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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. occcomputers

    Hi, Actually there is verifiable evidence of Jesus Christ' birth, life and Resurrection. Numerous studies coming from our own Universities have concluded that it DID INDEED occur. You don't need to believe me of course. How can you explain the predictions in the Bible that have come true IN THE SAME EXACT ORDER?! Look around you! The world is decaying before our very eyes. Both naturally and socially, just as the Word of God spoke of and right on queue. If things evolved as you may believe, what is the purpose of color? How to roses open and close? where did it "learn" to do this? Mathematically? Evolution is an impossibility!! Its like saying that there was an explosion and out from it came books! Jesus came here for one thing only – to save "insert your name here" and to tell you that he died for you. That there is an Eternal God that loves us all.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Joe Friday

      Remember the theme song to Dragnet? It goes like this:

      Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb
      Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb DUMB!

      July 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Sybaris

      You are late for class.

      Take some courses in physics, geology, and anthropology. Stay away from the Creation Museum and the website CARM. They depend on junk science for their claims.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @occcomputers

      You said: "Actually there is verifiable evidence of Jesus Christ' birth, life and Resurrection. Numerous studies coming from our own Universities have concluded that it DID INDEED occur. "

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.
      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:
      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31
      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32
      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".
      I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:
      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note:
      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Source Wikipedia

      Hmmm...
      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true?

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

      Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (68%) than who are (32%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "Numerous studies coming from our own Universities have concluded that it DID INDEED occur."

      Name one.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • apostate

      No there isn't. You don't have anything from any Jesus and there is not one eyewitness account. All you have are stories based on stories and hearsay. Jesus is a fictional folktale hero.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @occcomputers

      You asked: " How can you explain the predictions in the Bible that have come true IN THE SAME EXACT ORDER?!

      Not hard to explain, if you consider that the "predictions" were written after the fact. LOL
      I can even predict last week's lottery numbers – without error. And although there was talk of a virgin birth, I'm not a prophet.

      You said: " Look around you! The world is decaying before our very eyes."

      The world would be fine, if we would just watch our pollution and keep our population growth under control. That means birth control and abortion. *smile*

      You said: "If things evolved as you may believe, what is the purpose of color?

      Color attracts insects and birds. Also their scent, and their shapes. It is all about getting pollinated. It has nothing to do with a god making pretty,scented, things for man to look at.
      Read Dawkin's book "Greatest Show On Earth". It will blow your little fundie mind! Unlike your bible, it will leave you astounded! And it is all true.!

      You said: "How to roses open and close? where did it "learn" to do this?"

      The opening and closing is synchronized to deviations in light and temperature. The purpose is again, pollination. The flowers are open when insects are likely to be around (or whatever pollinates them). They close to conserve the flowers insect attractants such as scent.

      The flowers didn't learn this. It is all about natural selection. Read Dawkin's book. Or any good biology book. God had nothing to do with this.

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow! Since you have access to all this irrefutable proof that no one has ever possessed before, why don't you provide it so that we can all view the miracle?

      July 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    Dear atheistic crowd: History has ever proven, having the same opinion like the crowd, is no guarantee for the correctness of the opinion.

    I don't want to struggle with you about the question, whether there is no God or whether there is a God. This question doesn't exist. You are not allowed to doubt God's existence. Are you sure that you are not merely a brain, swimming in a test tube, connected by some wires with a host, causing an imagination in your brain, you would realy live and really experience it all (I jokle a little)? This assumption would be equal to the assumption: "There is no God!" You got me?

    July 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • apostate

      We don't make rational every day decisions on such ludicrous "could be" assumptions. I hope you believe your own nonsense and don't doubt the existence of Thor, Vishnu, thunder gods, volcano gods, or any of the other thousands of possible gods humanity has ever believed in. Don't be a hypocrite and just believe in Jeebus. A magical invisible space pegasus might be "the creator" too. By your own logic you should just believe in every outlandish unfounded thing.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Hi Rainer,
      "having the same opinion like the crowd, is no guarantee for the correctness of the opinion"
      -- That's one of the points of this article as I see it. The "crowd" on the ground, (observing the planes and banners) do not like the banners. The crowd, just as you say, is not necessarily correct.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @ Bucky Ball

      Hi, nice to see you. Luther once said: "I was first alone". When Luther started Reformation, he had no single supporter and nobody shared his opinion. I don't depend on the crowd, regarding my opinion.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Ok. That's a good thing. But the point of this article is that the freedom of group(s) who wishes to fly the banners is also not bound by the crowd. 😈

      July 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  3. Reality

    Third place and gaining as we type:

    o http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    oReligion >>Adherents

    Christianity 2.1 billion

    Islam 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million
    Judaism 14 million
    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    1.5 million Conservative Jews and there rabbis have concluded that Abraham, based on lack of written attestations and architectural evidence, probably did not exist. Therefore Christianity, Islam and Judaism have no foundation and fail as religions moving irreligious, atheists and agnostics to the top of the list.

