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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. mel

    Just once I would like an atheist to switch out God and put Allah in their stupid signs. They won't because they are cowards.

    July 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      mel, they won't because they have an ax to grind with Christianity. They blaspheme and spit on all things Christian. But if they were living in an Islamic republic, they would lose their heads over it. They take advantage of the Christian tradition of benevolence to spout their hate.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Paranoia Puncture

      Where, where, where does it say that *only* the Christian "God" is at issue here?

      July 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Paranoia

      It doesn't say explicitly that only the Christian god is at play here, but you would have to be blind and deaf not to know that these attacks are directed at Christians. Just look at the comments here.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Paranoia Puncture

      @Joe Blow,

      Christianity is the dominant religion in the U.S. You are the ones saying that it is the Christian "God" who "blesses" America. If any Muslims, Hindus or Zeusists come on here with similar claims... they will get the same answers.

      July 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  2. AugustHellwich

    To all my believers out there: number one, Jesus died for ALL on the cross, so you blasting people telling them there going to hell on a blog will not help anyone. They need to feel a tangible God. Pray for them.Words can not change anyone. Literally love the hell OUT of them. "for the Kingdom of God does not consist in words but on power." (1st corinth 4:20)

    And next for the atheists: I just wasn't to tell you that I love you with all my heart and so does my King Jesus. Everyone wants a King like Jesus. I want you guys to go home tonight and go alone into a room and ask Jesus to come into the room. What do you have to lose? If you don't feel anything then I look like the idiot. Please. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. He loves you because He loves you because He loves you because that is what He is like. He created you in your mothers womb perfectly to have a relationship with
    you.

    And p.s. catholicism is not christianity. So don't compare them. And of your going to blast the catholic church for 1% of the priests, what about all the atheist serial killers and rapists. Check the group you represent before you bash other groups.

    July 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Roxie

      Where do you get your statistics? Have you seen the percentage of religious vs. non-religious people in prison? Atheists or people who choose "None" as their religion are under-represented in the prison population. You should trust us more, because we spend our time getting an education and honing our critical thinking skills.

      You're welcome.

      July 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  3. ModernEzra

    Let me start by stating that I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ. But I do believe that Americans have freedom of religion. Not FROM, but OF. Truth, the thing you won't acknowledge is that atheism IS a religion. You place your faith in mathematical statistics and in random mutation. Why could the banners not say something less offensive, like "Atheists love America too"?

    July 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The calm and rational ones do just that. It is the radical ones on the extremes that only know provocation that want to do this as such.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Carol H (AL)

      Anyone who calls himself "ModernEzra" has got serious mental problems from the get go.

      July 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Jamaal

    "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."

    No, that's the wrong takeaway response. It means you have to change your approach, because your way of interacting with people is offensive. "God-LESS America"? Is that supposed to engender any goodwill among people that believe in God? You have to establish goodwill with people before you can begin addressing the grievances, otherwise you'll be butting heads with a brick wall.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • ThoughtExperiment

      I agree. It's a very antagonistic approach. It seems as if they are getting frustrated. The only way to enlighten people is through education but that won't change any time soon.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • the truth

      It is difficult for us to move forward as a compassionate nation when religionist demand control over what we do. It is their delusion, not ours and most definately should be kept from kids. You see, those who are religionist tend to be followers and just as alcoholics need buddies to convince themselves they aren't alchies, they need the same for belief in the delutional world.

      Their religion controls them with fear and they need to lash out and attempt to control others.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      There is a subset of atheists who blaspheme and want to be as "in your face" as possible. Why can't they just believe as they do without being so confrontational with Americans? I really believe that they are not merely atheists, but people with an ax to grind against Christians.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • the truth

      As I've said, not a problem. Just keep your religion away from kids is all. Let kids be kids without the brainwashing.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth

      Children are precisely the reason why Christians have to fight against atheists. The two elements who are corrupting kids today are atheists and sod.omites. As a parent, you should care more for your children even if you yourself do not believe.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • the truth

      Quite odd since the child abusers seem to run prevalent within religions. Worse is, as the catholic church, the religions stop laws that would expose the pedos.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Truth – If I were as intolerant as you I would say keep Atheism away from Children.

