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Atheists flying ad campaign meets strong resistance
June 30th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

Atheists flying ad campaign meets strong resistance

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

(CNN)–It's a battle of belief - and the right not to believe - in a country founded on freedom.

"I'm a patriotic American. I served my country. I get out there and celebrate the Fourth, too," Blair Scott, who calls himself a proud atheist, proclaimed.

"This America belongs to everyone."

Blair, the communications director for the New Jersey-based American Atheists, said atheists in the United States often feel alienated and face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God.

To combat those notions, his group is using Independence Day to say atheists love their country, too.

But the way they're spreading their message might have Americans looking to the sky this Fourth of July and finding something besides fireworks to stir emotion.

Planes with banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" will be flying over 27 states on Monday. While people might be leery to see the messages overhead, the $23,000 campaign has had a struggle with those who are supposed to bring it to life.

Justin Jaye of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, who is orchestrating the flights for American Atheists, said out of the 85 people in the country who fly these sign-pulling planes only about 17 have agreed to fly the messages.

"I've been in this business for 20 years and I've never run into so much resistance on people flying," Jaye said. "I've had pilots who are actual atheists who said, 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, says the reaction to the organization's campaign before it takes off shows how much work the group still needs to do. "This is a clear reminder of why we need to keep fighting because the bigotry against us is so thick that a lot of the pilots are afraid to fly our banners," he said.

Jaye said while some feared for their lives, others feared for their marriages. He had one pilot say his wife would divorce him if he made the flight.

Red Calvert, a pilot and president of Pro-Air Enterprises in Indianapolis, said his reasons to decline the flight were based on his personal beliefs.

"I respect our country and I respect our churches and we've got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more," he said. "If those people want to do something they believe in, fine, just don't include me."

The American Atheists hope to draw attention and spur public discussion through their campaign on Monday.

"It's going to remind people that atheism is at that ballgame and at that beach and at that parade. We are patriotic people," Silverman said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • New Jersey • Religious liberty • United States

soundoff (2,835 Responses)
  1. WonderSpring

    America belongs to Christians. All others are parasites. Atheists are not patriotic – they bring down the nation with godlessness. America will be over sooner than the projection.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • I can name that Friend/Zelda/Adelina/Frederica in one post!

      Hi Justina! I really impessed how effective your name change is!

      July 1, 2011 at 2:56 am |
    • WonderSpring

      I have thousands of beautiful names and phrases I want to introduce to the CNN readers, but I saw each time villains hijack them. I have new strategy. Do whatever, villains. We know you are not patriotic but downright evil all the time. You proved it yourselves.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Magic

      Princess Summerfall Winterspring hasn't been tried out yet!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Bob

      You haven't used "Our Lady Of The Enema" yet either.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • WonderSpring

      I have a new strategy. It's to do the same thing I always do.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • D

      And here come the trolls

      July 1, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • Bob

      We considerate it to be the intellectual equivalent of midget-tossing, D.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:09 am |
    • D

      Or the "humor" behind having a football hit a guy in the groin... 😉

      July 1, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Bob

      Sure. That too.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • Aaron

      You do understand that many of our founding fathers were not Christians? And even those that were, were strong secularists. Some examples include: Treaty of Tripoli Article 11 (1796), Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists (Jan. 1. 1802.), The First Amendment of the const. (1787), Washington's letter to the country's first Jewish congregation, the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island (1790), Article 6 of the Const. (1787), Veto Message From President James Madison (February 21, 1811). The list goes on... need I continue??

      July 1, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • WonderSpring

      Aaron, your founding fathers would not have come up with any ideas if they had no Bible or Christianity. You never read the Bible; that's why you'll never get the facts. Where's your name "Aaron" from? All your do-cu-ments are founded upon the Judeo-Christian values, nothing else.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Aaron

      No they are not founded upon Judeo-Christian beliefs. many of our founding fathers we would consider today to be atheists, however in their time and place many of them if anything but atheists would have to be considered no more than deists. In fact Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison just to name the principal ones were quite outspoken against religion (In particular Christianity, with some Judaism arising mainly due to the religious demographics of the the population. Even with that limited scope to those two religions (on occasion dealt with together, and on occasion dealt with as a pair) on occasion they would speak out against religion as a whole).

      And yes as a side note I have read the Bible.

      And no the doc-uments are not founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs or principals, and actually quite to the contrary as was stated frequently by many of our founding fathers and early elected officials. (A couple of which I already listed, obviously this is not a complete list, however all of these can be found at the Library of Congress).

      As a slight digression (since you seem to have opened the door here), if anything was based on anything it would be the Bible being based on previous myths and beliefs. A few examples being Horus, Osiris, Dionysus, and Krishna. (The list is quite long encompassing many pagan gods and other stories, myths, writings and such.)

      July 1, 2011 at 4:41 am |
    • tallulah13

      Don't waste your time, Aaron. She's been told this, but Adelina/WonderSheep/Name of the Day can't be swayed by mere facts. Nossir, she has ignorance on her side, and she wields it with arrogance and conviction.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Jimmy

      I'm a Christian, and I completely disagree. America belongs to Americans.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • alyssa

      You keep "GOD" in your life, but keep it out of my government or we are going to tax the hell out of you. How's that for Patriotism....

      July 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • rigel54

      WonderSpring: Your contention that the founding fathers would not have “come up with any ideas” without the bible is absurd. Indeed, they came up with most of their ideas in opposition to the bible (is that what you meant?). Re the parasite comment, atheists tend to be the most productive our citizens, the best educated, hardest working, and wealthiest (well above average in all categories). I would contend they are the most moral as well, but that involves value judgements.

      July 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • a4mrtheist

      Typical of Xtian thinking. No tolerance for anyone except them selves.
      Two hands helping other do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
      Madalyn Murray O'Hair

      July 3, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Brian

      I am a Christian and I believe anyone has the free will and right to decide if they believe in God or not. If they wish to go to hell for eternity is their right.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:56 am |
    • William V

      WonderSpring: That's not fair. Would you advocate this country becoming a theocracy, the exact thing the fathers of this country were staunchly against? People of all walks of life are welcome here.

