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Fort Worth transit agency bans faith-based ads
December 21st, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Fort Worth transit agency bans faith-based ads

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

The message from Fort Worth, Texas: no more religious advertisements allowed, at least on its transit system.

The pro and anti-religious ad battle has been front and center this holiday season. Atheist groups and the Catholic League had a billboard brawl in New York late last month, and now the fight has reached Texas.

The Board of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) voted unanimously last week to formally adopt an advertising policy for all T property which includes a ban on faith-based ads.

The vote was prompted after a recent ad purchased by The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason which caused a lot of commotion in town. The ad posted on four buses reads "Millions of Americans are good without God."

Joan Hunter, communications manager for The T, said the decision for the ban was not based on the content of the Coalition's ad, but rather the amount of resources the department had to spare to field concerns in reaction to it.

"The demands on our time to respond and trying to engage us as a public forum was pulling us from focus on the operation of a transit agency and that is our business," Hunter said in an e-mail message to CNN.

The T already had guidelines in place against tobacco and alcohol ads, some local political ads, and those deemed obscene. In a news release, The T says the new policy will "exclude any ads with religious, non-theistic, or faith-based content and all political ads."

"Our policy regarding belief ads that we had was impartial and had worked without interruptions to our time and resources in the past," Hunter said. She also noted there are several other ads posted on their bus fleet right now, including one that says "Jesus is the reason for the season" and another paid for by a Catholic organization.

Terry McDonald, coordinator of the Coalition, said the group's campaign was not scheduled to come out during December. It was being worked on last summer to coincide with a book signing by Harvard humanist chaplain Greg Epstein. When the event fell through, the Coalition thought the title of Epstein's book, "Good Without God," still held an important message.

"The reason for our campaign is to let people who are nonbelievers know about the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason and that has succeeded very, very well," McDonald said.

He said the group didn't expect there to be anywhere near this much publicity but with the media coverage of the controversy the Coalition's affiliates are seeing their memberships increase and they've received donations from across the country.

Kyev Tatum, pastor of Friendship Rock Baptist Church in Fort Worth, called The T Board's vote "a dangerous precedent" because it only took a matter of days for religion to be taken out of public policy. Tatum had called for a boycott of the buses when the controversy began.

"The compromise was worse than what we had before," Tatum said, "because the compromise says Christians can no longer advertise and we don't like that."

Tatum, president of the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said his organization's response to the ad is a new campaign called "Better with God." They're hoping to get one million supporters behind the cause.
"They may be good without him," Tatum said, "but we can say they're better with him."
Any current advertising with The T that falls into a banned category will be allowed to remain in place through the remainder of the contract. The Coalition's ads will expire in early January.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • United States

soundoff (1,036 Responses)
  1. G

    @JohnQuest
    I personally believe and I think you have every right not to believe and I think you have every right to express that. Please don't lump all believers into one group, much like atheists, we are a full spectrum of humanity.

    December 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  2. eglaw

    People can be moral and not believe in God. Just as people who are religious be immoral. If people want to post advsertisement that is offends you, close your eyes. You dont have to look at it

    December 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Dave

      eglaw,

      I have trouble understanding how we can even define 'good' and 'bad' without a concept of God. If there is no God, why is it better to refrain from killing innocents than to murder? What does it matter?

      December 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Kevin

      You act like there is no such thing as love or compassion without a god behind it. What a pitiful way of life.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Don

      That you need some god to force you to act morally is sad, Dave. You've indicted only yourself. We who act morally and have no need of god look down upon you.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
    • rosethornne

      If a person is intellectually honest, inquisitive about the universe, ethical, kind, and compassionate, the person will arrive at a set of behaviors consistent with what we call "good".
      If a person is cruel, greedy, corrupt, and intellectually bankrupt, then no amount of whitewashing with any kind of religious notification will make that person anything other than "evil" (can we spell Torquemada, boys and girls? Cheney? How about Hitler, he was ü
      Content not labels, folks, you've had thousands of years to figure that out.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:28 am |
    • Bob

      @Dave
      > I have trouble understanding how we can even define 'good' and 'bad' without a concept of God. If there is no God, why is it better to refrain from killing innocents than to murder? What does it matter?

      There are cultures in this world without a belief in a God. Strange but true. And somehow, they manage to figure out that murder, r-a-pe, theft and other bad things are evil. They also laud self sacrifice and aid when given freely.

      You see Dave, I think that like most people, you'd prefer not to be stolen from, murdered or otherwise injured for someone else's selfish gains or reasons. This common feeling that everyone has allows societies to form and begins the foundations of law and order. I'd even go so far to say this social organization is genetic, tied to our very beings, much like our ape relitives, wolves and lions.

      I don't need a God to tell me the exploitation of a child is wrong. If you do, that's a sad commentary on your own self worth and the value you place in your own judgement.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  3. wake up

    why is there still religious marketing on this site? why do I go to read about green cars and have to endure gm ads for suvs after using bail out money from US taxpayer to brain wash me????

    If I am on an open site take off the religious brainwashing? preachers' daughter was always loosest, the only good thing about religion.

    December 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  4. Valerie

    "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." ~the word of our Lord

    Keep your chin up Christians. We should expect most of these posts, yet offer charity in return. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

    December 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • allanhowls

      ...and sometimes the world hates you for being a hateful jerk, forcing your evangelism down the throats of people who don't need to be scared with eternal punishment to be good.

      It takes an overwhelming majority to feel that persecuted. Such amazing hypocrisy.

      December 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      I as a non believer do not hate Christians (or Jews or Muslims or anyone) for their beliefs and would fight and die to ensure that you are free to continue to believe what you want. I don't have to agree with you or even understand your need to believe. I also believe in the freedom of speech for all, including the non believers and would fight and die for that right as well.

      Question; would any devoutly religious person fight and die for my right not to believe?

      December 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Valerie

      JohnQuest~"Question; would any devoutly religious person fight and die for my right not to believe?"

      You don't think there are any Christians in the military?