      Funny, for years the 700 club types said the same thing to Gays and other groups. It was silly and intolerant when they said it and it sounds the same when you say it.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Sadly Truth, even the groups that are going after the Catholic church recognized that they are only looking at less than 1% of the priest in the church. You expect to define the entire Priesthood on less than 1% ?

      July 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • the truth

      However we know there is no provable truth in religion, yet we teach to children as if it were fact. A lie is a lie. Why lie to children? Is it because they are easier for the religious to fool, ultimately brainwash. No one said to not believe, just let kids be kids and when they reach adulthood, let them decide then.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • the truth

      1% what? Priest child abusers? Even the catholic church had to admit there were almost 5%. You are behind the times. SNAP has names of priests that were never mentioned in the 5%., making that number much larger.

      The worst crimes were the cover ups by the popes, bishops and cardinals.. Imagine that! Denying small children help. Great example set by the church. The worst happens when children cope alone as we have seen in the many that committed su-icide and others mentally ill today. Mothers cried to their death.

      Sorry, please repeat to me what the catholic church has done to set the example on helping those?

      Oh, I know. They lobby to stop laws that would expose the truth. The truth is the greatest healer, yet they deny the child victim again.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So, you are offering proof that it is a lie?

      Also, the term brainwashing. That's something that is called when folks do not believe the same as the accuser. To raise a child without Faith, is to raise him a Atheist. Why not raise kids to have Faith, and let them decide when they get older?

      The Atheist will raise his kids with the views that he or she holds to be true and the person of Faith will do the same.

      In the end … both kids will be brainwashed clones of their parents.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • the truth

      Bad logic, try again.. No one said to bring them up as atheist. You can explain the truth though. The truth is that some people think there is a god, however there is no proof that a god exists. That is the truth you should teach.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Ahh .. I understand... the Catholic church gives you a figure and you choose to then trust the church. I guess because it fits your views. 🙂 I will hold to my NPR reports with the groups.

      Question, all of the soup kitchens, food banks, schools, outreach programs. Places where the U.N. Wont go, so go the Catholic church and have been there for years. I guess you want folks to forget the good actions of the church and focus on the bad instances.

      Truth is what it is. You can continue to try to define the entire Catholic church by the acts of a few (-1%) … I have relatives who still blame the “white man” for actions that some racist did to them back in the 40s and 50s. After a while, you find out why they say hate is blinding. After a while all you can see is what you want to see.

      Catholics will continue to acknowledge the negatives but do not expect them to not wear the pride of all the good the Catholic church has done in history.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>” That is the truth you should teach.”

      How about teaching them this:

      “The truth is that some people think there is a God and some folks believe that he does not, however there is no proof that god does or does not exist.”

      To do it your way is to teach Atheism. Nice try though...keep working at it. 🙂

      July 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • the truth

      markin themiddle..

      I belong to a victims group. The real numbers are among those harmed. In one disocese we have counted over 20% of priests. We then began to look across other diocese, the same exists. These cases will not come up unless laws pass to expose the truth. Until then, you are free to B-S as you choose.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Which group, my friend? Maybe we can compare notes it is interesting that your group quotes a different figure than the ones that report to congressional panels and news services such as NPR.

      Funny how you now count 20% and that you are a part of such a group. You folks are good with asking for proof, what group is this you are a part of because I will hold on to the less than 1% and you can hold on to your hopes that it is more.

      I would just give you the four percentage points and say 5%, knowing that its not true, … are you still going to hold the 95% of Catholic Priest to the actions of 5%. The percentage of African American males that have ever been arrested is some number, ….

      Based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 32% of
      black males will enter State or Federal prison during their lifetime,
      compared to 17% of Hispanic males and 5.9% of white males."
      http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm#lifetime
      Truth, …. are you going to define me as an African American males by the 32%? … I have white friends... never been arrested.... going to define them as well?

