With close to 740,000 views and 10,000 comments, a CNN iReport article titled “Why I Raise My Children Without God” is one of the site’s most popular features. But now CNN has been forced to defend the article from users who won’t stop flagging it as “inappropriate.”
Oh, I LOLed. For those who didn’t read the original article, it’s linked here. In it, the author goes into numerous reasons why she’s not raising her children to believe in or follow the “will” of any God. In short, the major bullet items are:
God is a bad parent and role model.
God is not logical.
God is not fair.
God does not protect the innocent.
God is not present.
God does not teach children to be good.
God teaches narcissism.
She elucidates each line item with an explanation to back up her claim. It’s nothing new; the arguments she presents are the same things atheists and doubters of all kinds have been struggling with for centuries. The bottom line is that belief makes no sense if we assume a personal, compassionate god of the bible. She concludes with this:
I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.
I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.
Hardly the voice of hatred or intolerance. She doesn’t blame Christians, Christianity, or religion in general for all of the wrongs of the world. She doesn’t think people are stupid for using it as a way to deal with the grief of loss or their own mortality. Instead, she calls it a natural human tendency … even if she doesn’t agree with its outcome.
So naturally, there are users out there who see such an affront to their beliefs as something that needs to be silenced and removed from the CNN website. CNN, thankfully, is pushing back on this because it is a simple expression of opinion and there’s nothing inappropriate about it. They’re just riled up because a little bit of unwanted attention is being brought to bear on a god whose claimed characteristics make no sense if you measure him up against reality.
Funny how many of the same people offended by something so demonstrably true likely have little problem telling other people that they’ll go to hell if they don’t repent and give their hearts to Jesus.
For more information about the author and her opinions, you can go to her blog, linked here.
Just a final thought … for all of the panties that were bunched over this opinion piece – which I personally thought was very well written – I am not aware of any death threats that were made against her, nor do I have any reason to believe she or her children are currently fearing for their lives. Thank secular moral philosophy and rational discourse for that advancement in basic human decency. Our fundamentalists may be crazy and backwards, but I suppose we should all be thankful that the strongest response we see in this part of the world is a nasty email and a collective plea to CNN to make it all go away. That’s progress, I guess.