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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. Sam

    Atheism is just another religion. Its believers are more bigoted and intolerant about the beliefs of others. Atheists hate people who believe in God. They have not become atheists after years of introspection and inquiry. They chose not to believe in God due to a variety of reasons and from this starting point hunted for facts which could support their stance. It is sad that the atheistic view which is a mere philosophy and is not supported by any evidence is being taught to school children under the garb of science. The theory of evolution and the big bang are philosophical theories and yet they have been accorded the status of proven truth. They have weird beliefts that butterflies which have a life span of one day actually experimented with colour combinations and finally managed beautiful skin tones for themselves. An even more bizarre belief is that hot gases formed stellar systems on their own. Something like if you seat a monkey before a typewriter and give it a couple of million years it will come up a BIBLE. What is amazing is the arrogance and pomposity of the people who believe such crap.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chris

      What you just said makes it very clear that you are in fact a person who is "bigoted and intolerant", much less somebody who cares to understand where another group of people gets their beliefs and ideas from. Atheism is NOT a religion. Religion is a statement of belief in something. Atheism is simply the absence of belief in a higher power. That does not mean complete denial of the POSSIBILITY of the existence of a deity, but simply an admission that we do not have enough evidence commit to belief in a certain God or religion. This is not a matter of science vs. religion. We believe in science, because scientific theories are by definition backed by evidence. Religion is belief in something that "feels right" or "seems right" somehow but for which there is no conclusive evidence. The "weird theories" of science come from experimentation, testing, and observation. Where does your belief humans were created from dirt come from? Where does your belief that Adam and Eve sailed around on a boat with two animals of each species come from? A book is the answer to that question, and unfortunately, anybody can write a book and claim that it was God's word.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Biff

      What about agnostics – those who believe that the existence or nonexistence of any diety is at least unknown, and probably unknowable? I'll take your point that atheism arguably requires a level of faith in a manner analogous to religious faith without debating your specific statements. that said, if faith is a blessing, then isn't reasoned skepticism – a hallmark of agnosticism – a necessary step on the road to that blessing? if not, why not? if one has never been skeptical or considered his/her beliefs critically, how strong could that faith really be? seems to me that any human who believes that he has the answers to the universe is a bit arrogant, no offense intended.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Drew

      I hate to break it to you Sam but as an atheist myself, my two closest friends who've I've known for over 20 years now are probably the most religious I know of. I would do anything for them as they would do anything for me. We put our personal beliefs aside and get along great. We've had discussions about religion without fighting or hating each other. We understand each others stance, they choose to continue believing as I don't believe. So don't be that bigoted stereotypical person that makes themselves look like an idiot online. You clearly don't know what your talking about and you're likely the reason other Christians or religious people think us good people who just happen to not believe in some magic sky man are horrible people.

      And for the record, atheism is not a religion, it's just a term to describe those that lack belief in a god or supreme being. There's nothing religious about it.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Rinoa

      It is a lack of belief. There are no gods, deities, saints, myths, holy scriptures, dogmas, principals of truth, sacred holidays, tenants of faith in atheism. It is not a religion.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • khan

      Atheism is not a religion Sam, though religion today is more than just a bunch of beliefs written in some book. Religion brings people together under a banner (diffreent banners) and fight for their cause. Like any other prejudice – race, ethnicity etc it has the power to unite. So when you see atheists speak out similar things together, people like you get confused because you are so used to put everything in a bucket – Catholicisms, Islam, Protestants...
      While it is true that there are some unproven theories in science today, hell even Goldbach Conjecture is unproven, Atheists accept some such theories over religion until either a proof or a rebuttal is submitted.
      It is the case of freedom of thought as against dogmatic belief in irrational and outdated doctrines that distinguishes it from religion.

      June 25, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  2. JoeP

    Robert Holt – "If you die without accepting Jesus as your Savior, it is simply too late."

