mitigate a risk depends on, among other things, the severity of the risk, the cost of the mitigation and the tolerance of that risk. In the above examples, the cost to mitigate each risk are; exorbitant, low and high, respectively. Methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of meteorite impacts are cost prohibitive and far exceed the risk. An umbrella and a check of the weather forecast effectively mitigate the risk of getting rained on, and is easily worth the cost. Car crashes, and their after-effects are mitigated to various degrees by expensive technology (from street surface technology to driver training, airbags and traction control). People bear those costs to their financial ability and tolerance for the risk.

      A similar reasoning applies to reward. The choice whether to pursue a reward is guided by the perception value of the reward, the perception of the odds of gaining the reward and the cost to pursue it.

      In the belief versus non-belief question, believers tend to irrationally overestimate both the reward for belief, and the risk associated with non-belief.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Rational person

      Rick, what if Zeus is the one true god? Boy, are YOU going to be in trouble for worshipping Yahweh instead.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Linca,

      Whether Pascal’s wager is a fallacy, or not, is debatable.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Come to find out the argument continues over Pascal’s wager. Several philosophers have weighed in over the years and the validity of the argument is still disputed. The wager is criticized for several reasons and they all have their points to which there are counterpoints and so on.

      I think it is fair to say that the only ones who admit the argument is valid are the ones who believe that God is at the very least a theoretical possibility. That being said, I think the only ones who have a leg to stand on in complaining against the wager are those who are convinced that God is not a possibility.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Robert Brown,

      making life choices based on Pascal's wager is indeed a fallacy.

      If you don't really believe in God, but decide to "behave" and go through the motions of religiosity on the off-chance that God turns out to be real, don't you think God (should s/he exist) could tell the difference?

      May 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Pascal's Wager is only a fallacy for intelligent people. If you think idiotic arguments might be valid then of course you can debate them......all day long.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Pascals wager fails...and much like you, we'll never know if we're wrong.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Kip Wendell

      @LinCA

      The other flaw in Pascal's Wager is that you can't "make" yourself believe anything. Belief is a result of reasoning from a gathered set of facts or information on a given subject. Quite frankly, the higher intelligence you have, the more supported base of facts are needed to form a belief system. With the entire belief system in God being "faith" based only, it's hard to accept that there is a God, much less force yourself to believe in it when you are a person who requires supported evidence.

      Besides, most "Christians'" lives involve not only a limited way of life from all the silly rituals, but it also leads to ostracizing others and basing societal laws that deny inalienable rights to groups that are not like "them." Something that this country has done before, and is still currently doing.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    awesome! atheists standing up for their beliefs. he asked a loaded question, assuming she must be a christian - and she gave an honest answer. more atheists need to stop hiding their beliefs. blitzer needs to stop making uninformed assumptions - it'd make him a better journalist.

    May 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Larry L

      It's pretty ridiculous to "thank God" for the big pile of crap he made out of your house. Either he made it happen, let it happen, or God doesn't exist. In tow of those situations he's a sadistic jerk and in the other he's a myth. Why pray?

      May 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • sickfit

      Read the book of Job... Christians do not say God will keep all bad away from them... he even states he will let bad happen! But he gives you the strength to get through it... and this comforts many people in their time of need. Whether you believe or not, you can not deny that individuals religious believes doesn't help them get through difficult times.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      book of job is a great example. god gives satan permission to kill job's family and to torture him. yeah, that's an all loving god, alright...

      May 22, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  20. Godoflunaticscreation

    The best part was when she said she was an atheist and the reporter said, You made the right call".

    May 22, 2013 at 7:43 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.