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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. 4mercy

    The fact that someone is willing to invest in this "campaign" still shows how much work Christians need to do.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • jheron

      Why? Because some people follow facts instead of fiction?

      July 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • MikeJ

      Actually your comment shows how we can have 21st century technology and middle ages mythology. I know better then to try and get you to see reason, as anytime someone as brainwashed as you hears it the mantra is 'god works in mysterious ways' etc.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • jheron

      Actually if Christians like 4Mercy were better at what they do, we would still be in the middle ages.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Jheron – Technology wise...no. War, Greed and the pursuit of power have brought us to the status of the World today. Some has been for Religion and others have been just for control of resources.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      ......on themselves.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • mist

      squirmy mark does not understand technology and psychology. that helps him to squiggle while he squirms. way to go squirmy mark.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  2. Newyorker

    If patriotic atheists get no respect, what chance do non-patriotic ones have? I would rather be called an unpatriotic atheist than to be a narrow-minded religious zealot who equates patriotism with piety.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • jheron

      Nationalism and religion are the same tools used by different groups. Not saying those groups can't do good, but people should invest more stock in their own individual selves rather than whatever groups they belong to.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Joseph

    Pod people. Do what your preacher/church tells you. Be a pod person. Almost real, but not quite. Sheeple. Ants. With no free thinkers you have no leaders, only followers.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • myklds

      @Godlite...you said and I quote, "The wife doesn't want to bring the risk down on her family."

      Do Dave Silverman has a family? I think his wife should be the first person to think/fear that and must see hi lawyer ASAP for the safety and welfare of her kids.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Jorjie Dark

      @george..She is indeed a loyal American. "In God (America) We trust" do you forget that. Please check the ($) bills inside your wallet so that you may remember. And in case you don't like what it/you says/read, you can throw all of it but pls. do it when I'm the person next to you.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  4. Significant quotes from the article

    1.) 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"
    ---------------------------

    Paranoia proves guilty as charge. And it came from an atheist's mouth.

    2.) "He had one pilot say his wife would divorce him if he made the flight."
    --------------------------
    It only proves that the wife loves God above all.

    3.) "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."
    ----------------------------–
    Very well said, apparently it came from a Christian.

    If (atheists) they only have the same mentality, they would have saved (their) $23,000.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • josper

      Red Calvert says he respects churches. His avowed support of Westboro Baptist Church and their picketing of funerals as well as his support of pedophile priests is disgusting. How you equate this to being a good Christian, I don't understand.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • dave

      No, what is going on is that there is an actual fear of being oppressed- these people shouldn't have to worry about spreading the message of atheism.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Godlite

      "2.) "He had one pilot say his wife would divorce him if he made the flight." – It only proves that the wife loves God above all."

      Is that what you get from the statement? Is that what you really see? Are your eyes so clouded, your mind so addled that you hear the story you want to hear when you see the statement? There are many possibilities, including that atheists must hide themselves for fear of being attacked by christians in the US. The wife doesn't want to bring the risk down on her family.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Green Clover

      @josh...Mr. Calvert only emphasizes his respect both the country and the church. Nowhere in his statement expresses his support to anything and anybody mentioned in your drivel.

      Ego and malice had just overwhelmed and corrupted your brain respectively.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • George Bright

      "It only proves that the wife loves God above all."

      If that's the case then doesn't that mean she can't be a loyal American? After all, aren't some people trying to use the same logic to exclude Muslims? I'm just sayin'...

      July 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • myklds

      @Godlite..you said and I quote, "The wife doesn't want to bring the risk down on her family."