    ------------------–
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    July 2, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Christianity 2.1 billion (sane, but Roman Church must be set free of papacy)

      Islam 1.5 billion (backward)

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion (not following their sane reason, in danger of serious damage of personality)

      July 2, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • apostate

      @Rainer
      Popularity does not make something true. Ad Populum is a logical fallacy.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • calimama

      but unfortunatley not in America..

      July 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  4. Kat-A-Tat

    So disturbing that people like me have to fear an early death because of crazed, overzealous folk. We value life a lot more because we believe in no after-life. At least we don't live in Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, etc.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  5. Matt

    Have you heard the Joke about the Atheist and the Bear?

    An atheist walked in the woods one day enjoying the natural surroundings of the forest and the majestic beauty of the fauna and flora about him. All his life he denied that their was a Creator. Suddenly a brown grisly bear approached.
    Knowing that bears are omnivores he quickly realized that he may be the bears next meal. Purely out this moment of fear, he thought that maybe there is a God. So, as the bear approached the Atheist quickly sat down and prayed, "Dear God, I don't believe in you, never have. But today, this day, is a day you can prove yourself to me."

    Then the bear sat beside him and prayed, "Dear God, please, bless this meal that I eat today. "

    July 2, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Dan Givens

      I heard that one but you forgot the part at the end where Zeus comes along and blasts the bear with a lightning bolt.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • JohnR

      Have you heard the one about the Christian and the bear? Basically same set up, except the Christian says "Dear Lord, I have always believed in you and have always tried to live by your commandments. Please help me today."

      Same punchline.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @JohnR

      Have a nice day!

      July 2, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • apostate

      Speaking about bears and god......

      2 Kings 2:23-25.
      As he was traveling up the road, some young boys came out of the city and made fun of him, saying, “Go on up, baldy! Go on up, baldy!” When he turned around and saw them, he called God’s judgment down on them. Two female bears came out of the woods and ripped forty-two of the boys to pieces.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  6. BoDacious01

    As far as atheist being patriots......well that is not even worth a comment....patriotism has nothing to do with GOD, it has to do with your love and devotion to your country....USA.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  7. BoDacious01

    Wow....this turned out to be a much more interesting, thought provoking and excellent comment section than I thought when I was reading the article....I am very confident in my believes in this world and do not feel the need to espouse them on here....I will just say, I DO wholely think the founders got it EXACT when they made religious freedom imperative and that we have inalenable rights born to us....Reading this article, I reacted in a way of "oh boy another minority group wanting the world to hear them shout"...which is completely cool with me too...say as loud as you want...But when I started to read some of the comments I had to reflect on my believes...Not change any of them but just look at what is important....I support this....I think atheism needs to be a much more accepted and open....we DO need a much more logical presence in our government rather than the better than thou, holier than thou, religious moral BS that is really a disguise for manilpulation....

    July 2, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Zippy The Impaler

      Well said, Bo.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  8. SaoPaco

    Patriotism can defined as love of one's country. Belief in a deity is just that, belief in some god. I do not see a connection between the two. I cannot understand how some would require belief in god with support of one's county, unless they view the god as being their country.
    Some atheists are patriots, some are not. Some theists are patriots, some are not. Is that so difficult to grasp, America?

    July 2, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • JohnR

      When someone who believes as the historical majority have at any given time in any given place, it is hard to disentangle what is conviction and what is mere conformism. Conformists not only conform, but get freaked out when others don't. Many of the alleged "patriotic Christians" on both this and the Mennonite/national anthem thread are showing their TRUE true colors when they freak out as they have.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  9. Bill 1776

    The atheist enjoys the fruits of this great country of ours the United States of America and bash the one that made it all possible Jesus Christ.
    If Christ had not come there would be no United States of America.
    The Pilgrims came to this country to advance the kingdom of God. The New England Charter signed by King James confirms this goal: …”to advance the enlargement of Christian religion to the glory of God Almighty.”
    When all the colonies had been established, they got together for the first time in 1643 and wrote these words: “whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
    Thomas Jefferson said, “…These liberties are a gift of God”. John Adams said, “The height of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity”. Benjamin Franklin said, “…the longer I live the more convinced I become that God governs in the affairs of men…and have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or have we imagined we no longer need His assistance”.
    George Washington said, “Religion and morality are the twin pillars upon which government rests”.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >> Bill: "The atheist enjoys the fruits of this great country of ours the United States of America and bash the one that made it all possible Jesus Christ."

