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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:12 AM

Atheist Mom Who Penned Viral Essay About Raising Kids ‘Without God’ Speaks Out

When Deborah Mitchell penned a story about atheism and raising her children without God, she had no idea just how much attention it would get. Coincidentally, the secular mother’s CNN essay, entitled, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” became the most commented-on story in iReport’s history. Considering the very personal and pointed subject matter in the post, the response was intense. On Wednesday, Mitchell appeared on Current TV to speak with host John Fugelsang about the resulting furor, her decision to tout atheism and other related topics.

In her original post, Mitchell described lying to her son from an early age about the existence of God, as she wanted her child to feel safe. She told him religious stories, comparing the “elaborate tale” she built to the falsities many people tell their kids about Santa Claus. Fearing that her son would one day, after realizing that the stories were untrue, no longer trust his mother’s judgement, she made the decision to change course and raise him “without God.” Mitchell writes:

And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/i-was-totally-taken-aback-atheist-mom-deborah-mitchell-on-the-reaction-to-her-cnn-ireport-essay/

36 replies, 2137 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Atheist Mom Who Penned Viral Essay About Raising Kids ‘Without God’ Speaks Out (Original post)
SecularMotion Jan 2013 OP
CBGLuthier Jan 2013 #1
sadbear Jan 2013 #2
JHB Jan 2013 #3
SecularMotion Jan 2013 #5
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #4
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #6
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #7
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #8
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #10
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #11
ceile Jan 2013 #16
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #28
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2013 #34
Lionessa Jan 2013 #24
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #25
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2013 #35
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #29
LibertyLover Jan 2013 #18
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #33
LibertyLover Feb 2013 #36
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #9
redqueen Jan 2013 #12
Bandit Jan 2013 #15
Deep13 Jan 2013 #32
smirkymonkey Jan 2013 #13
Martin Eden Jan 2013 #14
ceile Jan 2013 #17
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #31
Jack Sprat Jan 2013 #19
kristamonroe Jan 2013 #20
Brickbat Jan 2013 #21
vanlassie Jan 2013 #22
Lionessa Jan 2013 #23
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #30
Deep13 Jan 2013 #26
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #27

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:17 AM

1. I would rather not put any money into Glenn Beck's pockets.

The Blaze is a shit site owned by a shit man.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)



Response to JHB (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:26 AM

5. Thanks, I changed the link in the OP

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:20 AM

4. The original link

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-910282 In case you don't want to go through Glenn Becks website. As a secret freeper, I didn't have a problem but I understand some of you might not want to.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:02 AM

6. Is it really "lying about the existence of God"

when nobody really knows, for sure?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:06 AM

7. I thought the same thing

It's not like saying, "I lied about the Earth being round/flat."

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:10 AM

8. Well

there's no reason to think there is an invisible man or entity hovering over planet Earth and billions of other galaxies pulling strings, so the presumption is there is no such thing and why pretend differently unless something happens to change that? The proof should be on the people asserting that some unlikely fantasy creature is indeed real. Likewise, if Santa actually materializes with flying reindeer, or a non-rhino unicorn appears, or Thor comes out of Valhalla, then we can change our tunes about these things as well.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:14 AM

10. So 90% of the US population are deluded liars (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:33 AM

11. Deluded, yes.

Not liars because they believe the mythology stories.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:27 PM

16. +1

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:03 PM

28. +2

 

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:05 PM

24. Actually atheists are approaching 20%, so yes, 80% are deluded liars.

 

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:22 PM

35. That's people that admit to being so in a poll. n/t

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:04 PM

29. No, not liars.

Deluded? Likely.

Are you finding yourself lumped into that group?

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:37 PM

18. Actually, Thor

would be coming out of Asgard rather than Valhalla.

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Response to LibertyLover (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:11 PM

33. Oops!

Thor might kick my ass for that!

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #33)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:43 AM

36. Nah - Thor's

cool about that sort of thing.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:14 AM

9. Religious people don't really know either and they insist there is a God.

I have let my children pursue their own curiosities and make their own decisions. When my daughter was younger she would sometimes go to church with a friend, but she became an atheist pretty early on. She couldn't stand to see all the bad things happening in the world and the horrible way people treated each. My son first gained an interest in mythology. He is still interested in religious stories and the history of religion, but to him they are just stories. I never told my children God does not exist. I did not tell them God did exist. They figured out what they wanted to believe by themselves.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:36 AM

12. This, exactly. nt

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:22 PM

15. Do you know for absolutely certain there is no Easter Bunny?

IMO one is every bit as authentic as the other....

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:12 PM

32. Yes. For two reasons.

One, the definition of a lie is intentional deception. If she represents to her kid that God is real when that is contrary to what she believes is true, it is a lie regardless of what the objective truth is.

Second, we do know for sure. We know the foundational stories of religion are either made up or exaggerated to the point where it is more accurate to say they were made up. We know for a fact that the development of life on Earth occurred purely be natural processes. Since part of the definition of God is that of the creator, this alone almost defines Him out of existence. There is the unanswerable problem of theodicy, unanswerable that is unless one is willing to admit that there is no God. A universe with a directing influence is fundamentally different than a universe without one and if He were real there would be evidence of it everywhere. As it is, the best that theists can do is point to areas of ignorance and assume God is the explanation. We know that a certain % of what people see at any moment are hallucinations and that sometimes more complete hallucinations occur. We know people can be crazy or dishonest. And we know people read purpose into everything and are prone to confirmation bias. Finally, any God capable of running the universe would have to be exponentially more complicated than the universe and that much more unlikely.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:50 PM

13. K&R

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:04 PM

14. The decision whether to embrace religious belief should come with maturity.

It is an enormous decision that can have a profound effect on a person's life.

Indoctrinating children into a religious (or atheistic) belief system long before they have the capacity to understand the belief or make a real choice is, IMO, wrong because someone else is making that decision for them.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:32 PM

17. I'll be raising my kid "without god"

I'm not a believer, dad is but in more of a "I like the tradition" than actual belief. He can make up his own mind when he's ready. If he wants to go to church w/ a friend so be it.

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Response to ceile (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:06 PM

31. Good for you. That's a brave thing to publicize.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:49 PM

19. An innocent child

 

is taken to church nursery early in life. At an impressionable age, they are then introduced to regular church service and classes where they are told there is a hell waiting for them if they don't believe in something they had never heard or imagined until that time.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:50 PM

20. me

nice post!

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:52 PM

21. It's too bad so many people attacked her for it. I thought it was an excellent essay.

One of my children is a heathen and I'm not quite sure what the other believes.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:01 PM

22. If we could just, as humans, GET that there

are "beliefs" -ie "what you think is true" and there is "truth" -what you can prove with data. I have NO PROBLEM with my neighbor BELIEVING whatever he wants. I DO have a problem when he tells my kid his BELIEFS as TRUTH without the data to back himself up.

After all, the big teaching in churches is: "You just have to BELIEVE!"

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:01 PM

23. Yep, Americans hate the truth as is evidenced here anytime I admit I raised mine without Santa, or

 

the Bunny, or god.

Children, according to Americans, are to be lied to and then disciplined when they call out their parents for being the useless liars they usually are.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:04 PM

30. We don't do santa or easter bunny

or God either. I really don't see what the big deal is. I didn't want to lie to my kids.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:00 PM

26. Damn her for not lying to people she loves. nt

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:00 PM

27. When my son decided that Santa Claus didn't exist, he also decided he was an atheist.

I can't fault his logic.

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