      Do Dave Silverman has a family? I think his wife should be the first person to think/fear that and must see hi lawyer ASAP for the safety and welfare of her kids.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jorjie Dark

      George Bright..She is indeed a loyal American. "In God (America) We trust" do you forget that. Please check the ($) bills inside your wallet so that you may remember. And in case you don't like what it/you says/read, you can throw all of it but pls. do it when I'm the person next to you.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • jheron

      Jorjie Dark, In God We Trust was added in the mid 50's as part of the stupidity that was the anti communist movement that swept up America at the time when the American government was using fear to turn neighbor against neighbor and have many innocent, well meaning people blacklisted unable to make a living in this country. It was utter silliness at that time and it is now.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • I wonder

      Jorjie Dark,

      My box of detergent says, "Ocean Fresh" - Ho-hum. I use it for what it's useful for.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • I never stop my wandering

      With a bird brain, you're going to wonder with the rest of your miserable and useless life.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  5. Bruce427

    ** Dave Silverman: "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. **

    A Bigot is defined as: "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices."

    Under that definition, Mr. Silverman is, himself, a bigot.

    Simply because Christians hold to faith in Christ and reject atheism, does not make them bigots. Christians advocating for Christianity are no more bigots than atheist advocating for atheism.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • dave

      No, but HOW a person does it could make them a bigot.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Godlite

      Please explain how fear to fly because of retribution from Christians means that they are just being Christian. What a crock. Christians are so buried in their own beliefs, they can justify anything at this point. Try this experiment: go to the south and openly proclaim you are an atheist in public. You will be reviled, attacked and treated like blacks once were in this country. In fact, a lot of conservatives can't stand that there is a black president even today. Likewise, Christians can't stand atheists. This is a free country where free speech is protected – let atheists say it aloud. It is their right.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Tunk

      How typical of so many religious posters here. They attempt to use a definition to try and make some vacuous point, and then contradict themselves and prove themselves wrong in the very next sentence or paragraph.
      Bruce is a bigot and does not want to accept the label. So what else is new?

      July 3, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  6. NAMVET

    Anyone notice they took out the like button in the comments, Religion is a man made farce , for someone to believe in something, I like others have served my country voted served on jury duty , raised my 4 kids which have the right to chose what they want to believe in,its a matter of choice for each person and what they see looking back at them in the mirror each morning, treat others with respect and respect is given, and a strong moral character. What happens after life on earth no one really knows so deal with it cup cake!

    July 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • They could never go low like atheists do.

      $230,000. Atheists are spending that much just to feed their (glutton) egos.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Why can't religious people read or write correctly?

      Wrong amount, dingbat. Learn to read.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • apostate

      Even if it was that amount, it would still be a drop in the bucket compared to how much the churches have swindled people out of.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Magic

      @They could never go low like atheists do.

      "$230,000. Atheists are spending that much just to feed their (glutton) egos."

      Hah. What is more egotistical than believing that a magnificent, omniscient, omnipotent supernatural being loves *you*, speaks to *you*, and wants to spend eternity with *you*? EGO to the max.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Pet Lover

      @ magic..you were asking "What is more egotistical than believing that a magnificent, omniscient, omnipotent supernatural being loves *you*, speaks to *you*, and wants to spend eternity with *you*?"

      My answer: It's spending $23,000 just to solicit attention.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • We are only humans

      Thank you for the correction. Now I know that everybody has it's own use, even dolts like you.

      July 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • May I point out your hypocrisy?

      Hey Pet Lover! Want to take a guess at how much people of your religion spend on billboards and banners and ads and bumper stickers and license plate frames and jewelry and fish magnets and other ways to solicit attention? It's a whole lot more than $23,000!

      July 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • You must accept the fact though it's hard....

      That it maybe millions of the dollars they spent but it was just a part of its traditions and culture, not to solicit attention like atheists have been doing.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • May I AGAIN point out your hypocrisy?

      Christianity is spending millions to NOT solicit attention with billboards and banners and ads and bumper stickers and license plate frames and jewelry and fish magnets and everything else. Really. Really they're not. They spend it out of tradition, not to solicit attention.

      And while Jesus said to sell you possessions and give the money to the poor, the poor don't get it. It goes to that old Christian tradition of advertising purely for culture and definitely not for soliciting attention . . . or the poor.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Here's (some of) the hypocrisy stones that you threw watch out and catch!