      While I do believe that God did make this all possible, I have a hard time believing that everyone that faced the British Army and Navy gunfire were Christian soldiers. Just as there were Gays and African Americans in the Continental Army, I am sure that there had to be Atheist as well. You gotta respect their service to the defense of this country, and its not cool to write them out of our history.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Charles Stevens

      Quote mining is fun!

      July 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • calimama

      but the founding fathers were atheists.. how did Jesus let that happen, if he made US and A possible.. hmmm

      July 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Joe Friday

      If some of the early settlers of the Americas had not been religious extremists, we would be a far more secular country, with lot's less of the divisive conflict that always comes with religion.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "If Jesus had not come there would be noi United States of America"

      THAT is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while!

      Psssst, there were people from other lands, other religions, that came here with and after the Pilgrims. One way or another some kind of organized body would have formed and centuries later you woudn't have known the difference.

      Here's a clue, the U.S. is a great place to live.......but it's not THE greatest place to live.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      tallulah13
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      And now a word from our Founding Fathers...

      James Madison:

      "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, inst.ituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

      John Adams:

      "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

      Thomas Jefferson:

      "I have recently been examining all the known superst.itions of the world, and do not find in our particular superst.ition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

      Ben Franklin:

      "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

      Thomas Paine:

      "What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith."

      For a comprehensive list of quotes on exactly what our Founding Fathers thought of christianity, check out this site:

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

      July 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And now a word from our Founding Fathers...

      James Madison:

      "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to e.rect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, inst.ituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

      John Adams:

      "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

      Thomas Jefferson:

      "I have recently been examining all the known superst.itions of the world, and do not find in our particular superst.ition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

      Ben Franklin:

      "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

      Thomas Paine:

      "What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith."

      For a comprehensive list of quotes on exactly what our Founding Fathers thought of christianity, check out this site:

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

      July 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  10. Matt

    @Eric
    Straight up! I agree.

    A Proactive stance: The Truth that there is no better hope for man than to believe in Cosmology and Atheism and to know that there is nothing but a grand mystery set before us. Thank you for your support. This is the most awesome believe system- please join freely. I don't mind.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Eric

      Thank you! A few years ago, I was pleased to read Dawkin's book and realize that I wasn't alone in my thinking. I've always thought logically and religion or a god never made sense. It was not until recently that I became more vocal and anti-theistic. Thank you again. I gladly joined with the side of science and progress.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>> "...or man than to believe in Cosmology and Atheism and to know that there is nothing but a grand mystery set before us. "

      Cosmology .... grand mystery....

      Ok, honest question, I did not think that Athiesm would touch on anything dealing with a Grand Mystery and Cosmology. Can you elaborate please?

      Thanks 🙂

      July 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  11. Eric

    I'm glad to see atheism taking a more proactive stance. It is time we become a stronger voice and help others who are afraid to voice their disbelief. With growing numbers of atheists every year, it is only a matter of time until we hit a tipping point and throw reason and logic into the world.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Eric

      Atheists are even beneath reason. Believing in the Creator is not a matter of faith, but of reason (astonished?). Atheists deny their sane reason or the common sense. After a while their personality suffers a real damage.

      Merely the fact that Jesus Christ is the Creator can solely be grasped by the faith, which is caused by the Holy Spirit.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • apostate

      @Rainer
      Whatever you need to tell yourself to justify your belief in imaginary friends. Nothing reasonable about it.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Charles Stevens

      @Rainer LOL!

      July 2, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Zippy The Impaler

      So if I am reading Rainer correctly, the only way to understand that "Jesus is the Creator" is to have "faith," and you must have the "Holy Spirit" to guide you.

      In other words, you already have to believe it to understand it. This tells me that Rainer's propositions don't actually stand up on their own. You can't actually apply reason to the propositions because you must believe it first. If you try to falisify something, or ask for evidence, it will never work unless you already believe it to be true.

      Personally, I think a better proposition is to believe things for which you have proper evidence. Real, falisifiable evidence. The kind of evidence required to make scientific theories. No evidence? Then it's not likely to be true, and you don't have to waste your time worrying about invisible men in the sky ready to punish you for eternity for a finite, possibly trivial "sin."

