This Blog Has Been Flagged as Inappropriate

By Wendy Thomas Russell | January 28, 2013 | 4 comments

annetaintoryouropinionA couple of weeks ago, a Texas mother named Deborah Mitchell wrote a guest blog for CNN’s iReport that quickly became one of the citizen-journalism site’s most widely read pieces. The blog received more than 750,000 page views, 9,000 comments and 64,000 Facebook recommendations.

And as a testament to its controversial nature, the entire essay was flagged as “inappropriate.”

Well, you know, I like to stay on top of current events, so I decided to check out the story that was causing all this grief and strife over at CNN. I clicked on over and, well, what I found can only be described as outrageously offensive and ill-suited to any and all adult audiences. In fact, I had to take a couple of beta blockers just to get through the thing without vomiting or passing out. To me, the fact that CNN would print something so utterly disturbing makes me question whether people associated with CNN should be allowed to live in our country anymore.

Of course, I want to tell you what the story was about, but first, I need to give you some fair warning: This blog has been flagged as inappropriate. People who are pregnant, elderly or suffering from heart conditions may want to look away.

Deborah Mitchell’s report was… wow … hold on… breathing into paper bag…

Deborah Mitchell’s report was about being an ag—

An ag—

AN AGNOSTIC PARENT!

Deep breaths! Deep breaths, people!

Everyone still with me?

Oh, thank God.

So here’s the deal: Mitchell, who has a blog called Kids Without Religion, wrote about how she had decided not to “gift” her child God because she didn’t think the God that most people worship is much of a gift. Then she laid out seven reasons why the traditional notion of “God” didn’t do it for her. It’s an interesting take on the whole “to-God or not-to-God” debate, not to mention a flash of glitter in the often-overlooked world of nonreligious parenting.

If you aren’t one of the 700,000 who have already read it, be sure to check it out here.

Editors over at iReport have been quick to explain that some readers — not anyone from CNN — had flagged the story as inappropriate. But the reaction was clearly so out of the ordinary that CNN blogger Daphne Sashin felt compelled to report about the controversy for CNN’s Belief Blog — a story that itself garnered 14,000 comments.

Fourteen. Thousand. Comments.

Which is precisely why I will be flagging my blogs as inappropriate from now on.


4 comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Now I’m clicking all the links and following your blog too. I need as many secular parenting bloggy friends as I can get. Someone on fb linked your story, I think someone from NAP.

  2. Lev P. says:

    Well, it must be working – made me click! :)

    This effect, apparently, has been used in marketing before:
    “a mom’s disapproval has always been an accurate barometer of what is cool”
    http://www.examiner.com/article/dead-space-2-moms-commercial-hits-its-mark

    I know I wouldn’t pay too much attention to a movie that is rated below “R”.

    BTW, typo police chimes in: “14,00” should be “14,000” (3rd paragraph from the bottom).

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Due out in March 2015, Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious offers a well-researched look at a timely subject: secular parenting. With chapters on avoiding indoctrination, talking about death, vaccinating kids against intolerance, dealing with religious baggage, and getting along with religious relatives, the book offers a refreshingly compassionate approach to raising religiously literate, highly tolerant and critically thinking children capable of making up their own minds about what to believe. The book may be pre-ordered by visiting Brown Paper Press.
 

      Natural Wonderers is a new blog hosted by Wendy Thomas Russell and published by the Patheos faith network. An extension of Russell's previous blog — Relax, It's Just God — Natural Wonderers offers stories and advice on raising curious, compassionate children in secular families.
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