      Did the $23,000 spent on that nonsensical attention-seeking ad goes to the poor?

      July 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  7. BoDacious01

    This thought just came to me....When I was a child my mon would do stuff like lick her thumb and use it to wipe some piece of food off my face....My nephew will look at my sister with a cold stone face and say he doesn't love her or when she is hugging him and kissing him he will try and squirm away and act as if he doesn't want to receive her love....It is obvious that he is just asserting his independence and trying to show her that he is an individual....I liken atheist to that. GOD just is...GOD is the summation of ALL things, thoughts, energy in this Universe and to open up your arms and accept the beauty of life is hard for atheist to do....like children....it isn't logical and atheist have that right....GOD doesn't need to be explained or proven GOD just needs to be experienced as the expression of your life....and I do not believe you are going to hell for not believing in a GOD...

    July 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Watching the Christians Do The Intellectual Limbo - How Low Can They Go?

      Thoughts must not come to you very often, because that one was utterly ridiculous. It would really help to get to know an atheist before you run around saying what they are, because you are WAY off.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • JohnR

      @BoDacious01 Or, as I like to say, the only god worthy of worship would be one that wouldn't care whether anyone worshipped him/her/it/them.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      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..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...the universe exist witout christians or atheist in it....in my logical mind that means something greater than christians, atheist, man or myself exist....I call that God. You call it what you want.... 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...That being said, I don't consider myself a christian but have an idea of what a creator and God is.....What are the tennets of Atheism sir?

      July 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Gary

      I am amazed that a modern person, living in a civilised society can even hold these thoughts, let alone voice them. Demeaning people that do not share your opinions by likening them to children does only you a disservice. And do you really think that atheists can't see beauty in the universe? We just don't put god-coloured glasses in front of it. One thing that theists in America need to learn is that atheists are all around you, perhaps even members of your own family, but the bigotry levelled at them makes them understandably reticent in sharing their true feelings. In the vastness of this universe, you can be assured, god or not, that we are the only humans. You should cherish your brothers and sisters and the diversity of their opinions.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • They could never go low like atheists do.

      $230,000. Atheists are spending that much just to feed their (glutton) egos. I think getting to know an atheist might really help but apparently, it's not needed, they are that obvious.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • apostate

      @Bo
      It's still a belief in unfounded nonsense no matter how you try to justify it or sugar coat it. Atheism is non-belief, nothing more.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      @John...I agree...I don't go to church. I don't worship....I have excericised my mind however...and in the same vain...."In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs."

      @Gary...I am not blind to atheism...I am not threatened by it ... I think any human can see beauty I just think when we do we see God's beauty and you don't....In fact I speak loudly against religious fanatics....you assertion that it is just putting glasses on suggest that I choose when to paint something as God or Not....I am not religious...I am a biochemist by training...I truely see the Universe as the summation of all things....it is ubiquitous...I have thought deeply about this.

      @apostate....you have zero beliefs?

      My previous statement is just to show that atheist have to hold just as deeply to their believe as people who believe in God... Our believes are our own. I do not hold it against you.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Bo, the Dalai Lama didn't offer to die for the forgiveness of your sins.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      4mercy....you miss the point.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • jheron

      Actually Bodacious, it is looking more and more like string theory is incorrect.

      Besides that, I have no problem with your belief system, but I have to tell you that your theory on Athiests is pretty condescending. Many Athiests go through a lot to come to the conclusions that there is no creator or being that most most religions adhere to and oversees us especially if they grew up indoctrinated by a religion. It isn't for attention...it is simply because it doesn't make sense. We believe in truth or as close as we can find and prove. In many cases, a God makes no sense...and their definitely is no proof. What was considered proof over the centuries in EVERY case has been disproven.

      July 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "Their is the God equation in physics to proof God does in fact exist."
      -- Earlier, I pointed out to you that this equation has been debunked, and where. You said nothing. Yet you continue to state this. What's the problem Bo ?

