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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. cyberCMDR

    @writingmomma:
    "Charmed to a degree of enthusiasm with this mode of disputing, I adopted it, and renouncing blunt contradictions, and direct and positive argument, I assumed the character of a humble questioner. The perusal of Shaftesbury and Collins had made me a skeptic; and, being previously so as to many doctrines of Christianity, I found Socrates' method to be both the safest for myself, as well as the most embarrassing to those against whom I applied it. It soon afforded me singular pleasure; I incessantly practiced it; and became very adroit in obtaining, even from persons of superior understanding, concessions of which they did not foresee the consequence".

    "I began to be regarded, by pious souls, with horror, either as an apostate or an Atheist"
    - Benjamin Franklin

    July 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  2. mr sims

    my problem with atheism is that essentially it assumes there is no "God". religious people assume there is a God. But I don't like assumptions.
    None of us can really know. That's agnosticism. Agnosticism seems to me the most logical choice because no human being can know if a Supreme Being really exists. I'd like to think there is a "God" but I, like all my fellow humans, may never really know. Perhaps when we die we find out. Still a good idea to treat your fellow humans well....

    July 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • sck

      mt sims., It isn't a matter of assumptions, it is a matter of evidence. I don't believe in god because there is no evidence. I will only accept your point if you are also agnostic about the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, santa clause, and whether or not The Tortoise and the Hare actually happened. I am going to guess you "assume" those are all just nice stories.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • karl

      agreed SCK

      July 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Guy

      You have tremendous ignorance over what the terms "atheism" and "agnosticism" actually mean. *Belief* in something is a yes/no issue: you either believe that something exists or you do not have belief that it exists. That is what atheism is concerned with. Agnosticism, on the other hand, concerns knowledge about the *nature*, NOT the *existence* of God. Agnostics believe that you can't UNDERSTAND God. Atheists believe that there is no reason to believe in God (lack of proof, evidence to the contrary, etc.).

      That's why you have labels such as "agnostic atheist". Stop spreading your misinformation. Atheism makes no assumption. All that it does is REJECT the assertion that God exists. You might as well say that it's a "belief" that Dagon and Cthulhu don't exist when all the atheist does is ask, "Where is your evidence that they DO exist?"

      July 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      SCK Ya know that is the very reason I don't believe in Atheism.. lack of proof your religion is any more correct. Once you Atheists can PROVE that a universe CAN NOT be created then I will believe you. One question If I genetically Modify a pig with wings will you atheists shut up?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Andy Wormhole

      I happen to know for a fact that there is no god as described by Christians, Muslims, or Jews.
      For a fact!
      See, the problem is your insane and ridiculous god that you guys made up in the first place. It is a god that no intelligent person would have made up at all. Nothing about your gods make sense, nor do any of their attributes make any sense at all.
      You follow a god where it is impossible for it to exist. That's why I know for a fact that there is none as you describe.
      See? Very simple stuff. All your made-up crazy stuff depends on your crazy impossible god, who does not exist, as that would be impossible.
      And since I KNOW there is no god as you describe, all your beliefs are just a complete waste of time. You even base your belief on a book written by men greedy for wealth and power. It's all right there in the Bible, Koran, and Torah.
      Totally insane crap is not worth following or listening to...and it for DAMN sure is not worth making laws about!
      If you want a theocracy, then we are at war, for your attempts to secure a theocracy are rank TREASON.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • mr sims

      I stand by what I wrote. You seem to be caught up in semantics. Just because there appears to be no evidence for the existence of something, whatever it is, does not mean that something does not exist. I'm just saying there is no way for us to know one way or the other whether God exists (maybe it's beyound our ability) so it's an assumption to say God does not exist. We cannot know that. All that stuff about Easter Bunnies and such- I think those are just stories of course. Guy, I do not know the names you refer to, but you certainly are rude in your comments. And atheism certainly does make an assumption that God does not exist. That's the whole point...Atheists don't really know if God exists or not...

      July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Guy

      Barfy Spewsalot: The fact that nobody can fully explain the intricacies of the universe does not serve as any sort of evidence for any religion. No religion has any evidence that its tenets and beliefs are factual. To deny "atheism's theory about the universe" (lol) due to lack of evidence, yet still promote your baseless (often disproven) "theory", is not only hypocritical but also inane.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Guy

      mr sims: "Guy, I do not know the names you refer to, but you certainly are rude in your comments. And atheism certainly does make an assumption that God does not exist. That's the whole point...Atheists don't really know if God exists or not..."
      The names are gods made up by H. P. Lovecraft, a very influential writer for horror stories. My point is that you have no evidence that any god you don't believe in (Zeus, Horus, Mars, Cthulhu, take your pick), so you are actually "atheist" towards THOSE gods. I merely reject the notion that your one additional god exists.

