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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. Muse

    I'm a little confused .... did someone say that Atheists are NOT patriotic? Maybe it's just the way the article was written. I'm a Christian, and I'm bothered by the fact that they want to "advertise" in this way, but it's as much Atheists right to do so as it is Christians. I have a handful of friends who are Atheists but don't try to "push" my beliefs on them. If they want to ask, I'll be glad to talk with them. They know what I believe, and I know that they don't. Doesn't stop a mutual respect for another human being though ....

    July 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • A S

      Amen. I think that the way they're doing it is just disrespectful.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • MC

      You’re correct, nobody said atheists were unpatriotic; it’s just that they are always looking to pick a fight as an excuse to belittle those who don’t believe as they do that there is no God.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • ColinO

      George Bush Sr., when President, said Atheists are not patriotic, and should not be considered citizens. Just saying.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Sybaris

      If your child grew up and held fast their belief in the tooth fairy and based their whole life around it wouldn't you be inclined to tell them it's time to stop with the childish nonsense?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Josh

      Agreed, such a shame other Christians don't feel this way.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Sybaris- false dichotomy
      You are trying to relate an organized religion like Christianity to a unorganized story told to children that the parents don't believe in. They are no comparable.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Chuck

      Yes, atheists are continually considered less patriotic than the faithful. It's easy to miss if your aren't in fact, an atheist. Ever hear "God Bless America" at a ball game? Seen "In God We Trust" on US currency? Ever hear our President say "God these the United States of America"? How about the Pledge of Allegiance? – refuse to say that in school, and you are seen as a weirdo and unpatriotic. If you don't actually believe in a god, these constant references create a disconnect between you and your country. Persecution of atheists in this nation is subtle yet pervasive.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Mad Panda

      How is this different than flying a Christian banner around trying to spread the word?-or passing out pamphlets. What someone else believes continues to have a direct effect on your life so why not try and do the same thing the Christians do and spread the word?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Chuck- feh...I don't agree. Being or not being religious doesn't make anyone more or less patriotic. If their are those that think that they are idiots. Heck..I never said the pledge in school after a certain age and I'm patriotic. I didn't say it or sang the anthem at a political rally last year. Loved the looks I got 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Chuck

      MC, what actually happens is that if atheists do stick up for themselves, they are attacked and ridiculed, and accused of aggressiveness. It wouldn't matter how subtle the message was, this would be the response, so they swing for the fences. If this was a faith based message that people were flying from airplanes, no one would think twice. But if atheists can't even get people to fly the planes. If atheists put up a billboard saying there is no god, it's national news. No one thinks twice if a church does the same thing adverstising their Sunday service – heck, many churches have a marquee out front with the sermon of the week on it. It's a double standard that the faithfull simply can't see or understand.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Mad Panda- I will say that one's intentions play here. Where most religious ppl are spreading the word, they are probably doing it out of concern for their fellow man. However, sometimes it seems when atheists try to proclaim their thoughts...it's more on the line of trying to insult a group of ppl.
      I don't recall seeing too many Christian flyers directed specifically toward atheists as a group or insulting important atheists in history. Not saying it never happens, but when it does I would guess it's a small amount.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Chuck

      AS, what would be a respectful way to do it? And don't you think the level of disdain and ridicule would be the same?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Sybaris

      @Lycidas

      Just because you say there's no comparison doesn't make it so. Whether there's an organized following of the tooth fairy doesn't matter. Religion and the tooth fairy depend on the same thing, faith, that is what matters. There is just as much evidence for either, so again, wouldn't you tell your adult child to knock it off with the tooth fairy garb?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  2. Sybaris

    If he was born and raised in Thailand he'd be Chris the Buddhist, Chris the Muslim if from Iraq, Chris the Hindu if from India, Chris the Whatever if part of the Yanomami tribe.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      Actually, he wasn't even Christ in Jerusalem. Christ is a Greek word that came into use decades after Jesus died. If you time-travelled back to when and where Jesus was and asked to see Christ, even Jesus would have no clue what you were talking about.