      July 3, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  8. Mark Smith

    If you look around, you will see, it is religions that are creating most of the problems in the world. It is amazing to me that you say your religion preaches love and all the hate that comes out of it. You will find that most Atheists are loving people that bring no harm to anyone. They are not consumed with making sure everyone is believing in the correct god and condemning those that aren't.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • rdg

      That is a LIE !! All of the current world problems are created by liberals which most atheist are part of.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • thefurious

      The problems of this world are not created by God, they are created by man. To blame a being whose existence is beyond our minds, is crazy, when humans have complete free will to do whatever they want, believe whatever they want. Men caused the Crusades, men chop off heads (in our century) for not believing in what they believe, men make definitions of what they THINK is the right way and thus conflict with others.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Mark Smith

      Problems created by liberals? Is God a Republican? This sort of thought trend is what has created America's problems. The Christians and, I guess, the Republicans can't see there are people that don't think like them. Dude, stop hating and blaming. Accept people for who they are. There are some pretty nice atheists and liberals out there.

      If there is a god, he or she surely has nothing to do with Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. It is clear, to most thinking people, these "man–made" religions are for control of power. Free yourself by starting to think for yourself.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  9. Cleareye

    Atheism is as patriotic as Christianism!
    The essence of our freedom is to believe or not believe anything. Anyone opposing that concept is not an American.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • mist

      cleareye that is really messed up thinking. maybe you dont know what those words mean. or you are stupid. not too many other choices here. why dont you try again.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  10. JoeyE

    those who are atheists are doing on the banner is a fool! You know any religion doesn't put on any banner flying over our heads so what do you want to show us about that banner? who cares! I believe in God and I just keep it in my mind, my heart, and my soul to know I am a believer.. I do not criticize others at all... all I do is to spread my words with love to anyone IF ( I mean a big IF) who are interesting to be a christian then I can use God's word to teach them.. but I do not PREACH anyone else who believes in any other religion nor they do not want to learn or listen from mine.. it is cool.. I think that banner with Atheism or any fool that shows any religion on a banner is plainly dumb! I only will yell or show my banner in my church, or my house but not outside!

    July 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nice Use of the English Language

      Joey, when you say ridiculous things like "You know any religion doesn't put on any banner flying over our heads," you have to expect that we will show you some of those banners that don't exist

      http://statenisland.ny1.com/content/top_stories/112113/small-plane-makes-emergency-landing-on-staten-island

      http://www.john17ministries.net/missions.html

      http://j4tb.com/vt4jesus/march4jc/btvsum97.htm

      http://www.thehotglove.com/2011/06/totally-sane-florida-activist-group-spending-money-wisely-gay-people-disney-world/

      Notice how the last one uses its banner to attack and oppress gays? Notice they didn't have problems finding a pilot? C'mon Christians, there have been hundreds of religious banners flown, and you get all hypocritical about atheist ones.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Jim

    You don't have to believe in the supernatural and the mystical to support freedom and human rights, the basis of this country.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. rdg

    Just like an Ostrich, they hide their head in the sand and tell themselves: I am not accountable for anything or to anyone.

    July 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • i wonder

      rdg,

      Non-believers are accountable every single minute - accountable to their consciences, to their associates and to society... natural consequences, without the intervention of superst.itious, magical ent.ities. They are perhaps even *more* accountable, since there is no imaginary golden ticket for a re-do.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @rdg

      You said: "Just like an Ostrich, they hide their head in the sand and tell themselves: I am not accountable for anything or to anyone."

      I assume "they" means atheists.

      Morals evolved with our intellect. We developed the ability to feel sympathy for our fellow humans. We concluded it was better to feel pleasure than pain. For ourselves and for others.

      Humans learn morals and their religion from their parents and from the society they live in. So everyone has morals – a sense of what is right and wrong.

      We are a nation of laws. Obviously, I am accountable to society for my actions. Society enforces acceptable behavior.