    So what of the unevangelized?? Are they simply "marked for destruction"?? To be tortured for eternity having never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel seems particularly unjust, particularly if a person has led a good and moral life. For the sake of argument lets say you died today and it turned out that the one true religion was, say, Islam – do you feel that you should be made to suffer for all of eternity essentially for not having been born into a Muslim society??

    "This is not a scare tactic to control people, it is a warning from people who care."

    I think you make an important point because there are a lot of non-Christians who don't seem to understand that most Christians are genuinely caring people who quote/unquote "preach at them" simply because they don't want to see other people go to Hell.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  3. JoeP

    Although I suspect that you will go on to tell me why that verse doesn't really say what it appears to say. I'll start it off for you – "Yeah but what the Jesus *really* meant to say was _______________"

    June 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  4. Jack Jones

    I'm afraid for this country. There is now a culture of people that are celebrating holidays such as Eid and Diwali, and atheists who can think of gay rights at the office. All of you, Forgot Christ the only way to heaven? Look at all those stupid atheists – Please burn in eternal fire for the desecration of God one day and in all cases. I'm not stupid like you want to, atheist, which predicted that in the Bible. Maybe someday you please read everything.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Luke

      Interesting arguement. You are an atheist too. Do you follow the words of Thor? Apollo? Poseidion? Indeed, you are, but I just take it one god further. I never really liked this word atheist anyway. We don't have a word a-astronomer for those that are not astronomers.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Jack Jones

      Luke, You assume that The LORD is equal to the false gods. Ten Commandments, they explain the flaws in your thinking ... maybe you arrogant atheist, you must learn them.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • verify

      As an a-Poseidonist, Jack Jones, you will be going down to Tartarus.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Luke

      Gods can be unequal? I haven't heard that one before. Could you please show me a ranking of the top 15 gods and their duties? And I already know the ten commandments. Two of them are actually useful and apply to a working society. The remaining eight bare no meaning to advanced civilizations. They also do not outlaw genocide or slavery, meaning that your ten commandments are not fully inclusive of a moral society. In fact, the bible, indeed, condones genocide, slavery, wife beating, the selling of children and ritual killings of your wife. Sorry, I'll take a pass.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • verify

      Your "LORD" is every bit as false as the rest of them.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Jack Jones: We atheists do not "assume" anything. We want you to provide verifiable evidence that your god exists. That is all we ask. You are the one claiming to have all the answers. Please provide proof, facts and verifiable evidence to your claims.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Jim Jones

      @ Eric G.

      The Banana qq

      June 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Jim Jones: LOL, I love that one. Now, if you would have mentioned Bananna Daiquiri, I might have gotten on board with divine intervention.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Luke

      Jim Jones – The banana? Eh? Have you ever seen an indigenous banana anyway? The ones you are used to eating have been selectively bread to be easy on the eyes and easier to eat. Naturally occurring bananas look and taste nothing like the ones you buy at the grocery store. Do a quick google search, mind you.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Jack Jones

      The banana, wild or domesticated, is proof of God's beautiful creation. Ray Comfort, Ken Ham–my two heroes and I hope that they continue to battle against the darkness of secular atheistic evolutionary philosophy.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  5. JoeP

    Tom – "This is misinformed theology. Christians don't live by Old Testament law anymore. Invalid argument."

    Apparently Jesus disagrees – "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

    June 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tom

      Interesting. My Bible reads in Matthew 22:34-39:

      34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
      36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

      The Law, being the Old Testament behavior described in the Pentateuch (the first 5 books) to the Israelites.

      I get the feeling we are on the same page as to what we believe, but it's important to understand grace, which is why Jesus was sent to earth. I'm not saying we can't learn and abide by the Old Testament, but that was before Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Luke

      Tom – good to see you using the same arguments down here and ignoring everything where I lit you up earlier in the thread and never replied.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tom

      Luke – I actually did reply in a long dissertation about carbon-14, the geologic column, the firmament, and various other topics foiling your argument about "concrete" evidence, but for some reason it didn't post and I wasn't going to type it again. If you would like to continue this debate on a grander, not so time limited scale, I will be glad to show you faults in any argument you present.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Luke

