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June 23rd, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Billboard campaign rebuts 'one nation under God'

Religious billboards adorn the highways across the South. But a new billboard campaign in North Carolina deliberately snubs the Almighty.

A coalition of atheists and secular humanists has placed a billboard on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte that displays an American flag with a few key words from the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation Indivisible.”

Notice anything missing? The phrase “under God,” which appears between "One nation" and "indivisible" in the Pledge, is absent on the billboard.

William Warren, a member of the North Carolina Secular Association, says his group put the ads up on billboards across the state to let people know that patriotism and belief in God are not always synonymous.

The billboards are appearing in a half-dozen locations across the state, including Asheville, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, in addition to Charlotte.

Warren, an atheist, says people who share his beliefs often fear losing their job or their friendships. The billboard is designed to encourage them to be more open.

“We’re here. We’re your neighbors, your co-workers,” he says. “We’re not happy that we have to hide who we are everyday.”

Read more on this story from CNN Charlotte affiliate WBTV.

A statement on his group's website says the campaign "is intended as a consciousness-raising effort to point out how every U.S. citizen who doesn’t believe in a monotheistic god is being 'officially' marginalized, disrespected, and discriminated against by the insertion of 'under God' in the Pledge..."

The North Carolina Secular Association's statement also alleges that North Carolina's constitution "restricts anyone that doesn't believe in a monotheistic god from holding public office."

Warren says two billboard companies refused to raise the billboards. One said the Pledge ad was too controversial. Another didn’t call back when it heard about the planned message.

“It’s a pretty innocuous message,” says Warren. “If someone sees controversy in the message, they’re looking for controversy.”

Some may consider the location of the Charlotte billboard controversial: along a parkway named for the Rev. Billy Graham, the venerated evangelical minister.

But Warren says the location was chosen because the price was right. The Charlotte billboard costs $3,300 to rent for a month.

The entire billboard campaign costs $15,000, with money coming from donations from various secular groups and from a national marketing organization called FreeThoughtAction.

The North Carolina Secular Association's website explains that it chose the Pledge for its campaign because the phrase “one nation under God” was inserted into it in 1954, provoked by the Cold War. The intention then was proclaiming a Judeo-Christian American heritage in the face of godless  communism.

That change, though, stigmatized atheists and religious skeptics, Warren says.

“Instead of uniting the nation, it divided the nation,” Warren says. “You were either religious or with the godless communists.”

The Pledge was originally written in 1892 by a former Baptist minister who made no reference to religion in his version.

In 2004, the Supreme Court rejected efforts by a California atheist to revisit the issue of banning the Pledge’s recital in public schools because of its use of the words, “under God.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Courts • Culture wars • Politics

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soundoff (797 Responses)
  1. Valerie

    Well, if Atheists do not choose to believe in or worship God, that is perfectly fine.

    Just hope in the end, they were RIGHT!

    ; )

    June 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
    • Grant

      Well if God is all forgiving, I'm sure He'll look past the faults of everyone and let the non-believers into Heaven anyways. Why does it matter to everyone so much right now? No one has proof on way or another.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Nurse K in San Diego

      I've always wondered what if all the theists who are waiting for the end times or for God to save us from ourselves are wrong.

      If we're really just an evolving species on this planet and there is no one out there to come save us from ourselves, how horrible is it that billions of us are waiting around to be saved instead of taking action to help effect the longer-term survival of our species? As you probably well know, there are many theists who believe that God will destroy the earth one day so they care little about whether or not life can survive here over the long term.

      Hell is not nearly as frightening an idea as the thought that billions don't care one way or the other if our species survive.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • EJK

      If you choose to beleive in God instead of Thor, Odin, Vishnu, et cetera ad nauseum, that is fine.

      Just hope that in the you you are right.

      Remember... You disbelieve in thousands of gods. I only disbelieve in one more than you do.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  2. jason

    To all the non-believers:
    It would really suck for you if you end up being wrong about Jesus. Good luck to you.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Valerie

      Jason, you stole my thunder...I was thinking the exact same thing! : )

      June 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • John D

      Has it occurred to you that we might BOTH be wrong about, say, Islam?

      It's not possible for all human religions to be right.
      It is, however, possible that they are all wrong.

      I tend toward the latter view.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bubba

      And if the believers were wrong about Jesus, that wouldn't suck? I mean, what exactly is your point? Suppose we are all wrong and end up going to some alien afterlife full of blue or green people ten feet tall? OR alien hell because we didn't believe in Great Ghu?

      June 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • jason

      @ John D:
      Christianity and Islam both recognize the same God. The only difference is that Jesus had witnesses and Mohammed came down from the mountain alone and told stories about how he was visited by an angel and his followers wrote the Quran based on those stories.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tom in Wisconsin

      Wow, your faith must be weak...you stated "if" they end up being wrong? So, for you...it's just some kind of insurance policy? Where's your devotion? Where' s your unconditional belief and love for your magical almighty?

      And, really, wouldn't it suck to be you only to find out that all of Islam is right, and you are banished to the fires below for doubting Mohammed?

      June 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • Rinoa

      Actually this is a very fallacious argument and is well known in logic and philosophy as "Pascal's wager." It is not a sound argument because it creates a false dichotomy.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Drew

      @ jason

      You said, "Christianity and Islam both recognize the same God. The only difference is that Jesus had witnesses and Mohammed came down from the mountain alone and told stories about how he was visited by an angel and his followers wrote the Quran based on those stories."

      Perhaps you should educate yourself a little more about your Jesus. First of all, there are less than a handful of actual transcripts, scrolls and texts that mention Jesus actually being a real person outside of the bible. Tacitus and Josephus are the main ones. The Annals written by Josephus have been confirmed to be doctored and added at a later time as well, because Josephus being a Roman historian and writer would not have referred to a peasant Jew named Jesus as Christ, since according to the history we know, the Romans at the time did not believe he was the son of the magic man in the sky.