      July 2, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Hi Rainer,
      "Believing in the Creator is not a matter of faith, but of reason"
      "Merely the fact that Jesus Christ is the Creator can solely be grasped by the faith"
      -- Can you see you've contradicted yourself there ?

      July 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      I think what Ranier is saying is that God is a ubiquitous force in this Universe and that through logic one can understood and accept him as being the Creator.....on the other hand Jesus, as the son of god, and the Creator is a matter of faith and religion...In fact I would use the analogy of spirituality:religion is the same as God:Jesus....He makes a valid point if that is what he is saying....Also, to be an atheist you still must exist in this world and universe and just because you deny the existence of a Creator doesn't make it so...Atheism really doesn't exist in my opinion....God does we would not be here otherwise....I don't believe in a pie in the sky anthropomorphic God....I see God as the ubiquitous force that connects us all...Science is trying to discover that force and have come up with string theory...I like it. Their is the God equation in physics to proof God does in fact exist...The Universe exist without my existence in it...the Universe exist without the existence of man....in my logical mind that means something greater than man or myself exist....I call that God. I think that is what men have always called God....Jesus is dealing with a form of moral code, he is dealing with the politics of man...and if you really read the bible (not listen to ministers, priests, etc) then you will see he was a man who loved us all..simple as that...I equate Jesus with the Dalai Lama and how he lives his life...Get over yourself atheist

      July 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @BoDacious01
      "I think what Ranier is saying is that God is a ubiquitous force in this Universe and that through logic one can understood and accept him as being the Creator.....on the other hand Jesus, as the son of god, and the Creator is a matter of faith and religion"
      - No. I think if you would ask him, he would NOT say that at all. Rainer does not think in those terms (yet), but he is a very nice person, and I admire his passion and integrity. We almost never agree, but that doesn't matter.
      'Also, to be an atheist you still must exist in this world and universe and just because you deny the existence of a Creator doesn't make it so'
      - Agree completely, but the burden of proof is on someone who posits something which has no evidence.
      "Atheism really doesn't exist in my opinion"
      - I assure you it does. 😕
      "God does we would not be here otherwise"
      - The god of the gaps argument has been shown to be invalid in many places, and I won't waste my time with that except to suggest you check out some quantum physics. Things DO come into and out of existence all the time, from nothing, and the process is not understood yet, but the jump (leap) to faith is not your only option.
      "I don't believe in a pie in the sky anthropomorphic God"
      - Neither do I.
      "I see God as the ubiquitous force that connects us all"
      - There is evidence that we are connected in a way we don't understand yet, (quantum entanglement), (Einstein's Spo'oky action at a distance), but THERE is no evidence that it is any sort of a "supernatural" being.
      "Their is the God equation in physics to proof God does in fact exist."
      - I'd like to see that. Do you have a reference for it ? Actually I found it, and it is discussed and convincingly debunked at
      http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/the_god_equation.php
      among other places.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  12. Matt

    @apostate
    What gave it away?

    July 2, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    Every sane man feels his sinfulness. One more, another one less. Some people start to cry for deliverance, when they feel their guilt. Some people try to reject their consciousness of sins as an insane imagination.

    To get rid of every consciousness of sin, some people decide to believe: "There is no God." Assumed, there would be no God, who should ever blame me for my sins. Thus I do not blame myself for my sins, and I feel happy.

    Dear Atheist, this calculation will end up in disaster for you. You may not blame yourself for your sins, but Judgement Day is at hand and God will ask you for your behaviour.

    We still live in a time of grace. God is still ready to forgive us. He is very merciful. God had forgiven even Hitler and bin Laden, if they had repented and asked Him (God) for remission of sins.

    No matter, what you have done, you are welcome in the House of God, when you repent.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Pam

      How exactly can a god who mandates eternal painful torture merely for the "sin" of doubting his existence be considered "merciful"?

      I'm not "sinful"; unlike you, I'm just not buying the pathetic Christian sales job that you are pushing on us.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Sybaris

      Rainer Braendlein

      If you were Thai you'd be spouting stuff about enlightenment.

      You were born an atheist and your faith is mostly a reflection of your environment. Luck of the draw. No supernatural sky daddy touched you with his noodly appendage and made you christian.

      Go wash up. You're late for supper.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • MichaelInDC

      I blame myself for my faults. There is no one else TO blame. Christians, on the other hand, like to blame the devil.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hey -Rainer...

      I know that you, do to your faith, have the need to pray and proselytize your version/interpretation of the Christian message to us.