      There are no serious faults in carbon-14 dating or the other practices you mention from legitimate scientists. I note that legitimate is the key word of the previous sentence and that I am aware of arguments from neophyte scientists that try to inject religion into scientific research. Said scientists are not respected by their peers, nor is their work.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Tom

      Luke – If you don't see the flaws in C-14 dating, then I see the flaws in your research. C-14 dating is based on many assumptions; mainly the assumption that there is an equilibrium of C-14 in the atmosphere and the earth's soil. I'm still waiting for your "concrete" evidence. And please, be specific and site which scientists you use in your argument.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Chris

    A Christian died and didn't go to heaven, because heaven most likely doesn't exist. Instead his remains became part of a tree that grew and flourished. Eventually, another ignorant Christian came along and cut down the tree, made it into paper, and printed the Bible on him to spread the word to other morons who also came to believe that they would go to heaven.

    June 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  7. Marco Rubio

    I read this article after seeing the headline on cnn.com. But i'm now realizing that cnn has this posting on a blog page called Belief Blog. That is pretty sad really. That there are enough people so enamored with religion that CNN had to take up space on the internet with a blog devoted to articles about religion is a shame. Religion hurts people and causes misery in the world.

    June 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Eric G.

      God doesn't kill people. People who believe in god kill people. Cheesus is lard!!!!!

      June 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  8. Eric G.

    An atheist died and because he was not a believer, he gets sent downstairs. So Satan puts him in a room and cranks up the heat to about 100 degrees with 90% humidity. Satan comes back a while later and the man is smiling. Satan says "what are you smiling about?". The man says "This takes me back to when I was a kid on the farm in Michigan, hot and humid. Brings back a lot of good memories." So, Satan takes the temp down to 5 below zero and leaves him in there. He comes back to see the man still smiling. Satan asks "What are you smiling about now?!?!?". The man says "It's a cold day in hell, the Lions must have won the Superbowl!"

    June 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Marcellus

      Hey Eric, you can say hell. You don't have to say "downstairs". Literally NOTHING will happen to you if you say the word hell.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • Eric G.

      I didn't want the cnn thought police to delete my comment as offensive.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  9. Ponter B

    My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-A** Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.

    June 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tom

      .... This is misinformed theology. Christians don't live by Old Testament law anymore. Invalid argument.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  10. Drew

    Okay, to those that are religious, there's one thing you need to know and that is using scripture and passages to debate others is like trying to put a forest fire out with a water gun, you're just wasting not only your own time but everyone else's time. Come up with something on your own to hold your own argument besides reading from the bible.

    June 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  11. Eric G.

    The universe is about 13.7 billion years old. (14 for arguments sake). Scientists (including the Vatican) are in agreement about that. Let's take that 14 billion years and put it on a time line of 1 year, with midnight on jan 1 as the big bang. That means that the first life on earth was about June 1. The Dinosaurs were born on about Christmas and died out 5 days later. Humans came around at 12:58 pm on December 31st. Jesus would have been born at about 12:59:58 and Galileo about a second later. That means we have been working on understanding and explaining the natural world's 1 year history for about a second. We will continue to find answers. Where we have not found an answer, we should not just write it off to magic.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Luke

      I have always enjoyed that metaphor, but have always found this one better. Stretch your arms out horizontal to the floor. If this represents the timeline of the birth of the universe, humans have been around for about one atom on your fingertip.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • screwgod

      And if you want to figure out how long a god has been around, it's about half of that second, or half of that atom.

      Because as we all know, humans invented gods.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Drew

      @screwgod,

      It's not even a half second. Current form or forms of humans roughly been here for 3 million years, religion or gods created just a few thousand years ago. We first had to learn to control fire, which led to socializing around the fire while learning to cook the game that was killed that then led to art of language and communication, so on... Perhaps more like 1/100th of a second gods have been around. 😉

      June 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • John Anner

      Nice try but your premise is flawed sir. The earth is 10,000 Years Old and the LORD has been around for all of it.