      Now, on to more history, the biblical scripts that mention Jesus, all of them were recorded to be written some 30 to 40 years after Jesus was supposedly alive. Most of these are copies from copies, from copies and copies written by illiterate peasants who couldn't read or write but would just try to copy what they saw. You need to learn a little bit more about textual criticism and how the bible you know of today came to be, because once you learn that, you should start to realize with a little more common sense that Jesus technically had no witnesses either and that the bible you know of today is in fact not the word of god but just a bunch of stories from non-originals, rewritten, doctored, tampered with, Kings revisions to their own liking and so on.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • Mike

      To all believers:

      It would really suck if you waste precious moments of your finite life worshipping a fairy tale. Good luck to you.

      (Atheists can play Pascal's Wager too).

      June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • sbp1

      If Jesus WAS the Messiah, then he wouldn't be so emotionally crippled as to REQUIRE belief in him in order to get into heaven. Being a good person would be enough. So it wouldn't matter if I was wrong about him. A real God wouldn't need his ego stroked.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • JCC_Starguy

      I have to think that if (by some outside chance) there is a god, he would more respect my honest skepticism than a false declaration of faith given simply to save my backside.

      Try this on for size: if there were no threat of hell, would you still believe in God?

      Any god who would punish me for eternity because I didn't see the logic of surrendering my intellect based on a book written during the Bronze Age isn't anyone I'd want to spend a week around, let alone eternity.

      June 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • jk8369

      Wrong. I know my heart and I know my intentions and level of integrity. That gives me peace of mind. And as for Bible God, many high up religious people say they talk to God. God gives them insight in to things. So how is it that one of these Bible scholars ask God about illegal immigrants and God tells them we should invite them in while another Bible scholar who communicates with God is told that they should obey the laws of our land and be punished for breaking them? Is God stirring up trouble? Maybe one of the two misheard what they were told?

      Like I said, I know myself and try and treat others as I would want to be treated. If that isn't good enough, then tough.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Marcellus

      For the people that believe in the jesus here in America, think about it for a minute – Are you so sure that you are right? Are you arrogant enough to believe that what you think is right in believing in jesus is actually correct? What about a billion Chinese people believing in that little fat buddah? Are YOU right and a Billion people wrong? Religion is the worst thing that exists in the world. Most of the wars throughout human history have some basis in religion. If humans didn't bother with religion the world would be a much better place.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  3. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    What's the big deal? That's how I always say the Pledge, finishing a couple seconds ahead of everyone else.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  4. Mary

    It's UNDER GOD!

    June 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom in Wisconsin

      Sure...now. After some religious fanatics decided to change it. But, the original is still better...and actually serves to UNITE people, not divide them.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Rinoa

      You do know that "one nation under god was not added to the pledge until after the 1950's during the red scare right? It was to drum up national pride to unite against the commies. The ORIGINAL pledge did NOT have "one nation under god" in it. So if you choose the version with the phrase in it, you are disrespectful of the original pledge.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • John

      Sounds like an opinion. My opinion is that all references to gods should be removed from the Pledge and from the money. In gods I don't trust.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Greg

      True, Tom in Wisconsin. For the same reason E Pluribus Unum was a much better motto. The whole concept of the United States is (supposed to be) bringing together many people from different backgrounds and cultures.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  5. UnderGod

    Understand that no matter if you are a Christian or not, we are all Under God.

    We are all sinners, and all need his healing grace. There is a time that "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

    Please consider what He has done for us all. We pray that you will accept the gift he has given, and realize that we are not only Under God, but that we can live under God's will as well, and this world would be such a better place glorifying His name.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mortaeus

      Okay, how about the fact that Christianity preceded the United States by about 1800 years? So all of the sudden because we put God into the Pledge of the Allegiance, He now thinks of the US as His Nation? Okay, let's find some more arrogant and ignorant things to nitpick. How about the fact that you think he cares only about you and is listening to you at all times? Have you taken a look at the world lately? It's a pretty rough place out there what with starvation, wars, drought, flooding, murder, politicians, etc. Ya think...YA THINK, what with him being all powerful and all that, that he would, you know, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. But no, he only cares about those who choose to believe in him. I just CANNOT understand people like you who are so ignorant and PROUD of your own God. And you're all so judgmental of us who don't believe. Yes we judge you to, but it's our place to do so because you are the ones smiting us all the time. We are the oppressed. Now go live in a cave, YOU.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Not My God

      Are you serious? You really believe all this? I will never understand how people so readily swallow up these religious fables.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Stephen

      Cool. So my god – THOR – is looking out for the United States?! Awesome! I knew he was in our corner. We all live under him, including YOU regardless of what you think because your opinion doesn't count. Would you like to hear about THOR? Have you heard the good news? THOR is coming back and its gonna be a sunshine wonderful day! You're right, THOR has done a lot for us and you should accept his gifts and glorify his name. The world would be a much better place.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • John

      Thor. Awesome. My god is Pele, the Hawaiian goddes of fire. Praise Pele! In Pele We Trust.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Greg

      You proceed from one heck of a large assumption there, and then go on
      to preach at us, telling us matters of faith as if they are facts, which they certainly are not.
      The religious position is based on LACK of factual information,
      otherwise you wouldn't NEED the faith. By definition, faith would be impossible if you had the knowledge.
      My position, and the one echoed in any individual thinking outside the confines of theistic dogma,
      is that there is zero factual evidence to support your claim of your specific deity, or anyone's else's.
      Nothing to be tested, nothing to be coroborated and nothing open to genuine scrutiny.
      Your Christian God is one of hundreds, if not THOUSAND of gods and demons various human cultures have prayed to, worshiped, lived, died, and killed for. Nothing separates yours from any of those others. Nothing.
      The infered conclusion is that they are all false. That's all. Atheism means literally the lack of god belief.
      The lack of theistic thinking. It is in this arena that true scientific discovery can be made, and mistakes discovered.
      This gives genuine science the property of being a self-correcting system.
      Religion, on the other hand, starts with the conclusion, and pays attention only to that.
      No one else's conclusions matter unless they agree with yours.
      That's not true of an atheist, nor of a scientist.
      We don't "believe" anything. We either understand something or we do not.
      And that in which we place our confidence is open to any and all scrutiny.
      THAT, ladies and gentleman, is the difference.

      June 23, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • EJK

      "Understand that no matter if you are a Christian or not, we are all Under God."