      All Morals are Relative:
      It is wrong to kill, except when a dictator is threatening to take over the world.
      It is wrong to lie, unless you have a little Jewish girl hiding in your attic.
      etc.

      Many atheists, but by no means all, subscribe to secular morality. I am one of the many.

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Larry

    Most atheists I know are pretty mellow. Don't prostylitize. Celebrate religious freedom but don't want religion crammed down their throat.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  14. Karin

    I thought I might help the religious minded folks, by explaining what atheists believe. Just so you do not make a fool out of yourself when commenting/replying.

    Atheist do not believe in any god, devil, heaven, hell, soul, afterlife or any religious theme character or place.

    So when creating your comment, please do not state we are satanist, we are going to hell or whatever religious factor you would like to throw our way. As it is extremely foreign to our mindset. Not to mention, incredibly rude.

    What you may find from Atheist comments/replies is that we can get quite offended by intellectual inaccuracies. As we are very evidence driven. So try to be as honest and rational based as possible. I realize that is quite difficult of a criteria to formulate a comment and/or reply utilizing the beliefs you hold and at the same time create a rational comment/reply. Though, you are surely going to get a response by one whom uses reason when formulating the structure of their reply.

    As to our beliefs, our beliefs will vary. Yet, what is absolute, is we do 'not believe' in your 'faith' beliefs. We require evidence.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      Karin....did you see my post to your previous post? just curious because it says my post is being looked at by moderators.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • CNN Nanny-Filter

      Bo,

      If your post says, "Awaiting Moderation", it will never be posted. There is a ridiculous nanny-filter which flags what the consider 'naughty' words, even if they appear within words. Here is a partial list. Go back and look over your post and you can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.

      ar-se.....as in ar-senic, etc.
      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.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      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.
      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.
      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!

      July 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Karin,

      Can I address many Atheist, to help them from looking foolish. First, please do not put all those of Faith in one basket. Many of your sound silly when you say things such as … Christians hate Gays, when we have Christian pastors and Bishops who are openly Gay. We get “offended” when some Atheist do not acknowledge that there are Gays, African Americans, Hispanics and others are part of the Communion. Karin, try to get them to understand this.

      I want folks to think of folks, such as, Westburo Baptist church, the same as the klan. When a group of klan members go marching down a street we do not believe them to represent all of the white members of society. Westburo, does not even represent the entire Baptist denomination. So it is offensive when segments of Atheism points to Westburo and say that they represent all of Christianity.

      Oh yeah … There are African American Mormons.

      Karen, try to treat each Christian as a individual. You will encounter Christians that will not spend a entire discussion on how they believe that you will burn in Hades forever. We know that maybe there was some parent or former friend that attacked you in a 700 Club type of fashion. That does not mean that the Christian in front of you today is the same type of Christian.

      This comes to another thing that make so many Atheist look foolish. Go around you town or city and see how many different churches there are. If all those of Faith, be it Christianity, Judaism or Islam were able to come together under one banner than I can understand an Atheist having many sleepless nights. Until then many of you Atheist need to stop living with such fear.

      Also, try to see that there are militant Atheist who are just as divisive as Militant persons of Faith. There is a growing middle that is recognizing that it is those on the extremes that cause the most problems in the world. Like I mentioned to another Atheist, we will acknowledge and work on ours and you work on yours. I joked that in the end the last thing they want to see is calm and respectful dialogue from us in the middle. All they have is screaming and hatred, at the same time wondering why we are not following their lead.

      Before I conclude. Karin, many Atheist say that doing good works do not require Faith or Religion. I will agree to that. The flip side of that is that doing bad works do not require Faith and Religion as well.

      Lastly, with the same spirit. Do not give a person of Faith a scripture, a surah or a text... then give a interpretation of what you feel the text says and declare that we should interpreted it the same. There are many discussion groups on the internet where those of Faith debate their interpretation of the text.