      And if you asked to see Jesus, you would get more blank stares . . . his name was Yeshua.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  3. Stephen Weiberg

    I consider myself an Atheist at this point in my life, however I simply refuse to give an oath to God when I give an oath to my country.

    I understand Christians, I really do, but this is not the Christian States. Everyone is equal, equality doesn't follow the bible's guidelines. Sometimes we have to put aside our personal beliefs and learn to live with one another.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  4. rationalskeptic

    i agree with the idea to fly the banners i think it could possible calm some of the hate that has been projected towards atheists in recent years and as someone who gets "your going to burn in hell forever" messages in my inbox almost every day its badly needed because the conservative rightwing has demonized atheists for years and i for one am tired of it. THIS IS NOT CHRISTIAN AMERICA ITS JUST AMERICA.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Rick's Real

    I do not like the implication that Atheists cannot be Patriots. What a load of BS. And those patriots who can't grasp the idea of evolution? No worries. Obviously you're incapable of evolving, which leaves only extinction. In all honesty that does not break my heart.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  6. Drinker

    I'm atheist/agnostic (depends on the day sometimes!) and shoving atheism down peoples throats is no better than shoving religion down peoples throat. Yes, I often feel hesitant to voice my lack of belief because people here in the Midwest are very judgemental when it comes to that. Very few minds are going to be changed by others.

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

    I've seen magic tricks that I can not explain...... I still do not believe in magic

    July 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  8. mr sims

    We just don't know. None of us. But we make our choices based on our experiences and go from there. Our choice is not any better than anyone elses choice. I don't like seeing all the condemnation of others choices. Live and let live. You may be right or they may be right. You may never know. But it seems to me best to proceed as though there is a God, though not necessarily associated with organized religion. That is where you get into real problems, imo. Anything that teaches less tolerance is probably on the wrong track.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • OREgon

      Almost like playing the lotto!! =)

      July 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • AWMessenger

      The general idea is this. An atheist who is offended to the point of complaining about someone publicly praying is openly exhibiting hatred towards that person's freedom to believe.

      The majority of our country, from its inception, has been founded by men and women who believe in God. Whether atheists want to accept it or not, God has been a part of the heritage and social fabric of this country since the beginning. As such, snippets of our country's faith are going to pop up from time to time.

      As a country that embraces differences in culture, atheists are gonna have to learn how to grin and accept their believing brothers and sisters who choose to practice their faith openly. Otherwise anyone who wants to yell and scream about someone praying is publicly showing their lack of tolerance and the American way.

      If someone were to openly pray, it is not THAT PERSON'S responsibility to look around the room and publicly apologize to the atheists who have to publicly deal with those who choose to believe in prayer. It is the responsibility of the atheist to silently choose to tolerate it and NOT pray while the others do, and accept believers for how they choose to be.

      If someone wants to be an atheist, let them be atheist, but DO NOT think that believers have to STOP practicing what they believe in order to not "offend" atheists. That in itself is forcing non-belief practices on someone who chooses to believe and steps on their public rights to do so.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • JustMe

      Mr AWMessenger – you are clueless. Atheists don't care that someone prays openly or otherwise. What we care about is that people condemn others for not praying, or believing in their religion. We care that people put the word 'God' onto our currency. We care that the pledge of allegiance states "under God". We care about the continuous repression of our right to *not* be religious in a country which is supposed to be unaligned with religious beliefs. We care about people who advocate hatred and prejudice in the name of being "religious" and "virtuous". We care that atheist in the military find themselves to treated differently than others. We care that we cannot even talk about being atheist without fear of violence.

      Pray in public all you want. We don't care. Just stop pushing the idea that your religion somehow makes you better than others and that everyone else has to believe as you do.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • vmaxnc

      @ mr sims-I accidentally reported your post. I did not mean to.

      Proceeding as if there is a god just to hedge your bets isn't actually believing in anything. Only true believers will be admitted to God's kingdom.

      I don't believe in any of that, but that's what believers tell me.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • rationalskeptic

      well my choice to be an atheist has never hurt anyone while peoples choice to believe in a god has led to 9/11,the crusades,the Salem witch trials,suicide bombers,bullying gay kids until they commit suicide, and Christians burning gay people alive just to name a few so id say choosing to be an atheist is in fact a BETTER CHOICE.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  9. us1776

    The only thing that I am certain about is that religions and government do not mix.