      I'm sad to say this, but even as a Christian, I believe the people that are doing the most damage to this country are most often Christians. I don't agree with atheists or secular humanists, but I believe that more often than not they are more likely to attempt to care for their neighbor and be good citizens.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Mike

      If you think America belongs to christians you obviously haven't read the Treaty of Tripoli signed by James Madison, or read any of the founding fathers papers. Guessing from the extent of your knowledge you are also a tea bagger.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • CEM

      WonderSpring, I wonder how anybody who call themselves a christian can insult and hate people who do not agree with you. What happened to "Love your neighbor more that yoursel"?

      What does patriotism have to do with christianity or any other religion or cult?Why do you have to hate other people who do not believe in god as you do or who have a different definition/description of god?

      Why are you so scared of atheists and agnostics?

      Why are you so petty?

      July 6, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  2. Abby Normal

    "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" are both too stupid to be considered part of an intelligent campaign.

    I would not bother giving these idiots any of my money. They have no idea how to express themselves clearly and logically.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • MrM

      Well put.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Name*BakerrekaB

    It just seems funny to me that religious people think that religion is good and atheism is evil. I mean, if pilots feel safe from atheists when flying a religious banner versus pilots feeling endangered from being shot at by religious people while flying an atheist banner doesn't say it all, I don't know what could make a bolder statement. You never have to worry about atheists murdering or harming people over their beliefs like you do with crazy theists do.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • satan augustine

      Good point.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • rigel54

      Yeah, some theists are just plan nuts.

      July 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Mike

      My prayer: Dear god, please protect me from your followers.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  4. Reality

    Hey, what about the agnostics of the world??

    June 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • LinCA

      Maybe they haven't made up their minds yet. 😉

      June 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      Atheists are just agnostics with a larger data set.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • weak sauce

      smaller. We only return the pertinent data for the result set. Better filtering.

      July 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  5. RightturnClyde

    The CNN Belief BLOG censors have gotten to much for me. They have been blocking the most innocuous posts. I deleted it from my book marks. Heavy handed and ideologuic

    June 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      RTClyde.. are you sure that you have words that are not allowed,.there has been many posts that show the "bad words" which are actually rather childish I do not think they have any censors.. just a computer that scans the words in the post.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Good Grief !

      Gosh you complain a lot.

      Many here have tried to help you, but you just don't get it. Instead you scream censorship. Please understand how ridiculous that makes you appear.

      Having read many of your posts, I can say without doubt that if CNN was anti-religious, they would WANT to post your writing. People like HeavenSent, Adelina et al, BJ and you do more to create future atheists' than atheists posts do.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".


      Sum Dude et al routinely update the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.

      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Updates? Where?

      *sigh*

      July 1, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  6. Rodney Hinds

    "atheism is patriotic" is a horrible statement and what is even more disgusting is when the relgious right tries to tie religion to patriotism. American Atheists should use a different phrase.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • JW

      Both atheists and conservatives seem to be patriotic. Maybe it will bring them together.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      JW..Most religions on earth, including yours, do not feel easy in the presence of other ideologies and would rather not be reminded that other positions exist. That is the real reason why religions are so vocal when they see billboards or signs that ask you to think. The last thing that you would want would be the indoctrinated young ask embarrassing questions.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Free

      Should read "Atheists can be as patriotic as anyone else."

      July 1, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • One World

      I agree. Atheism is atheism. It is not patriotic in and of itself. That many people are patriotic has little to do with their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
      Another badly-thought out ad campaign. Who came up with that ad campaign? Because it really is pretty bad. The "message" is mangled from the beginning.
      Perhaps they have had their campaign sabotaged by religious people masquerading as atheists, or maybe they are just stupid. Being an atheist is no guarantee of intelligence. It is merely the lack of a belief in a god or gods.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>“That is the real reason why religions are so vocal when they see billboards or signs that ask you to think. “

      We will remember that when the kids are handing out Christmas cards and many Atheist lose their ever loving minds 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • satan augustine

      The point is that "Atheists are patriotic" too! Did you read the article where atheists are characterized as unpatriotic and anti-American. These are widely held – pathetically ignorant, but widely held beliefs in the US. American Atheists is countering such beliefs.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Electric Larry

      I rather think that atheists would tend to be more cosmopolitan than nationalistic in their views.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • Frogist

      @Mark: Spreading false rumors again eh? I've never known any atheist who loses his mind over people exchanging christmas cards. I know a lot of religious people who want to think that's what happens because it makes them feel persecuted and righteous though.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Mark FMR..not sure what point you were trying to make.. Christmas card are traditional greetings..I have no issue with that. The bigger issue is the fact that religions do not like to be reminded that their message is tenuous at best, and that with a little thought you will understand the myth.There are many stories of atheist billboards and signs being either not allowed, or defaced..yet religious themed ads are allowed. Why do you think that Children are indoctrinated into the faith of their parents as soon as they are born? It is to pressure them when adults to not look at the other ideologies that are competi-tion. Thinking is poison to religion.. plain and simple.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Free

      One World
      "Being an atheist is no guarantee of intelligence. It is merely the lack of a belief in a god or gods."
      I agree too. It really doesn't take any more than average intelligence to see that atheism has made it's case. The claim that only super intellects become atheists is just ridiculous. It's aimed at portraying us as egotistical elitists separate from 'ordinary folk'. Buying into that myth only aids those who feel threatened by us.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • rigel54

      @MarkMIddleRiver: Atheists do not lose the minds when Christmas cards go out. I rather like them. They send messages of peace, love, and kindness. These are universal values. Many cards don't even mention the religious aspect, which makes sense since the holiday is founded on ancient pagan and Roman holidays. The early church hijacked these holidays in an effort to simultaneously quash those religions and steal the energy of a winter holiday for their own.

      July 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  7. frank

    I will help raise money for this noble cause by auctioning off an eggo waffle on which no image of anybody appeared when I toasted it.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Andy Wormhole

      How much for a wish sandwich?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  8. John Richardson

    Agnostically Tinged Neo-Animism Forever!

    Ok, ok. Just felt one of those proclamatory moods coming on, ya know?

    June 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  9. David Johnson

    From the article:

    "Planes with banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" will be flying over 27 states on Monday. "

    My hat is off to these brave men, spreading the truth. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this article.

    Cheers!

    June 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • frank

      Tears welled up in my eyes too, but mine were brought on by a sinus infection, courtesy of one of God's perfect creations, the malevolent bacterium.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @frank

      You said: "Tears welled up in my eyes too, but mine were brought on by a sinus infection, courtesy of one of God's perfect creations, the malevolent bacterium."

      Good Post!