      This is the logical fallacy known as "begging the question." Your argument depends from the assertion that God exists, when, in fact, the very argument is whether God exists or not. You have, therefore, contributed exactly nothing to the conversation, and only assured yourself you are, regardless of the content of the debate, correct.

      Also, please stop imposing your superstition on others.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:28 am |
    • Greg

      Yes, Pele...also the Brazilian god of soccer(football). He's quite busy right now.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  6. Rose

    Why is it that the opinions of the few cause so much turmoil? America is an english speaking country, yet many cannot and will not learn to speak it, yet they want to be a citizen ?? As to believing in God or not, I believe the majority does, so all the
    atheists should just leave the rest of us alone. This country needs to listen to the majority and not the minorities.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tom

      Rose seems to be the only one that "gets" the real issue here. Believe in God, don't believe in God, THAT is why we all live in The United States. The freedom to believe in what we wish, but understand this. The founding fathers believed in God, most people believe in God or some form of higher power. No one forces you to include God in the pledge or really makes you even recite it. We have forgotten this one rule, MAJORITY RULES. You don't what the majority likes? Then you are free to leave.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Nick

      You wouldn't feel that way if atheists were in charge and you were the minority.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • Tom

      I don't know. I still would not be forced, to not believe in god. and most of the atheists would "still" think I'm crazy to believe.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Ann

      Tom – actually most of the founding fathers did not believe in a personal god...Jefferson was essentially an atheist and Franklin was a deist...to name a few.

      June 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • Rinoa

      Which version of the pledge do you recite? The one before the 1950's that did not say "one nation under god" or the red scare version that says "one nation under god"? If you choose the latter then you are disrespectful of the original pledge.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Chris

      "As to believing in God or not, I believe the majority does, so all the
      atheists should just leave the rest of us alone. This country needs to listen to the majority and not the minorities."

      This statement is a direct argument against the first amendment: freedom of religion, speech, and press. True that the majority rules in the U.S. or in any other republic for that matter, but to say that any group should "leave you" alone (aka not even voice their opinions) or leave the country is essentially saying that you can voice your opinion ONLY IF your opinion is in accordance with that of the majority. This goes entirely against the main point of the first amendment, which is to protect minority rights and allow dissenting opinions to be voiced in a non-violent way. I would argue that if you don't believe in freedom of speech then perhaps you should be the one to leave the country.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • jconte

      Rose,
      two things, first off with the language bit you brought in for some reason. We may be an English speaking country but it is not the official language of the country and until it is we can't require people to learn it to be citizens. Secondly with the majority rule part, to take it to an extreme since you already did, with what you are saying we shouldn't have things such as the American's with Disabilities Act because disabled people are a minority and if they can't live the same way the rest of us do then sucks to be them. The same could be said for for the Civil Rights Act, those black people should have just sucked it up and lived with it because by god it was the will of the majority. I think you get where I am going with this by now. Bottom line in many things we do such as elections the majority wins, but we also have laws to protect the rights of minorities from being trampled by the majority because as is proved time and again just because more people believe one thing doesn't always make it true.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Raven

      Rose:

      Understand that while the general idea of a democratic republic is that the "majority rules", the founding fathers were keenly aware of what happens when 'majority rule' is taken too far. That is "mob mentality" in which no considered reasoning is behind an action, but rather a mass tilt to one direction because of some impacting event, be it a catastrophe, general unrest, ignorance, discovery of gold, what have you. In order to limit the unjust and unreasonable impact of mass hysteria (ie: Red Scares, al Qaeda attacks the nation, Native American marginalization, what have you) we purposely have a built-in system to halt majority rule that is not in the best interest of society *as a whole*. That would be the court system. The courts theoretically balance social justice with the issue at hand. The US is not meant to be a nation that officially recognizes *any* religion whether it's Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, or any other *ism. For reference simply look up the Bill of Rights... you know where it explicitly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" There's no place in there where the drafters said "Except the Christians" or "the religion of the majority". That means exactly what it says, any official reference by the federal government to a religious figure, deity, creed, or activity is expressly forbidden. This would preclude a reference to "under God" in money, pledges, oaths (also means that oaths can't be forced on people forbidden to take them by religious creed), or religious displays at religious holidays.
      The Supreme Court has sadly dropped the ball innumerable times over the years, often with catastrophic results, but at least theoreticly that's how the US works... next time you hear "the majority rules" or the "majority is always right" just keep in mind that very smart men that wrote the founding laws of our country strongly disagreed based on experience. Both then and now the "majority" is often exactly what you need to defend against.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:59 am |
    • EJK

      Rose: Good point! As long as enough of us get together, we should be able to oppress anybody we choose!

      (That, by the way, is sarcasm. I find Rose's assertion both ignorant and repulsive.)

      June 24, 2010 at 7:15 am |
    • Chan

      "As to believing in God or not, I believe the majority does, so all the atheists should just leave the rest of us alone."

      And you'd believe incorrect. The largest proportion of the population identifies when asked as "agnostic and spiritual", not necessarily Christian.

      "America is an english speaking country, yet many cannot and will not learn to speak it, yet they want to be a citizen??"..."This country needs to listen to the majority and not the minorities."

      Thanks for dragging ethnicity and cultural background into a discussion where they had nothing to do with the topic at hand. I love when the bigots out themselves...it makes it easier to figure out whose opinions are invalid purely on the basis of ignorance and can safely be ignored.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  7. whybs

    Actually, the missing words should be "under horoscopes!" Many read it on a daily basis & believe in it! Hence, it must be true!

    June 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  8. conoclast

    It's about time somebody answered back in-kind the arrogance of the bible-belters. If you need for there to be a "god" then please keep your insecurities to yourself – where they belong. They do NOT belong on public billboards and they most certainly do NOT belong in politics. I would vote in a heartbeat for a repeal of organized religion's ridiculous tax-exempt status.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Dr RatstaR

      " I would vote in a heartbeat for a repeal of organized religion's ridiculous tax-exempt status."

      I totally agree with you on this! Where do we line up to vote? Let's start a grass-roots movement to restore equality to our nation. MegaChurch = MegaTax.