      Good Luck, my friend. Its going to be a awfully lonely world for you. 🙂

      July 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth

      So you were a victim of priest abuse? I knew that there had to be a reason behind your rabid hatred of all things Christian. Don't let the actions of man turn you away from God. God is all loving and sees your pain. Also, remember that there is a difference between organized religion and having a relationship with God.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth
      So you were a victim of priest abuse? I knew that there had to be a reason behind your rabid hatred of all things Christian. Don't let the actions of man turn you away from God. God is all loving and sees your pain. Also, remember that there is a difference between organized religion and having a relationship with God.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  5. Joe Blow from Idaho

    No one can say whether God will admit an atheist into heaven or cast him/her into hell because no one knows whether said atheist will get right with God before he/she is called to judgement. However, it can be said that the rabid blasphemers posting here will burn in hel.l for eternity. For they are guilty of the unpardonable sin.

    Pray everyone for the atheist so come into the Light. And pray for God's justice to be done to the blasphemers.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • the truth

      We have seen the light, which is why we don't share your delusion.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • ThoughtExperiment

      Really? You think a god would be petty enough to say you don't believe, you're out? How self-centered, narcissistic and ego-maniacal would that be? That is a very manipulative and conniving individual that does that. It really sounds like like somebody is very naive it they believe something so silly. I think I could read through something so transparent before I was 12 years old.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • News Flash

      You're mighty sure about all that, haah ?

      July 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @ThoughtExperiment

      The bible makes clear that while God is merciful, He is a wrathful god.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • the truth

      To not believe it would be insulting your god you claim gave you intelligence.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • JAY

      AMEN!

      July 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • the truth

      How silly that these grownups are arguing delusions of god.. Man created god from fear of the unknown. I guess alien anthropologists would find our religions fascinating. Much like we saw those who worshiped volcanoes.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth

      You know, you can mock believers all you want. But you will come before judgement and then you will know the Real Truth.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • ThoughtExperiment

      @Joe Blow – Forget about the bible for a moment. Just visualize the situation – do you really the think a creator would be subject to emotions? To create everything you would have to have a lot of patience. Anger, jealousy and self-centerness are really very human attributes. These stories are really very manipulative. It surprising that so many people fall victim to them.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • the truth

      It's not so suprising man created it all, since these emotions are mans. In fact man's delusional god is a put down to a god. They insult their god.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @ThoughtExperiment

      We were created in God's image. It's reasonable to assume that we got our emotions from God. Second, I would not be so presumptuous as to say what God should or should not do, or what God should or should not feel. Third, God did get so disgusted at man that he destroyed the world at least once.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • the truth

      So now the invisible god has an image?? Where is he then? He can't be invisible then, to have an image. Show him to me.

      Bet in your head you are saying 'god show them', 'cause you thinking that validates the delusion as the disorder it is..

      July 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth

      You don't know me so you can't even get right what I'm thinking. I rest assured that you will see Him ... in due time.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • the truth

      I was right! Too funny.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @the truth

      You were right? You do know that there is a difference between actively praying "show him" and resting in the knowledge that Truth will out? You are a sad, sad individual, and I believe, a sick individual. What has Christianity done to you that you persecute it so much?

      July 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  6. I've seen atheist fingers racing to hit the abuse buttons every time I post

    They are nothing but bunch of egomaniacs who couldn't tolerate a lil criticism. How miserable creatures they are.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • the truth

      as long as you don't post those senseless videos, no will bother you.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  7. peaches51180

    @truth- As I said, you can either accept or reject my post. And how is it "abuse" to inform your family of your experiences? Oh, gramma should have kept her mouth shut or just lied to us? "hey, I didn't see anything, just blackness, there's nothing after you die." You think she should have said that instead, even though that's not in fact what she experienced? right.....

    July 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • the truth

      The opposite, grandma lied by opening her mouth. But grandma was likely angry and needed to identify with those who abused her. This is quite common among those who claim after life experiences. What happens is that desires to believe will create dreams that seem quite real, virtually no brain function required. These dreams seem very real, just as others have had pleasant dreams they too wish they'd never wake up from – dreams of wealth many times. It is just what was stored away, fears and what you really hoped was real.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • peaches51180

      @truth-You obviously do not want to believe, and that's your perogative. But, no amount of splitting hairs with me is going to change my mind. And, it's a tad bit presumptive to proclaim my gramma had anger issues, when you've obviously never met the lady. How about you just accept that we disagree and move on. No point in arguing about it when you've already made your choice and I've made mine.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • the truth

      You are right, your delusion has overcome you. Unsderstood, sorry. At least keep kids safe from your delusions.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • peaches51180