      Isn't it odd that an all good (omnibenevolent) god would spend His time creating pathogens and parasites to cause humans to suffer and die. Otherwise, where did these horrors come from?

      Cheers!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You d*mn atheists need to read for comprehension! All things good = god/jesus : all things bad = Satan!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Maybe it's a virus ?
      Isn't is more than slightly odd that it only "revealed" Sulfonamides and Penicillin in the early to mid 20th Century, (by accident when after countless millions/billions had died from bacterial infections/sepsis, including 1/3-1/2 of Christian Europe from Bubonic Plague), Alex Fleming accidentally dropped some mold in his culture dish. But it has a plan for me. Right.
      OTOH, mammals have learned to coexist synergistically with bacteria, and we all have billions of them in our guts, so who says the "learning" process is finished with me ?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:04 am |
  10. Evan

    Atheists greatly exaggerate how "intolerant" the religious are of them. In truth, the non-religious attempt to force secularism on everybody else. "...atheists in the United States often feel alienated...", "'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest". Whatever. Keep your Atheism to yourself.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • dbloch

      Why should people keep their Atheism to themselves when religious people don't keep religion to themselves?

      June 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Evan

      dbloch,

      Why should we keep our beliefs to ourselves when the people who tell us to do so don't do what they ask of us themselves?

      Besides, Christians aren't supposed to hide in a corner. Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:15, Mark 4:21), and it is our duty to make the world a better place. "Go, and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19).

      June 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Episode 21, in which Evan boldly embraces naked hypocrisy ...

      June 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Jakey

      "Atheists greatly exaggerate how 'intolerant' the religious are of them."

      1. [citation needed]

      2. Kind of undercuts your assertion when you finish up that comment with "whatever. Keep your Atheism to yourself." You do know what the word "intolerance" means, right?

      June 30, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • BigJ

      Evan –
      Why should atheists or any other minority just keep to themselves? Just because you are uncomfortable with it? Or is it because they might influence people around you to actually think critically about their own beliefs?

      June 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Evan, you made an excellent demonstration of hypocrisy within your original post. Apart from that, though, your obvious sensitivity to criticism and your defensiveness is a clue to how shaky your own belief is. (not that any religious belief is on a solid footing.)

      June 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      You said: "Christians aren't supposed to hide in a corner. Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:15, Mark 4:21), and it is our duty to make the world a better place. "Go, and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19)."

      There is no real proof that your Jesus ever existed. Your bible is ambiguous and therefore, not inerrant. Evolution has shown the creation story is just a myth.

      Cheers!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • JW

      If you question whether Jesus existed you have to question the existence of others from that time period or before. There is as much proof of Jesus as there is of Confucius, Cleopatra, etc.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @JW

      You said: "If you question whether Jesus existed you have to question the existence of others from that time period or before. There is as much proof of Jesus as there is of Confucius, Cleopatra, etc."

      The others, were not the Messiah and son of god. We are dealing with an all powerful, all knowing, all good god! I would have expected more from Him. Besides that isn't true Cleopatra had coins with her likeness on them. Romans and Egyptians wrote about her. There were statues made in her likeness. Jesus had...nothing.

      1.If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.
      The bible says He does:
      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2. If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3. If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 68% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      June 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      JW.. why would we need to? Cleopatra has never tried to change society and make changes .whether she existed or not is not an issue.. Jesus on the other hand has believers who want to make changes and adjust society more to his liking and theirs.
      I think you owe it to those who are skeptical to at least give proof of his existence.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Evan

      JBig,

      No. It's because you always complain that the religious are trying to force their beliefs on you, while you do the exact same thing you ask us not to do.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Evan

      DavidJohnson,

      "There is no real proof that your Jesus ever existed"

      That's quite an ignorant statement. Jesus is mentioned by the Talmud, Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Suetonius, Mara Bar-Serapion, numerous pre-Islamic Arabian writings, etc.

      You will say "None of those are contemporary sources". So? We have no contemporary sources for Socrates, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Genghis Kahn, etc. Are you going to tell me they never existed.

      In the first two centuries, we have 9 secular mentions of Tiberius Caesar, while we have 10 of Jesus of Nazareth. If we include Christian writings, we have 50 mentions of Jesus and 11 mentions of Tiberius Caesar. The first mentions of Alexander the Great and the Buddha that we have come 300 years after their deaths. The first mention of Jesus of Nazareth that we have dates within 5 years of His death and the first secular mention dates within 40 years.

      F.F. Bruce says it best: "It's not historians who put forth the Christ myth theories".

      "Evolution has shown the creation story is just a myth"

      I believe in the Genesis account of creation and I believe in evolution. I see not contradiction between the two.

      "The others, were not the Messiah and son of god"

      Julius Caesar also claimed to be a god. Are you going to tell me he never existed?

      "Besides that isn't true Cleopatra had coins with her likeness on them. Romans and Egyptians wrote about her. There were statues made in her likeness. Jesus had...nothing"

      The first image we have of Alexander the Great comes 400 years after his death. The first image of Jesus comes 200 years after His death. Archeaologists have also found a Christian tomb with carvings of crosses in it that dates to A.D. 50.

      "If god is Omnibenevolent..."

      Except you have free-will. It's your choice whether or not the believe. God does want everyone to be save "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezekiel 33:11), and God surely has the power to get us all to believe. However, it's our choice. God wants sons who choose Him. Not robots.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Magic

      Evan: "We have no contemporary sources for Socrates, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Genghis Kahn, etc. Are you going to tell me they never existed."

      If wisdom attributed to these people contributes to beneficial, peaceful human behavior, learn from it and utilize it. Perhaps other things they might have said are useful too. It makes no difference if these people existed or not - other than for hero worship.

      Practical wisdom attributed to Jesus can be treated the same way; but there is no evidence of any wisdom in the supernatural aspects of anything attributed to him... any more than there is for any other magical, mystical purveyors of voodoo, ghosts, crystals, magic pyramids and the like.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Q

      Well, just a couple of points. The fossil record contradicts the order of creation described in Genesis, e.g. terrestrial plants prior to aquatic life, birds before land creatures. "Free Will" cannot exist if God knew every human's choices prior to their existence (as required by omniscience). Bound by God's inerrant foreknowledge, humans simply could not make a choice which wasn't already known to be inevitably made. That we don't know our choices are simply fulfilling this foreknowledge is irrelevant. That we cannot actually choose a path discordant with this inerrant foreknowledge confounds the notion of "Free Will".