      And, while some of us, including me certainly recognize your positive 'intentions' by doing so... at the same time, we are tired of the same old "believe/repent or burn" doctrine that you believe in that while certainly I, nor anyone else cannot disprove it, you certainly can't 'prove' it since you are making the claim... and when critical thinking shines a light on said doctrine it becomes rather silly.

      Again... thanks for the good intentions.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Atheist Dave

      Every time I read something like your religion sell the way you try to sell forgiveness I just can't help but lulz a bit and consider the ignorance you may actually truly believe to be real. God doesn't exist, but that doesn't mean religion does not have social function in our society. The foundational premise of any religion, that there exists a higher being, is utterly false, however, the end result of structured religion to a certain age is very useful. Good morals, etiquette and so forth make good people and citizens. But to really believe that it is the sole idea of a being higher than us on earth is foolish and represents a fear that when you die, you simply stop existing. It's really scary, I know, but its the truth. Once you can accept this, you can stop messing around wasting time with religious zeal and live with religious structures but believe in the reality of what is around us. Yes, I know we can only sense so much of what we see, feel, and so forth, and yea I could be wrong, but I'm probably not. lulz

      July 2, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      HI!

      The Epistle to the Hebrews contains a strange verse: "by faith we realize that the world was made by the word of god"

      For a long time I thought: "Oh, the atheists indeed have no chance to believe in the Creator as long as God causes no faith."

      However, the Hebrew verse says "word of god" and not "Creator". Thus the verse means, faith is just necessary to believe that Jesus from Nazareth is the Creator.

      To accept that their is any (!) creator, reason or mind is enough.

      Dear atheist, you make a big mistake: You reject your own sane mind or reason.

      Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Peace2All

      Hi, how is the weather over there?

      July 2, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hey -Rainer...

      Well, where I live, which is in Los Angeles, the weather is pretty hot in my opinion. Looking at possibly hitting 90 + degrees F.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Blastoise

      Hey Rainer, I've been an Atheist since I was about 10 years old, and my decision to not believe in christianity, let alone any supreme being or deities, had absolutely nothing to do with feeling guilt for my sins. It was actually just very shortly after I found out that Santa Claus wasn't real that I started thinking to myself "Well Santa made absolutely no sense and I had no proof of him other than far-fetched stories that people told me, and now that I know he's not real, I can safely apply the same logic to god."

      Personally, I don't find the concept of Deism illogical by any means (the belief that a deity created the universe and set the physical laws into place, but then allowed the universe to progress without any interference) because just like Atheism, it's not easily contradicted by science. Atheism and Deism are basically the same, they just disagree with how the universe came to existence. But Christianity, and every other organized religion, has soooo many logical fallacies and loopholes and flaws and contradictions and blatant lies as they try to answer every question for us, it's just silly to believe it all without strongly spinning everything in the bible into a metaphor and coming up with your own explanations for it.

      Either way, I still feel guilty for bad things I do. But I do what I can to make up for them, rather than going to church and asking an imaginary figure to forgive me. And I can't say I've really done too many bad things in my life, I've never physically harmed anybody or taken anything away from somebody.

      But I don't understand why you think it would be praise-worthy that your god would allow the "worst" people on Earth, such as serial killers, rapists, child molesters and abusers, etc., into heaven as long as they repent right before they die, whereas someone like me who has lived a very peaceful life and for the most part heavily followed christian morals, but simply lacks belief in god due to their heavy background in science and education. Is your god really that narcissistic and selfish that the worst thing you could ever possibly do on Earth is the harmless choice of not believing in him??

      July 2, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Blastoise

      I should have proof read my first post before posting it, I really screwed up that last paragraph, so here's what I meant to say.

      How do you find it praise-worthy that your god will allow the "worst" people on Earth (such as rapists, murderers, child molesters and abusers, etc.) into his eternal kingdom of reward and happiness of heaven as long as they repent right before they die, but "good" people that follow christian morals and have never intentionally done anything to hurt another person are damned to eternal suffering and misery in hell just because their strong background in logical reasoning, science, and education caused them to doubt the existence of god?? Is your god really that narcissistic and selfish that the worst thing any human being can possibly do on Earth is doubt that god exists?? If that's how your god behaves, I'm glad I don't believe in him, he'd be an embarrassment to my religion.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Peace2All

      Here in Munich the temperatures always alternate strongly. One day summer, next day winter. Hard to bear.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Blastoise

      Sorry, I have to bother you with some doctrine. One can solely repent and believe in the moment, when he is touched by the Holy Spirit.