      December 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      @Valerie That wasn't the question. You must have missed it.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Of course, I served with them, but I was referring to civilians. Military folk by default will sacrifice for our civilians no matter what the civilians believe.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • The_Mick

      And yet you show no regard for non-Christian opinions as Jesus taught should be done in the parable of the "Good Samaritan." The Samaritans were considered by the Jews of Jesus' day to be worse than atheists because they were regarded as hypocrites. Yet Jesus asked "Who is this man's true neighbor?" Similarly, if someone's religious outlook is different than mine but he leads a good life, I'll honor him above anyone of my religion/agnosicism/atheism who pretends to follow high principles but treats his fellow man like dirt.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • Blaqb0x

      Merry Ca$h-mas to you V.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Brad

      That is why christians kill christians, because they love their own. Once again, a chritian opens mouth, inserts foot.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    @vel
    "Got Mit Uns"

    December 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  6. AceRyder

    Perfect resolution. Just stop anyone from posting pro/anti religious nonsense. I got news for you people who argue religion – whatever side you are on, you are NOT going to change someone's beliefs.

    I shudder to think how this could have turned out in SFO....

    December 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bob

      Except atheism isn't a belief. Thanks for coming out.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Guest

      Bob, How is atheism NOT a belief? Do you have proof that there is no god?

      December 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Rich

      How do you prove that something does not exist? You can't. That doesn't mean atheists are wrong. Yet you have no proof of God's existence other than the trite "look at the sun, look at the pretty flowers, look at the ocean, of course you can see God." But never "look at the wartime murderers, look at the shark destroying the fishy" – never seem to include your God there.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Brad

      Actually, atheism is a faith. They have group meetings, publish literature, they basicly do everything religions do.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • MadPanda

      Atheism is as much of a faith as bald is a hair color. Lack of belief is not the same thing as belief for no reason. Quit while you are behind.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • ksm13

      If I don't believe in Santa Claus, does that mean I have 'faith' that he does not exist? No. I can infer that he does not exist based on lack of evidence. Non-belief does not require faith, and is therefore not one. Trying to refute this fact is futile.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Don

      Actually, atheism isn't a faith.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Bob

      > How do you prove that something does not exist? You can't. That doesn't mean atheists are wrong. Yet you have no proof of God's existence other than the trite "look at the sun, look at the pretty flowers, look at the ocean, of course you can see God." But never "look at the wartime murderers, look at the shark destroying the fishy" – never seem to include your God there.

      Atheism does not say there is no God. Atheism is the lack of belief in God. He/She/It may exist, but there sure as hell isn't any reasonable reason to believe so.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:10 am |
    • AceRyder

      You're both perfect examples of this retarded argument. You sound stupid trying to convince the other of something neither of you can prove or disprove.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:44 am |
    • AceRyder

      Bob, you're wrong. I don't believe there is a god for two seconds. God, strike me dead if I'm wrong – still typing.

      But Bob, you're equally distatsteful to me as any Jehovah's Witness or Mormon who rings my doorbell – why is it your job to ruin people's beliefs? Shut up and go about your day. Leave them alone like I'd like them to leave me alone. And yes, you BELIEVE there is no god – like it or not, you have no proof one way or the other. I happen to agree that there is a complete lack of proof that there is a god, but what the hell do I know?

      Except that I'm still typing....

      December 22, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  7. vel

    This is just perfect "Kyev Tatum, pastor of Friendship Rock Baptist Church in Fort Worth, called The T Board's vote "a dangerous precedent" because it only took a matter of days for religion to be taken out of public policy. Tatum had called for a boycott of the buses when the controversy began." So here we have Pastor Tatum wanting people to boycott the buses becuase they have a message he doesn't like. And here:

    ""The compromise was worse than what we had before," Tatum said, "because the compromise says Christians can no longer advertise and we don't like that."" Awwww, poor Pastor Tatum. I love how he is all offended that he can't put his message out but doesn't want anyone else to have their messages there. What a ignorant, and unfortunately, typical, Christian hypocrite.

    And dear Pastor Tatum, I do hope you can show where being Christian makes anyone better in *any* way. We have Christians all sure that they and only they know what God really meant and hating those "other" Chrisitans. We have the Mormons so desperate for acceptance that they are now trying to convince everyone that they are just good folks too by taking out ads everywhere. Funny how Christianity does nothing but create divisions among people, all sure that God is on their side and shares their hates and desires.

    December 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • Scott

      With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people
      doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  8. Bob

    > It allows "freedom" and that is what Christianity is all about.

    Really, what about...

    God knows the future and created the universe. (Ie, he created all events that occured, are unchangable).
    God doesn't allow you to worship anyone bit him.
    God doesn't allow you to swear with his name.
    God has a plan for you.
    God tortured Joeb to win a bet against satan.
    God flooded the world to "teach those who became wicked in his eyes".
    And many more!

    It really doesn't sound like the concept of "Freedom" is an aspect your God holds.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jebus Christ

      Dont forget the classic : God creates gay people on purpose but will sent them to burn in hell for acting gay.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • vel

      Don't forget that God killed all of Job's family just for that bet between him and Satan too. And oh yes, there's that part in Revelation (the last few chapters) where God simply "must" release Satan again, after killing all the "evil" people and having Jesus reign on earth for an eon over all the "good" people that are left. Why this need for damning more souls?

      December 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Bruce

      Bob,

      Different freedom. BTW, God did choose from the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) and He also said, "Whosoever will may come." (Rev. 22:17) I know that does not fit in your Book of Reason but it is how Eternal God who created the universe can do things. He is not man that we can know Him completely, however, we can know Him.

      December 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bob

      @Bruce wrote Bob, Different freedom. BTW, God did choose from the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) and He also said, "Whosoever will may come." (Rev. 22:17) I know that does not fit in your Book of Reason but it is how Eternal God who created the universe can do things. He is not man that we can know Him completely, however, we can know Him

      What sort of incoherant babble is that? Look, even God is bound by certain rules. For example, God cannot exist and not exist at the same time. Impossible. Either he does or doesn't exist. Similarly, he either has influence over our lives or he doesn't.

      The bible says he does. He creates our minds and our mental limits. He creates us with faults and sets up the rules of the game. He does so knowing how each of us will act, who each of us will mate with and what each of us will do. He is solely responsible for our actions and given that he knows the future and that we are his creations by his design, we cannot chose to tread off the path he has decided for us.