      In the end Karin, you state what offends your stance, now are you open to understanding what offends us? Or are we talking a one way street.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • RonFromNM

      Basically atheists believe in one less god than Christians...

      July 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      LOL....wow...I had no idea...thanks for the heads up

      July 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River
      You asked: " Can I address many Atheist, to help them from looking foolish."

      Of course you can Mark. I don't find it a bit annoying, that you are the self-appointed moral compass of the blog.

      You said: "try to treat each Christian as a individual."

      I don't feel foolish when I lump Evangelicals. The ones I worry about believe the same thing. They are the ones involved in world domination via the Republican Party. The evangelical bloc do indeed hate gays (or is it love the gay, hate the sin? LOL). Also, the woman's right to choose. Public Schools. Evolution. Po_rnography (as defined by them). And any other religion. *smile*

      You said: "Do not give a person of Faith a scripture, a surah or a text... then give a interpretation of what you feel the text says and declare that we should interpreted it the same. There are many discussion groups on the internet where those of Faith debate their interpretation of the text."

      These people of faith are quick to give a verse and declare its meaning to us. Just look at the threads.

      There are over 1000 different denominations of Christianity in North America. About 34,000 in the world. All can show scripture, that their interpretation of the bible is correct. Why is my interpretation any less "inspired"? LOL

      You said: We get “offended” when some Atheist do not acknowledge that there are Gays, African Americans, Hispanics and others are part of the Communion.

      Atheism isn't about race. Of course there are people of every color that believe. There are people of every color that are non-theistic.

      ALL believers are deluded. Race is meaningless.

      But, my quarrel isn't with the Methodists. They are not trying to establish a Theocracy.

      You said: " I want folks to think of folks, such as, Westburo Baptist church, the same as the klan."

      The Klan is dangerous and desp_icable.
      Westboro is just vocal and desp_icable. Westboro is the product of the bible being ambiguous. Which, is the fault of the author...

      I think Karin is doing fine.

      Atheists hate the delusion, but we love the deluded and wish to make you whole.

      Cheers!

      July 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >> “These people of faith are quick to give a verse and declare its meaning to us. Just look at the threads.”

      What I get offended in is when a Atheist comes in here and post a scripture and give a Terry Jones type of an interpretation, and then states...in a funny gotcha way... that since we are Christians we should look at that text and without question interpret it the same as Terry Jones. It is not saying that the Atheist interpretation is any less valid but that just as Jones can not expect us to follow his interpretation the Atheist is in the same boat with Terry Jones.

      My part about race and other groups is another offending way that some Atheist do come to this board. They post with the belief that Christians are old stuffy white guys and old stuffy white guys only. When you point it out to them that there are gays and other minorities .. then they say that we are uncle Toms or brainwashed. Just as you say, Christianity is not about race for most of us, why hold us to the views of the hateful?

      I would call Atheist delusional as well. They have a belief that is mistaken and we see that it certainly held with strong feelings and forcefully 🙂 … The thing is that it would be a bit mean to call a person or a group delusional. I will just say that respectfully your view is what created my view so long ago and I still can find tolerance for your beliefs and pray that one day you will find tolerance for mine 🙂

      Moral compass though … I do not think I am. Someone looking to find a peace and understanding in society through open dialogue... If that is a moral compass than follow me to the land of Tolerance and Co-existence 🙂

      In closing a example Karin wrote :

      “I thought I might help the religious minded folks”

      and you wrote :

      “I don't feel foolish when I lump Evangelicals. The ones I worry about believe the same thing. They are the ones involved in world domination via the Republican Party. The evangelical bloc do indeed hate gays “

      See, you see the difference, Karin did not. For that I say thank you David. 🙂

      ** but do not forget it was the Gay Republicans that pushed through for a repeal of “don't ask don't tell”. This was after Obama and a Dems controlled congress failed to do so. Also... that Gay marriage law in New York, you gotta give a hand to those Republicans who voted for the laws. 😀

      Lchaim

      July 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tunk

      I am about as willing to co-exist with religious people as I am willing to coexist with Charles Manson, who is religious.
      Crazy people cannot be trusted. Why? Because they are crazy.
      What level of craziness do you suffer from? I don't want any part of your insanity in my world. There is no coexisting with crazy people. There is only our attempts to treat the mentally ill. That is as much coexistence as you're gonna get from me.

