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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. Bman

    Everything is bigger in Texas, because Texans have small minds....

    December 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  2. Me

    The fine-tunine of the universe for life has been clearly proven. The extreme mathematical improbability of random abiogenesis has also been explained. Atheism is pretty much obsolete for those that understand the evidence.

    At any rate, would abolishing religion really make the world more peaceful and kind? In other news, there was just a story about a Tibetan artist that was tortured by Chinese police for opposing their atheistic communism.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Don

      No, there is no fine-tuning of the universe. And the probability of abiogenesis is 1:1. And what about christian communism, especially as was practiced in Plymouth, MA? What about atheist anarchocapitalists?

      December 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
    • Logic

      The Tibetan artist is said then to be trying to impose his views that a whole nation – well their government – to not be atheistic.

      You see. This is logic working. One versus many. Still someone is trying to change someone. What is his religion? – the artist.
      Well it isn't atheism. Or agnostic. There it is again – someone whose religious view wants to change some others.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • pete

      However small the probability of life randomly occuring, if the number of chances for that to happen is very large (possibly even infinite in multiple universes) then it becomes almost a certainty. So why are we so lucky that it happened to us? because we wouldn't be here if it didn't happen. It's like winning the lottery, the chances are small but somebody gets lucky.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:57 am |
    • balance is power

      It was all good until you threw in a couple of name-callings and generalizations of the atheist community.

      please refrain from calling others fools and such in debate.

      also do not compare a community to another unless you are willing to say to each and every one of us individually that we are exactly like the atheist communism in china.

      and in that statement i also state that china isn't a communist country for long, it's leaning toward capitalism.

      i really do hope that you don't use guilt by association propaganda tactics any time soon, they tend to backfire.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:00 am |
    • Scott

      Also please list your sources for the statement “The fine-tunine of the universe for life has been clearly proven”. I would be very interested to see the evidence. Or are you just blowing smoke?

      December 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  3. cloudnine

    To you all non-believers.. JESUS still loves you & so do I 🙂 Remember religion dies when we do. LOVE YOU MY LORD GOD JESUS!!!!! I will now say a prayer for all my fellow brothers & sister in Christ & for you non-believers. That it won't be to late for you to see the light. Bless God in all you do 🙂

    December 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • Bob

      Not the way to do it, CloudNine. WAY too arrogant and in your face. All you're doing is stirring the muck. Way to go!

      December 21, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • Arglebargle

      You should spend your time serving others. You'll get a better rate of return.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • pete

      Whatever you're smoking, will you share it with us?

      December 22, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • sleepytime

      Dear cloudnine, Superman still loves you and so do I!

      December 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  4. DrC

    Wow! 437 comments on an article concerning the foundational civil liberty to express one's worldview in a public and publicly financed (at least partially) forum and everyone's squabbling over religious tastes - those CNN editors are quite shrewd.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  5. BJ

    So the one group believes there is no God. Yet, people are joining the group and sending donations and advertsing......for something they don't believe exists? Are they missing their own irony here?

    Maybe I will start a campaign to spread the word that purple, polka-dotted, 12-legged cats with 6 eyes don't exist.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Don

      What irony?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • BJ

      The irony that - according to their beliefs - nothing exists. Therefore they are spending all of this time, energy and money on.........nothing.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • Don

      You're confusing atheism with nihilism. Please disabuse yourself of your conflation. kthx.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • Epona-Element

      LOL@BJ – It's the CNN Editors BJ. They're trying to stir the pot up, and get people to fight. So typical of an agenda that is neither Liberal or conservative. Make people believe they are at war with one another. Blessed Be.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Re: "nothing exists"
      Christians say atheists/agnostics are wrong because they do not realize that for something to exist, something must have created it.
      Then, Christians turn around and say God exists and nothing created God.

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

      Do believers in purple, polka-dotted, 12-legged cats with 6 eyes have massive political power in the US in general and in Texas in particular? No. So yours was a pointless analogy.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  6. Epona-Element

    I understand where these comments are coming from. As a Pagan, I am offended from both sides. I agree that many of these folks calling themselves Atheists are leaning more towards angry and Agnostic. In Paganism we teach to Do what you like so long as you harm none. If people understood this crede, they would respect others beliefs. I don't support attack on any religion, or belief system. I agree with former comments that you people are no different from the mono-theistic bible bashers.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Logic

      "Do as you like as long as you harm no one" – it comes from the truth that others will do harm to you. This concept dates way back than any religion. It is from common sense.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • Epona-Element

      Logic please don't read proof religious doctrine that you do NOT subscribe to. It's obvious that you are neither Pagan, nor Atheist. A true Pagan may expose other doctrines, but a true pagan will not join combative forces to challenge another person's faith in the form of an attack. You've been on here all night promoting mono-theistic bashing. You are not Pagan, and you do not understand our crede.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • TSRVT

      @Epona -

      Lighten up, Francis.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  7. Phil

    I'm atheist, but I'm not offended by religious messages or groups. I don't feel they are imposing their belief on me. I know what I believe in and others are free to believe in what they want.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • pete

      True, but it's the christians who get upset when atheists voice their beliefs.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  8. Dragon

    "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."