      Christianity does not allow for freedom. Claiming otherwise is like sharpening a knife, picking it up and dropping it by accident cutting yourself and then saying "Stupid knife. I condmen you to hell!".

      December 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Brad

      My favorite is, God is Love, but he created hell, satan, hate, anger. Also, the first War ever fought, was not by man, but was fought in HIS lands, Heaven. Then he sent HIS problem down to us for his amusment. On top of all that, after you do all this suffering, he forgives you for HIS mistake, brings you to heaven, but now, because you are supposedly perfect, if you ever sin again, you will be damned for eternity. It would happen to, because demons and satan were angels that sinned, so for all eternity, you will have an axe over your neck going, don't mess up, don't mess up, don't mess up! Good luck with that by the way, eternity is a long time to not mess up. Sigh, bible and God just don't make scence.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Bruce

      Bob,

      You limit yourself in time and space. Eternal things do not compare to the mortal. I do not limit things to what I see, necessarily. I do not expand to reincarnation or anything like that. I have found it to be easlily understood by allowing what cannot be explained to rest upon the incomprehensible.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bruce

      Brad,

      Your concept is flawed. For me, I see that God allowed the perfect beings He created to dwell with the Holy. Each had the purest form of free will in the perfect environment and one chose to think otherwise and fell along with 1/3 of the angels he was leading. Man was created innocent and without sin, not perfect. Then woman was formed. Both fell in sin. From that point I speculate why sin was allowed. I believe the incomprehensible perfection of every character God has is intensified with a black backdrop like they use for diamonds. God has provided a great Salvation and a great Damnation that both praises and glorifies who He is. With that, you have to understand that this is God's universe and He can do what He wants. I like it.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Don

      Bruce, beings cannot be eternal.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • Scott

      @ Bruce: “allowing what cannot be explained to rest upon the incomprehensible.” Is how religion explained infections before germ theory. God gave us sickness but science gave us antibiotics

      December 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bob

      @Bruce you wrote Bob, you limit yourself in time and space.

      That is correct. I limit myself to the facts that can be demonstrated to me. The reason I do this is because there is no sound methodology to determine anything else. Faith has led many people down the wrong path, even according to you. Given that faith only is the belief in a concpet without evidence, who's to say who is correct.

      The only way we can advance as a culture and species is to build upon what works. Science works. It has a proven track record of expanding our knowledge of the world and universe. Religion doesn't.

      I liken religion to the baby phase of societies. It's a stab at law, culture, morals and public policy.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:00 am |
    • MeMeMeMimi

      Jesus Christ dude, shut up.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  9. TheRationale

    Hm. I'm not a fan of banning speech, although I see why a private business would want to stay out of religion, politics, and drugs.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Chances are that the people who complained were "encouraged to" by their faith groups. Now no one can play and some of the christian leaders are upset with this.

      Boo hoo.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Dave

      @Bob:

      Who do you think complained about religious ads in the first place, prompting the atheist campaigns?

      December 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Bob

      @Dave Umm, no one?

      December 22, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    Perhaps what the U.S. needs are two separate judicial systems – one biblical and one secular.
    If charged with a crime, you have to fill out a form indicating your religion so as to face the appropriate punishment.
    For example, in a secular divorce with "adultery" as the reason, assets would be divided based on household net worth during the time of marriage with the cheating partner paying spousal support in cases of income discrepancy.
    For Christians, the adulterous spouse and the "other" man/woman would both be executed, just as dictated in the Bible.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jebus Christ

      I would vote for that lol

      December 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Doc Vestibule, that is the funniest thing I read in weeks, made me spit out my cheerios.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • PAGANGRL69

      We already have this it's called "Religion"-isn't being Religious punishment enough for you?

      December 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bruce

      Doc,

      In the case of divorce, it would be the choice of each spouse to choose the other's religion.

      December 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bob

      I somehow think that "God's righetous and perfect judgement" for crimes would have a few people upset and wanting to move over to the secular side.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Blaqb0x

      We need DarkMatter (Youtube) to make a video on this!!!!!!

      December 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • JimmyCracksCapriCorns

      Judaism + Christianity + Islam = Axis of Evil against the Soul of Mankind

      December 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Amy

      That was outstanding. I almost peed my pants laughing.

      December 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  11. Bruce

    They will also have to ban political-based adds, too. Many more hold up politics like religion.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Greg

      Uh...they had already banned local political ads. Says so right in the article.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  12. JJ

    "They may be good without him," Tatum said, "but we can say they're better with him."

    Oh yeah, Tatum, then we'll be the best without him. So there! Na, na, naaa, na, naah!

    What, is this guy in third grade, playing non-creative one-upmanship? No creativity; maybe that's why he's a sheep leader.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  13. Brian Westley

    "The compromise was worse than what we had before," Tatum said, "because the compromise says Christians can no longer advertise and we don't like that."

    Wow, what a blatant hypocrite. He doesn't like it when atheists get to air their views, but when NOBODY is allowed, well, he doesn't like it when HE isn't allowed to air HIS views. Mote. Log. Eye.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • BigJ

      No, no, no, you misunderstand. He wants everyone to be equal with First Amendment rights. As long as they are Christian. Preferably his brand of Christian. So he can exercise his right to pretend that there are no non-Christians in America.

      December 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Brad

      LOL, I noticed that to! That is humans for you, everyone wants things THEIR way, including me. Course, my way says, do what you want, there is no such thing as sin. I'm gonna leave it at that, so that some idiot religouse person can reply to my reply saying, "oh, so it is ok to murder and blah blah blah" like they always do. Then I'll come back and say, YES!!! you read my mind oh wise one. Because I do not believe in a God, I'm going to start killing people! I hate small minded people.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  14. GSA

    @David Johnson – haha, too funny. I would think that maybe your prayer was not answered by God but Santa in this case. Although if you have lost a tooth recently it could have been the tooth fairy as well. In either case if I were you I would be asking for a few million dollars and a new Audi R8 but that's just me.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • Andrew

      Why on earth would you ask for a souless driving machine? Aston's DB9 is way more epic.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
  15. David Johnson

    The Board of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) voted unanimously last week to formally adopt an advertising policy for all T property which includes a ban on faith-based ads.

    Damn! Maybe there is a god, and He answered my prayer...