      July 1, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • tallulah13

      I've never had an atheist knock on my door to share their opinion, but a month or two ago, some boys who looked to be about 18 years old, sporting name tags that declared them "Elder", wanted to tell me all about their god. Nor have I ever come home to find atheist propaganda waiting for me, but tonight as I went to unlock my door, a jehovah's witness tract was shoved between the frame and the door knob. Never have I heard an atheist preach on a street corner, but when I walk downtown during my lunch break, more often than not I encounter men shouting about Jesus, condemning others in his name or handing out leaflets. I watch the news and hear all about politicians who believe they are "called by god", but you never hear one of them say they don't believe.

      Funny how when an atheist wants to say anything, you want them to shut up. I say if ALL people kept their religion to themselves, there would be fewer problems in the world.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Qwerty Elemeno

      Evan, the "facts" you supplied are so wildly inaccurate that they are just plain lies. You invented them.

      "We have no contemporary sources for Socrates, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Genghis Kahn"? Bullsh!t. Socrates – Plato and Aristophanes. Alexander the Great – tons of contemporary sources. Here is a letter Alexander wrote: http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/Chios/Tod192.jpg There are lots of records of Genghis Khan in the records of his enemies like China and Kievan Rus, for example. Charlemagne? Same thing.

      Your attempt to somehow equate Jesus with Tiberius is very dishonest – some of the sources were contemporary for Tiberius, and you can go stand in the ruins of his house outside Rome. And I can come up with hundreds of sources for Zeus, so by your cheap logic, Zeus was real. What a contorted argument!

      The first Christian mention of Jesus is a Pauline letter from 48 CE at the very earliest – 21 years after Jesus' death, not the 5 you invented. First secular reference? It's not your phony "within 40 years," it's over 80 years (Pliny the Younger). That's pretty bad; you just invent your facts.

      No image of Alexander for 400 years? You mean aside from the thousands upon thousands of extant coins and statues made in his lifetime? I have one of those coins from his lifetime right here on my desk.

      A cross from 50 AD? Do provide proof of that – google reveals nothing of the sort. The cross really only became a Christian symbol in the second century. Before that, it was the fish. Unless you can support your assertion, I think we have another example you your Christian "truths" at work.

      So why did you feel the need to lie so much, Christian?

      July 1, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • Electric Larry

      I suspect he isn't lying, Qwerty. I think he is just regurgitation stuff he's found on websites run by zealot dingbats.

      A lot of people these days do not understand the concept of reliable sources. So few seem to know how to determine if the source of their information should be trusted. A shame, really, because we are relying more and more on the internet, where information can be incredibly distorted or even utterly false.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      "I believe in the Genesis account of creation and I believe in evolution. I see not contradiction between the two."
      By "the two" do you mean the two accounts of creation in Genesis ? So light was created before the stars ? There is a "dome" between the waters of the heavens and the waters on the earth ? There were lights in the dome ? The vegetation was created on the third day, and poof it disappeared, and wasn't there until after it rested on the seventh day ?
      There was water on the earth before there was sent rain ? It gave them "EVERY seed bearing plant" for food, then later changed it's mind ? Allrighty then.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:25 am |
    • Evan

      Evan, the "facts" you supplied are so wildly inaccurate that they are just plain lies. You invented them.

      "We have no contemporary sources for Socrates, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Genghis Kahn"? Bullsh!t. Socrates – Plato and Aristophanes. Alexander the Great – tons of contemporary sources. Here is a letter Alexander wrote: http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/Chios/Tod192.jpg There are lots of records of Genghis Khan in the records of his enemies like China and Kievan Rus, for example. Charlemagne? Same thing.

      Your attempt to somehow equate Jesus with Tiberius is very dishonest – some of the sources were contemporary for Tiberius, and you can go stand in the ruins of his house outside Rome. And I can come up with hundreds of sources for Zeus, so by your cheap logic, Zeus was real. What a contorted argument!

      The first Christian mention of Jesus is a Pauline letter from 48 CE at the very earliest – 21 years after Jesus' death, not the 5 you invented. First secular reference? It's not your phony "within 40 years," it's over 80 years (Pliny the Younger). That's pretty bad; you just invent your facts.

      No image of Alexander for 400 years? You mean aside from the thousands upon thousands of extant coins and statues made in his lifetime? I have one of those coins from his lifetime right here on my desk.

      A cross from 50 AD? Do provide proof of that – google reveals nothing of the sort. The cross really only became a Christian symbol in the second century. Before that, it was the fish. Unless you can support your assertion, I think we have another example you your Christian "truths" at work.

      So why did you feel the need to lie so much, Christian?

      "Socrates – Plato and Aristophanes"

      Those aren't contemporary; they were written after his death.

      "Alexander the Great – tons of contemporary sources"

      That's incorrect. We have no extant contemporary sources for Alexander the Great.

      "Here is a letter Alexander wrote"

      How do you know it wasn't forged, as you believe all of the Gospels and Epistles are?

      "There are lots of records of Genghis Khan in the records of his enemies like China and Kievan Rus"

      ...which were written after his death.

      There are no contemporary mentions of the Buddha, Muhammed, Confucious, Harold Godwinson, etc.

      Besides, have you ever read a history textbook? Do you consider them accurate? They aren't contemporary.

      "you can go stand in the ruins of his house outside Rome"

      You can also stand in the tomb that Jesus was buried in but that doesn't do much for you.

      "The first Christian mention of Jesus is a Pauline letter from 48 CE at the very earliest – 21 years after Jesus' death, not the 5 you invented"

      That's wrong. 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 is a pre-Pauline Christian creed that most scholars date within five years of Christ's death, and some within 18 months. There is also a passage in the Babylonian Talmud that may have even been written when Christ was still alive.

      "it's over 80 years (Pliny the Younger)"

      That's wrong, again. The Talmud mentions Jesus (written in about AD 70, with parts that date before that). Josephus (who wrote around AD 70) mentions Jesus in more than one place. Tacitus (who wrote in about AD 100) mentions Jesus). This is better evidence than some people whose existence we take for granted, such as the Buddha and Alexander the Great, whose first mentions date about 300 years after their lives.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Alexander_the_Great

      "I have one of those coins from his lifetime right here on my desk"

      Sure you do...