      While we are at it let's limit the tax deduction for dependents to two children in any one year. All things being equal otherwise, a small family pays more tax than a large "Christian" (Mormons, Catholics, and others who do not use birth control) family, yet the large family uses more social services, school being the most notable. The outrageous irony here is that the (religious) right are the first to scream about socialism, yet they use our socialist school system to great advantage to further their own objectives.

      Duhbya gave the large families of religion a very large tax break when he upped the personal exemption from $1,000 to over $3,000 per dependent. I am hoping that this temporary give-a-way to religion will expire without becoming permanent.

      Tax religious property like any other property. We don't need to subsidize their Sunday morning country club.

      Tax large families. Make them pay for what they do. The rest of us should not have to make up the difference for their tax break.

      Dr RatstaR VN Era Vet, '72 – '76, drafted.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • Out of Left Field

      @ Dr RatstaR –

      How did you make the leap to taxes and people with large families? And why the assumption that people with more than 2 children are religious and don't use birth control? My husband and I have 5 children, planned and by choice. I pay property taxes, which fund the "social service" you call public education. To jump to the conclusion that every family with more than 2 children is religious and sucking up social services is idiotic, at best.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Little K

      Because of faith based orgaizations people of all religions are served and served without descrimination of religious beliefs. Because of these faith based organizations homeless vets, children, and families have healthy meals to eat and places to sleep! Many of the soup kitchens and food pantries are ran by faith based orgainzations. Who get no or very little governmental support do to the separation of church and state, but get help from donations from other faith minded individuals and businesses. I don't see too me atheists willing to freely give food and serve those less fortunate of all religeous backgrounds. I have never heard of an atheists soup kitchen or food pantry. Atheists believe and serve only one person and that is themselves and are very selfish. When a natural disaster occures who is one of the first people there to lend a help? Faith based groups, and they do it for free and usually use their own vacation times and funds to travel many miles to help. Again without asking for help or compensation from any government agency! When a fire occures and a family is displaced who do they usually turn to first? Again a local church usually steps in and helps! Who still today after years of the government turning their backs on the citizens of New Orleans goes down and rebuilds homes, youth centers, churches, schools, again it is the faith based groups. Haiti is another example of faith based groups working together to help those in need and suffering. Where are your atheists groups pulling their own money and resourses? You won't find any, because you are too busy serving yourself instead of working for the Lord and taking care of those people in need. Where are your atheist boys and girls homes and clubs? You know to better help those in need? Where are your homeless shelters, where are you hospitals, where are you free clinics for healthcare, where are your free or reduced after school programs for kids,? They don't exist because you don't serve anyone but you and your family! Yes you are correct, faith based organizations may have a tax exempt status, but we give back two fold compared to the small amount of taxes you pay. How much of your income every week do you donate to help out those in need? Not all people who profess to be christians are true christians, but in most cases give a bad name to christian principals because of the things they do. Just because you attend a church does not make you any more a christian than being in your garage makes you a car. Go ahead and bash. When you fall and need a hand up you can bet it will probably be a christian standing there with their hand out to pull you up! Now enough of this christian bashing! If you want to make a difference in this world get involved and do something good and stop whining about what we are doing and how we are doing it!

      June 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Moderate unbeliever

      "Who get no or very little governmental support do to the separation of church and state, but get help from donations from other faith minded individuals and businesses."

      Except millions and millions and millions of dollars in tax breaks, both for the charity and the donators.

      That's substantially more than "no or very little". I, too, would like to see the tax exemptions for religious organizations removed. How quickly Christians forget or neglect the writings that aren't so comfortable...."render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's...". In other words...pay your taxes!!!!!!!

      June 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  9. Starlight

    This is really sad to me. I'm sorry, but where I live (Charlotte) and work, nobody really cares what your religious affiliation, beliefs or lack thereof are. I'm a Christian, but don't regularly attend church – that's my decision. If these people want to not believe in God, that's their choice...but I think it is disrespectful to throw it in people's faces via a tasteless billboard that not only disrespects those whose right it is to believe in God, it disrespects the Pledge of Allegiance. This was in poor taste – honestly, are they trying to convert Christians into athiests? Good luck.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Joe

      Throw it in people faces? Are you kidding?

      I was forced to pledge allegiance to my country under a god that I don't believe in every day of my life through high school. "under God" does not belong in the pledge. It was inserted during one of the darkest periods in history. I applaud this group for making these bill board ads.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • Maryann - Orlando FL

      Sorry, but the way the Pledge is now, insults one of my beliefs: Belief that there is separation of church and state. Try seeing things from someone else's point of view for a change.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • cindy

      Athiests don't want God forced down their throats, but they can force their beliefs down EVERYONE'S throats?? Sounds like double standard big time to me.

      We are one nation, under God regardless of what anyone thinks.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Lagunatic

      Sorry, Starlight. I live in Charlotte too and very much disagree about people not caring about other peoples' religious convictions. I would like to know how this is any different from all the Jesus fish on every second car here. I think those are creepy, but yet I get the joy of seeing them many times a day. This billboard will only be up for four weeks.
      As for disrespecting the Pledge, it is exactly the opposite...it is RESTORING the pledge (the ultimate sign of respect) to it's original form.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Grant

      cindy, You just made a somewhat unfair generalization. While some atheists go too far, so too do some Christians. But removing "under God" from the pledge does not force atheism down people's throats. Rather it stops Christianity being shoved down the throats of others. Omission is far different from saying, for example "not under any God"

      June 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • MikeP

      If you believe altering the Pledge in order to force one's religious (or atheistic) beliefs on everyone is disgusting then you should be all for the restoration of the pledge to its original wording – wording that did NOT include "under God". That is, unless what you're really saying is that you oppose forcing anyone but YOUR beliefs down people's throats...

      June 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Dismayed

      "Starlight

      This is really sad to me. I'm sorry, but where I live (Charlotte) and work, nobody really cares what your religious affiliation, beliefs or lack thereof are. I'm a Christian, but don't regularly attend church – that's my decision. If these people want to not believe in God, that's their choice...but I think it is disrespectful to throw it in people's faces via a tasteless billboard that not only disrespects those whose right it is to believe in God, it disrespects the Pledge of Allegiance. This was in poor taste – honestly, are they trying to convert Christians into athiests? Good luck."