      July 3, 2011 at 3:32 am |
    • mist

      wow squirmy mark, that was a major writhing spastic episode rather than the usual squirm. way to go squrimy mark.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:45 am |
  15. Ann

    Christian love = need for bulletproof vest

    July 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  16. DavidI

    I have been an athiest for 50 years, served my country, voted and did jury duty. I do not think this thie god-less campaign is necessary or desirable. Thankfully, our founding fathers took great pains to give us "freedom from religion". I'm not anti church but I don't like having them come to my door as they did today and I do believe they should pay taxes like any other business enterprise.

    I also believe if people told the truth, in survys, the percentage of athiests would be close to 50% but tbhere are many negatives to going public with your true beliefs.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Free

      And you have to wonder how strong the belief in an actual God really is for those who divorce, commit adultry, lie, and otherwise seriously sin. Then there are also all of those who are really agnostic, but still superst.itious enough to absent-mindedly name themselves as religious on surveys, just in case there might be a God watching over their shoulder, as they would absent-mindedly choose to avoid walking under ladders, or the number 13.

      The people who consider themselves serious Christians only seem to like counting everyone as such on surveys when they can make the point of how large a majority they are for political purposes. The rest of the time they take great pains in pointing out how few of them are 'real' Christians, like themselves.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Sorry, our founding fathers did not intend to clamp down on religious expression. In fact, the First Amendment forbids Congress to pass a law inhibiting religious expression. This country wasn't founded on the basis of shutting people up because someone's offended.
      50 percent? That's definitely wishful thinking.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Godlite

      " This country wasn't founded on the basis of shutting people up because someone's offended."

      Exactly, which is why Christians have no right to be offended by atheists and they don't automatically get to shut atheists up.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >> Godlite : “Exactly, which is why Christians have no right to be offended by atheists “

      Well I disagree. Everyone should have the “right” to be offended by who ever they wish. Atheist say they are offended by those of Faith... what are you pushing for, some kid of thought police? A world were no one is offended?

      Heck, I do not want to live in a world that folks can not be offended. I am a person that has no problem listening to Lady Gaga during the commercials for “Touched by an Angel” 😀

      July 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • mist

      i guess you dont squirm all the time squirmy mark. you know what they say about things like that dont you.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:49 am |
  17. SWEJ

    I think the idea of the campaign is a good one, but the banner slogan, "God-LESS America" is a poor choice. How about something that gives a positive message? Or something that is less likely to be misunderstood??

    I think that slogan will do more to harm the acceptance of atheism then help it.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      Great point..

      July 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Free

      I suspect that the real point is to get people talking about atheism and, if you do that, then maybe the talk would shift to the actual reasons why individuals believe God exists, a subject that most people refuse to even entertain normally.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Godlite

      ""God-LESS America" is a poor choice. How about something that gives a positive message?"

      Godless america IS a positive message. It all depends on your viewpoint. I would wish for a day when the US wakes up and the silliness and evil that is religion vanishes. Religion makes people do terrible things.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  18. Karin

    I am very touched by the Atheist flying ad campaign. I feel empowered, not so alone in my disbelief and my hopes for a rational thinking society in the near future that more promising. Thank you Atheist Flying Ad Campaign!!!

    July 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Yep, so many more things have been rational since people let go of absolute morals. Isn't it great to have families broken up and have metal detectors in the schools? Let's have people do whatever they want and then "medicate" the people we think have gone too far.
      If that's what you consider "rational," then I'd rather be irrational in the minds of people like you.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jesus isn't what you think

      Jesus wanted you to break up your family and follow him:

      "And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life." Matthew 19:29

      And he really wasn't a family guy:

      "“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

      July 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  19. Objective Observer

    You ever notice how the people who are most about "freedom" are really the people who are most about "freedom, so long as it's what I want"?

