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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. John Adams

    “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it”.

    It's true I said it. Look it up.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • upL8N8

      Religion is just another thing that people can be prejudiced about... why not take it out of the equation.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  2. dot_com

    It always amazes me that an atheist can be so much more certain than I, (an agnostic), that no god exists. I am certain of one thing ..... a self proclaimed atheist is simply an agnostic with an ego problem, in search of attention!

    July 5, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • JJH

      An atheist is like a Christian who does not believe in any God but his, except atheists go one God further.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • dot_com

      Maybe true JH but I consider the term Atheist to be a contradiction. Only God can KNOW if there is a god!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • JJH

      Well, there really is no contradiction. Being an atheist is a default position, because logically, you cannot disprove anyone's wild assertion. For instance, if a four year old claims he made a slam dunk on a regulation basketball court, you should always not believe that assertion until he can repeat it. But here's the thing, even if the four year old can't repeat that feat, it does not disprove his original assertion that he made a slam dunk. Nothing can ever disprove an assertion, no matter how wild.

      You just need to be mature enough to realize this and by default, not believe until it is reasonably proven.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Being an atheist doesn't necessarily mean you claim absolute knowledge that there are no gods. It just means you don't believe there are gods. There's no inherent arrogance in not believing. I am frequently saddened, though, how often people will make a false claim about what atheists believe, declare that false belief to be arrogant, and then declare that atheists must be arrogant for holding it.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  3. DrFronkensteen

    Hey atheists, worshiping the state is just as silly as worshiping the invisible man in the sky.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Agreed. But since I've never met an atheist who worships the state, and I certainly know that I don't, I have to wonder why you felt the need to direct that particular line at us.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  4. Jack Lean II

    Let me put this as succinctly as possible.

    Anyone who tries to refuse, obstruct, deny or impede my right NOT to believe in the same nonsense and farcical fairy tales as Christian and Muslims believe can kiss my ass.

    I don't need your misguided compassion or judgements, which your religions supposedly require you to suspend.

    I just need each and every one of you to keep your hands off my freedom to lead a rational life.

    Meanwhile, I promise to keep my hands off your Bible, Koran and idiotic, murderous firearms.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • dexter_morgan

      well said sir. the tolerance to believe whatever it is we choose after rationally thinking it through is what america is supposed to be about.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • dot_com

      This guy just justifies what i said above .. An atheist is an agnostic with an ego problem looking for attention.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • dexter_morgan

      @dot_com: how is jack looking for attention? all he is simply requesting is that folks let him believe whatever it is he believes and he will respect others religious beliefs. it seems like you are the one who is being narcissistic by pointing out how others are wrong.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • LarryS

      Do I have a right to not give a crap about your beliefs? Because I think a lot of us non-atheists don't. So maybe you and other atheists can go on your merry little way and stop feeling the need to shove your beliefs in people's faces in a far more obnoxious way than the most ardent bible-banger.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  5. Anon

    Saying that humans came from apes is like saying chickens came from birds. Humans are apes just as chickens are birds.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  6. Dave P

    If God doesn't mess with free will why do you pray for him to change other people's minds (ie. I will pray for Him to grace you with beleiving). If God has a plan, why do people pray for a particular outcome when they come to a crossroads? If he is omipotent and omnipresent, why do we not hold him to the same moral standing that we hold ourselves? (ie. The poor choate boy died in a dog cage, and DCS people went to the house 13 times many are calling for them to be prosecuted because they didn't notice anything, or possibly did notice but did nothing to stop the abuse) God sees all the abuses that happen and does nothing to stop or change them... but let me guess it's all part of the plan... O-K

    July 5, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Armando Silva

      Read this one verse, Genesis 1:1. When you'll get passed it and understand it, then we'll talk. God bless

      July 5, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • upL8N8

      Armando... you're right, you have to put faith in a overly-simplistic-unbelievable statement without question to understand faith.

      I think you missed the point. The OP is asking why an all knowing / all powerful God would need your prayer. If God already knows everything, why would you need to reinforce what God already knows? Whether you believe or not, it's a valid question that goes to to the heart of faith practices.

      Really, isn't praying just a comforting / reinforcement tactic for the individual?

      Isn't it a condescending/narcissitic/reinforcement tactic when someone says they're going to pray for you? When a believer disagrees with another's faith, and the believer says they're going to pray for the other... it's basically saying "I'm going to hope that you change to what I believe". I doubt that believer actually does any prarying. Really, this is just another reinforcement for the believer to say "I'm right and anyone who doesn't agree is wrong.. and I hope someday they agree with me to validate me". Really, it's just a defense mechanism.