      Make sure you get the last word in there so you can feel good about yourself, and throw in the word "dellusions" so you feel like you "won". What a great effect. lol

      July 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • the truth

      The truth does off a graet effect, thank you.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  8. peaches51180

    oops sorry that website is http://www.bibleprobe.com/nde.htm
    they've changed their website a little bit.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  9. peaches51180

    My grandma died twice in her life. The first time she was 25 and died while in childbirth, then the doctors brought her back to life after a minute or two. The second time she died was when she was 98. She lived to tell everyone what she saw from her first experience. Whom did she see but Jesus welcoming her into heaven. He was right there, no doubt about it. She was standing in front of very large gates which was the entrance into Heaven. She saw family members who had died before her, who were excited to see her. Then, she was brought back to life, and she was actually mad at the doctors for bringing her back, because she just experienced complete joy and peacefulness. She believed in Jesus and was a christian all her life. It doesn't matter if you're baptist, methodist, catholic, lutheran, etc, all that matters is if you believe in Jesus, and what the whole bible says, not just picking and choosing which parts you agree with. You can either believe this information or reject it, its up to you. God gave you free choice to believe as you please, because forced love is not real love. You have the choice to either love and accept God's free gift to you to believe in Jesus so you can go to heaven with him one day, or not. If you want more eye witness accounts of nde's, you can check out bibleprobe.com. Very neat website. There are some former atheists on that website who have changed their minds after having a near death experience, and were fortunate enough to be given another chance.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Tell it like it is, peaches51180! It's hard to believe that so many have such stoney hearts that they purposefully blind themselves to the Truth.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • ThoughtExperiment

      Have you ever thought through the details of what you are listening to? Really, gates in heaven? Gates are a man made artifact, slowly evolved in the development of society. How does this happen? Does god say, ooooh look at those crafty humans ... they made this thingy for keeping people out. I think I need a gate to keep out the riff raff. It's not enough that I have special powers to transport folks to an undisclosed location in the sky somewhere but then once they are there my omnipotent powers are not enough to keep an eye on them. I'll copy these guys and build a gate. What going on here? We have the belief system of 3 year olds. Let's graduate to next level..

      July 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • the truth

      And they use to think volcanoes were angry gods. Delusions don't validate a god.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • peaches51180

      hey, she saw what she saw. That's what she saw. Now you're going to actually nit pick at details in order to find something to discredit in order to validate your beliefs. yeah, seen that tactic many times.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • the truth

      All silly. Then again, your need to believe will take you far out of reality. Don't worry, many religionist escape reality because their need to feel they are right is more important that the truth. It is delusional, but others do the same. Understood.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Roxie

      I am sure your grandma saw something that seemed very real, and I'm sure she cared a lot about you and wanted to share with you. The problem is, these experiences can be replicated by stimulating certain parts of the brain, indicating they are a natural process, not a supernatural vision.

      This article is very readable and provides a good explanation of NDE's and out-of-body experiences: http://www.happinessinthisworld.com/2011/05/15/the-neurology-of-near-death-experiences/#more-7165

      July 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  10. tom

    If you don't believe in God, you don't belong in the USA. Get out!

    July 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Tom, we need a const-itutional amendment establishing America as a Christian nation. That way the atheists could no longer argue that America was not founded as a Christian nation. The big lie that they tell is that America was not founded on Judeo-Christian values.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • News Flash

      Joe Blowhard
      Ya, and just you wait until one of them tells you YOU are not Christian enough. Why would YOU be safe from the nutjobs who think they are better than YOU ?

      July 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • the truth

      Odd we never talk about the largest human massacre in history. That is the xtians coming to this country and killing 11 million Indians. Bigger than those of catholic hitler, the almost minister stalin, the inquisition,..

      Sorry, and you were telling us how great xtians are?

      July 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chris

      People like you, tom, are the exact reason why atheists have to do stuff like this.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • open2it

      Seriously, Tom? That is what you think of "the land of the free"?