      "Do provide proof of that"

      Sure do. Josh McDowell writes: "In 1945, two ossuaries (receptacle for bones) were found in the vicinity of Jerusalem. These ossuaries exhibited graffiti that their discoverer, Eleazar L. Sukenik, claimed to be the 'earliest records of Christianity'. These burial receptacles were found in a tomb that was in use before A.D. 50. The writings read Iesous iou and Iesous aloth. Also present were four crosses. It is likely that the first is a prayer to Jesus for help, and the second, a prayer for resurrection of the person whose bones were contained in the ossuary". http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/588-another-voice-from-the-tomb

      July 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Qwerty Elemeno

      Total bullshit again, Evan. Plato was Socrates' student – he personally knew him. Aristophanes' "The Clouds" played at the City Dionysus in 423 bce – Socrates died in 399.

      Alexander the Great – I gave you a link to a letter he wrote, dingbat! There's lots more than that. Forged? Man you are dishonest. I could say that about every source you provide. How do you know they aren't forged? You need to PROVE forgery, so start supplying sources for that assertion. You cannot, of course.

      And do read your wikipedia article a bit better, as the inscriptions and fragments are enough to prove his existence from contemporary sources – they are the sources to prove existence. What does not exist are stories of his life by people who knew him. An enemy reporting that Alexander sacked his city does not fall into that categotry.

      You are dead wrong about Genghiz and Charlemagne. Here is a letter written by Charlemagne: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/carol-baugulf.html

      I do have a contemporary coin from Alexander's rule. I also have a Roman denarius from abour 200 BCE and an Athenian tetradrach from abour 423 BCE. You are the one with the credibility problem, Evan. You are the one who has been inventing your facts. I have provided sources to back up my statements. You are just a liar,and a smug one at that. And I note you do not have the courage to admit you were wrong about images of Alexander.

      Want to see a contemporary image of Alexander the Great? Check it out: http://www.hjbltd.com/currentbbs/results.asp?SubLevelName_0=Choose+Choose+Era+%2F+Culture&SubLevelName_1=Ancient+Greek&SubLevelName_2=MACEDONIA&inventorygroup=cc&pointofsale=CurrentBBS

      You cannot go stand in the tomb Jesus was buried in. It has not been found. Tiberius' house is known to be his.

      Your creed "evidence" is secondary and non-contemporary, not primary contemporary. You limited the discussion to primary sources. The first extant mention of it is in 48 CE at the earliest. Are we now allowing secondary and non-contemporary sources? That totally destroys all your other dates.

      Tacitus' mention of Jesus is in 116CE, not 100. Again you just pull your numbers out of your ass.

      As you stated "the first SECULAR mention", which is the secular Pliny, not the Jewish writer Josephus or the Talmud. And Jesus died in 29 CE, while Josephus wrote all his stuff beginning in 71 CE – which a little simple math will show is NOT "within 40 years."

      It's pretty clear that you have a low level of education and are not any form of scholar, because with the exception of the tomb, the information you provided has been consistently distorted or flat out wrong. Are you really bad at scholarship, or a liar?

      July 2, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  11. dbloch

    This campaign is great. For some reason so many religious people seem to think that being in Atheist goes hand in hand with being un-American (whatever that is). Last time I checked, we have the freedom to believe whatever we want, and if someone choosed to not believe in God and religion, how does that make them any less patriotic? Oh, that's right, because many people think that because the word God (or Creator) is on our money, in our pledge, and in our Declaration of Independence that we are a "Christian Nation" with "Christian values." Yes the majority of our founders were pious Christians themselves, as were the majority of the people in the colonies, (and the rest of the Western World) at that time – merely products of their environment. (Two very important early Americans were heretics even! – Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson.) But then again, many of our founders were slave owners... does that make slavery American? But if we really are Christian nation, than why is there a Separation of Church and State? I think its about time American Christians get a dose of realism for a change.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I'm not sure how many of the founders could be called pious.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  12. Atheism Doesn't Need An Air Force

    I'm thinking that this will not be very effective. I mean, let's face it: religious people hate us more than they hate each other, even more than they gays. A banner in the sky is not going to do much to change that widespread ignorant illogical hatred. The slogans chosen are pretty feeble.

    Let's face it: The thing that converts most people to atheism is the wretched behavior and unsound thinking of Christians and other religions. Why spend the money when Westboro and terrorism and pedophile priests and creationists and so many others are doing the real work of creating atheists? Let's just use the cash on a great party somewhere, make it very public and fun, with lots of music and costumes and things. Let's show the world that atheism is actually a lot of fun. Forget the little Cessnas and their banners.

    However, if the object is to pi$$ them off, then spend the money to enter a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that says "There Is No Santa! Your Parents Are LYING To You! And There Is No God Either!"

    June 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      This isn't a conversion campaign. It's more of a "don't tread on me" sorta thing.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @John Richardson

      You said: "This isn't a conversion campaign. It's more of a "don't tread on me" sorta thing."

      Yes! I thank god, you are on the planet. Keep on posting!

      Cheers!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Scott

      How can you deny Santa???

      June 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scott

      You asked: "How can you deny Santa???"

      I have always been mystified over that to. There is no more evidence for god and the demigod Jesus, than there is for Santa.
      So, how can believers deny Santa?

      Curious in Arizona

      June 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Many kids actually received presents for several years so it could be argued that the Santa Claus myth is/was much more real than any god/jesus myth.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • LinCA

      Considering that Santa Claus is Sinterklaas, who is St. Nicholas, who was the Bishop of Myra, there is actually a lot more evidence for the existence of Santa then there ever was for any god.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      All a party would do is show everyone that parties can be fun – and most of them know that already.
      There is no reason to connect the fact of a fun party with any belief system other than one that believes parties can be fun.

      There is an analogy here with all the social interactions "encased" by every religion. The social activities are not the religion itself. If one needs a theme for a party, there are few things as easy as coming up with a reason to party!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”I'm thinking that this will not be very effective. I mean, let's face it: religious people hate us more than they hate each other, even more than they gays.”
      I think 'thou art' painting with a heck'of'ah wide brush there kid.
      I think there are a few that directly “hate” Atheist and after visiting a Gay/Lesbian church sorta takes your Christians hate Gays. Maybe some Christians do and I would say that the dislike of Gays probably extends into the Atheist community as well.

      I will give this opinion as well and forgive me for the stupid caps … THERE IS NO WAY … ABOSULTELY NO WAY … That many of Faith hate atheist more than other folks of Faith. I said this a few months ago... I like blogging with Atheist here way more than the drop down flame wars that can happen on Blogs about Faith. An Atheist, is often the total opposite and I have found more meaningful conversations. Sometimes even within the same denomination the debate on interpretation of the scripture can end up with severe arguments and on rare occasions a fist fight.