      Imagine a person who was raised religious, who has believed it into their 20s+. I don't care what they believe in... trying to say those beliefs are wrong after 20+ years is not only near impossible... it is painful. For those people who really take their religion seriously and put a lot of their life into their faith... they're going to fight alternative beliefs tooth and nail... even if no one is trying to fight them!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • MCP123

      "Read this one verse, Genesis 1:1. When you'll get passed it and understand it, then we'll talk."

      Maybe when you tell me when posting the Ten Commandments anywhere stopped any murder or any crime... or any adultery you could get me to read Genesis again. In the beginning I waved my magical hand and suddenly all things came into existence....yeah right.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  7. L PAT WILLIAMS

    AMERICA IS ALREADY GODLESS. AMERICA WAS FOUNDED ON GODLESSNESS. THIS NATION DOES NOT STAND FOR THAT WHICH IS TRULY RIGHTEOUS AND HOLY. Holiness, purity of heart, sanctification of mind, redemption of the soul - This is what makes GOD declare a man righteous. A man can only be righteous through THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Why? Why not Buddha? Why not Mohammed? Why not "others?" Because ONLY JESUS CHRIST took upon Himself the SINS (error, evil, wickedness, rebellion) of mankind and in Him ONLY THROUGH ACCEPTING HIM - THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD and receiving the FREE GIFT OF SALVATION can we truly have peace with GOD. I am not shocked by the Thomas Jefferson quote someone posted. The Founding Fathers were NOT Christians. They were deists, atheists, agnostics, Luciferians and Hellenistic. That is what (sadly) AMERICA was founded upon - GRECO-ROMAN principles, not JUDEO-CHRISTIAN principls. AMERICA is returning to its PAGAN roots.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • MCP123

      "AMERICA is returning to its PAGAN roots"

      Really? Awesome...can't wait for the naked women dancing in the woods thing to catch on again.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • VoipOfReason

      ...wow.... I hope so.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • rAvE tIME

      Time for a RAVE!!!

      OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ HEY OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ YOU OONTZ WANNA OONTZ OONTZ DRINK? OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ ..

      July 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Björn Möøsefåärtsniffænsen

      Finally a Christian who understands American history . . . except the "luciferians" thing.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  8. MCP123

    Other things god wants:

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. - Proverbs 30:17
    And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. - Genesis 22:2,10
    The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.... And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. - Exodus 12:29-30
    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. - Psalm 137:9

    Are you completely ignorant of the book, and the word that you venerate? Did you think before you said "Never would God want a parent to kill their child." Or is your ignorance so insurmountable that even your own good book's teachings are lost on you? Seriously.... w..t..f... is wrong with you people? Yes your god is a child killer...

    July 5, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  9. TPartier

    "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter"
    Thomas Jefferson to John Adams - April 11,1823

    July 5, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Rambo_Jimbo

      Thomas Jefferson was a Unitarian, not an athiest. Calling Jefferson an athiest to his face would have gotten you pistols at dawn. Well, maybe; Jefferson WAS known to run from a fight.
      Jefferson even published his own edition of the Bible, he just removed all of Jesus's miracles.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  10. Muneef

    Quran Quotes;

    [11:114] You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) at both ends of the day, and during the night. The righteous works wipe out the evil works. This is a reminder for those who would take heed.

    [11:115] You shall steadfastly persevere, for GOD never fails to recompense the righteous.

    [11:116] If only some of those among the previous generations possessed enough intelligence to forbid evil! Only a few of them deserved to be saved by us. As for the transgressors, they were preoccupied with their material luxuries; they were guilty.

    [11:117] Your Lord never annihilates any community unjustly, while its people are righteous.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  11. James Black

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    _

    July 5, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  12. Scott

    It amazes me that people who profess to be Christians, a religion concerned with love & forgiveness, are so intolerant of those who don't agree with them.
    Being truly tolerant of others means accepting ALL beliefs (or lack thereof), not just those you agree with.
    The people who are most vocal about condemning Atheists are the first ones who forget that.
    I don't care what people beieve in, as long as they're good citizens.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:27 am |
    • Steve

      No offence, but as an athiest I've seen just as much intolerance from athiests towards the religious as I have from the religious towards athiests. Athiests seem to take delight in mocking the beliefs of the religious and doing it in the most insulting manner possible. We don't believe, we don't have faith? Fine. I agree - I'm one of you. But mocking people who do believe is committing the same, ahem, sin as we accuse the religious of. Fanaticism is fanaticism no matter what power you believe (or don't believe).

      July 5, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • The Guy

      I agree, people have a right to believe what they want to believe. My sig other is a Christian and I wouldn't want her to be any other way.

      However when you start setting up missions in foreign nations, destroying their culture, shunning their way of life, and telling them that AIDs is spread by USING condoms and contraceptives because you have a religious agenda – thats when I have an issue. The one thing "god" would not touch is free will, yet missionaries feel they have a right to twist another man's will. 'do as I speak, not as I do.'