      Your ignorance on the matter is astounding. The pledge was written in 1892. The 'under god' phrase wasn't added until 1954.

      June 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Rinoa

      Which version of the pledge? The one before the 1950's that did not say "one nation under god" or the red scare version that says "one nation under god"? If you choose the latter then you are disrespectful of the original pledge.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • EJK

      "This was in poor taste "

      I've driven through that part of the country, and seen numerous billboards promoting Christianity. Do you find those similarly tasteless?

      June 24, 2010 at 7:07 am |
    • Greg

      As opposed to the thousands and thousands of church signs with oh so clever little sayings to push Christianity down your throat every hundred feet or the blatantly threatening and condescending billboards like the one on I-95, up north in DE no less, that says "When you die you will meet God." with a flatlining EKG line and some revelations verse #. Yes, a handful of non-religious billboards scattered around the country must be soooo difficult for you to bear.

      Do Christians have no shame in their attempts to play the martyr?

      June 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Don B

      The reply from 'Cindy' is total crap... but it shows why this argument will go on forever. People are taught to be stubbornly ignorant.

      I would say 'Burn in Hell, Cindy' , but truth be told... there isn't one. So, have a lovely day instead.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  10. Right...

    Nothing says "indivisible" like insulted someone's beliefs. The pledge says "under God." If you don't like the phrase, don't say the phrase. With the various beliefs that people are picking up every day (e.g. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), we cannot fit in each and every little point of view.

    Besides, if you're so firm in your beliefs, what are you worried about?

    June 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • John D

      There are those of us who still wonder whether it is properly within the authority of Congress to require people to profess a certain religious belief.
      Don't forget that the text of the Pledge is defined by federal law.

      ...Or, for that matter, that it was changed to its present form about sixty years after it was originally penned.
      All else aside, from a poetic perspective, the extra three syllables really messes up the meter.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Edward

      There is no need for the phrase "under god" in the pledge. Inserting it where they did actually divides the "indivisable" nation, into religious and non-religious. The nation somehow managed to get along without god in the pledge for 62 years, and we even won two World Wars it in there.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • PiercedPsycho

      Don't be knockin' us Pastafarians! Just you wait....someday you'll see that an invisible plate of deliciousness that lives in the sky created everything.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tom in Wisconsin

      >>"The pledge says "under God." If you don't like the phrase, don't say the phrase."<<

      Yeah, that's what the atheists originally said, back when fanatical Christians decided that the REAL Pledge of Allegiance needed to be changed to fit their particular views. If you don't like the REAL Pledge of Allegiance, then don't recite it! But leave it alone...don't go throwing your religion into for no good reason.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Greg

      The Pledge (of Allegiance) contains the words "Under God" because of Senator Joseph P. McCarthy,
      and the period of commie-hunting religious-righ-gone-amuk of the 1950's that came to be named for him,
      McCarthyism. The original pledge contained no religious motto or reference of any kind.
      So those of you Christian zealots shouting to return us to our fundamentals,
      realize that the Pledge of Allegiance should therefore be reverted to it's secular original form because of your very argument.

      June 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • MikeTheInfidel

      You said two quote contradictory things:
      "Nothing says "indivisible" like insulted someone's beliefs. ... Besides, if you're so firm in your beliefs, what are you worried about?"

      If you're firm in your beliefs, what do you care if they're insulted? Fool.

      June 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • EJK

      Alternately, we could restore the Pledge to its proper form, and you could just add in "under God" when you say it. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:02 am |
    • Greg

      Right wrote: "With the various beliefs that people are picking up every day (e.g. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), we cannot fit in each and every little point of view."

      That's exactly the point. By removing the reference to one specific belief, it immediately becomes inclusive of all beliefs (or lack thereof).

      June 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  11. CatholicMom

    Most of us are used to saying the pledge and putting God in it—sort of like a prayer—all this billboard does is show that some wish to shut out God…which makes 'under God' the main point just by the absence of those words
    .
    I went to a memorial service the other day and the minister never mentioned Jesus Christ or God and what He did for us-dying on the Cross so that we might have life everlasting; the minister mentioned death as still an evil that we have to overcome. By the minister leaving out God, I prayed all the more because there was an obvious need.

    So people, when you try to block out God, His Light shines ever brighter. Right now God is blazing hot in America!

    June 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • Grant

      So you believe. And so be it.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mike K

      Beautiful : )

      June 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • geo

      You might want to try to be a bit more careful with your "sort of like a prayer" talk what with the courts having to pretend there's nothing religious about the words 'under God" and all. If you'll just always remember to refer to it as "ceremonial deism" you'll be okay.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Adam

      The belief in religion is dumb. There is no "god". And as for Catholicism, I was born a catholic, became an atheist at a very young age (thanks in part to Catholic school, and their ridiculous teachings which have no validity in today's society), and after all the scandals and the fact that some old man in Rome tells priests they cant marry women, pretty much forcing them to do the evil things they do to children, makes me think twice about what they preach. You can have or not have faith, just dont force it upon others.

      June 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Grant

      Adam, you're not helping your fellow non-Christians here. The whole point of this was to calmly raise awareness for atheism and other non-religious people. But to lash out against a religion just gives them permission to do the same right back, which doesn't do much for creating tolerance.

      June 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Sybaris

      The problem with your post is the significance you place on the alleged Jesus and his fabled demise. The question you have to ask yourself is why would a spirit place so much emphasis on a fleshly form? The answer is it didn't, man did, ergo it's all man made.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Rinoa

      No, untrue. This is a sad assumption. It is to return the country the way it was before the 1950's when "One nation under god" and "in god we trust" were added to the pledge and national money.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Mike

      The words "under God" are not – and cannot – be the main point of the pledge, whether they are omitted or not. The pledge is a personal statement of allegiance to America, not to God. By twisting it into a pledge of allegiance to America under God, you are paradoxically violating the spirit of one of the fundamental freedoms of the Bill of Rights – freedom from the establishment of a religion.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • MikeTheInfidel

      Religion only insists that you believe one insane claim – that, in fact, you WON'T die. All the insanity that it entails derives from a desire to believe in that first claim.