    Cheers!

    December 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • john

      David; I wonder if you are correct. I am not able to think like God, but I wonder how He feels about all this fighting back and forth about His existence. Yes David, perhaps He has answered your prayer and you might look up and ask "Are you there?" He is most likly reaching out to you.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • JimmyCracksCapriCorns

      Any God who hides for thousands of years is no god at all but a coward, and a passive aggressive one at that.

      Thor, Zeus, mars, Venus...Jesus, Moses, Muhammad....they are all the same delusional works of fiction and fantasy. Some are more enduring than others but this too shall pass....

      December 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • DRCFP

      Jimmy,

      Who says God is hiding? Is it because you can't see him? Do you even understand why you can't see him? I can't see you right now, does that mean your hiding or are a coward? I don't think that of you.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  16. GSA

    Christians did not establish the system, do some research and you will figure out the truth. Using concepts from a long time ago, thought of by another society to set-up a relatively new country and doing so on the backs of slave labour....if that is called "establishing the system" then so be it.
    Also wanting some kind of credit for the good, yet having no guts to take blame for the evil and wrong is a tactic that is used by 3-year olds. Christianity and Christians have done great things, so have others from different religions or atheists for that matter as well. Some ppl are good, some are bad, that is the same in any country, religion, sect, group, etc.
    That being said, let anyone rent out the space on this bus and display what they want. Anyone that stressed out and upset by an ad is a complete moron.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  17. JohnQuest

    Bruce, throughout history people have been speaking out against the belief in a deity, we are fortunate to live in a time and place when one is not executed for expressing ones disbelief. BTW, Christians did not create establish this system, the founders of this republic although a few were theist most were agnostic or deist. Also we (at least in the West) have been living under a "new morality" since before the civil war.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
    • Bruce

      JQ,

      Then who voted to have "In God We Trust" on our money?

      December 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Bruce, from the US Treasury (Fact Sheet):

      Fact Sheets: Currency & Coins
      History of 'In God We Trust'

      The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, and read:

      December 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • What?

      Wow JohnQuest, you just OWNED Bruce...LMAO!

      December 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • aUtheistIc

      @ JQ and all god-erring people, If the "sentiment existing during the Civil War" and Salmon P. Chase were the reason behind that "IN GOD WE TRUST" motto in every dollar bill, then why it's still there until now?

      I don't have much background in history, so may I know how many years,decades,centuries had passed since that civil war? Is Salmon P. Chase still alive until now?

      How about shouting out the street on top of your god-allergic lungs to appeal to the department of treasury and urge them to remove that "annoying" motto from the face of every bill of America? And NOT just settle for that ads in transits that you could hardly see while you're inside your benz.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
    • Greg

      @aUtheistIc
      That would be because of the "Red Scare" era of the 1950s led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a rather embarrassing stretch of time in American history often compared to the witch hunts of early colonial America. That's when all the "In God We Trust" and adding "under God" to the pledge was officially added. It's not something to be proud of. Frankly, the original unofficial motto "E Pluribus Unum" is way more eloquent and inclusive as a motto for this country than anything referring to some deity.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  18. Reality

    The wishful thinking done by P, M, M, L, and J approximately 2000 years ago continued the embellishment and fiction tradition of the Jewish scribes. The locals paid for a good story of myth and imminent second coming. There was no money in the truth but now we know the truth and it boils down to two simple statements, Do No Harm and Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself, two statements for the sides of all buses, trains, planes, cars and brains.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Something

      Yes, Reality, yes!

      December 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Something, Ah, I didn't put it together at first sumdude.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      It's not do not harm, you will end up sitting in your mother's basement doing nothing but cut and pasting.... It is Do unto others, the active form.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Claire C.

      Not fair giving us the spoiler without appropriate warning!

      December 22, 2010 at 4:47 am |
  19. Bruce

    In this world, at this time and under our Const-itution it would be a good thing not to allow anything to be said. Up to this point it was ok because Christians established the system. Funny how the others are riding on the momentum of what Christianity has established and now feel they are GOOD WITHOUT GOD. Living in prosperity long enough produces these kind and they have the freedom to speak out like they do. If you push back you loose the Christian influence so, just let it go. I guess it is time to hand over the reins to a new morality. Good LUCK.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Bob

      Umm, Chrsitians certainly didn't make the consitution. If they did, they violated the 10 commandments because they allow people to worship other gods, build craven idols and in fact take the lords name in vain. It also allows people to commit adultry, to covet neighbours goods and not keep holy the day of the sabbath.

      So, Christians created the consti-tuiton in direct violation of what they have been told to do. Yeah, that's believable.

      The majority of the founding fathers were deist. Meaning they believed in a God but not necessarily tied to any one church. The freedom to religion was in fact put in because Christians were oppressing other people at the time.

      Which makes your claim even more unbelievable. Christians violated their own christian beliefs in response to actions of christians that they wanted to stop.

      Yeah.

      December 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bruce

      Bob,

      Good try. When making a Consti-tution for a new country I think I would do the same thing. It allows "freedom" and that is what Christianity is all about. They were leaving a country where it was set up like you think Christians should have set it up. Forcing people to do the right thing from the beginning would be "legalism". I think they had the right mindset when they originated the Consti-tution. I have to assume that they wanted every person and every religion to have the peace of personal expression. When the freedom of expression goes too far is when it is time to draw lines. Religion is necessary for a country to keep it in check morally.

      December 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • ScottK

      @Bruce – "riding on the momentum of what Christianity has established" If you are making the argument that our current freedoms here in America are based only on Christian values or progress that Christians made, please go back and do more research. We can debate the "were a Christian nation" thing back and forth without getting anywhere, but to imply that the freedoms we have now came only from Christian roots ignores the rest of world history as well as the fact that its often been the Church impeding civil liberties and progressive movements. It should really be said that we now enjoy many freedoms here in America in spite of our Christian heritage.

      December 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Bruce, Sweden is the most non religious country on the planet (as far as the West is concerned) and it seems to work very well. The Instrument of Government was written in 1975ish I think.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jebus Christ

      So could I post an ad that says "God, almost definitely doesnt exist". That is not faith based. I dont care what you faith-embracers claim.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Jebus Christ, I think that would violate the "spirit" of the law. If you can advertise your "belief" that there is no God then I can advertise my "belief" that there is a God.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Jebus Christ

      No i totally realize that they would not allow it. I was just getting into the "atheism is not a faith" argument.