    Christians are mad because they can't advertise on the buses anymore but hey, they are the ones who made a stink about the adds "millions of Americans are good without god" so they get exactly what they deserved. People forget that we all have the right to believe or not believe what we want. Christians blatantly forget this when things like the a fore mentioned adds show up, and start raising Cain about it... well.. you got exactly what you deserved for acting a fool. Now shut up and enjoy the fruits of YOUR complaining.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Dragon

      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 they start a controversy and threaten a boycott and they don't see the wrongness of their thinking. It always amazes me how Christians are bound and determined to have their say and even more determined that others won't be able to say their peace and when something like this happens.. they get mad and blame everyone else except themselves for the results.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • Adolf Lovster

      ACTUALLY, Millions of people are GOOD without CHRISTIANITY ect......(and it's many crusades;()

      Every atom in the universe is god, it's just that we don't look at things from a religion's Hypocritical POINT OF VIEW.

      Nature and LOVE rules/We are not Dumb and Blind.

      AMEN

      December 22, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  9. Logic

    Oh hey I was wondering with all you religious freaks out there .. do you ever pray for more knowledge?

    December 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • TSRVT

      LOL – Well put.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  10. Logic

    No we'll just tear down those ruddy churches that are in your possession and grow back the trees. It's better – both environmentally and scenery wise.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Bruce

      L,

      Our forefathers never said anything like that about Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin's home. Why do aTheist make those statements toward Christians. Can't we have our belief without the threat of aTheist wanting to overthrow us? Sounds criminal to me.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Don

      Do you have some problem with your keyboard which capitalizes letters in the middle of a word where there shouldn't be any capitalization?

      December 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  11. Tao4life

    Next.. there's gonna be Atheist church buildings
    with hymnals on humanism and self help sermons.
    Oh wait...That's PBS.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • pete

      And if you watched it you might learn something

      December 22, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  12. Savior4All

    I will pray for you guys.

    "My Father above all in Heaven and Earth, forever and ever, who always was and always will be.... Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing or saying."

    AMEN

    December 21, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • Don

      Nothing fails like prayer.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Pray also for the millions and millions of Christians who commit adultery by remarrying. Pray for the millions and millions of Christians who support people working on the Sabbath instead of killing them as God commanded.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Dave

      Don, Observer, do you understand what snide, cynical, sarcastic little children atheists sound like when they respond as you do? You hover around flaming/trolling anyone who expresses anything religious. So Savior4All is praying for you (collectively). Does it do you any harm? No. Is it out of good will? Yes. Grow up and go do something more constructive than trolling, please.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • Don

      Dave, you sound like a whining little brat. Grow up. Grow. Up. Now.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  13. donny

    takes a sick person to put that on a bus.sick sick sick

    December 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And it takes a sick (mentally) parent to bring their children up believing in the fairy tales of religion. You could at least let them get to the age of majority before indoctrinating them into your mythological tribal beliefs. But no, you have to infect their minds at an early age so that it is virtually impossible for them to get out of your cult.

      Today is the best day of the holiday season so far – my order from richarddawkins.net just arrived, so I'll be able to distribute a Crocoduck shirt and one with the God Delusion quote:
      "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, ho-mo-phobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

      as well as 5 Scarlet As to my friends – and maybe a couple of unsuspecting believers. Best $80 I've spent in a while – I encourage all right thinking people to support The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • fedupin2010

      Hotairace.... Did you ever get money from the tooth fairy??? Did you wake up early on christmas morning to see what santa left you??? Sick (mentally) parents?? thats a little strong isn't it?? All parents raise their children with the morals, values and beliefs that were instilled in them. Religion is a personal belief but to call parents sick mentally does not say much for you or your parents.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:51 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @fedupin2010

      Yes, I use to believe in the Tooth fairy and Santa Claus and even god and jc for a while, but I gave them all up (as being equally improbable, to say the least) once I began thinking for myself.

      Perhaps my choice of words was impolite, strong or harsh, but that's too bad – you do have to "break a couple of eggs to make a cake"...