      We will die. This is unavoidable, and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. Your god is not real.

      June 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Damiana

      So if God is so freakin' hot, why did you gripe about his absence at a memorial service? BTW, would you expect a memorial service for, say, a Buddhist to mention God or Jesus, just because it takes place in America?

      Amazing how such an omnipotent being can't do without universal adoration of those infinitely inferior (by definition, that is). A human exhibiting such qualities would be called egomaniacal with self-esteem issues. Hmmm.....

      June 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Protestant mom

      To Catholicmom:
      Once again an excellent post...God Bless you. Signed Protestant mom

      June 24, 2010 at 3:24 am |
    • CraigT

      @CatholicMom
      "So people, when you try to block out God, His Light shines ever brighter. Right now God is blazing hot in America!"

      Go god is a flamer? Explains the actions of your priests doesn't it?

      June 24, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • SDFrankie

      That's a bunch of gibberish, mom. God cloned himself and let himself be killed to save ME from a death that HE invented? News flash, before I existed I had no desire to exist. If god created me and then killed himself to SAVE me from dying he's insane. This story just gets sillier every time I hear it. Also, the key characteristic of death is its permanence. If it only lasts three days it's a coma.

      June 24, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  12. geo

    I've noticed quite a few billboards around town that don't have the words 'under God' on them. How's a guy supposed to know which ones to be outraged about?

    June 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  13. Angelad496

    Im not overly religious but I have my belief, faith and convictions. I do not press them upon the world but I don't deny them either. Regardless – I'm afraid for this world and what it's becoming.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Rinoa

      Why? Because a minority group can now have a say in a country with free speech?

      June 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • MikeTheInfidel

      And I'm sure you'll give us a rational, well-reasoned argument in support of that fear. Right?

      June 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • EJK

      "I'm afraid for this world and what it's becoming"

      Me too. Several studies have shown that more and more people in the United States are rejecting reason in favor of ancient superstitions, and pretending that we need to get back to "our religious roots," which are, by and large, imaginary. As the government of the U.S. becomes less secular, we increasingly open ourselves to exploitation by "divinely-inspired" con men. It's a bit horrifying to watch it happen.

      June 24, 2010 at 6:59 am |
    • Ken

      EJK, you are very funny historical revisionist. Do you understand clearly why the Adams statement was made and why there is a separation of church and state? European governments, their royalty, and their aristocracy, were legitimized by the church, the founding fathers wanted a government legitimized by the people, not a church. Again, read you declaration of independence, God and Creator and prevalent in the text, that sounds religious to me. There is nothing there stating any anti christian or religion at all. Personally I don't follow religion much and no christian or religious organization aside from the hari krishna have every tried to push their believe structure on me, however, it seems that athiests are so insecure that they have to try and bush their believe structure on everybody else. Instead of a billboard attaching something, why don't they put something up that says, atheists against crime, or atheist feeding the hungry at the atheist community center. I don't know what your personal hang up is, but don't try to selectively revise history. The treaty mentioned christianity as a way to avoid the centuries old battle between islam and chritianity in Europe. America wasn't a Christian government, but didn't deny God in the text.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • Ponter B

      @Ken – So by that logic, what are Christians excuses for creating billboards and advertisements again Gay Marriage and personal reproductive choices. Why don't they go out and do something more productive with their time and energy?

      June 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • anna

      I agree with you and would add one more thing. It annoys me intensley is when someone tries to push their religion on to me!

      June 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      The track record for those countries/population centers who were once thriving hubs of art & science and shrugged off those principles in favor of theocratic governments is not a good one. Google "Iran" or "Baghdad".

      June 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Darryl

    This is not a snub but a campaign addressing the true principal of our rights, in this case, religious freedom. Yes, there are those of us who do not believe in a god or in the divinity of the Bible. For too long society has favored Christianity over all other beliefs or non-beliefs in violation of our basic principals. This is not a Christian nation, nor is it a theocracy, but a democracy.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Dennis

      Actually we are a republic. Democracies validate that every voice will be heard equally, nd in full practice may work on a small scale. Our founding fathers understood the mentality of the mob, and instead put a republic in place instead. It works wonderfuly, lest we become a nation that flies off the handle at the latest polling numbers.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jessica

      Dennis, so nice to see someone other than me pointing out that we are a Republic. Keep up the good work!

      June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • ABierce

      Go back to high school civics and learn something this time. A republic is a SPECIFIC form of democracy. To wit:: " In the United States, James Madison defined republic in terms of representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy, and this usage is still employed by many viewing themselves as "republicans". Wikipedia

      June 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
    • Simon

      Dennis, you wrote: "Actually we are a republic. Democracies validate that every voice will be heard equally, nd in full practice may work on a small scale. Our founding fathers understood the mentality of the mob, and instead put a republic in place instead. It works wonderfuly, lest we become a nation that flies off the handle at the latest polling numbers."

      Actually, you are very wrong. Republic and Democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. The USSR was a republic, China is a republic, and the US is a republic. It just so happens only one of those is a democracy (the US). We have the power to vote and elect leaders, which makes this a democracy. Being a republic simply means you have an empowered class who rule on behalf of the populace, it makes not assertion as to the manner of their selection, qualification or their right to rule.

      June 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  15. Luke

    I believe this notion was started and gained momentum on Sam Harris' Reason Project. Seems to be gaining ground across the country now.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  16. Yatta!

    The only thing I don't like about this

    is that there aren't MORE SIGNS LIKE THIS AROUND!

    Love it!

    June 23, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  17. Haha oh wow

    "The Pledge was originally written in 1892 by a Baptist minister who made no reference to religion in his version."

    Christian Status
    [ ] Told
    [X] FREAKIN' TOLD

    June 23, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Don B

      'Told'? huh?

      June 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  18. Mush

    >"Notice anything missing?" Nope, the billboard looks great to me!!