      December 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Jango Davis

      Please stay in Sweden when you get there.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • trumod

      My faith is secure enough that it can withstand challenges like the bus signs. How about yours?

      December 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Chris

      Christians have persecuted and killed millions of people who didn't agree with them, just like every other major world religion. The founding fathers were far more intellectual than they were religious, and they saw the need to make sure NO RELIGION has the authority to subvert people from believing what ever they like. America was not founded by Christians, read a few biographical works on the founding fathers and see for yourself what they really thought....you might just learn something.

      December 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • JimmyCracksCapriCorns

      I forgot to add...in case you haven't pulled your head out long enough to notice your economy....Christians are packing up your "American Dream" and shipping it off to atheist communist slave labor China. It's called deconstruction and the GOP is leading the way because, as this nation knows all too well, the religious right of America hates to pay a fair living wage to workers, they prefer to enslave people to serve them.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • John

      What is all this "consti-tution" nonsense? Or should I ask it with a "non-sense"?

      December 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Lee

      The founding fathers were deists. Ben Franklin write his own bible where he removed every supernatural reference and took what was left as a book of "parables" not a history book.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
    • Miklan

      Assuming someone has "bad" morals because they arent Christian is like assuming all Christians believe AIDS is God's way of killing gay people.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Mr Phil

      Bruce, you don't want what Sweden has? You don't want 6 weeks paid vacation, nationalized health care, free college, free elderly care, 18 weeks paid maternity leave, 8 weeks paid PATERNITY leave, and one of the HIGHEST standards of living in the civilized world? And, yes, I realize they aren't free, but are paid for through really high taxes. I'd rather have our taxes spent on improving people's lives than destroying them (the massively over-bloated defense budget in this country). I'll take a lifestyle where they work to live rather than live to work any day. You can have your big homes and big cars. I'd rather be able to have awesome vacations.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • FoolsOfGreatGrandeur

      @Bob/JohnQuest/Chris,

      Your Ignorance of History is really apalling. Kindly educate yourselves. Christians are the ones killed , burned , fed to lions and persecuted. The US founding fathers if you go just study – are GOD fearing men. The separation of state and church was construed by sick minds like you. It was NOT meant to take away GOD from government and society.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Heathen

      Most of the founding fathers were not christian. The founding fathers were atheist, agnostic, deist ... and christian. Anyone who says the founding fathers intended this to be a christian country is either ignorant or a liar. Lying in the name of religion is nothing new, but it is still worthy of contempt.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • plas229

      @Lee...that was Jefferson actually who wrote his own New Testament and "removed sections containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists"

      December 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • What?

      @FoolsOfGreatGrandeur

      You just made your self look like an idiot. The Romans, were an empire of pagans. They did not want the Christians to rise up because they believed different things. Just another example of one religion killing people who are different from them.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • thymat

      .............The America way......"Do unto others before they do it to you"

      December 21, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • bspurloc

      christianity didnt establish anything. christianity used PEACE AND LOVE to massacre its way into your ancestors heads. 500 years straight of massacring people tends to get u top dawg spot son. grats
      The specific crusades to restore Christian control of the Holy Land were fought over a period of nearly 200 years, between 1095 and 1291. Other campaigns in Spain and Eastern Europe continued into the 15th century.

      December 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • Al

      What I like about the sign on the bus is that it at least acknowledged that God is. Whether you answer to Him or not, He is. Always was, always will be. He was here before Ft. Worth, before Texas, before America, and before CNN. Just look around you and see all that he has made. There is nothing that is, that was not from Him. Everybody needs God, but pretends that their own intellect is what makes them tick. Silly people.

      December 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Judge

      Wow Bruce you surely managed to bring out the bigoted, prejudiced, mean-spirited people (most of whom seem to lack a working understanding of both the Bible and our founding fathers. I especially like it when they tell knowledgeable people that they should "learn to read" or "get and education." Hilarious. Thanks Bruce, but realize that haters will hate. It's what fuels their cold hearts and makes them feel superior. Sad. Well, Merry Christmas. Peace on earth and good well towards all.

      December 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Bruce

      trumod

      My faith can stand the sign, too. It may be a good idea to leave it there to convince the hypocrites to move off the fence and go to the other side.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      Judge,

      Thanks. That was a breath of fresh air.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • Bruce

      Mr. Phil,

      I have heard the same thing, too. America and Sweden are two (2) different places. Winter sets in around September and does not let up until May. I'm a Texas boy from Houston and even if it was free I would not live there nor would I think the government they have could be supported here in America. Too much corruption, too many resources to manage and too much freedom to do what I want. Some would encourage you to visit Sweden for a few years to see if it is all it is cracked up to be.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Dave

      John,

      Regular posters to these boards are under the impression that CNN scans submissions for offensive words. Perhaps they're right. In any case, by writing 'consti-tution, they are placing the hyphen in such a way as to avoid a potentially offsensive three-letter word which appears in the middle of the un-hyphenated word.

      December 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Andrew

      I'm curious Bruce, why would Christians say things like
      "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."
      Thomas Jefferson

      "I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it."
      "I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity."

      Ben Franklin

      And can you please explain to me why when they specifically stated, such as the Treaty of Trippoli, that the US is not, in any way, a Christian nation.. why Christians would be so vehement about saying that it is specifically not a Christian nation?

      The founding fathers being mostly Christians doesn't seem to fit with either their quotes, or actions. Deist, yes, but Christian, no.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • MS Jackson

      Why on earth are you people fighting a moral dialogue with an unarmed (intellectually) individual who gives not a whit about reason? Bruce has pretty much made it plain that the mythical Christ himself couldn't convince him that the sun isn't one of god's gold teeth. With hypnocrites like this it's always chin up, nostrils flared and eyes wide shut so why miss out on good TV instead of listening to prattle? First thing to do when confronted with a religious zealot who's willing to lie about an upcoming trip to Sweden and who identifies as a Texas "boy" (are there any men there?) is to steamroll over their disingenuous nonsense and carry on with what you are demanding from the U.S. govt. There's no need to concern yourselves with their false sensibilities. Continue the act of increasing the division of delusion or this country is doomed.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
    • vonStemwede

      Will all of you please stop whining about whether the Founders were Deists or Christians? The Fact is that they were both. They came from every walk of life and agreed on certain principles that became the foundation of our country. It is completely asinine for both sides to try and pretend that they represented only their favorite faction.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Bruce

      Andrew,

      Thomas J. & Ben F. are often quoted by aTheist to prove something. These men could not see into the incomprehensible, only thier own inner sanctum.