      While I try not to subscribe to "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" or to descend to the lower debating tactics, I will admit that I failed on this occasion, just as the original poster did, not that that is an excuse for my behaviour.

      I find it intersting that you chose to chastise me, but not the original poster, who pretty much said the same thing about anyone who would put the "Good Without God" ad on a bus. I was perhaps a little more pointed and specific, but the "crime" was the same.

      With respect to my parents, I suggest that bringing them into the conversation was not called for, and sort of as you say, says more about you than you wanted to. Note that I have not insulted your parents.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  14. OneGoddess

    We are the human race, and we are all made up of glass houses. We are all hypocrites. American Atheists are just trying to cause war with monotheistic religion. No different than the Bible bashers. You atheists need to grow up and actually look smart for a change.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • Observer

      With a Bible full of errors,contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense, maybe it's best not to tell atheists to "look smart for a change".

      December 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • Enoch

      OK, I am out of touch, but I am at a loss to define one monotheistic religion that describes the creator as being female.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tao4life

      @Observer – I think what Goddess is saying is that YOU are not atheist, you're just anti-christian with an anti-social agenda.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Observer

      @Tao4life,

      Everything I said in that statement is true. What is your problem?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Logic

      @Tao4Life

      Most people who would sit in front of a computer or have "deep" (is this considered deep posting? *laugh* ) are considered anti-social. So you and I and all these others are anti-social by default. We could be doing something else besides doing this.

      But here we are. Lovely.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  15. Albert

    On another note, who says the literal explanation is what you need to know to understand the bible? And would you *really* have education as a criteria?

    December 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • Enoch

      One might argue that knowledge of the tenets upon which you base your views and practices would increase the integrity of those views and practices. Or they might simply use the analogy of driving laws. A cursory glance at said laws doesn't mean you understand which side of the road to drive on. Knowledge helps define things more clearly.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • Logic

      So I've heard – literally.

      What is the answer? To reading the bible then? Ahh yes- I recall, you interpret it. That is spin it into any number of fashionable explanations to suit your view. I've seen that before.

      You still want to play that routine. We'll call you on it.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  16. Albert

    I just don't understand on what grounds do the Atheist operate? To begin with, when they cannot even explain the order of this whole wide world, how to they even continue to satisfy themselves? The classic example of urban fools as they call it, or may you prefer intellectual fools. I'm led to believe these must be either a product of opposition to Adam and Eve story, or of the pedophilic priests, perhaps an outcome of Dan Brown's misadventures. Either which ways, god help them.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Observer

      A very recent survey shows that atheists and agnostics not only are more highly educated, but they also know MORE about the Bible than Christians. Fools? Yeah, sure.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
    • Enoch

      Ran this through Babelfish – got nothing. Waiting on translation.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Albert

      Ok. Let me ask you then. Do you know how the 12 apostles died?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Enoch

      Hmm, was it by reading your tortured thought processes and grammar?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Foolish question. Very few Christians could answer that just like VERY FEW Christians can tell you what the Ten Commandments are, which they frequently whine about.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • Albert

      On another note, who says the literal explanation is what you need to know to understand the bible? And would you *really* have education as a criteria?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • Logic

      Well why don't you become one of us?

      We'll indoctrinate you just like a religion. We'll teach you proper logic. How to take control of your life, be a better person. Have better confidence and let you view the vastness that is knowledge before your eyes.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • Don

      You can't explain god, Albert. You can't even coherently define "god". So please: take the log out of your own eye.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
    • Albert

      @Foolish question – Awesome that you have proven yourself. Please at least stop whining now.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
    • Albert

      @Enoch – Why are the Atheists and Agnostics always bitter in their talks like you? And why are their thoughts found laden with hatred if they are so secure and honest to themselves?

      Do you get the bigger point?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • Todd

      Christianity, as it is taught in the Bible is not practiced today by anyone that I have seen. The religion is cruel, archaic and by today's standards, immoral and unethical. Because of this, it's numbers continue to fall, however man becomes more ethical.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • Albert

      @Don – For a change a good point and i completely agree. He is beyond words. And to find him you don't need intellect, but an honest heart. Are you guys so blind that you cannot see the very evident tangibles, and the very evident intangibles?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Albert

      @Todd – Man, replies like yours really makes me feel so helpless at the level of ignorance out there. Can you please explain what cruelty you are referring to? Who told you Christianity is on the demise? Have you really not seen anyone as a practicing christian? Have you heard about Mother Theresa? She's not alive yes, but do you get the point? Care to elaborate?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Enoch