    June 23, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Nicole

      Me too! I am glad us atheists are becoming more bold. From experience, I would trust any atheist over anyone who believes in God. I don't want to put anyone down but maybe there are some of us just more evolved on the culture scale because we can use our higher thought process to differentiate right from wrong.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Greg

      I'm in full agreement too.
      Maintaining a position of healthy skepticism, agnosticism or outright atheism opens one up to the
      LAST, FINAL form of openly tolerated persecution and ridicule.
      Perhaps, just perhaps, when parents and schools start teaching young people
      HOW to think, instead of WHAT to think, religion may finally be relegated to the chapters in human history dedicated to our infancy – which it's time we move beyond.

      June 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • dp

      Looks great to me! BTW , the "under god" nonsense was only added in the early 50s during the McCarthy era. The original pledge didn't have it.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • LB Colorado

      So you say take Him out, well good luck with that and let me know how that is working for you. You will probably say great, cause you do not know any better. I don't want to hear it when your world gets shook right to your core person. He is who He is and you or anyone else cannot change that. God is bigger than you, He brought you in and He can take you out, just as you have done to Him.

      June 25, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  19. Reality

    Hopefully, it will never say "Under Allah"!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • SensibleAmerican

      @Reality "Hopefully, it will never say 'Under Allah'!!!!"

      If you truly knew even the basics of theological history, you'd know that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all Abrahamic religions with belief in the same one God. So guess what, if you're a Christian, you're already praying to Allah, you just call Him by a different name.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • sbp1

      It's comments like yours which simply prove that phrases like "In God We Trust" have no business on government property (like money). The religious right insists it's not discriminatory, it doesn't advocate one religion over another. As long as it's the "right" religion/god. You put "In Vishnu We Trust" on a coin and suddenly there's no place for religion in government.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Reality

      SensibleAmerican,

      Actually Abraham, as per 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis, never existed. So we have all this strife in the world based on a myth. Analogous strife is based on the myth of "flying, wingie thingies" known as angels aka fairies or tinkerbells.

      To wit:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tinkerer" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • sbp1

      Sorry, didn't catch your sarcasm in the OP.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • jonathan

      Well if our principal language ever becomes Arabic then Allah will be appropriate LOL:)

      June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • Don B

      The pledge should have never been changed to have "Under insert any deity's name here" into it!

      This is not a christian nation, it's a nation where anyone can believe anything they wish. Religion is a waste of energy and worrying about the boogie man showing up is for children.

      Get a life and open your eyes

      June 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Abd al-Latif

      This "Reality" guy seems to have no life. He uses every article on CNN as another excuse to attack us Muslims, who are essentially a tiny, powerless minority in this country. "Reality," don't you have a job or some other hobby? Now just to inform you, "Reality," the word "Allah" in Arabic means "the God" or "the Deity" in that language. Christian Arabs also use the word "Allah," as do Christians in Malaysia and Indonesia, etc. I realize you think you know everything about Islam, but since the Qur'an is written in Arabic, maybe you should learn at least one Arabic word. Start with "Allah." Then get back to me.

      June 25, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • Reality

      Abd al-Latif stop and think about Islam. It relys solely on the mythical revelations made by a mythical angel named Gabriel to a womanizing, warmongering Arab named Mohammed. Don't you think it is about time to start thinking like an adult living in the 21st century. Your imam should be ashamed to continue this Islamic con game!!!

      June 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Abd al-Latif stop and think about Islam. It relies solely on the mythical revelations made by a mythical angel named Gabriel to a womanizing, warmongering Arab named Mohammed. Don't you think it is about time to start thinking like an adult living in the 21st century. Your imam should be ashamed to continue this Islamic con game!!!

      June 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  20. Bonk :3

    About time too. Nothing wrong with a little advertising. It still makes me sick when I see a certain billboard every day I drive home. Just a billboard that says, basically "Lets all pray for jesus to hurry back, come let us pray together for his quick return" and that's it. Of course any christian driving by is all over it, probably tossing out a quick prayer every time they drive by. For me it's sorta creepy to think about considering it seems like a billboard that says "hey guys lets pray to die so we can hurry up and see him".

    I'm really proud of Warren't quote though. “It’s a pretty innocuous message. If someone sees controversy in the message, they’re looking for controversy.”

    Remember folks, if there's a pro-jesus billboard or church bullatin that you drive by and see, it's ok. But if it's an anti-jesus billboard, oh boy lets complain and go to CNN FORUMS AND CYBER-FIGHT ABOUT IT! 🙂

    June 23, 2010 at 11:07 am |
    • Nate

      And this one's not even anti-Jesus, it's just pro-America and they are still having a fit. I thought Christianity was supposed to be about tolerance and love, not exclusion & alienation.

      June 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jessie Ware, Horn Lake, MS

      Lord you are in control, deal with this as you will. I would not want to be the on responsible for paying nor the one hanging when you decide enough is enough.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • jonathan

      Sorry Nate Activist Christianity is all about us against them..It'll be some time before these types of Christians if they ever do come to their senses .. ...it's their reaction to being rejected, which means they are stony ground according to the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke of in Matthew 8; Mark 4; and Luke 8....forgive them Father for they know not what they do ...

      June 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • PeterMo

      Folks, this is really disturbing. Our country and Consitution is built upon Christian values and belief in a God. If you don't like it, move to Iran or Iraq and enjoy their beliefs and government control. This disgusts me.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • bostonjim

      so, just to be clear- those who object to the influence of religion on government should move to a theocracy? That seems...counterproductive. By the way, our nation was founded on principles of the enlightenment and our laws are based predominantly on British common law- not Christianity.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Unconscious

      But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
      – Thomas Jefferson

      Clearly you know more about how our nation was founded than him

      June 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ana

      The headline is misleading; sensationalistic over nothing. Just gives commentors a chance to rant at each other.
      And for the record (pardon me if this has been stated already) the phrase "under God" was added to the flag salute and such in 1952. Enough already. Enough of ignorance and Texas style mis-education.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Greg

      PeterMo wrote:
      "Folks, this is really disturbing. Our country and Consitution is built upon Christian values and belief in a God. If you don't like it, move to Iran or Iraq and enjoy their beliefs and government control. This disgusts me."

      Sorry PeterMo, but you are in sorry need of a history lesson.
      You could not possibly be more demonstrably incorrect.