      July 5, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • John Keebler

      Scott,two points I would like to make. First, to be truly tolerant is to LACK any conviction. If the people of this country were tolerant slavery would sill be with us.
      Second to decry someone for being intolerant is to be INTOLERANT yourself.
      God bless and keep you and grant you the grace of belief.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • doug

      odessa, where are you getting these facts from?
      "Godlessness brings disasters to everyone in time, not making anyone good citizen. You can play out a good citizen for a while, but not very long"

      you clearly just made that up

      July 5, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  13. Bert

    Intelligent design
    If God designed man, who designed God 🙂

    July 5, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • Odessa

      God is self-existent from eternity to eternity.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Bert

      So man needs a designer, but God does not. That's intelligent.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • The Guy

      Odessa, mind finding some concrete proof of that? I can't seem to find "god's" self-existent origins among the millions of facts that prove his non-existence.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  14. Plantain_11

    The various sects of Christianity can't all agree on what God is. They're too busy sniping at each other for having adopted the untrue brand of the religion. But, they all believe individually that they belong to the one true religion. And then there's all the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and on and on. I guess it's easy to say they're all going to the "Christian" version of Hell, which is up for interpretation.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Guest

      All Christian sects agree on who God is. The disagreement is about who Jesus is. Get your facts straight.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Odessa

      The Word of God, the Bible, declares Jesus is God.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • The Guy

      and so Plantain proves his point...

      July 5, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  15. Steve

    Freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM it, athiests. That's how it reads. You may worship however you like, but you MUST worship (who or what deosn't matter). Not believing in anything is not allowed here. Go to Russia, oh wait, the godless state there failed and they are all belivers again, nevermind... oh wait, go to China. Um, no, they all pretty much belive on something too. Hmmm... I can't seem to think of any "Godless" nations right now... Cuba maybe? Venezuela? Whatever, you can go wherever you like, but you can't stay here. By the way, "Patriot Athiests" there are no "Athiest Chaplains" for a reason.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Dave

      You are just being sarcastic, right?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  16. Jim

    Many people probably consider me a poor Christian in that while I do have a strong belief in God and Jesus I do not believe the Bible should be followed word for word literally and that too many people take things from the Bible out of context. I also believe portions of the Bible have been altered by man over the centuries. I do however believe in doing my best at following the fundamental teachings of the Bible such as those found in the 10 Commandments and the teachings of Jesus which boil down into a nut shell of being nice to those around you and treating people with the same respect you want to be treated with. I also do not believe that Earth is the only "kingdom" of God.

    I do not proclaim to know who or what God is, whether He is an all powerful supernatural being or if he is simply some "person" from a ultra advanced and benevolent society. Even though our knowledge of the universe vastly dwarfs that of the people who lived during "biblical times" what we do not know about it is still as vast as the cosmos itself.

    In the end the one thing I do know, is that when the full truth is revealed, everyone is going to be in for one major surprise.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • VoipOfReason

      Religion & God are things created by Man.

      They were created for & by man to cope with being intelligent enough to know the meaning of mortality, but, yet, not possess the intellect or technology to understand it.

      Additionally, it (religion & god) played a major role in building blocks for social structure. While be it that not one specific set of customs/religion was widely excepted, the adherence to a specific set of rules established by geographical proximity, worked well, prior to the dawn of man’s first steps into the technological future.

      Fortunately, once a Freedom-of-religion based society had been established and the world became a smaller place, due to advancements in technology, a lot of us discovered that we no longer needed to be scared into being decent human beings, we did so, because, we discovered, that a lot more can be accomplished, when not bickering about who's imaginary friend is better than who’s.

      A lot of human beings have an intellect that has surpassed a psychological need for religion and/or god, however, there are still those, who need the idea of a religion to provide a moral compass, and to justify their ideas, motives, and/or existence. I would like to say that humanity would be better without any form of religion or god, however, I look at how awful some people can treat one another. Most of the time, these people are “religious” individuals. Imagine how much worse these people would be, if they you told millions of them, “There is no reason (besides the obvious) to be a good/decent person, nothing you do in this lifetime will be judged”. One can only assume, this may lead to the potential downfall of civilized human society.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  17. Shimpainai

    Atheism is no more a religion than health is an illness.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:11 am |
    • Guest

      You believe something came from nothing and that order comes from chaos. How does that NOT take faith? The only difference between Atheism and Christianity is that Atheists are their own gods.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • The Guy

      And Atheist beliefs actually follow logic, order, and are supported by observational proof, not words on a page. There's that difference, too.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • upL8N8

      "The only difference between Atheism and Christianity is that Atheists are their own gods."