    All governments need to be secular so they can tend to the civil needs of society unfettered by "beliefs".

    You join a religion so that you can become part of a group of like-thought people.

    And the different religions need to respect other religions and other people who do not need nor want religion.

    And quit sending your "messengers" to my front door to interrupt my life. If I want your brand I know where to find it. I drive past all of them every day.

    .

    July 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  10. OREgon

    I love the fact that some people believe that America was founded on "Christianity"....... In which it was founded on "freedom of religion".....

    July 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  11. alan seago

    I am 61 years old and haven't believed in God since I was 16, so I guess I'm an atheist. But I am not certain that there is no God; I just haven't seen proof that there is. As Chris the Christian commented, there are things that are difficult to explain with a purely mechanistic view of the world. So I am reluctant to criticize those who believe. Unlike Blair Scott or Dave Silverman in the article, I've never experienced any bigotry directed against me for my lack of belief. But if I did experience bigotry, I think I would be inclined to shrug and ignore it. Also unlike Mr. Scott and Mr. Silverman, I have never been able to understand why some people, like the atheists in this article, feel such a need to push their beliefs at other people.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • James harmon

      I am 71 years old and have always believed in God. I think the reason atheists must proclaim their non-belief is to reassure themselves that there really is no God. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in their room as thy lay there dying and see is their non-belief is as strong when they're facing eternity..... And maybe a God that doesn't believe in them!

      July 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Scott

      And the christians who have "pushed" the name of their god onto everyones money and into everyones pleg of alegence to the countries flag and want to push their creation myth into everyones science classes?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  12. mr sims

    The names are gods made up by H. P. Lovecraft, a very influential writer for horror stories. -That's why I did not know those names- I've never read any H.P. Lovecraft, although I've heard the name. Horror stories are not my favorite genre, although I did enjoy Poe when I was younger.
    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'm not sure what you are trying to say here, it is a sentence fragment, but I think I am more agnostic towards those gods you are referring to- I don't know if all or any of them exist. Wish I did.

    I merely reject the notion that your one additional god exists.-One additional God? Not sure what you are trying to say, but it's possible all "Gods" are one God.

    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.

    I do not agree that all Christians are atheist to 99.9% of gods. That makes no sense. And I certainly don't agree that everyone is an atheist in some respect. That is just flat out not true, imo. Again, I reassert my notion that we really just can't know but it may be safer to assume there is a God than to assume there is not.

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

      I've moved from being an atheist to being an anti-theist. It's a more militant version of atheism where you speak out against the nonsense of theism, Religion is destroying this country. All reasonable and rational thinking people must speak out and not be silent wallflowers in the face of strident religious dogma.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Religion is destroying this country."

      Oddly enough...I would guess that 99% of the citizens that were ever part of this nation was part of a religion. Seems to have done fine overall.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Scott

      OK which other gods besides the one in the bible to christians believe in? It is aganst there religion to not be atheist to all other gods

      July 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  13. sck

    Chris, what is to enjoy about a challenge from someone who believes differently if there is nothing, ever, anywhere, that could make you reexamine what you think? And I think surely you can understand how unpersuasive your "I have seen things..." argument is.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  14. sck

    Ah yes, not being afraid to state a minority belief, using sarcasm, and asking totally fair questions makes me militant. Only in a nation dominated by Christianity.

    Proselytism is trying to convert others to your point of view. Nothing I have said does that. So I am not acting worse (or better) than "religious counterparts". And how would a proselytism atheist be acting worse? Wouldn't that just be the same?