      The difference between us is Evolution and Creation. Neither can be explained to either mind-set.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Bruce

      MS Jackson,

      You've distanced yourself from the fight but still took a swing. That is called a sucker punch where I come from.

      You have proven yourself and your method of belief. You called me a liar and do not really know either way. I can say with some assurance that you have become an aTheist by that same method and reasoning. I just cannot help believing that your whole life follows that same process.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Thinkingman

      You do realize that most of the Founding Fathers weren't good Christians, right? The overwhelming majority of them were deists.

      Thomas Paine hated Christianity (The Age of Reason)
      Thomas Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus (Jefferson Bible)
      George Washington preferred the terms "Grand Architect" and "Providence," rather than biblical terms, suggesting that he was a deist.

      The weird pyramid thing on the back of the dollar bill? An enlightenment symbol which is intrinsically tied to deism.

      And, finally, the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli plainly states:
      "The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Mussulmen [Moslems]."

      Please read your Texas-unapproved history textbook before posting stupid ever again.

      December 22, 2010 at 2:12 am |
    • Claire C.

      Another Rushdooney reader? He's the Christian revisionist author embraced by fundamentalist believers. Since all history is revisionist, we'll always hear the side of those who won the last war.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:43 am |
    • crazyvermont

      Bob,
      Your comments show the problem when we have history revision which is done quite liberally today. You need to truly research each of the founding fathers and not just what is written in today's history books. Some were indeed deist and as a whole they believed God that would set this country apart from all other nations. Kind of interesting how close we are becoming like other nations as we eliminate God from our society, so perhaps they had a point.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:39 am |
    • Peter

      Bob, Obviously you're not a Christian. The Ten Commandment is Old Testament (Before Jesus). The days of Moses Law. Those rules, while they are good to live by still, were outdated once Jesus came around. Our sins were forgiven once Jesus died. You non-believers really do yourselves an injustice by trying to put down Faith. These are very wise saying you might have heard...If you can't beat em, join em. I hope you do, because Faith will always win, especially in the end. Good luck.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • ryansdirtytrailer

      Jesus, please keep your crazed followers away from me. Thank you.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Angela

      Dude....everyone stop picking on Bruce. He's from Texas. I may have no faith, hence in some minds no morals, but I know it's not nice to pick on retarded people.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  20. Bob

    Excellent!

    December 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • evoc

      And, rightly so...for god's sake!

      December 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Smooth move, coalition, you successfully silenced yourselves!
      If you didn't expect backlash, you are in need of a dose of reality.

      Long ago, I was given business advice. The old gentleman told me, there are two groups of three things important in having a successful business.
      Location, location, location.
      And
      Timing, timing, timing.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Robert

      "...not based on the content of the Coalition's ad, but rather the amount of resources the department had to spare to field concerns in reaction to it."

      This quote sums it up perfectly. Separation of Church and State leaves the states resources to governing.

      December 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • bspurloc

      keep your ignorance at home its 2010. stop crying about muslims while trying to force your beliefs on others.

      December 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • whatwhat

      I know right, leave religion out of the public transport system, I'm trying to get to work, not see to groups feuding with advertisements.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • GinCas

      Chandler02

      They might take the sign off the bus, but that doesn't erase the fact that Millions of Americans are still...Good Without God. Faith is used as an excuse for ignorance far too often in our country (see Pa

      You're right Bob! Godless American's are good without god, as is clearly demonstrated by the fact, that atheists or nonreligious Americans are about 12% of the population and make up less than one quarter of one percent of prison populations. Religious people may believe people are 'better' with god, but as the statistics clearly demonstrate, that belief is as unsupportable as their belief in their imaginary gods.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • GinCas

      musclecar61, that desperate people cry out for help from gods doesn't mean that gods exist. It just means that desperate people are desperate and even if they don't believe in god, the great, GREAT majority of them were raised in the same religion permeated culture that we were and learned the same exclamations as we did, so in their distress, theirs crys reflect their cultural upbringing.

      December 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • MS Jackson

      but WWARD? (what would anne rice do)

      December 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • Terry P

      MOST EXCELLENT! These people should be feeding the poor and homeless instead of paying for advertising.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
    • j317

      Wzrd1, you obviously don't pay good attention. The article plainly states it. The ad campaign has been successful. They didn't silence themselves. They got the word out and silenced part of the opposition's marketing. The action also landed them in the national spotlight, further getting word out. It isn't a Christian sign at the top of the article, is it? Guess you don't know a good strategy when you see one.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
    • Jessy

      May God protect us from his fanatics.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:24 am |
    • senseicg

      Is hocus pocus the singular of hoci poci?

      December 22, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • Gerry

      i am sorry for americans who think they can do it on their own.
      if u ban faith ads, you should remove (in God we trust) the sloggan on american money

      December 22, 2010 at 1:21 am |
    • Tommy Mack

      "i am sorry for americans who think they can do it on their own.
      if u ban faith ads, you should remove (in God we trust) the sloggan on american money"

      I personally would like that seeing as though it was only added in the 1950's (NOT FROM OUR FOUNDING FATHERS), but due to cheap political and scare tactics leading to McCarthyism which led to the destruction of many American's careers and lives. Why do you hate Americans?

      December 22, 2010 at 1:48 am |
    • Mark the Realist

      Religion is fake, there is absolutely ZERO proof of anything, and there never will be, because it's all make believe. "god" doesn't exist and is make believe, your religious texts were written by human beings without any kind of "divine inspiration" regardless of what you read in them... written by people who thought the Earth was flat... it isn't. You don't need to believe in santa clause to get you through life, or some made up mystical figure, you need your brain and to believe in yourself. That's it! My condolences for all those that were brainwashed as children and had no choice, and for those who are too weak minded to admit the truth.