      July 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  11. ThoughtExperiment

    The problem with Christianity, and religion in general, is the inconsistent use logic and the ignorance of the facts to support an emotionally-based idea. Religious folks are trying desperately to support a story that none of us would believe if we were told it outside the context of religious instruction. Furthermore, you couldn’t get a jury to convict someone on the merits of the evidence if the facts provided were the ones in the bible. Religion really adds very little value to society. No advancements are made as a result of religion. It serves to divide us, judge others and perpetrate discrimination. It closes the mind to alternative approaches makes us blind to the world in front of us.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • the truth

      sad is they transfer the delusion to their children. How dishonest, let kids be kids without the brainwashing.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  12. 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 text 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.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    July 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Moooo

    LOVE

    July 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Hadith;

    On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn 'Alee ibn Abee Taalib (r.a), the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), and the one much loved by him, who said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w): 

    "Leave that which puts you in doubt for that which does not put you in doubt
    [At – Timidhi]"

    Lessons from the Hadith

    1- It is essential to leave the doubtful things.

    2- Leaving doubtful things protects one's Deen (Religion Beliefs) because if he were to do it and it was Haram (Condemned), it would have harmed him.

    3- It is difficult to live honorably when doing the doubtful because when people see someone doing it, they will no longer respect him. 

    4- One cannot continue doing the doubtful when one knows of an alternative with certainty.

    5- Doubtful things weaken ones Imaan (Faith) and leads to indulge in haram (Condemned)  later.

    6- Halal is enough for a believer with the grace of Allah (s.w.t) so we must avoid doubtful things to protect our deen (Religion Belief)
    __________________
    He is successful whose heart Allah has made sincere toward faith, whose heart He has made free from unbelief, his tongue truthful, his soul calm, his nature straight, whose ear He has made attentive and his eye observant. The ear is a funnel and the eye is a repository for what the heart learns. He is successful whose heart is made retentive. ( Tirmidhi)

    Quotes from the Holy Quran;

    You Shall Not Bear False Witness

    [4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

    [4:136] O you who believe, you shall believe in GOD and His messenger, and the scripture He has revealed through His messenger, and the scripture He has revealed before that. Anyone who refuses to believe in GOD, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His messengers, and the Last Day, has indeed strayed far astray.

    [4:137] Surely, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe, then disbelieve, then plunge deeper into disbelief, GOD will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.

    [4:138] Inform the hypocrites that they have incurred painful retribution.

    [4:139] They are the ones who ally themselves with disbelievers instead of believers. Are they seeking dignity with them? All dignity belongs with GOD alone.

    [4:140] He has instructed you in the scripture that: if you hear GOD's revelations being mocked and ridiculed, you shall not sit with them, unless they delve into another subject. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as they are. GOD will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes, but what if Muhammed himself is doubtful?

      July 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims to include Muneef is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Dan.
      How can the Prophet and Messenger of God Muhammed s.a.w be doubtful of God when he had been faced by Arch Angel "Gabriel" in the Cave of worship,worshipping the God of Abraham...when he was pressed against the walls and told to read...so you see God tell us that we learn through reading and thinking

      [96:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
      [96:1] Read, in the name of your Lord, who created.*
      [96:2] He created man from an embryo.
      [96:3] Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted.
      [96:4] Teaches by means of the pen.
      [96:5] He teaches man what he never knew.

      So as it seems if ever had our learned to read and write would have been from that moment he was faced by the Arch Angel...since those verses were the first Quran verses ever landed onto the messenger of God...

      July 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  15. Bill

    Atheist, Gay / Lesbians and Abortionist are all destine to HELL

    July 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow dude ...really?

      July 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Dan

      No we're not, and neither are you.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Moooo

      If we are damned for hell, hell must be damn interesting.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Harpo Darpo

      You know, spending the rest of eternity surrounded by religious zealots doing their happy dance while I get to do nothing but kowtow and brown-nose the boss, well, that soulds like hell, not heaven.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Unless they repent..and seek God's light..

      July 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Muneef

      Although we were made to understand that we will all pass by Hell and only those wicked ones will remain behind in it each with a sentence to serve in of it's many levels and then directed to the gardens of paradise in levels each with the level he was grated for his good deeds.

      July 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  16. Matt

    @Bucky Ball

    Regarding: Space-time

    Stephen W. Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, when discussing how the universe began, said: “In the classical theory of general relativity . . . the beginning of the universe has to be a singularity of infinite density and space-time curvature. Under such conditions, all the known laws of physics would break down.”