      This dilemma is what baffles me the most. All Christians are "atheist" to 99.9% of the gods people have worshipped throughout human history. Atheists are only "atheist" towards one more god. EVERYONE IS AN ATHEIST IN SOME RESPECT.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • sck

      Mr. Sims, just because there is no evidence for the easter bunny doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      Barfy, I have little reason to believe in your scientific capabilities with that pig. And no I won't shut up, because that will just be another strange happening explained 100% by science!

      July 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  3. Carly

    I think flying banners during the 4th of July is a little extreme. Billboards are ok, even flying banners with more positive messages (such as the 'you are not alone' message), but during a holiday? It definitely drives the point home, but it also alienates us even more. No Christians seem to agree with this, and there are quite a few atheists not too happy about it, either. I'm not saying don't fly them, just that maybe they should wait until after the holidays.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • sck

      Yeah atheists, stay in your place during the 4th of July!! Don't go and let ANYONE know you actually exist!! People can only deal with the fact not everyone believes in the same things they do on certain days. Jerks.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tommy Marx

      As an atheist, I fully agree with you, Carly. If the banners were phrased better, I'd love to see them, but the wording seems to be more confrontational than explanatory.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Sck dang right Atheists should not only NOT be seen but Not herd. Face it you HAVE NO RIGHTS. The 1st Amend. Protects Religious freedom & belief as you folks claim you have nether you have NOTHING to protect.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  4. Jim

    People who believe in an invisible man, who lives in the sky, and controls their lives are incapable of critical thinking. They prove it every time they ask their Invisible Sky Friend for favors.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Kyle

      They are capable of critical thinking, just not in regard religion.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Are you saying that these guys are not critical thinkers?

      Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

      Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

      Robert Boyle (1627-1691)

      Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

      Gottfried W. Leibnitz (1646-1716)

      Charles B. Thaxton

      July 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • satireattire

      I know of no God of that you speak of. I am a Christian however.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Jim can you see me? Can you touch Me? Smell or taste me right this second? No? Then according to YOUR "logic" I do not exist. As I can not state for a fact you are a real person then I deny you are real or was ever born... in short Shut up imaginary person only REAL people have rights.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  5. Dan

    Why do atheists care so much what others think? Of course atheists can love their country as much as Christians. The opposite is true too. I am a Christian and don't particularly love my country, unless by love you mean I'd like to change all the garbage that goes on here. It sickens me to see corporations lead both parties around by the nose and my brothers in sisters in the Lord typically support the status quo. The same six industries contribute to both parties nearly equally, which is why both parties essentially agree on most of the big (industry-supported) issues.

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

      Dan I agree, and it has nothing to do with religious beliefs. Big Business and government are sell us all down the river. I think they are using your religious belief and my lack of beliefs to divide and conquer us.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • sck

      Corporations aren't the only thing leading both parties to bad decisions and actions-your imaginary friend is doing it too. Keep your evidence-less beliefs out of people's lives and I will stop having to worry about what others believe. And this campaign isn't geared at you, it is geared at everyone who already doesn't believe in god.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      sck, I don't think that is correct, they can tell people anything but their actions speak for themselves. I think they are using believers as much as the Dems are using African Americans.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • sck

      JohnQuest, I have a difficult time believing that when a politician says "I think we should oppress women/gays/non-natives/the poor/etc because jeebus says so" that it is purely a play for political gain, not a play for political gain AND what that person actually believes.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Guy

      There's a difference between atheists "spreading their message" and atheists saying "stop hating us because we don't share your belief". Atheists are the most distrusted/hated minority in the United States, despite being the quietest minority (we have no powerful lobbying group like every other special-interest group out there). Many Americans believe that atheists hate America, are communists, are immoral, are evil, etc. YOUR side needs to stop with the bigotry and hatred. All my side is doing is saying that we're Americans and people too, so lay off us please.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Dan, Atheism is like any other religion. It like the pope seek to cram it's views down everyone's throats & make them believe as they do. They believe THEIR religion is the onne & only TRUE way to believe & all must comply, Convert or be forced to convert.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  6. QS

    I need no shepherd for I think and reason...and I am not a sheep,
    I shall want only what serves humanity best;
    I lie down in green pastures because I choose to, not because anything makes me.
    I swim in still waters, I need not be led beside them;
    If a soul exists it is mine and is for me to restore how I see fit.
    Paths of righteousness will never fail to lead a person astray…
    especially for His name’s sake.