      I wouldn't put it this way exactly. Atheists understand how the universe works, and that they're only in control of themselves. They don't consider themselves any different than anyone else. They don't feel a believer is different in any way, save how they interpret the world. Religious belief to an atheist is something we look at psychologically... not mystically. An atheist might say a person is their own God, meaning they're in control of their own lives and thoughts. They can choose to believe whatever they want, but it doesn't change who and what they are. Using 'God' in this statement is just fodder for the religious though. An atheist doesn't believe in dieties, they believe in themselves and the universe.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  18. Shimpainai

    Christianity – The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree... and because he loves you so much he's coming back to destroy the world any day now...

    Yeah...that explaination sounds very accurate and loaded with scientific evidence. Since I can't hear a dog whistle, I can't prove this isn't true so therefore it must be true. Pure logic. Plain and simple.

    Pray for me if this sounds like a rational conclusion to you. Please quit talking to your imaginary friend if it does not.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • Guest

      And two ions came from nowhere, smashed into each other causing the first matter, which then turned into the first star, which then created gases from nothing, which then turned into enzymes, which then began to multiply, which then something turned into the universe as we know it, with the one plant that can sustain human life. Pure logic!

      You're the one who lives in a fantasy.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • upL8N8

      And a magical self-existing eternal deity, that looked like a human (even though matter didn't yet exist) decided to wish matter into existence from nothing. It built an infinite universe... again, from nothing... and only created two humans... on one of the infinite number of planets...

      Question:

      Why did this being create anything? I rarely ever hear this... thee most important religious question... asked. Probably because the book doesn't tell you the answer. Any believer that claims to know the answer is simply guessing, and that's a fact regardless of faith.

      I mean, if you're willing to believe in a sentient being that created matter out of nothing... why is it a stretch to believe that matter is eternal... thereby making the universe eternal... thereby removing the need for a deity? If you had never read the Bible... would you have come to the same beliefs on your own?

      What's more interesting is, until a MAN came down from a volcano with some tablets... no one knew of this faith. Why is it unbelievable that in a time where science took a far back seat to religion (lots of religons) that this man didn't simply make it all up? The rules on these tablets were simple, and showed what it takes to be a good/honorable person. I doubt before these tablets came into existence that everyone was a jerk / murdered / adulterer.. etc. Right? All he had to do was chisel this common sense onto some tablets, say a deity did it... then hope it stuck. It did stick... probably because the rules were so obvious... and the belief caught on.

      Even more interesting is the beliefs have continued to evolve. You can see this by reading the Bible, since the Bible was written over a vast amount of time by quite a few people. As society progresses, as the religion evolved...so did the book.

      A religious person will see the Bible as a mystical piece of text written by a deity. An atheist will see the book as being 'inspired' by a deity. Meaning believers wrote it based on what they already believed... not because a deity told them to. Common sense and rationality would say it was 'inspired' by society.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  19. Shimpainai

    Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man? living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money. George Carlin

    WOW! When you put it that way, it just makes good sense. I think I'll get on my knees right now and ask the Lord Jesus into my heart! On second thought, it's your hell. You burn in it.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Guest

      Just another one who hasn't bothered to read the Bible for themselves, but claims to be intellectual. Nice one.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  20. Johnny_Spacewigr

    I'm not a religious man. But I think atheists are arrogant. How, with such rudimentary senses as humans have, can one claim to be certain that god exists? I mean, humans can't even hear a dog whistle. Don't you think there might possibly be some things in this universe you can't be sure of? I'm not saying they exist, I'm just saying it's kind of arrogant to claim that you're sure that they DON'T exist.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • John

      Isn't it far more arrogant to claim knowledge of god and "His" characteristics and will, and further arrogant to believe 1) we are the central creation of His universe, and 2) that a divine plan has us in mind, and requires our praising him, and that our prayers be listened to? All that seems the height of arrogance to me.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:16 am |
    • Neil

      @John : Spot on. That is the arrogance I can never understand. That people and books claim to know and speak the will of god and constantly judge others on the basis of their beliefs, is much more audacious than folks who claim that god does not exist.

      I am an Ignost, which is different from an atheist, and I believe that when we do not understand the creation, the world around us, in its entirety we should not even spend time talking about about the creator. It's like 2 ants in your backyard arguing if the President of the United States is a myth or not. Our goal in life should be to value the creations (the people and environment) we interact with, and to lead a moral life.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • Guest

      @John – Don't atheists do the same thing when they say there is no god and all humans came from apes?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • Dave

      Only a relatively tiny segment of atheists assert that some form of higher power absolutely does not exist. See Dawkins' "The God Delusion". However, we lend credence to or are skeptical of things every day based on observable evidence, and there simply isn't much for the existence of a god. Statistically, he is no more probable than a fairy or a gnome.

      Do you believe that I have an invisible dragon living in my garage? Why not, and how dare you be so arrogant?

      July 5, 2011 at 7:02 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.