    Modern scientists do not agree that because something is contrary to the normal laws of nature it can never happen. In unusual conditions, unusual things may happen.

    This would include "an unusual thing" His feelings and emotional projection of those feelings from which qualities we display have originated from the Creator. As Genesis 1:26 testifies as completely VALID emotion. Since we are created in his image (ie. Jehovah God created man in His image, according to His likeness. God thus endowed humans with qualities that mirror his own).

    Thus, in this specific case rendering your term "anamorphic emotional projection" invalid and inappropriate.

    July 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      You can't use Genesis to support your argument. It's called circular reasoning.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Addendum : So Stephen Hawking is your authority now ? Be careful there. Every time He changes his mind, or "feels" something there is another singularity ? Alrighty then.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Addendum two :
      "Since we are created in his image (ie. Jehovah God created man in His image, according to His likeness. God thus endowed humans with qualities that mirror his own)."
      -- That's not been established, nor have you provided any evidence for it Nor have you provided any logical reason to believe feelings and emotions originated anywhere other than in cellular/electrical systems which are observable. Does your god have dendrites and axons ? Or is that another "unusual thing" ?

      Thus, in this specific case rendering your term "anamorphic emotional projection" invalid and inappropriate."
      -- I think I said "anTHropomorphic"

      July 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • The Truth

      When we open a can of dog food, does our dog wonder how the food got into the can? Of course not. As dogs, we also have no idea of what we might even think of as the solution, the cause, the reason,.. We just aren't that smart, it's that simple. True, in our arrogance we think we are. In fact we even think some god created us, because we are so special.

      In the end, research and exploring is fun, heck dogs do it all the time in the woods. I'm not saying dogs are advanced as we are, we know they aren't. But to claim we are leaps ahead, well that would make for a foolish statement. Keep in mind, dogs share every emotion as we do; they make decisions, they love, they fear, they feel pain... We are just a few steps above them.

      Above us, who knows, we might be the end or someplace in the middle. One thing for sure, no god ever created us. if they did, the god would make himself know without us guessing or us coming up with excuses as to why he doesn't.

      Hey Bucky, what’s up. John S

      July 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Dan

    Happy 4th of July everyone. Let us celebrate the Declaration of Independence and our freedom from the British with fireworks, alcohol and charred meat.

    July 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  18. Use logic

    Stop for once, please.

    The truth is that it is absolutely absurd to expect a father would allow his son to be killed. For man’s sins? How even more ridiculous. Jesus did not endure cruelest punishment, please get that straight. Many men suffered greater and at the hands of Christians, just look at the inquisition. Christians, especially, get off of self-pity and at the same time the enjoyment of the destruction to others. This is what happens when we allow children into these sick and twisted brainwashing cults.

    At best, jesus was psychologically damaged goods. His suicide represents that of a modern day suicidal, who points a fake gun at police, so they will get killed. Because they are scared to do it themselves.

    You people need to at least keep your religion away from kids. Let kids be kids, without the brainwashing. It may be too late for you, but please spare your children

    July 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Dan

      While your words are a bit harsh and aggressive, I completely agree that God should not have had to allow the murder of his own son in order to create a "portal" or "Stargate" into heaven. Human sacrifice is so distasteful.

      July 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You quote of all of the evils of the inquisition where Christians will and do counter with the centuries of caring for the poor and doing basic good in societies. Do you think us to only wear the badge of those that did wrong while discarding the badge of those of Faith that have done good? Do I accept what was done in the name of my Faith, yep. I accept it about as much as German citizens today accepts the Nazis and their actions. I dare think that it will make them any less prouder to be German each day for the actions in the past of a segment of their number. ..and that's going back just 60 years. There are atrocities that have been, are being, and certainly will be done. The key is that at the core of it is the human condition. We are the top of the food chain for a reason, we are the bad'azz animals on this planet.

      We will use anything to kill, destroy or control others. Saddam attacked another country of his same basic Faith, to control the oil. African blood diamonds, the unrest in Columbia with the FARC rebels. These are just two examples of man vs man for control of other men. The church or the Faiths have been sadly apart of it too often but many who are Atheist foolishly feel that we are the sole cause of it.