      Everybody should realize the moment, when he is touched by God's Spirit. Assumed, someone resists, in the moment when the Spirit speaks to him, he makes a mistake, which can cost him salvation.

      It is very seldom that someone is first touched by the Spirit on the deathbed. It may happen sometimes.

      Probably mostly, people confessing and repenting (in a certain way) on deathbed, will not be forgiven, because the Spirit had touched them, when they were young and they have refused.

      In conclusion: At the moment, when someone feels his sins and gets to know the gospel, he should start to believe very quickly. God's word is like a rain, which moves on. Enjoy the rain, as long as it is there.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Peace2all and John R.

      ¡ əɹəɥ ɟo ʇno əɯ ʇəƃ ˙uıds əʇısoddo əɥʇ ɥʇıʍ əsɹəʌıun əʇɐuɹəʇlɐ uɐ pəɹəʇuə əʌ,ı ¡ dləɥ

      Whew. ;twisted:
      Hope you have a great weekend and holiday. I'm off to an American liturgy. A High Barbeque.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Shoot
      😈

      July 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Ronaldo

      😈
      There's that quantum indeterminacy again. lol

      July 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • George Jetson

      ¿¡¿¡¿¡¿thing ʎzɐɹɔ this doʇs you op How ¡ǝuɐſ

      July 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bucky Ball

      "¡ əɹəɥ ɟo ʇno əɯ ʇəƃ ˙uıds əʇısoddo əɥʇ ɥʇıʍ əsɹəʌıun əʇɐuɹəʇlɐ uɐ pəɹəʇuə əʌ,ı ¡ dləɥ"

      Are fcking kidding me ?!?!? LOL !!! 😀 Now that is a new one... I definitely haven't seen 'that' maneuver before. "Bravo... Well done, I say !!!!!!!!"

      Whew... glad your back ! Hope that you have a great time at the BB-Q...

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  14. midogs2

    Can't Mr. Scott and others just be patriotic without bringing their belief or disbelief into the equation? Seems he's using the fourth of July and his disbelief out to the soap box to boast about it.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • jesus

      Unlike the Christians... Right. They never force their beliefs on anyone. Hypocrite.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Me

      Actually he can boast about it all he wants. Christians rub their beliefs in the faces of all the non believers EVERY SINGLE DAY! Suck it up jerk!

      July 2, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Pam

      Yep. Suck it up jerk, finally. And it's great to see the pushback here against the Christian supersti-tion sales job. Hopefully that will grow.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @midogs2

      Whether I, and others, am in agreement about the content of the banner ads, the timing of them... is really irrelevant.

      Atheists have the right to 'free speech' just like even you do here.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • dr. livingstone

      cheers midogs. the rest of you- you're all saying the same thing, just changing the words around. .. ease up on all the jerry springer.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  15. Matt

    @apostate
    Sorry you are mistaken . Isaiah 44:22,21 Do YOU people not know? Do YOU not hear? Has it not been told to YOU from the outset? Have YOU not applied understanding from the foundations of the earth? 22 There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, this was written 200 years prior to when the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • jesus

      Please hold your breath until god tells you otherwise.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • apostate

      A circle is not a sphere. We covered shapes in kindergarten. The bible is clear that the world model used is the Babylonian world model, a flat circle like a coin with a dome on top. = The bible is wrong as usual.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Charles Stevens

      So you're going to use quotes from a book we don't believe in to convince us that the religion it attempts to support is true? Clever.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  16. Debasis

    Most developed countries are getting out of religious BS. Except USA. This is the most religious developed country. That is why it going downhill very fast. Americans look more and retards compared to the civilized world outside of the USA. You need to travel, talk to people and you will know where we are heading.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Mary Goodson

      Yeah, I see where Europe is headed- and I don't want to go that way. And it's not due to religious beliefs or non-belief either. But what I really resent is you insulting those who DO believe by terming their belief as "BS". Now YOU sound ignorant.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Pam

      That's a very important point. Christian supersti-tions will erode our place in the world. Already Christian fundamentalists here are laughed at by the rest of the world. And much of America, for that matter. Let the great pushback against Christianity only grow.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Pam

      Guess what, Mary. Your belief is BS.

      If you think otherwise, then present valid proof. So far, no one has, and there are mountains of evidence that contradict the bible.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Mary Goodson

      What word(s) would you prefer be used to describe something wholly made up by man?