      It is why I feel that folks like Bin Laden had more of a issue with Christians and Jews. It is not because we are totally different than them... They identify us as being Faithful … we are just not “his” type of Faithful. He wished and hoped with a little pressure that we would turn to his form of Islam. It is often the ones that are more like you but are un-willing to change just a little to be closer to you, that you hate more.

      The problem Atheism has is the same every group has. Its loudest are often its most radical. It is those Atheist that paint a continual negative image of Atheism that holds the entire group back. We have, as you mentioned Westburo, …. but how many of them are there compared to ALL of the Christian Churches....heck compared too the total of Baptist churches? The Catholic priest.. even the groups that are going after the Catholic church for that mess have stated openly that we are talking less than one percent of the total Catholic Priest in the Communion. The news has a field day with these stories and lost in the News reporting is all of the positives that the Faith's do in society.

      It is the same that I feel when I turn on the news and segment after segment it shows negative imagines of the African American community when I know that stories such as Urban test scores are rising and more African American kids are graduating .... but what do I see on the news .. a bunch of Thugs that the News media wants to paint as who and what my community is. So Westburo .... which has both the Klan and the NAAACP on pretty much the same side .... you can't expect those fools to represent all of Christianity? Can you?

      When you wind yourself down and come to discussions such as here on this blog you will come to meet folks of Faith. Some will be nuts, some will not. I know I have found the same on the Atheist side. When I first came here last year I felt like you.. all Atheist “hate” Christians. I have found that to not be true. There are ones that engage in dialogue and there are some Atheist that feel that …. I guess they could not scream and shout at their Fathers or Mothers or whatever... they will scream at anyone of Faith. 🙂 …

      Of course there is then Reality …. no comment. 😀
      I will say that part of me hopes that some Atheist go the pi'ss off the Faithful route. It will just be another example of how there is a middle ground and the problems often comes from the extremist in all groups. Those that just live to Pi'ss folks off.

      Either way, dude or dudette... Just watch making such blanket statements. Folks and hate are an interesting pair and as you get to talk to more and more folks you will see that often things are not that cut and dry.

      l'chaim

      July 1, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Atheism Doesn't Need An Air Force

      Mark, consider the following information. It soundly refutes your all-caps moment. It actually refutes your whole post:

      http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheitsHated.htm

      There are other similar polls, by the way.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      From your link : "This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society... Atheist: 39.6%"
      From that you cobbled together: “let's face it: religious people hate us”
      ...sigh … yep ..lose ever loving minds.

      In the article you posted, the ti'tle sorta takes a sledgehammer to your argument.
      “University of Minnesota Study on American Att'itudes”

      Does it say Christians... does it say American Christians... does it even say the Faithful? Sorry kid, your out of steam and yah didn't make it over the hill.

      The thing is that it sorta proves my point of not making blanket statements... Those that wrote the article knew that there were those who are Gay Christians so they could not say Christians hate Gays 22%. They also knew there were Hispanic Christians so they could not say that Christians hate Hispanics 20%..

      Wait.... this is funny … look at number five … if this is your best proof that Christians “hate” Athiest than …. ROFL … Christians hate Conservative Christians 13.5 !!

      I mean we Christians might can't stand each other but come on dude, hate each other… That's it .I'm heading to bed on this one. Let, me help you ADNAAF, if you look at my third paragraph you will see that I stated hate. The problem is that even that is a bit strong. To me, I can not see hating another just because he or she is an Atheist. As Whoopi Goldberg said, there are tons of reasons to dislike someone but hate is pretty strong.

      So by me saying that I do not hate you because you are a Atheist ... One Christian has destroyed your blanket statement ADNAAF and won his argument. Now it doesn't mean I do not want you all to come to God ... but Hate ... I and many in society ... have no time to hate. It takes too much effort. Talk and discuss and learn to tolerate one another is a much more meaningful battle and debate for me. I could be like some of the mindless trolls and just stand there shouting "I hate you Atheist" and have you shout back "I hate you Christian" .... but that is easy, takes no effort. To build dialogue ..that is great goal for me. I love it, its harder to achieve and more glorious to obtain.

      Your in the big leagues kid. In your link, since it did not focus on Christians, what you gave was a article dealing with American society as a whole. In other words, since Atheist are part of American society....

      22.6% of Atheist do not agree with the vision of Gays in society.
      20% of Atheist do not agree with the vision of Hispanics in society
      12.5% of Atheist do not agree with the vision of recent immigrants in society.

      You need to go study with some of the more seasoned Atheist here. My suggestion, talk to Ace and apply to be his apprentice. He will teach you.

      l'chaim

      July 1, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • Atheism Doesn't Need An Air Force

      Flail away, Uncouth Marky.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:42 am |
    • Parapartay, yo

      As floats go, that sounds like a buzzkill float. Let's do the party instead!

      July 1, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • Electric Larry

      Mark, your rebuttal is quite perverse. Air Force provided a source that supported what he said, and all you did was pervert the results then childishly claim victory. I could easily show that his/her statistics support the original point, but why? You'll just come up with another digressive, puerile rant.

      You even assert, again childishly, that this is "the big leagues." You really believe that? You actually think you are in the "big leagues" of intellectuals? That's very very funny. Thanks for the laugh.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      While the study does not provide a statement about who was surveyed and how well that sample might match the actual total population, I think the article does support the basic notion that atheists are the target of bigotry and possibly hatred, by many Americans and that group is likely to include believers from many/most/all faiths. A "yes, but that's not me, not my faith" response is not unexpected.

      I don't think this is the big leagues of theist/atheist debate unless the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, etc. and the believers they routinely demolish in debates are secretly participating. Wouldn't it be fun if Deepak "Wooo Wooo" Chopra entertained us on occasion?

      I do not believe I can teach anyone much about atheism, am not taking pupils and have too many other things to amuse myself with. In any event, I cannot hold a candle to David Johnson, Doc and others, who have a much deeper understanding of believe related matters than I.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    I prayed to Jesus to stop them.

    Amen.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • dbloch

      I used to pray for tolerance and peace.