      December 22, 2010 at 2:09 am |
    • IdontBelieve

      @ Mark The Realist

      Thank You! Exactly what I have told people before.
      Definition of religion: Something people use to organize themselves, give them the reason they are here, and someone to talk to when they don't know what to do with their weak minds anymore.
      Religion has caused more pain and death then anything else on this planet.

      December 22, 2010 at 2:44 am |
    • Chris Moreno

      This is why Jehovah's Witnesses do not rely on billboard advertising. We reach all persons with the message of the Good News verbally and personally. So if you receive the Good News on a bus, it wasn't because it was on a billboard or on the side of the bus. It was because it was delivered to you the same way that Jesus's disciples delivered it – IN PERSON!!

      And if you reject the Good News, that's fine too, that is your right. And if you want to personally deliver a message against the Good News or against God, well that's your right also. We will not oppose your right, we will only make known what we believe is Truth.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:37 am |
    • JonnyNmbr5

      Millions of American's are Good Without God. Yeah, but it sure is Hell for them when they die. hahaha. j/k thought a little 'tongue-in-cheek' humor was needed.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:11 am |
    • Dolce21

      How sad that we have allowed a few non-believers, dictate to us what we can and cannot do, especially with our belief's. That I take GREAT offense at. And that this time in life with everything in chaos, that we would allow this, and let the atheist and non-believers take precedence over this. Its nonsense

      December 22, 2010 at 7:58 am |
    • Chris

      Hey Bob! I think Prophet just said his god was going to smite you. Hehe!

      December 22, 2010 at 8:05 am |
    • Bob Loblaw

      @ IdontBelieve

      "weak" minds? Do you have any idea how many Doctors, Scientists, Engineers, and many other well educated people believe in God? Ever heard of Ben Carson? One of the most gifted surgeons around, and he believes in God and religion. People parrot that saying that "religion is the cause of more pain and suffering than anything else" without ever mentioning once any of the good that has been done in the name of religion. All the hungry that have been fed, all the poor that have been clothed, and all the sick who have been healed, all in the name of religion. Atheist always want to blame religion for all the bad without ever giving it credit for any of the good. And speaking of the bad that has been done in the name of religion, you do realize that human beings were behind all those atrocities don't you? You want to paint religion as the cause but it is man's inhumanity toward his fellow man that is the real cause of the pain and suffering that most speak of, not the teachings of the religion they claim to follow. The cause is human jealousy, greed, selfishness, pride, intolerance, arrogance, and many other human character traits that lead to humans being unkind to other humans. Take away all religion and I guarantee you humans will still find a reason and excuse to be unkind toward one another. Take Darwin's notion of survival of the fittest and mix it with the character traits mentioned above, and you have a perfect recipe for atrocities to be visited upon weaker humans by those that feel they are superior.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • Sybaris

      Religion, the greatest ponzi scheme ever.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:35 am |
    • Rick

      "You are a sinner in desperate need of a savior. Jesus suffered and died on a cross to pay for your sins. There is no way into Heaven except through Jesus Christ. Turn away from your wicked life and place your faith in Jesus. Do it while you still can – it's too late after you die."

      Wicked ways? Do you personally know this person, or are you mouthing religious dogma? Free people do not need a savior, slaves do.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:59 am |
    • Grace

      Thank you Bob Loblaw. You expressed how I feel perfectly.
      God bless!

      December 22, 2010 at 9:00 am |
    • abuzayd

      there are only 2 possible conclusions to the question of why we exist:
      1. we are here from the result of purposeless unintentional random events that have unfolded over time. the beauty of the world and universe is just coincidental and happened for no reason whatsoever.
      2. we are here because there is a magnificient Creator who purposely created us and all that we see or can't see around us. the beauty of the natural world and universe are just signs of the magnificence of the Creator.

      believers of God are ridiculed by the 'rational' 'free thinking' atheist for choosing #2, while they are at peace with their highly 'intellectual' conclusion of option #1. go figure.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • Dan

      @Rick: Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. Ever stolen anything? Then you are a thief. Ever hated anyone? Then God says you are guilty of murder. Ever look lustfully at anyone? Then God says you are guilty of adultery.

      Do I know "Mark the realist" personally? No. God does. And He has made it clear that we are all sinners in need of a savior. You think that you are free, but you are a slave to sin. You can't escape it no matter how hard you try. Only Jesus Christ can free you sin. Only Jesus Christ can save you from eternal torment in hell.

      As I said before, turn away from your wicked life and ask Jesus Christ to save you. No one else can – or will.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:41 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Wzrd1 – Smooth move, coalition, you successfully silenced yourselves!
      If you didn't expect backlash, you are in need of a dose of reality.'

      Actually I think it was Kyev Tatum and his church mob that silenced themselves. They arranged a boycott, moaned and complained and so the board voted to ban all religious messages, hence Tatum then moaning again when he said "The compromise was worse than what we had before," Tatum said, "because the compromise says Christians can no longer advertise and we don't like that."

      'Dan- @Mark the realist: The Bible was written by people who thought the earth was flat? Isaiah wrote that "God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth'
      Yeah, a CIRCLE, not a SPHERE, huge difference. A circle is a 2D flat object.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:44 am |
    • Paul

      Bob Loblaw
      Amen to you! And to those atheists who can't at least respect the religious beliefs of people I say this, I don't believe in Santa Claus but I believe in the idea of what he represents. Why can't you believe in or at least respect the idea of what religion represents. As Bob said there are millions of intelligent and strong people who believe and have believed but that doesn't make them weak minded. Sounds to me like you're all a bit bitter by calling people names.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • Rick

      Dan: You seem to be confusing "god" with the writings of ancient man. Here is a hint....if you want "god", pray. If you want dogma, then hit the books.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:56 am |
    • Joe

      "Religion has caused more pain and death then anything else on this planet."

      This is common, very flawed argument made by atheist." Actually, land ownership/usage has been the actual cause of far more wars, pain, death etc. than anything other human activity in our history. Has religion been used as a means to justify man of these conflicts? Absolutely. But land ownership/usage has almost always been the root cause.

      Should we go ahead and ban land ownership?