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/

      June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @John Anner: Whew!!!! I gotta tell you, when I saw your post, I thought you were serious! Then, I went to your link and realized you were just kidding. Or........ do you really think that is scientific theory? If so, then I appologize. You are obviously impaired in some way that I am not aware of. Enjoy your chicken nuggets.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  12. JoeP

    Also if I do end up going to Hell, I'm sure I'll adjust to the heat after an hour or so. Like how a hot tub seems really hot when you first get in but then you sorta get used to it.

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

      awesome comment.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  13. JoeP

    USN_Atheist – Wouldn't an all-knowing, omnipotent god already know about your time here, what is in your heart and everything about you? Just saying....

    Yeah I know, I was just anthropomorphizing God for sake of the argument.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  14. Ken from FL

    Most of the Founding Fathers were not deists, now were they believers in space aliens, as a recent History Channel special purported to show. Most were, in fact, devout Christians, theists. Alexander Hamilton is a prime example. Too much is made of the Jefferson Bible. Jefferson was a Deist, who also rejected the divinity of Christ and edited his own version of the New Testament to reflect his faith. He did value Jesus' moral teachings, which he deemed to be a perfect ethical system. It is an intellectual and historical curiosity; nothing more. It was not passed around among the other Founding Fathers, who continually made it a point of expressing their faith and their belief that only a country based on such faith could survive.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • screwgod

      Ken- you should try reading about the founding father from a source that doesn't lie. And what I mean by that is to stop going to church. They brainwash and lie to you. That's actually the point, if you didn't know.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  15. 2min4cc

    Religion was created by man to control other men. plain and simple. You must live your life the way I say so becuase your way is wrong and must die if you dont. Yeah... thats real ethical and moral huh. Because the Bible tells me so???? Ha....

    June 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  16. JoeP

    Robert Holt – "I wonder what they will do when after spending a lifetime of fighting God right and left, that Day finally comes when they stand before Him."

    I'll simply explain that with my time on earth I tried to live a good life and not hurt others, that I often made mistakes but I tried to make amends whenever possible and to learn from my mistakes. I'll let him know that I wasn't "rebelling" against Him like some leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding teenager giving the finger to authority, I simply did not believe in His existence, based on the evidence that I was presented. I will then acknowledge Him as the one true God, and appeal to His infinite mercy.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • USN_Atheist

      Wouldn't an all-knowing, omnipotent god already know about your time here, what is in your heart and everything about you? Just saying....

      June 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Robert Holt

      Joe, that’s a nice thought but I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. I don’t make the rules. When I said “I wonder what they will do…” I meant it in the sense of “they’re doomed”. The time to experience God’s mercy is while you are still here on Earth. If you die without accepting Jesus as your Savior, it is simply too late. The time for mercy is past. You’re guilty and there’s no getting around it. It isn’t called Mercy Day, it isn’t called “You’re On Trial” Day. It’s called Judgment Day for a reason. You might not be able to recognize it, but at a certain level you are rebelling against God. This is not a scare tactic to control people, it is a warning from people who care. Turn from your arrogance.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  17. rik

    The old testament god is alive and well in America. It is evident in the hateful way many religious conservatives wish punishment on those who disbelieve. I know they have a direct line to god, so I wish they could get him to answer me. I have a bone to pick with how he runs his domain. If smiting were truly within his power, I would be a pile of ash. Please don't pray for me. Thanks anyway

    June 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  18. Robert Holt

    I think anyone can do better things with their time than to try to remove the words “under God” from the pledge. I often wonder about those individuals true intentions. I wonder what they will do when after spending a lifetime of fighting God right and left, that Day finally comes when they stand before Him. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17). “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts…” (2 Peter 3:3). Jesus, who could have been their Savior, is now their Judge.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ponter B

      @Robert Holt – And I think some peoples time can be better spent not telling others who they can and cannot marry.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  19. JoeP