      Oh well.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • 23rd Jesus Anti-Aircraft Battalion

      And we are ready to serve, HeavenSent! We gathered up every drunken gun-toting redneck we could find (there are lots of them in this great land of ours) and are readying them for the big day! They all volunteered to bring their own iron.

      Our first few practice sessions have been a bit less than we are hoped for, as the casualty rates have been about 37% each time. When you figure in all the other Jesus Anti-Aircraft Battalions in the country . . . okay, they are all in the South . . . the death toll has been staggering. Though the Jack Daniels company has been reporting record profits due to our events. So we are going to wait until the Fourth of July before we try it again, to minimize blowing each others' butts off.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • The 119th Hang Glider Kamikaze Division is Ready to Serve Jesus!!!

      We too have been readying for the big day! Revelations and my Uncle Billy Bob said that this was coming, so we have been training pilots for the What Would Jesus Destroy reckoning! We will slam Jesus' love into the atheist tow-plane air force the moment thy take to the Jesus' skies!

      We too have had our share of minor training mishaps. Most of our pilots have raptured away due to, well, we don't know how to use these things, so we pray before we go. Some crusty old guy suggested we take lessons instead of pray, but clearly he is an unbeliever who does not know power Power of God in your Personal Life! He also suggested we did not take off from the hill just over Interstate 10, and mentioned a few things about wind, but we will be damned if we bend to the evils of science.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @HeavenSent

      You said: "I prayed to Jesus to stop them."

      Wow! I'm really glad prayer doesn't work. LOL

      Cheers!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Scott

      If the worst thing that Christians ever did to atheists was to pray for them, atheists wouldn't want to advertise like this

      June 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • JF

      David Johnson,

      Nice one.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • JF

      Scott,

      If that were true. Unfortunately history shows us that Christians have done a lot more to atheists than just pray for them. I'm sure they did a lot of praying as they lit the fires.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Check out the Athiest Christopher Hutchens and his words of respectful acknowledgement of those of Faith, that were praying for him during his battle with Cancer. He said something along the lines of while he did not believe that it would help he did want to acknowledge those who were praying for his health, not those praying for him to convert in his battle with Cancer.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Scoliosis

      Mark, the name is Christopher Hitchens, not Hutchins. I know you like to deliberately misspell people's names as a way of being insulting, so just remember you are talking about a man who is dying of cancer. Your conscience is up to you.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Scott

      You Said: "If the worst thing that Christians ever did to atheists was to pray for them, atheists wouldn't want to advertise like this"

      Yes, on one level I agree... 'If'..... the worse thing that Christians ever did was to (pray) for atheists/agnostics, etc... But, many or most don't 'just' pray, yes...?

      Hence the article talking about a lot of the pilots afraid for their 'lives.' Nuff' said there. Although, you might want to read -JF's posting to you... he also has a similar take.

      Oh... and would "Atheists are Americans, too" or... "Atheists are Patriotic, too" or some such sof-tener, work for you better...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hey -Mark...

      You Said: "Check out the Athiest Christopher H(i)tchens and his words of respectful acknowledgement of those of Faith, that were praying for him during his battle with Cancer. He said something along the lines of while he did not believe that it would help he did want to acknowledge those who were praying for his health, not those praying for him to convert in his battle with Cancer."

      Yes, I believe that you are accurate in what Hitchens stated. What I'm not clear on is your 'reason/s' "why" you posted that...?

      If you come back here, I would love to see the 'why' to your posting this.

      Regards,

      Peace...
      ------------------------------------------------------
      @Scoliosis

      Re: -(Mark from Middle River)

      You Said: "Mark, the name is Christopher Hitchens, not Hutchins. I know you like to deliberately misspell people's names as a way of being insulting, so just remember you are talking about a man who is dying of cancer. Your conscience is up to you."

      I have read many a posting from Mark over the last year + and... I have not found any posting where Mark is trying to 'deliberately' misspell a name or a word to be insulting.

      I'm not sure how you 'know' this to be true about Mark...? Please provide examples.

      Also, just in general... we 'all' misspell words in our postings now and again. Just part of posting a lot. I wouldn't necessarily assume some kind of bad intention, especially from someone like -Mark.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Scott

      @JF: Being burned at the stake by Christians wouldn't be so bad if they would limit themselves in their means of lighting the fire to paryer.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Scoliosis

      Peace2All, Mark / Lycidas / Uncouth Swain misspells the names of people he is responding to quite often if he does not like them..
      Usually, when called out on it, he pretends to have made a mistake, yet his spelling has never messed up when talking to people he likes.
      Sometimes he likes to speak down to people. Perhaps you have noticed this, at least? He calls people "kid", calls David Johnson "Davey", but as he likes you he has not done this to you all that much. Perhaps if you went back far enough you would see that he did it to you as well before he knew what a nice guy you are.
      I am not going back and scanning thousands of posts just to provide you with a damn list of proof.
      Why don't you prove me wrong if you think it's so important? I invite you to waste hours of your time going back through all the threads where Mark has posted as himself and see how he talks to people and how he also treats their names.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Scoliosis

      Who knows...maybe your're right...? I was merely responding to your posting, as you seemed to be sure that his misspell of Hitchens was done on purpose, as an example... apparently like many others as you say.

      You were making the 'claim' so I was interested in some proof, if you had it at your finger-tips, as it seemed it was and is so definitely 'important' enough for "you" to post it... in the first place.

      So, again... I was just commenting.

      I will keep 'an eye out' while reading -Mark, Lycidas, and Uncouth Swain and their postings, to see if you are correct.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • i wonder

      @Scoliosis,

      Are you saying that Mark from Middle River, Lycidas and Uncouth Swain are the same person? I don't know about Lycidas' many nicknames - I haven't paid that much attention - but Mark from Middle River is certainly not one of them. Mark (sorry, Mark, no offense) is a consistently poor speller and has a vastly different philosophy than what I have seen of Lycidas.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:01 am |
    • mist

      three squirmy people are ten too many

      July 2, 2011 at 5:55 am |
    • Pretty Obvious

      Mark, Peace and Uncouth argue the exact same way, digress the same way, resort to abuse when they can't respond directly (which is a lot), all spell badly, all mangle their grammar and punctuation, all try to pretend they are funny in the same way, all love to make childish assertions about their delusional notions of superiority, all have an infantile affinity for emoticons, and all are last word nazis.

      Marky also likes to swarm comments with multiple aliases to give the impression lots of people share his purile insights and humor.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  14. atheistdad

    This is a wonderful campaign that I support. I was at the American Atheist convention when the plan was unveiled to fly in all fifty states - I'm disappointed that American pilots are this bigoted.