      Albert,
      From my perspective, you seem to be the one preaching ignorance and intolerance. See your original post in this thread. I don't find it surprising then that one with such a closed viewpoint would begin with ad hominem attacks and strawman arguments.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Don

      Thank you for admitting you have no idea what you believe in, Albert. And there is no evidence of god, either.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
    • Todd

      Albert,
      Have your read your bible? Have you then considered selling your daughter into slavery and eliminating her free will? How do you practice slavery? Why are you simply discussing others beliefs here on cnn.com and not out committing genocide on us as your bible teaches? I mean I understand why christians only cherry pick certain teachings but non the less they are there. However, those teachings are no longer viable as man has decided that those teachings by God are not ethical thus man is more ethical than god. I mean unless you are proslavery, then you don't count and are a good Christian.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Albert

      Enoch – Can you actually prove where you find me intolerant and ignorant instead of making a generic claim?

      Todd – My friend, please understand that the bible is "RELATIVE" at a lot of places. Human kind was different then from what it is now. Is it fair you compare them both on the same scale? What you are talking about obviously cannot be spoken at length here. If you really are looking for answers, please call catholic answers on ewtn.

      As Jesus said – "The truth will set you free" Find that truth for yourself.

      December 22, 2010 at 3:43 am |
  17. Todd

    Christianity is dwindling and has morally lapped by man. It was Man that said NO MORE SLAVERY, no God, it was man that spoke of equal rights not God, it was man that fights for that, God is self proclaimed as Jealous, a inferior personality trait in man?

    From one of our founding fathers: "God is a being of terrific character...cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust." Thomas Jefferson

    December 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  18. The Deeper Issue

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LTKzg1K7Es&w=640&h=360]

    December 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Enoch

      Aww, Britain whines and complains. How about this:

      Nothing to view or listen to here. No real message, just a Brit out trolling.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
    • Logic

      Next video please. I like to order that to go. How much?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Samuel

      That is certainly a mouthful to say in the least. There is a lot in what you say. Sorry to hear that you are an athiest though! You certainly make a great arguement. Even though I am a devout Christian, I have always been taught to respect others for what they believe in regardless of how much I disagree with them personally. That is what I believe and have come to learn that Democracy is about. It is just too bad that the elected officials are stripping all of us of those rights.

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

      I think you need to view the prior video he did to put this one into context:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krybvOx-8Dk&w=640&h=360]

      He's arguing that Britains should ignore all other considerations, including religion, and vote for the UK Independent Party so that the UK is better represented or can resist the European Union. Reminded me of the Tea Baggers in the US except this guy (Pat Condell) is more eloquent. That being said, I can't say that everything he says is true...

      December 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • buzzing in my ears

      Ok reminds me of many teachers in my past. Intelligent , although vocal tones sound emotionless, almost robotic. IMO the best teachers sing or act their class lessons on TV, radio, or web :P. But seriously, Atheist needs someone with emotions speaking for them. A representative so to speak one who wants for a better future for all mankind. Someone to spread the word of love between all creatures. A mutually respect for your planet. A more giving society when you have extra. A planet that pulls together to make a sustainable and up to profitable future expanding to other planets and other galaxies. Whoa, christians would call him the Antichrist. So I can relate religion to keeping everyone dumb and subservient. While government (GOP's mostly) want to dumb down there laborers so they can complete their agenda. to enslave us all to do their dirty work and fight their ill planned wars etc... Ok someone is banging on my door might be the FBI or worse Mormons assassins.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  19. RUReal

    What is amusing to me is that when an atheist claims to be "good" without God, they are generally basing their judgement of right and wrong on Western European value systems. That is to say... Christian values. Honor killings, infanticide, wife beating, aggressive conquest, vengence and enforced caste systems, while perfectly acceptable in many cultures in part or in whole, are considered wrong, by these "good" atheists, and of course by Christians.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Enoch

      Many flaws to your argument. The first is that you think this value system is Christian in origin. People knew the difference between right and wrong prior to the church co-opting the values. Also, wouldn't anyone use as a comparative the basis of the society they were raised in? And, finally, look to the history of christianity to find multiple instances of aggression, genocide, misogyny, etc.. These were values openly espoused by your church at one point and continue in one form or another against specific groups today. Open your eyes, man.

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

      Actually, morals and doing good were around in Europe well before Christians came around. There were the Greeks who had complex value systems, and the Romans, the Celts, Picts, and so on and so on that all were good people. Why do you insist on living in a dream world where you think all people were evil and did wrong before they heard about Jesus? If that assumption was true then those people would not have survived to be the people in Europe that they are now, even after living through centuries of Christian attrocities.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • Observer

      It would seem that atheists and agnostics deserve more credit than Christians for being "good". After all, they do it because they think it is the right thing to do, rather than because of bribes (heaven) or threats (hell).