    I just find it weird that a lot of Christians seem to believe that the Bible provides some sort of absolute moral framework, seeing as how most Christians appear to believe that scripture is open to interpretation. If you allow someone to interpret the Bible based on what they think it means, and to cherry-pick which passages to follow and which to ignore, then the Bible becomes more like a mirror that reflects their preconceived notions of what is virtuous or immoral. It's easy to see this on a societal level – a couple hundred years ago the Bible was often cited by those who wished to defend the practice of slavery in America. Today, not so much. God's Word remained unchanged, but we as a people recognized the inherent evil of slavery, in spite of what the Bible says.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Drew

      So true. Morals have changed over time, words in the bible have not. Man wrote bible, so man created moral values from the beginning and over time man has changed moral values as our advancement in society and life continues to evolve and change.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  20. thetruth

    So how many of you atheists have actually gone and read that whole article? I am sure at some point you will become very uncomfortable. Even the brightest minds today cannot dispute these fact and the principles of physics. But I am sure some of you here can right?
    Every relationship between everything in this physical world is based on principles of cause and effect…oh except the actually physical universe itself. It just popped out of nowhere right? Come now.
    And even more, no one who ever existed ever had even a remote clue about what we don’t know about what we don’t know with regards to the world beyond the physical. This is where God exists and lives.
    We humans haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of discovering how things even work in this physical world let alone how they were made. Oh, but you atheists know for a fact there is no God right? Please.
    Consider this at the most basic level…. at least with those who believe in the existence of God we are basing it on things that match up to actual scientific data and principles of the physical world we know. Ie. every single effect (which is everything) in this physical world has a cause thus it stands to reason that the universe we live in, which is an effect , was also caused by something. Common sense and scientific conclusion prevail here.
    So what is the atheist’s basis for there not being a God? Let me try – every single effect in this physical world has a cause but the one and only exception to this is with the creation of the physical universe itself. This just created itself and came into being by ?????
    Do I get that right?

    June 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Ponter B

      I never stated their wasn't a creative force(weather it be a black hole worm hole explosion, a part of another Universe breaking off, a computer similation of an alien being :), etc etc.). I simply don't believe in your creative Christian force.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • thetruth

      so athiest are or are not looking for scientific fact??? Doesn't sound like it -please make up your minds. These things I speak of here are principles and facts from the brightest scientific minds from the history of our world. They are not conjecture or an attempt at science fiction or as you put it "Alien beings"

      June 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • rik

      Really you don't have it right. Cause and effect linkage is broken in many processes studied today. The basis iof atheism and agnosticism is that it is beyond the current human realm to know if their is or is not a god. You can believe it but that is not knowing. Therein lies the difference. Atheist decry the negative impact religion does/ and has done to humankind throughout history. No one disagrees humans are capable of very good work and thoughts. But religion is not the source of this. Cherry picking passages to support your world view is not proof. The written works of mankind are full of positive and negative statements which a applicable to modern life.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ponter B

      @thetruth – What are you on about? I think you're trying to do the God is in the details argument, but all that leads back to is math and science. It's doesn't prove an invisible being, with a pretty mediocre book in my opinion, is behind it.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Drew

      @Ponter B

      "I simply don't believe in your creative Christian force."

      There's nothing creative about Christianity, they have borrowed and ripped off from so many other religions or ideas, it's far from creative or original. 😉

      June 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • thetruth

      Rik – Name one scientifically verified exception to the law of cause and effect. Not current hypothesis.
      You are absolutely correct –“You can believe it but that is not knowing.”
      Of course none of us “know”.
      However, what we “believe” should be based on factual /empirical data and as always with everything in life, common sense, reason and personal observations should be added to the equation.
      If all trees are, and always have been made of wood, and it has been proven beyond a doubt over and over, what would make me believe that any trees ever would not have been made of wood? Why would I go completely against logic and all that has been observed and proven and say that the first tree ever was not made of wood, but that all others afterwards were? This is the same logic pattern as I exampled before that is being followed.
      Again, taking facts and combining it with personal observation and common sense. It does take all of this data together to arrive at a sensible “belief”, not just each on its own accord or combinations of what best fits our purpose.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:17 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.