    July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  15. Aboutjab

    There has never been a day in my 56 years that I needed a god or religion

    July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jesus

      Yes, but religion hucksters (e,g, Billy" I hate Jews" Graham) want to instill fear and guilt in order to soften you up for the pitch for cash.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  16. DaLe

    Patriotism isn't the same as nationalism. Whereas nationalism focuses on a (particular) group of persons (in rhetoric), respectivly on the idea thereof, patriotism focuses on the State, or rather on the country since the focus isn't just on legalities and inst1tutions, respectivly on the ideas thereof.
    So or so, if atheistic patriots consider themselves as contributing by polluting air flying around banners with slogans which sound as if a number of anti-American-idea religionists would sign them ("God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic"), then it doesn't sound as if the talk is going to be about anything relevant. Nevertheless, I've heard that love can make blind, and loving a fictional concept, such as the concept of country, doesn't seem to be causing any harm per se, so no clue what any fuzz would be about.

    "...said atheists in the United States often feel alienated and face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God."

    I think this has to do with, uhm.. conservative views of everything that is having its place. Kind of a feet on the ground approach. No need for bigotry any way of course.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  17. josh

    What if they both, athiest and christians, used the money to feed the hungry rather than on billboards.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Using the money to kill the hungry would be a more prudent and permanent solution.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Jesus

      I'd say that we ought to euthanize and process obese people to feed the hungry. Can you say "Soylent Green"?

      July 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  18. Jenny

    Be atheist....the more ya stir it the worse it stinks. Why create an argument? If you haven't noticed what is going on with our Earth, I would suggest you take a look. The reason the non believers do not believe is because they have not researched enough nor have they the knowledge they were asked by Jesus to seek. Not only is the Atheist God-Less but our Country in the states is becoming this way as well. For this reason we will be annihilated sooner than later. Not only are we having worse Earthquakes but the Volcanic activity is picking up at alarming rates, Oceans are warming and holding more Methane. Wars, famine, plagues, Earthquakes, and so on....it has been written. Guys you really need to wake up and stop turning your back to God!! You do not have to label yourself anything accept a believer. Believe in Jesus with your heart and when the day comes that you have taken your last breath..... You will see him again and remember why you were here. This is not some kind of pop..here we are...lets hang out and die and go nowhere!!! Wake up.... we are ENERGY. Look up the definition of energy. Religion is dogma IMO....but belief in something higher is important to the souls progression. I am not trying to save anyone, I am simply trying to more or less ask each and every one of you to educate yourself...seek him for a while before you say you do not believe. We are in a Solar System where everything is connected and when you look at things at a different angle you will see the beauty all around even in your fellow brother/sister.

    Peace and love to all of you!! xoxox

    July 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • saganhill

      Give me a break Jenny. I have read the bible. Any "Rational" person can see that the whole book is nothing but a fairytale. If you think pushing your delusion on other people is the right thing to do, just keep pushing, because as an Atheist I will push back. To bad you have been brainwashed so bad you will never be able to come back to reality.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • OREgon

      why is that every time that something goes wrong, People think that god did this and that..... You know whats really going on??? The continental plates are still moving because our planet is still cooling..... Stop believing in ancient beliefs that couldn't explain the true reason why something really is going on... and yes the planet is round and guess what?? The earth is actually not 6,000 years old, sorry to burst your bubble..... =)

      July 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Scott

      If the christian god was half as wise, half as powerful and half as loving as Christians like to say he is, I wouldn't have to go looking for him in a 2000 year old book of fairy tails. He would clearly and unambiguously present himself to the world in a totally unquestionable form. He would not be playing a game of celestial hide and seek with the prize for loosing eternal torture.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Seth Pascal

      It's called "faith" because it's not "knowledge"

      So, let's all of us reasonably intelligent people start our conversations knowing there is a difference in the level of evidence for a cold, meaningless universe (it may not be pretty, but there is a lot of knowledge about it) and a warm, fuzzy afterlife that will never end, and no one is ever allowed to leave the party, and obedience and devotion to a being that put you on a miserable little planet and all but forgot about you is expected and compulsory... but there is absolutely no knowledge about it.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  19. Jeepers

    I think it would be better if they did ads or something showing...with either actual brave volunteers or depictions of all the different kinds of people out there who are good, moral, law abiding people...who just don't believe in a god or afterlife. Maybe drawings of people. Because yes, a lot of us feel like we'd actually be in danger to admit to our lack of belief in the same things the majority of people believe in...which if you think about it, is pretty un-Christian of that majority.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • sck