    I will walk through many valleys, it’s called life;
    the shadow of death follows one and all, no matter where we walk.
    I fear evil;
    evil is created by man, which is to be feared far more than any of the countless versions of god;
    your rod and your staff do not comfort me as they are herding tools...and I am not a sheep.
    I would be arrogant to think goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for I am human and we make mistakes.
    I shall not dwell in any house that believes me to be nothing more than an animal which must be told where to go and when.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Realist

      Hahaha, does QS stand for Quite Stupid? because you clearly are an idiot.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • QS

      When you can't come up with something intelligent to say...insult.

      Thanks for yet again being a shining beacon for all to see of what we should all strive not to be. It's always so much easier making arguments against the religious when they help out so much like that.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • karl

      No he stated that because you quote a piece of a book and think it encompasses your view point. Well if you want to quote that line then how about you quote the parts that encourage whipping your slave or stoning a non-virgin because you cant pick and choose....You either accept the bible for what it is a teaching tool for basic morality or you quote crap and make it your own thought like you have done.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • QS

      @karl, not sure what you're trying to say. As an Atheist I'm not allowed to revise flawed biblical text to make it more logical and rational?

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

      Awesome. Thank you for this.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • QS

      Thank YOU KB! 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Magic

      QS,

      Well done. Thanks.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • QS

      Thank you as well Magic! Wishing you all a safe and exciting 4th! 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • I_get_it

      Yes, be thee wary of shepherds, o ye sheep - they either want to eat you for dinner or sell you at market.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """be thee wary of shepherds, o ye sheep – they either want to eat you for dinner or sell you at market"""

      Or fleece you. Or pull the wool over your eyes.

      Not good to be a sheep nowadays.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  7. Glenn

    I'm atheist but this is unnecessarily inflammatory. We need to pick our battles carefully and this isn't it. I'm more interested in why, at political debates, they ask the candidates to state whether they believe in God. That is just a way to weed out atheists, in my opinion, and it isn't right. That's where we need to separate church and state.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • writingmomma

      Your forefathers didn't believe in the division of "church and state. Your forefathers believed in the state not picking your religion! Too many people get this twisted and use it to say they didn't believe in God. Your forefathers are the ones that left Britian to have a choice in the way they worshipped God. They didn't leave to keep from worshipping God. It was in God that they trusted to get them here! It is in God that they trusted to take care of them. It was in God that the forefathers of this country trusted to form the Government of the USA. It is now those that don't believe in God are trying to change the truth of God into a lie. Wow, Daniel said that this was going to come to pass. The bible also said, "The fool will say there is no God."

      July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • sck

      writingmomma, you would LOVE Iran!! It is beautiful this time of year...

      July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Joe

      Glenn. I'm sort of with you. I think the message "God-LESS America" only divides me (atheist) further from people with religious beliefs. Some people will be offended by it because it can be construed as demeaning another person's beliefs. If the messages were "unifying" then I think the use of flying banners would be OK. For instance "Atheism is Patriotic" only needs to have the word "Too" added to the end of it, and it reinforces the idea that Freedom of Religion is inclusive of all beliefs. The only thing atheists can do at this point is to make others more understanding and not try to create converts.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Guy

      Atheists can stop waving banners saying "God-LESS America" when politicians quit saying "God BLESS America", "let's bow our heads and pray", "I pledge allegiance... under God... ", "in God we trust", etc. When America quits plastering religion on every corner, then you can ask atheists to stop saying they're humans and don't deserve your scorn.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  8. Smokey

    I could care less whether someone believes or not, but to fly a plane around pushing it with giant messages is a little annoying, yes?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Good Atheist

      Excuse me? Your god is in our Pledge of Alliagence and on our money. By your logic a minority trying to gain recognition and respect is shoving it down your throat? I am bombarded with fairy tale believers so matter where I go.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • h3ltersk3lter

      So is insisting on tax-free status because your corporation I mean er, religion, has a man-God to worship.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Magic