    June 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • JW

      What if you were one of the pilots and they asked you to fly a plane saying 'Christian America' or Muslim America. It is not that they were bigoted they just did not want to promote something contrary to their belief

      June 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I agree that those who came up with the "God -LESS America" as appear to have been so busy trying (and failing) to come up with clever word play that they may not have noticed that it can be read as making a sweeping, and sweepingly false and potentially offensive claim. The 'Atheism is patriotic' one isn't any great shakes, either. Atheism is inherently neither patriotic nor unpatriotic. Individuals wearing an "Atheist Patriot" or "Atheist and Patriotic" button would be more effective, I would think.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I should say that I still like the basic idea. I think maybe the execution can be better next time around re the selected slogans.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      JW said, "What if you were one of the pilots and they asked you to fly a plane saying 'Christian America' or Muslim America. It is not that they were bigoted they just did not want to promote something contrary to their belief."

      LOLROFLLMAOHAHAHAHAHA!

      JW, you are a bigot and don't even know the meaning of the word! LMAO!

      July 1, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  15. Artist

    Maybe the pilot was afraid that the sky god would zap him out of the sky. lol

    June 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Thank goodness no worships any sky god here.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      "no worships any sky god here."

      You are just too funny, Lycidas! LMAO!

      July 1, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • Lycidas

      Funny..yet true. 😉

      July 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  16. JW

    I am not upset about this. I think they are wasting their money personally. It isn't like people dont know that atheism exists.

    June 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  17. Peace2All

    From the Article:

    "Red Calvert, a pilot and president of Pro-Air Enterprises in Indianapolis, said his reasons to decline the flight were based on his personal beliefs.

    "I respect our country and I respect our churches and we've got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more,"

    So, -Red... in other words atheists should just...'shut the f- u- c- k up'...? I mean i totally get it if you don't want to participate... that's your choice, however the *inference* behind your statement is incredibly telling.

    When you say you respect our 'country'...and... you respect our 'churches' seems to imply, anything that doesn't match your obvious Christian (most likely) bias and prejudice apparently means that by our 'freedom of speech' = stirring up 'more problems.'

    And some believers often wonder why, there can be cause for concern amongst atheists, agnostics, etc... and also including believers in a non-Christian faith.

    Regards,

    Peace...

    June 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • JohnR

      Apparently, he respects bigotry and bullying, eh?

      June 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Ted

      or, he respects the concept not advancing any more incivility by politely offering his strictly personal position. But you know what? I bet he was thinking to himself, " I sure wish these atheists would just...'shut the f- u- c- k up'."

      Ah, Red. Don't we all. Don't we all. Thanks for the "no-fly zone."

      July 1, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Ted

      Hey -Ted...

      You Said: "or, he respects the concept not advancing any more incivility by politely offering his strictly personal position."

      You know, I thought about that when I read the article. And... again, by reading his comments very carefully about what he respects 'churches' and 'country' there is no getting around the inference that 'atheism' and it's expression is 'not o.k.'

      In a way, I have more respect for the people that would be willing to fly the banner-ads, but are choosing not to, because they are afraid that insanely crazy wing-nut Christian zealots are going to shoot their plane out of the sky.

      This guy is in essence saying... atheism is 'not o.k' and let's just not disturb our 'Christian country' here. Ya' know, we don't want to make any waves or controversy. And, as for "not advancing any more 'incivility'...I'm curious Ted, which group I wonder, would be non-civil here...? You got it... the Christians, hence the feelings of threat to the pilots. I'm sure that the atheist group could have made better banners...such as "Atheists love America too" "Atheists are Patriotic too" I don't know...something like that, however, do you really think that it would have really changed the overall Christian wing-nut responses to try and stifle 'free speech'...? Of course not.

      So, again... you atheists, agnostics, or non-christian believers...'shut the f-u-c-k up' ! As we really don't want to hear from you God-less, faith-less people.

      You Said: "But you know what? I bet he was thinking to himself, " I sure wish these atheists would just...'shut the f- u- c- k up'." So, Ted... their really is nothing "polite" about that personal position at it's core. It's a form of bigotry, plain and simple.

      Ah, Red. Don't we all. Don't we all. Thanks for the "no-fly zone."

      Well, Ted... I rest my case. Thank you for basically proving, in a way, my very points here.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 1, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2All: That was sort of my reaction too. I understand that people are afraid of change, and controversy and standing out. That's a reasonable reaction. But if he was flying an anti-segregation or pro-suffrage banner at the times when those sentiments were still unpopular, would he still do it? Would he cave to his fear? Or do the right thing and stand up for free speech and freedom of religion – the things he respects about his country? What it comes down to is – would he be willing to rock the boat to make sure that minorities freedoms are considered? I guess not. And that's kind of sad, but not unusual.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  18. Artist

    Anything that gets under the skin of the American Taliban is a good thing.

    June 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  19. frank

    Verily, Baby Jesus will skewer them like s'mores and roast them in flames for eternity, for He is the Prince of Peace and God is Love. Verily.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      Forsooth!

      July 1, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • George W Boosh

      Some prince of peace. Hah. He said he was a divider, not a uniter, and that seems to have been played out pretty accurately regardless of whether he ever said anything of those things in the first place.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:02 am |
  20. Lycidas

    "God-FULL America" or "Religious is Patriotic"

    Makes the same difference...none. But for some reason there are others that would get upset.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • JF

      The difference is that when flying a pro-God banner the pilots would not feel like their lives are in danger. If they fly an atheist banner then the brilliant descendants of inquisitors and witch hunters may decide to come out and take a crack at them with their huntin' riffles.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Kind of puts a point on the notion of tolerance, doesn't it? As in the pilots don't think atheists would take a shot at them, but that believers would...

      June 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • JF

      I don't blame them for having those thoughts. Just take a look at history. Practically all wars are religion based. People willfully kill or die for their religions.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I might understand their ignorant thoughts but I certainly would blame them for them, especially if they acted upon them, which would be a federal offense.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • JF

      HotAirAce,

      I was referring to the thoughts of the pilots. I understand why the pilots would be nervous about flying an atheist banner considering the religious nut jobs out there that are willing to kill in the name of God.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Thanks! I understand your comment now, and concur – no ("civilian") is required to put themselves in harm's way.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
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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.