      December 22, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Granny

      Indeed! Riding a bus does not qualify as a religious experience.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Megan

      @Dan - "The Bible was written by people who thought the earth was flat? Isaiah wrote that "God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth". He wrote that 2700 years ago."

      Circles are flat. Globes or spheres are not 😉

      December 22, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • Rick

      Dan: Also, I am not concerned with your empty proxy threats on behalf of your comic book god. If you want to believe, fine, but if you want to threaten people with retaliation from beings in which they do not believe, I would suggest you take a class in logic

      December 22, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • What a Cult

      I think we should just do without everybody's opinion about religion all together... if we keep up the pace we are on, then 2012 will not be a myth anymore and ALL religions will start fighting/killing each other. Worry about your own problems instead of what somebody else believes in.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • Rick

      senseicg

      Is hocus pocus the singular of hoci poci?

      Yes, it's true that that's what it's all about

      December 22, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • Dustin

      Such hate and disdain from the aetheist crowd. Why do you feel so threatened by religion that you feel the need to insult those that do believe in a higher power? If you for one minute believe that removing religion from society would end war and suffering, then you are just as ignorant as those who you seek to insult.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • Michael

      @Cedar Rapids: "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." (Isaiah 40:22,NIV). The Hebrew language at that time did not have a word for "sphere," only for "circle."

      "He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing" (Job 26:7, NIV).

      "Paths of the sea" Matthew Maury (1806-1873) is considered the father of oceanography. He was bed-ridden during a serious illness and asked his son to read a portion of the Bible to him. While listening, he noticed the expression "paths of the sea" in Psalms 8:8. Upon his recovery, Maury took God at his word and went looking for these paths. We are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • rafael

      Dolce21

      @Dolce21: "How sad that we have allowed a few non-believers, dictate to us what we can and cannot do, especially with our belief's. That I take GREAT offense at. And that this time in life with everything in chaos, that we would allow this, and let the atheist and non-believers take precedence over this. Its nonsense"

      You seem a bit confused. I was complaints by *theists* about atheist billboards that led to this policy that dictates what you cannot do. Apparently you are taking GREAT offense at yourself!

      December 22, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • Bob Loblaw

      @ Dan

      I know you mean well Dan, but as a lifelong Christian I must stop you when you start telling people that they will burn in hell for eternity. I don't think there has been a single theological error that has marred the image of God more than the belief in a place where people where burn and be tormented for eternity. I will break it down as briefly as I can for you, but if you want further clarification I would strongly recommend 'Finding the Father' by Herb Montgomery and thetruthabouthell.org as they will provide further insight.

      Sin leads to death, not because of any overt act of God but because of the intrinsic nature of sin itself. Seeing as we are all sinners, we are naturally heading towards that end from the moment of our birth. Christ is the means by which we can avoid that end. God is not the root cause of the torment and pain some people will feel at the final judgement, sin is the root cause. Ever done something wrong to someone and felt guilty about it? Doesn't that guilt amplify itself when the person you wronged is standing right in front of you? It can almost be unbearable. Now imagine that guilt being so unbearable that it causes you physical discomfort, and just keeps getting stronger to the point that you simply drop dead. If a person truly believes that they have been forgiven by the person they wronged, then that guilt they felt would be gone, and they could have a long and meaningful relationship with them. If, they refuse to believe that they have truly been forgiven then they choose to hold onto that guilt. Hell is simply being in the presence of God, without accepting the forgiveness He freely gave you when He died on Calvary's cross. It is that guilt that will cause torment and crush out the life of the lost, not God. Fire will simply be the means by which all the lifeless bodies will be destroyed, and the earth cleansed so that it can be made new. There are many people on this Earth who don't believe in God and are Good to other people, and that is great, but how have they treated God? If God is real and He does return to this earth, how will you feel standing in His presence? I can understand that there are many atheists that can stand with their heads held high with regards to how they treated their fellow man, but at that moment it will not be their fellow man standing before them but a God who they rejected. I know that I have been wrong before about some pretty mundane stuff, and its not the greatest feeling. Can you imagine the pain of being wrong about something more important? the torment about realizing you were wrong about which medicine to use on a patient and they died, or wrong about a person being guilty who you sentenced to prison where they were killed. The torment and anguish felt by the lost will be simply because they will have an acute sense of how wrong they were about God. Like I said earlier, God is not causing their pain and suffering like an executioner pulling a lever. Their pain is caused by the guilt of their decisions, but it is not eternal. The pain and suffering is not eternal, but the death that results from that pain and suffering is. Ultimately, those that reject God, will spend eternity in a state of non-existence. Which if I'm not mistaken is exactly what most people, who don't believe in God, think happens to them when they die anyway. You see God is merciful even in the end by allowing those who rejected Him to simply cease to exist, for sadly there are many who would rather cease to exist than exist in a world created by a loving God.

      December 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • ttwp

      "There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than the doctrine of hell, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, especially, of our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by the Christian Church, and it has the support of reason." C.S. Lewis

      December 23, 2010 at 12:21 am |
    • Bob Loblaw

      @ ttwp

      Rest assured that scripture makes clear that hell is real, however, it also makes clear that hell fire is temporary. In many passages the word for hell simply means the grave. The gift Christ offers all is eternal life. The path all are set on at birth is the path toward eternal death, in other words an eternal grave. Death is the complete absence of life. The greatest fallacy that has helped to perpetuate the notion of eternal torment is the belief in the immortality of a persons soul. Search all of scripture and you will never find the phrase 'immortal soul' anywhere. To experience eternal torment would be to experience eternal life, for the ability to process any level of self awareness means that you are not dead. Science has it 100% right on this fact, the human brain is what enables us to process any conscious thought. God created the human brain for that purpose. Science has also shown quite clearly that when a person dies, that very brain turns to dirt. It completely decomposes, rendering that persons ability to process any conscious thought, impossible. That is why scripture states that when someone dies "in that very day their thoughts perish."

      December 23, 2010 at 2:40 am |
    • ybs

      sheep will always be sheep! All religions are the subjugation of self AND others. No more; no less.

      Agnostics and atheists think for themselves – no doctrines, scripture crap.

      http://bit.ly/godsucks

      December 23, 2010 at 10:14 am |
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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.