      Until we spoke up and changes were made, we were required to swear on your Bible to your "God" when testifying/participating in public court proceedings and the like.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  9. sck

    Wish I could go see the banner here in Denver, but I gotta work. Thank you for all your work American Atheists!! Someday we WILL have a nation where openly suggesting people who don't believe in god aren't horrible, immoral, unpatriotic people won't be controversial.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  10. James

    Atheism is no more patriotic than Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other belief system. "America is a nation" is NOT patriotic, merely bigoted. Freedom to choose what you will believe, without a heavy handed bible/koran/other thumper legislating you to hell, is patriotic, and is the only kind of America that God can bless.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • James

      Hrmmph. Part of my post got left out. The statement "America is a (Insert Religion Here) nation" is not patriotic.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @James

      Did you mean to say "Atheism is no more OR LESS patriotic than Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism..."?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • LinCA

      @james.

      < and > are use for html tags and don't print, including anything in between them.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  11. CircleBread

    I suppose we can count 4 signers of the Declaration of Independence as non-Christians because the other two were Unitarian Universalists, but historically even that's deeply rooted in the Christian faith. If we're talking about modern-day Unitarian Universalism, then yes, they would most definitely be non-Christians, so I'll give you 4, but it still doesn't validate your argument.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  12. stellarouge

    I don't believe and don't really support organized religion including aetheism even though I tend to lead towards that thought process. I read a quote in a book however that I feel is a great way to go about any religion....

    "I don't believe however I respect the fact that you do, everyone should be able to believe in something." (Girl with the Dragon tattoo though I think I may have messed up the quote a little).

    Overall I just don't think you should throw your religion/beliefs in anyone's face. If you belief or don't believe that is your choice but don't preach about it. And all religions are guilty of this.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Andrew

      All this campaign is doing is saying "hey, we're here and we're not unpatriotic despite what the public perception of us is".

      Considering that atheists are considered less trustworthy than muslims in the country, we clearly need to spread that kind of message more often. It seems to be 'freedom of religion, but atheists are evil'.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  13. Blake

    This news deeply saddens me.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • sck

      Your theocratic hopes for the nation will not prevail. You will not make this nation like Iran.

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

      But they can martyr themselves while trying!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  14. Shakka Boosh

    From what I read, the issue isn't atheism vs patriotism, it's that Mr. Blair's message misrepresents his cause. "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" are just the most unintelligent things to say (or, in this case, write). July 4th is not the time nor place to even have this issue come up. If he wants to "prove" atheists are just as patriotic as everyone else, then he should just sit back in his lawn chair with a nice cold beer and enjoy the fireworks like every other patriot in America will be.
    Piety, or lack thereof, has never been nor ever should be a barometer of patriotism.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Except that the majority of theist label us atheists as un-American simply because we don't believe. That makes it an issue of patriotism.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • sck

      Yeah, he can just sit back down and have everyone assume he believes in the same imaginary friend as they do.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Good Atheist

      @sck
      Totally agree. As far as the religious sheep go, the best atheist is a silent atheist. As long as we keep silent so we are chastised, we can believe whatever we want.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  15. deuce

    As an Atheist, I think this is ridiculous. The religious are never going to understand our point of view. They're not interested in our point of view. Hell, Western religion DEMANDS that they never accept our point of view.

    All the money spent on flying these banners could have been better spent feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. Through the good we atheists do in our communities we disprove all the stereotypes that the religious have about non-believers (that there is no moral code not based in religion, that cosmic bribery and threats is the only way to govern our behavior and emotions, etc).

    We need to choose our battles more carefully. They outnumber us 10 to 1, banners are going to accomplish nothing but p_ss people off.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • a4mrtheist

      Well said

      July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Good Atheist

      And all the money put in the collection plate every Sunday could "have been better spent feeding the hungry and caring for the needy".

      July 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Artist

      We need to choose our battles more carefully. They outnumber us 10 to 1, banners are going to accomplish nothing but p_ss people off.

      --------
      I can agree with that.... time will tell if it was prudent

      July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Then don't think of this as a battle. Think of it as a counter to all the religious nuts claiming we're not patriots, and that this is somehow not our country, too. The banners don't have to try and convert anyone, sometimes it's just nice to know that there's someone on your side..