    Just a general observation. "I love freedom", they'd say, when what they really mean is "I love freedom so long as it's not the freedom for gay people to get married, or atheists to fly plane banners, or anything else I don't agree with". Freedom for only the things I want or care about. Do you know someone like that? Maybe it's you.

    Would the pilots have a problem flying a sign about Christianity? What about a Muslim sign? A bullet-proof vest for flying an atheist sign? That pilot is a joke. And if he were to be right, then freedom is also a joke in this country.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    Which sins cause God's wrath?

    If you would jaywalk? Never. Assumed, you would not help people in need, you would cause God's wrath. God is not a bean counter, observing you every day, greedy to snap you.

    I have ever heard, atheists observe harmless Christians to cop them doing a small sin (drinking wine?).

    Atheist do exactly this, what they blame God for. How backward!

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

      How nonsensical of you.

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

      NONE of that made any sense whatsoever.

      Atheists do not hate or blame god...they're not satanists. They simply do not believe in god. Not believing in god is not a sin nor is it evil.

      They are also are not confined to silly belief system and are not satisfied with the answer "god did it". They seek answers to questions and eventually prove or disprove things.

      It is a known fact that atheists are more intelligent than their theist counterparts as they rely on science and are always pushing the envelope to understand more rather than hiding behind a book of fiction while saying "god did it".

      July 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • PhliP

      I"t is a known fact that atheists are more intelligent than their theist counterparts"
      ----------------------------

      Unfortunately, more often than frequent, their words and actions prove otherwise.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Blastomere

      I think there are many atheists who hate hypocrisy more than your Jesus did.
      When you hate hypocrisy, you keep an eye out for it.
      We see Christians acting against their own rules and point this out to say that they do not follow the rules of their religion.

      Christian values make no sense and can be changed to fit any situation. Any interpretation of the Bible is possible.
      When there are thousands of different interpretations, how does anyone know which one is the right one?
      You don't. There is no right one. They are all false and contradictory. The Bible is full of hypocrisy and crazy nonsense.

      You say your god does not watch ready to snap up violators. That is just your interpretation. Other Christians do not agree with you.
      When there is no certain interpretation, then all anyone can do is guess. Guessing will not protect you if you guess wrong.

      Your god plays tricks on you, hides from you and says nothing to you. All you have is a warm feeling without guidance.

      Go back to Genesis. Read the first several chapters over and over until you can see how they do not work.
      Study the Bible. Here I am an atheist telling you to study your Bible! Will you refuse because of what I am?

      God did not mind seeing Adam and Eve nakked. Nakkedness is just a lack of clothes, but God thought it was good.
      God did not give Adam a human female until Adam had had s-ex with all the animals to see which could be a "helper".
      And God did not give Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil.

      If they had had that knowledge, they would not have violated God's commands.

      But they did not know any better. That is God's fault and not theirs. They did nothing wrong. There was no way they could obey God without the knowledge of good and evil. How else could anyone explain this?

      And God did not want them to know what was good and what was evil. And then he punished them for not knowing anything? For not knowing because he kept the knowledge from them?
      Your God is an ass-hole.

      There is no sin. I am not a sinner and you are not a sinner. We are not born guilty of anything. How can you look at a baby and think that it is a filthy criminal against your god? Babies are innocent. No one is born with guilt.
      Jesus was just a man born of a man and a woman. Your god does not exist. Study your Bible and you will see.

      July 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Pet Lover

      "There is no sin"

      @Blastomere..RRREEEEAAAAALLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYY?!!!! If you happens to be my neighbor, PLEASE let me know so that I will not let my puppy roam around in the neigborhood and get r-a-p-ed!

      July 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • mist

      pet lover is projecting. way to go pet lover.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:53 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.