      July 2, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • i wonder

      I just hope that Europe can survive the onslaught of "The Second Greatest Fish Story Ever Told" - Islam.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Matt

    @Blastomere

    Actually, He has in the past and he WILL do so in the future. It is not a hoax.

    For example, do you believe the account in Exodus were it describes how the Israelite s passed through the Red Sea. In the 1980's Divers found where they crossed the Red Sea at Nuweiba across Saudi Arabia,the columns that marked the crossing, the land bridge under the water they crossed on, chariot wheel remains, bones of dead soldiers and horses, and other evidences there of the Biblical Account on the sea bed and sea shore.
    Since Scientist have found artefactual evidence of this event. Then the Bible can be found Truthful in other matters also.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • jesus

      I guess you ignored the part of that science and in the same findings that showed how it happened. It wasn't a god. It's called wind. I like how religious bone heads only look at what supports their stance and ignore the science proving otherwise. I am an Atheist, I am an American. Enough with fairy tails. I can't wait until the rest of the religious world evolves enough to know the difference. Evolve already or do the rest of us a favor and hold your breath until the second coming...

      July 2, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Matt

      You do understand that the columns were raised 400 years after the alledged event. And it would be helpful if you could find an unbiased assessment of your claims – I could only find religious sites, nothing by archealogists, in the few minutes I spent looking.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Sybaris

      Matt has a piece of Noah's ark on his mantel

      July 2, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • apostate

      The Exodus has never been proven. Pieces of chariots and bones would not be evidence of anything given how many ancient ship wrecks occurred in the area. You can't put a shovel anywhere from Egypt or Palestine without finding ancient artifacts and yet there has been nothing found backing a mass Exodus. Neither is there any evidence of a huge influx of people into Canaan which would bring significant changes to pottery and architecture. Never happened.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @apostate
      I often refer beginners, (which you clearly are not), to the PBS Nova series : The Bible's Buried Secrets. I don't agree with it all, but some of he archeology is on point. The part about then origins of monotheism is clearly incorrect.

      http://video.pbs.org/video/1051895565/

      The think that annoys me so much about the "fundies" is that they do so much disservice to their own cause.
      For example take the Garden of Eden myth.
      It is clearly a mythological/allegorical attempt at explaining an aspect of the human condition.
      We are not all still ll in second grade here, nor were they, (the writers of this text), children.
      It is about the "encompassing" of opposites, and making choices. You cannot BOTH "eat the apple", and "not eat the apple". In the view of the writer, the human condition is such that CHOICES have to be made, which is why it's called the
      "tree of the knowledge of good AND evil". In the writer's view, one cannot be human, (non-"divine") and encompass BOTH
      good and evil, (ie one have to make choices), which is why they were "forbidden" to "eat from" that one tree. The "temptation" is NOT the apple, but that in "eating from" the apple, they "would become like gods, who KNOW what is good and what is evil", (ie (tempted to think) they could become able to encompass BOTH good and evil).
      IT"S, (the whole thing), AN ALLEGORY ! If people would stop making it about a second grade, literal, simple minded, childish, talking snake story, along with a concomitant ridiculous need for a repayment plan, (which BTW Genesis NEVER mentions), to whomever, maybe others might take a second look at the allegory, and see that maybe the ancient writer might just have stumbled on something which just might be remarkably insightful for an uneducated Ancient Near Eastern desert nomad, instead of being about a 2011 world view slapped on top of an ancient culture about which they likely know next to nothing. They do more damage to their our own cause than anyone.
      End of rant. 😈

      July 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bucky Ball

      Loved... the 'rant' ! Well said.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • mist

      woah, look out its an allegory. hide the women and children.

      July 3, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  18. vadon

    Poor poor people, got a mixed up understanding of religion. REligion was and is never trying to compete with science, its domain is spiritual, while science deals with material. There are lots of scientist who believe in God. And RWESTUPID, have you ever thought of whats the point of this life if that is all it is about, just 70-80 years of constant nonsense and drama. The idea that we evolved from gorillas sounds better to you? Or that our beautiful planet with all its richness of life and species randomly poped up out of an explosion sounds better to you? You whats the probability of that: its the same as if a monkey would retype the whole Bible 350 time without a single mistake. U get the point, its impossible.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Skeeve

      Vadon, we did not evolve from gorillas. You clearly don't know a single thing about what you are talking about, so please stop and go educate yourself some more

      July 2, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Pam

      Hey Vadon, maybe your "monkeys" would make fewer mistakes than the men who wrote the bible did.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Sybaris

      " its the same as if a monkey would retype the whole Bible 350 time without a single mistake. U get the point, its impossible."