      July 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  16. Jordan

    The funny thing is, some people like to say that Christians shove their religion down other people's throats..when Atheists are doing the exact same thing by flying these planes.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • a4mrtheist

      Christians do a lot more than "push it down you throats" They get militant like the pilot in the article says "I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest." I had a simple Darwin fish and had eggs and other things smashed on it. Do we ever see Athiest trashing others property....no. You want every one to be like you.

      Two hands helping other do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
      Madalyn Murray O'Hair

      July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Good Atheist

      Religious sheep have been known to do a little shoving of their own. Remember about 10 years ago when they flew planes into buildings?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Jordan

      I'm not saying that some Christians aren't ridiculous like that. Some Christians will act on edge and kill someone just because they don't believe. That doesn't mean ALL Christians are like that. I may not LIKE the fact that someone is Atheist, but I'm sure not going to shun them. Not ALL Christians are the same. Atheists really need to realize that. And you know what? Some Atheists are ridiculous too.. it doesn't mean ALL of them are. I understand that some Atheists, sadly, are better people than some Christians. I wouldn't doubt that an Atheist has killed someone for not having the same views, but I know Christians have done it too. THAT is where Atheists and Christians don't get along. They think they're all the same, on both sides.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Artist

      Jordan..... yes the ignorant will view this as that.... meanwhile what is shoved down everybody elses throat on a daily basis? It is called expression...if you do not like it then you need to also look at the other side and what they do on a daily basis.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jordan

      And I know for a fact that some Christians shove Christianity down others throats. But like I said, we aren't all the same.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Realist

      Wow, you guys are still preschoolers. Jimmy got two cookies so I get two too. Complain about "somebody' doing something and then do the exact same thing back. Maybe it's time to grow up?

      (Oh, I know your rebuttal – "...but Christians have been doing this for............" – again, grow up)

      July 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Guy

      How is it shoving "our religion" (lol) down your throats when we wave banners saying we're Americans as well? "Shoving religion down your throat" is when "God" is on our money, in our pledge of allegiance, in politicians' speeches, on our government buildings, etc. Not when a private group spends money to have a sign made.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  17. Patton Oswalt

    I'm an atheist and I love this country. Separation of church and state is probably going to be the biggest battle that the American Atheists have to fight for, not brainless bigots.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  18. Chad

    A lot of Christians on here seem to be asking why Atheists are bothering to make this statement. I would answer that, as an atheist, it's hard to know if there are other atheists out there. We don't have a church, nor would we want one. But it can be terribly isolating to not know if you're the only person on Earth who doesn't believe the incredibly implausible stories that so many others claim to believe. This is just a way to send a signal, from atheists to other atheists, that you're not alone and that you're not any less an American because you choose not to believe in God. We're not trying to convert anyone here. We're just staking our claim as patriotic Americans who believe that you can still have One Nation without God.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  19. masat01

    I don't mind atheists. The issue I have is that the majority are the outspoken assholish type atheists.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      You mean like every preacher in existence??

      July 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      All the outspoken assholish theists

      July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • irene

      Agree with you, that's how I feel about religious people who feel the need to impose their beliefs on others through fear. (AKA: If you don't believe, you're going to He l l.)

      July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Gemmy Darkstone

      Yeah, those atheists need to be polite and stay in their place. Like my mother used say about black people.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Jim

      Just stop trying to cram fairy tales of an Invisible Sky Friend down our throats.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Mcrobolo

      most atheists i know including myself don have to be outspoken about it , the fact that we arent standing in line for prayer is good enough, i know my god, and he doesnt require me to be a christan lol lol lol lol

      July 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mcrobolo (Agnostic)

      most atheists i know i am agnostic don have to be outspoken about it , the fact that we arent standing in line for prayer is good enough. but for me i know my god, and it doesnt require me to be a christan lol lol lol lol

      July 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  20. ag

    Atheist can kiss my a*s. Have a nice day!

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

      that is a catch-22 – i think any atheist would agree with me that kissing your ass would make having a nice day pretty much impossible. p.s. god was created by humans before they figured out that science and logic could explain things; time to let go, buddy

      July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chris

      That's very Christ-like of you.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Skippy

      How so very "Christian" of you.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chris

      And on the first day, man created gods.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • h3ltersk3lter

      Haha you're such a typical Christian. I'm so glad I'm not one of you anymore. HAPPILY ATHEIST and proud.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Jim

      Very "Christian" like. I thought your Invisible Sky Friend commanded you to love your neighbor?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
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About this blog

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