      Suggested ads have already been done and are currently being done.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Jeepers

      I haven't seen any like I described. The ones I've seen are actually kind of rude and don't really help...like the ones about Christmas. We need to make it more clear that we aren't really that different...not point out what IS different.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  20. Chris the Christian

    All of you can believe what you want to believe (or not believe). Saying that all Christians ram beliefs down everyone's throats is an ignorant statement. In case my name doesn't give it away I'm a Christian and proud to say so, even if some hateful troll decides to bash me for it. All I have to say is Jesus loves you even if you despise Him. Goodbye and God Bless.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • sck

      You are a christian and proud to say so, but if someone is an atheist they better just keep quiet right?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Chris the Christian

      I'm not saying that, if you are an atheist go ahead and tell everyone. I enjoy a challenge from someone who doesn't believe the same way I do.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Nathan

      Chris, you're a Christian, and you admit it?? Wow. That must be embarrassing, letting people know that you believe in Santa. Or an equivalent fairy creature.

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

      Chris, what information would cause you to give up your christian faith?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chris the Christian

      Look at that I called it that some troll comes and says something hateful. Look buddy, I've seen some things that no science or logic can explain. Even if I am persecuted for my beliefs I stand strong as a Christian, no matter what anyone says or thinks.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Paul

      sck, you're doing something called "militant atheism", another form of proselytism. You're literally acting worse than your religious counterparts.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Chris the Christian

      Hmm information, it's called faith for a reason. You have to have faith tomorrow will come, even though you don't know if you will live to see tomorrow. See what I mean?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chris the Christian

      You said "Jesus loves you even if you despise Him."
      I don't know a single atheist that despises Jesus. I don't. I just don't think he was anything special. Pretty much the same with your god. I don't believe he exists, I don't despise him.

      The things that I consider despicable are the actions of some of the followers of Jesus. Not all, just some.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • sck

      Ah yes, not being afraid to state a minority belief, using sarcasm, and asking totally fair questions makes me militant. Only in a nation dominated by Christianity.

      Proselytism is trying to convert others to your point of view. Nothing I have said does that. So I am not acting worse (or better) than "religious counterparts". And how would a proselytism atheist be acting worse? Wouldn't that just be the same?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • saganhill

      So you base your faith on some majical sky jockey that cant be proved? You have seen things? All signs of a person who is lazy and will not take the time to figure things out. If you have seen thing that cant be explained doesnt mean they're unexplainable. Everything can be explained in time. Im glad you have faith, just keep it in the church or your home and not in our government and its laws.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      There's a huge difference between somebody who believes in treating people according to the many thousands of years of accepted moral behavior, some of which is incorporated in Jesus' teachings, and a fundamentalist who believes everything in the Bible is absolutely the word of God and true. The latter person is a danger to our way of life. He/she is no better than the Taliban.;

      July 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Artist

      I have a chia jesus that loves you as well.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Jesus lied, sacrificed nothing, and his father impregnated another mans wife.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- No, no and no.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "Jesus loves you"

      No, some unknown author of the gospels who never even met the alleged Jesus inferred that.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Great post Chris and also Lin. You did call it Chris but this is good because you see that there are different types of atheist. The same is on our side. The thing is to keep the dialogue going with the less radical atheist and for both sides tune out the ones on the extremes.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Sybaris

      If you were born and raised in Thailand you'd be Chris the Buddhist, Chris the Muslim if from Iraq, Chris the Hindu if from India, Chris the Whatever if part of the Yanomami tribe.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • JustMe

      Chris the Christian – you are a perfect example of the problem. You start by trying to say that Christians are not trying to ram their religion down others throats. Then you turn around and *your* god loves them. That is ramming your religion down our throats.

      Then in a later comment you say "you like the challenge" when confronted with someone who holds different believes. What challenge? There would be no challenge unless you want to make them believe as you do. Once again, you demonstrate that you do, in fact, ram your religion down others throats.

      You are exactly the type of sanctimonious hypo-twit that causes our world's problems by trying to cloak your intolerance with false humility.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Scott

      If Christians aren't pushy then what is their god's name doing on every ones money and pledge of allegiance?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:39 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.