      Please, PLEASE look up Points Refuted A Thousand Times (PRATTs) before you post.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • BoDacious01

      I would say that religion is something that is in the political realm, the spiritual realm not so much.....religious people are trying to legislate the creationist hypothesis and make it belong side by side with a scientific theory....I would say that spirituality deals with the realm of the spirit....but christianity goes way outside the bounds of realms of the spirit...Buddhism on the other hand is much more grounded in the spiritual realm....when ministers, priests of the christian faith sit down and meditate for hours upon hours upon hours upon hours instead of preaching then we can start to think about it as a more spiritual practice....

      July 2, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  19. Matt

    @rwestupid
    hheeheeh....The Bible never said the world was flat.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • apostate

      Yes it does. It describes the world as flat and circular like a coin with dome on top. This is the Babylonian world model that Jews in captivity used while authoring Genesis.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt

      You said: "hheeheeh....The Bible never said the world was flat."

      Satan took Jesus to a high place, which Matthew explicitly identifies as a very high mountain, where all the kingdoms of the world can be seen.

      Hmmm... I watched an episode of "Surviorman" a while back. Les Stroud was in a thick forest. He climbed a high mountain, so he could see as much of the environment as possible. The fellow on Man Vs. Wild climbed a tree, to achieve the same objective. I've never seen anyone seek out a valley,to get the lay of the land.

      Satan taking Jesus to a very high mountain, where all the kingdoms of the world can be seen, seems to indicate all the kingdoms of the world could be seen from this vantage point.
      Otherwise, what would be the point of Mathew stressing that it was a very high mountain?

      Spin this however you want. But the passage says what it says. It is what it is.

      Fundie rule of thumb: If it strengthens their case for god, the verse is to be taken literally. If it harms their case for god, it is allegorical, or just plain magic.

      People in Jesus' day, including Jesus, thought the earth was flat, and held up by pillars. It's turtles all the way down!

      Also: I answered your comment to me on god's allowing evil in page 12.

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt

      You will probably want to quote Isaiah 40:22. But, you would be wrong.

      Even Evangelical Christians have warned their brethren against the naivety of the "spherical" interpretation of Isaiah 40:22. (See for instance David C. Downing's book, What You Know Might Not Be So: 220 Misinterpretations of Bible Texts Explained (Baker Books House, 1987). Another Evangelical scholar, Paul Seely, has asked his brethren to note that "One could just as well argue that God had revealed the sphericity of the earth to the Babylonians and the Egyptians because their writings also use the expression, 'the circle of the earth.' We know, however, they believed the earth was flat. Isaiah 40:22 is logically incapable, therefore, of being a proof that the Bible speaks of the sphericity of the earth."

      The bible is not inerrant. LOL

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  20. RWESTUPID

    Atheists wouldn't have to make these proclamations if the religous lunatics in this country would keep their fairy tale beliefs out of government. It's between you and your imaginary friend, why do I have to be exposed to it constantly? I don't stand up at the ballpark when they sing "God Bless America" because I don't believe in your god. Does that make me unpatriotic? Am I any less American because I think all religion is a delusional result of defects in the human psyche? Accept your own mortality, seek explanations in science for the randomness of the universe rather than the flat Earth ignorance of primitive scriptures. EVOLVE PEOPLE!

    July 2, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Blastomere

      If we could control our DNA we could do that. Or were you thinking that all we had to do is grunt and strain until our DNA changed as if by magic?

      July 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Magic

      Blastomere:

      Genetic engineering is a huge field of study - have you heard of it? Gene modification has accomplished some amazing things. Thus far, they have not, as far as I know, come up with a tweak human for logic and reason, so until then you must use those faculties that you have and discern what is real.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Blastomere

      Magic, I have heard of it. We still do not know what all the different genetic materials do and how they make things grow into different life forms. We are getting there, but are still far away.
      To "evolve" would not necessarily be what we expect. There is no good or bad in evolution. There is no progress, just change.
      We cannot "evolve" on command, or by wiling it to happen. If we want to improve our genetic structure, we have a damn long ways to go.
      I am not disagreeing with you. I want progress in this area ASAP, for it represents the only hope the human race has of surviving and overcoming the human tendency to fixate on delusions. More storage capacity and processing power would be good also. A big list of other things as well.
      I just wanted to address the "EVOLVE PEOPLE!" that RWESTUPID wrote at the end of that post. A silly thing to say and I felt like kicking at it. The rest of the post is very good stuff. But not that last sentence.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
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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.