Wolf Blitzer: Atheist Tornado Survivor Asked 'Do You Thank the Lord?' (Video)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:17 AM

By Megan Anderle

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CNN’s Wolf Blitzer made a novice mistake Tuesday afternoon, assuming a source he was interviewing believes in God.

Blitzer was interviewing a survivor of the Oklahoma tornado, a young woman named Rebecca Vitsmun, who escaped the destruction with her 19-month-old unscathed moments before a tornado ruined their home.

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While their narrow escape seemed like divine intervention, Vitsmun did not agree with Blitzer when he asked her, “You’re blessed. Brian, your husband is blessed. Anders is blessed… I guess you got to thank the lord, right?”

At first, she shrugged off the question. Blitzer repeated it: “Do you thank the lord for that split-second decision?”

Vitsmun hesitantly responded.

“I–I’m actually an atheist,” she said, awkwardly laughing.

Blitzer swiftly replied.

"You are. All right. But you made the right call," he said.

She responded with tact.

"We are here, and I don't blame anyone for thanking the Lord," Vitsmun said.

Blitzer laughed with her at the response and coolly concluded the segment.

“Of course not,” Blitzer replied.

The number of people who identify as atheists has gone up substantially in the last decade. America experienced a 13 percent drop in religiosity between 2005 and 2012, according to a WIN-Gallup poll published last year.

Rescuers are going building to building looking for Oklahoma City residents after a massive tornado tore through a suburb, wiping out entire blocks of homes and killing at least 24 people. Thousands have been displaced since the natural disaster in Moore.

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The tornado was at least an EF-4 storm, the second most powerful, and winds were as high as 200 miles per hour, according to Ryan Barnes, a weather service meteorologist in Norman, Oklahoma.

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