      Lastly, the keep religion away from kids.... Like I said a few post back.... Why Atheism is a religion is because of statements such as this. Pluck out the words “religion” and replace it with the term “Gays and Lesbians” and I could not tell the difference between you and a 700 club broadcast.

      I won't even go into a Hitler speech that mimicked your last sentence. The one that said that it was too late for his generation and that they must do what they wanted to do for the German children.

      Let us be real, those of us on the middle are getting tired of you extremist on the outskirts that only speak of a peace once the other side is extinguished or subdued. History has shown that is mostly from those seeking total control and power over the actions of other men and women, where atrocity find their root. Mostly with us in the middle caught in the cross fire or dragged off. We now see that Atheism is not immune and has its own Taliban extremist wing. This is good because in the middle of all the hate there has been a shimmer of hope because there have been Atheist that do just want to go through lives as proud Atheist standing with other groups of society.

      Dude or Dudette, and extremist on all sides...let go and find a way to do as another Atheist posted a few threads ago. There has to be a way to say, there is a difference between saying “This is what I believe” and saying “You are wrong”.

      If not, then there is no real difference between folks such as yourself and Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell 😦

      July 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Mark from Middle River

      Both Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are and were great right-thinking Christian Americans. That you would besmirch their character speaks volumes.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  19. Matt

    @Jeff Williams
    Really you are beginning to doubt the writings of Historians,,don't go there, dude

    The first-century Jewish historian Josephus referred to the stoning of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.” (The Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, Book XX, sec. 200) A direct and very favorable reference to Jesus, found in Book XVIII, sections 63, 64, has been challenged by some who claim that it must have been either added later or embellished by Christians;BUT it is acknowledged that THE VOCABULARY AND the STYLE are basically THOSE OF JOSEPHUS, and the passage is found in all available manuscripts.

    Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived during the latter part of the first century C.E., wrote: “Christus [Latin for “Christ”], from whom the name [Christian] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”—The Complete Works of Tacitus (New York, 1942), “The Annals,” Book 15, par. 44.

    In summation- with reference to early non-Christian historical references to Jesus, The New Encyclopædia Britannica states: “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on INADEQUATE GROUNDS by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”—(1976), Macropædia, Vol. 10, p. 145.

    Yes, I agree. People will continue to argue against the historicity of Jesus and it doesn't surprise me. Even in questioning Historians. Where will it stop? You don't believe one Historian yet you are willing to believe another? Wow! this is a surprising and convenient truth. To change one's believes, or vacillate in the spirit of the evidence that is presented. Good luck with that. I wish you well.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Use logic

      The truth is that it is absolutely absurd to expect a father would allow his son to be killed. For man’s sins? How even more ridiculous. Jesus did not endure cruelest punishment, please get that straight. Many men suffered greater and at the hands of Christians, just look at the inquisition. Christians, especially, get off of self-pity and at the same time the enjoyment of the destruction to others. This is what happens when we allow children into these sick and twisted brainwashing cults.

      At best, jesus was psychologically damaged goods. His suicide represents that of a modern day suicidal, who points a fake gun at police, so they will get killed. Because they are scared to do it themselves.

      You people need to at least keep your religion away from kids. Let kids be kids, without the brainwashing. It may be too late for you, but please spare your children

      July 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  20. Mary-Rachel-Mouna

    Please all come to your senses. The vitriol on both parts is harmful to national unity.
    The beliefs one holds as truths are mostly based on the religion you happen to be born into, life experiences and your psychological make-up. Just about nothing someone with a different perspective may say or present as argument is likely to make anyone budge. Growing older and wiser, life events etc can make one change religion, adopt religion or drop religion. Not one group will convince or eliminate the other therefore we are stuck sharing the same country whether we like it or not. Please all of you keep in mind strength comes to a country where all are encouraged to be civil, respectful and decent to fellow citizens.There are enough people out there who are not our friends and would delight in seeing us wasting energy by being at each other's throats. Calm down, you don't have to like each other, just don't weaken the country for something that is not resolvable.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Ted M.

      It is resolvable. I disagree with your assessment to the contrary.

      July 4, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Mary-Rachel-Mouna

      Thank you Ted for your comment. How do you see resolution?
      Thank you,
      MRM

      July 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.