      December 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • RUReal

      Yes, but several of the cultures you mention accept infanticide, human sacrifice etc. I am not claiming that morallity was invented by Christians. Obviously not. Mearly that the specific moral code that atheists in the West espouse is based on 2,000 years of Christian teaching in Europe. To deny this is just silly.

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

      Amen to that, Observer.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • Enoch

      Already addressed above, RU. Of course atheists raised in a Judeo-Christian culture form comparisons to that culture and, in this case, its co-opted value system. It is what they are raised in. You seem to expect them to formulate a mutually exclusive value system to make comparative judgments which simply can't happen.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Logic

      Atheists never claimed that all us atheists practiced what we do in life as "good". We atheists know there are people who will without moral – will kill anyone because they wanted to kill someone. Even another atheist.

      Don't plant your words of deceit that we atheists consider ourselves pure and all goody goody like. Some of us are evil because we are all humans. But we -who are in control of our minds- know we're better off because we take control of our lives and take responsibility for our actions. We do not blame others – or blame a none existent god.

      Get your logic straight.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
    • pete

      Christians do not have a monopoly on morality.

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

      RUReal,
      Actually the modern sense of morality came from people arguing against Christianity, ie Montesque, Diderot, and many more men of letters from the Age of Enlightenment. Medicine was sacreligious yet anti-Christians kept practicing it until Christians could no longer argue that illness was a person's fate deemed by God and if they happened to die it was the will of God. Christians also practiced persecution of non-Christians until enough non-Christians said enough was enough, and equality was an non-Christian concept during a time when the Christian religion said God decided who were kings and nobles by birthright. How abotu the ethnic cleansing of the Jews, or outright massacres against Jews because they were supposedly responsible for the death of Jesus. That went on for centuries before the holocaust in WWII? That sounds like some pretty crazy morals espoused all in the name of God if you ask me. Europe had it pretty bad under Christian rule.

      Colonialism was another venture that was ordained by faith, because it was the right thing to do by bringing the "true" religion to people that were enslaved. Christians enslaved Native Americans because they were heathens, plus of you count the fact that gold was the gift of God to those that were faithful and the lives of others were casualties of their own consequence because they were heathens. I mean seriously, if it wasn't for those that were non-Christians in Europe, such as the Enlightenment authors, who constantly wrote about how wrong these acts were then maybe they would not have ended when they did.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • tl123

      Actually, Christians "values" don't exist, they are Jewish values!! Christians are Jews, with a singular exception!

      December 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • tl123

      Final thought... Hell has a lot of Christians, but no atheists... wonder why? Probably better morals!

      December 21, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Scott

      @ RUReal: Perhaps influenced by; but, not based on

      December 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  20. Chad

    I find it so encouraging that more and more people are finding their voice and saying, "Enough religion!" We're not living in the 14th century any longer. It's time to move on from these Bronze Age beliefs and fairy tales. People can and do live perfectly good, fulfilling, and moral lives without the nonsense of organized religion.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Albert

      No they can't. Every other success is the outcome of moral success, which can only be taught by God.

      And do some research please before calling it a medieval practice. At least you'll keep the ignorance away.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
    • Don

      Morality has nothing to do with any god.

      December 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • Albert

      @Don – Ok. Where does it come from then?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Don

      Certainly not some god. It comes from people's values and understanding of how certain actions allow everyone to maximize their own liberty.

      Believing that morality comes from god is no different from believing that doing a certain dance will cause the rain to come.

      December 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • tl123

      A priest raping a child must be moral as the priest is a conduit for God. Please!

      December 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
    • Chad

      Albert, I didn't call it a "medieval practice." That would be giving Christianity, at least, about 1200 years of social progression and enlightenment as a freebie.

      I was a practicing Christian for many years, but fortunately, I came to my senses. The "morality" taught in the Bible advocates violence, slavery, misogyny, and a host of other social ills. Sure, there are some good passages in there, but you can't just discard the rest of it, as much as today's watered-down, cherry-picking Christians would like to try.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:58 am |
    • Deep Think

      ACTUALLY, Millions of people are GOOD without CHRISTIANITY ect......(and it's many crusades;()

      Every atom in the universe is god, it's just that we don't look at things from a religion's Hypocritical POINT OF VIEW.

      Nature and LOVE rules/We are not Dumb and Blind.

      AMEN

      December 22, 2010 at 2:32 am |
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About this blog

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.