      June 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jeff

      @PeterMo

      I hate to bring this up, but most of the founding fathers were not Christian as many Americans are today; rather they were deists. Deism, is the belief in a higher power, who is often referred to as "the watchmaker," because he built the world/universe/whatever and walked away. Furthermore, have you ever heard of a Jeffersonian Bible? It's almost the same as the King James Version, except it leaves out all of the miracles and mysticism, but keeps the morals and lessons.

      June 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Lokari

      PeterMo wrote "Our country and Consitution is built upon Christian values and belief in a God."

      It never ceases to amaze me that there are still willfully ignorant people spouting – and apparently believing – this line of crap. Repeating a falsehood over and over still does not make it true!

      June 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • Christopher

      There is no 'god' when it comes down to it. The whole idea is meant to keep people in servitude to religious idiots and powermongers, who want people to live their lives the way that THEY dictate to them they should live their lives.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:20 am |
    • EJK

      @PeterMo: The Treaty of Tripoli was unanimously approved by the Senate in 1797, then signed by John Adams. It said, in part, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

      You are, quite simply, wrong. Your claim was refuted more than 200 years ago by John Adams himself, perhaps one of the most religious of our Founding Fathers. If he could accept it, perhaps you could also?

      June 24, 2010 at 6:40 am |
    • Ken

      You could debate whether the country was founded on "christianity" all you want, but people who attempt to revise history so as to make it appear that the founding fathers were not religious are just plain ignorant. Were they rapid christian conservatives who would advocate some of the over religion of today, probably not...but read your declaration of independence, the terms God and Creator are there for all to read. Interpret as you will, but whether they were christian, muslim or druids is beside the point, they didn't follow an atheist path and would probably not condone the atheist idea of confronting religion and trying to eliminate the term "god" from government. You people try to get others to buy into this idea that "god" only came into the government vernacular in the 50's.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Terri

      Our country was founded on God and if you don't like it move! I'm thinking it would be worse for you elsewhere!

      June 24, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • Jesus

      People forget that the "under God" insertion was done in the early 1950s as a political statement to counter what the then political personalities viewed as the Soviet's "godless communism". This was all a by-product of the McCarthy era. Before that unfortunate part of our history in the early 1950s, "God" was not on our currency or in our Pledge (and it isn't in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence).

      June 24, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Julia

      "Under God" wasn't a part of the Pledge until 1956. It's not a sin to remove it because it was nothing but Cold War propaganda in the first place. Despite being a secular nation, Americans needed something to separate themselves from "those godless Communists." America is not a Theocracy. Christians have no right to get butthurt.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • William

      The Evangelical Dumbing Down of our Nation is the worst thing that ever happened to the U.S.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Ponter B

      @ Terri – "Our country was founded on God and if you don't like it move! I'm thinking it would be worse for you elsewhere!"

      Yeah I hear those European countries are real toliets with their Healthcare systems, decent public transportation systems, higher educational stats, and more open and accepting social norms. Yeah sounds like really bad places.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • screwgod

      This post and the responses to it pretty much demonstrate what's wrong with Christians.

      1. They are ignorant about history
      2. They deliberately choose to remain ignorant
      3. They try to impress those ignorant beliefs on to other people

      That they are allowed to teach their children this misinformation is appalling, and detrimental to society.

      Teaching children religion= brainwashing. Pure and simple. Normally the "education" begins before the child's mind has had a chance to fully mature, leaving them unprotected from the religious drivel that masquerades as truth.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • mat

      Maybe you would prefer sharia law?

      June 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • John S.

      This is very hypocritical. The sign says "One Nation, Indivisible," but the SOLE PURPOSE of this sign is to DIVIDE the Nation.

      June 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • Dave

      This is America. Christian or Atheist, I don't have to emigrate to please anybody.

      June 27, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • GOD

      If they're making so much fuss over the "...under God," part, they should take "indivisible," off too.
      Then, when they're finished arguing about it, it's not really "one nation," anymore, is it?
      So, I say just put one of two words up; "one," or "nation." (LOL – GOD)

      June 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • lili

      "hey guys lets pray to die so we can hurry up and see him".
      you make sense and that is creepy

      June 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • timothy

      I know, lets get all the decendents of the original founding fathers together and let them decide what their ancestors intended...a secular state? or one where the head of state is also the head of the church?...like England. Oh, thats right, they were rejecting all those bad features of being a british subject, hence the Bill of Rights. Free speech? freedom of the press? not allowed under British law....carry a weapon? not allowed under British law...the right to gather, no cruel or unusual punishment..etc.etc. They had just fought a bloody war to trow off British law, so they wrote a constitution and amendments to counter what was wrong with the british government they were rejecting. The freedom of religion was so important they dealt with it up front, in the first amendment..."Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof." A secular government, under which citizens can hold whatever belief they so choose....because in England, the King or Queen is the head of the church...the Church of England...and regardless of what individuals believed personally, they still were required to support the official State Religion. Less than 100 years earlier, people were being burned at the stake for having personal beliefs that differed from the State Religion. And, depending on who sat on the throne, that State Religion could change, and subjects had to change their beliefs or suffer death or imprisonment, confiscation of property, and government-santioned hate crimes.

      Thats the reason that our founding fathers specifially wanted a secular government, a government that was not involved in establishing one's personal beliefs. The words "under god" should never have been added to the 'Pledge' or printed on our money, no matter how scary Sen. McCarthy was....the nation had done quite well for many years without this "establishment of religion." THe Supreme Court, if they weren't scared of being branded 'communists', should have immediately struck down this law as unconstitutional. Highest praise for the billboard campaign upholding our Constitution!

      July 6, 2010 at 5:57 am |
    • iBlackberry

      It is completely irrelevant whether Adams and Jefferson were Christians or not and whether USA was founded as a Christian nation or not. That was a few centuries ago. In the meantime, society and its values have changed and progressed. Secularism is the way to go. I am not saying that because I am an atheist (I AM an atheist, btw), but because secularism clearly puts all members of the society in an equal position, it does not favor any members over others. In a secular society you are free to believe and not to believe and government takes an impartial stance. Now, who can object to that?

      October 5, 2010 at 5:01 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.