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June 28th, 2010
03:37 PM ET

Secularist billboard defaced

It was meant to be controversial: a billboard campaign with the message "One Nation Indivisible," purposely leaving out the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegience. Over the weekend, vandals replaced those words on one of the signs with spray paint. Full story

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Belief • Culture wars

soundoff (435 Responses)
  1. texokie

    One way to look at this: since the words's "Under God" have not been officially removed, the first defacing occurred when the sign was first put up. But then, there's the matter of freedom of speech.

    June 29, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Frogstomp

      Or you could say the first defacing was when the words "under god" were added to the pledge in 1958.

      June 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Kate

      That is indeed what I would say. The Christians just had to 'pee' on the pledge and stick religion in it when it specifically was excluded to include all Americans.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  2. texokie

    WWJD? Trying to trap Jesus, the scribes asked "Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar? Show me a coin, Jesus said. Whose image is on it? Caesar's, they replied. Jesus answered, then give to Caesar's what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

    Seems to me the flag and our coins belong to Caesar. I don't need God's name on coins or flags to believe in God.

    June 29, 2010 at 11:28 am |
    • Hahahaha

      Awesome statement. I agree.

      June 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  3. One Of Many Pagans Amongst You

    Personally, I'd love to see what would happen if someone put up a "Blessings of the Goddess be upon you," or something similar. Watch the sparks fly THEN! Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. *NOTE* That said "Freedom of RELIGION," not "Freedom of CHRISTIANITY."

    June 29, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • Reality

      For complete disclosure, the Horned God should get equal billing with the Triple Goddess along with a few voodoo dolls.

      June 29, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • missadr

      I'm a Christian and I would feel grateful. I often wonder why today's pagans don't do more to make people aware of their religions. Perhaps their strength is their downfall. Avoiding "organized" religion leaves you... well... disorganized. Wish you guys could get it together. Most christians (as well as other religions) know that God isn't only male. We sure could use some help learning about God's feminine aspects, among other things.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  4. Vivian

    Why is it that there has to be an 'extremist' in almost every thing? This is crossing the line and it is not 'that' bad of a sign. What has been done is plain wrong, wrong, wrong! When they catch whoever did this they should pay the $15k and/or jail time. I posted comments on the original 'secular billboard' blog so I won't repeat myself here. I didn't read the comments b/c it isn't worth my time. I just wanted to say this is a crime and hope they get good video-tape!!!!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  5. USALove

    Even if you hate Christians...that is the Pledge of Allegience of the greatest country on this earth. No one should with that. Ever.

    June 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • steve88

      the pledge of allegiance should be for all Americans, as it traditionally and originally was. As "under god" divides the nation into believers and non-believers, and was implemented in the 1950's. =/

      June 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Kate

      So you are saying the Christians shouldn't have stuck in that 'under god' bit in 54 when they did it to scare the commie atheists?

      July 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • todd

      Under God wasn't even meant to be religious. It was a political statement. It should be taken out since it really does use the Lord's name in vain.

      July 1, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  6. Ryan

    If you're going to deface something, at least put some effort into it. This is just being lazy...although, I'm not totally suprised

    June 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • USN_Atheist

      Calligraphy would be nice...and challenging too if wrote from the top of the sign.

      June 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  7. garc

    ...because, y'know, Jesus was all about smacking down/going to war with people who didn't agree with him, right?

    June 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  8. Paul

    Way to have respect for other people's property.

    Turning the other cheek, I see?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  9. Sir Craig

    Along with all those insipid "God" billboards ("Let's meet at my house before the game. –God"), there is another one here in Omaha I pass by every once in a while: "When you die, You WILL meet God." An incredibly declarative statement, based on nothing other than a collection of fairy tales, yet this billboard and all those others have yet to see a single blemish brought about by us godless heathens.

    Christian Morality: You're doing it WRONG. (Unless hypocrisy and being thin-skinned are Christian values.)

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • texokie

      To discover the difference between fairy tales and Christianity, read "Little Red Riding Hood", and after that some Saint Paul or maybe the book of Wisdom.

      June 29, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • USN_Atheist

      @ texokie – There is a difference??? What, no wolf in g'ma's clothing in the bible? Oh wait, yea there is alot of wolves calling themselves something else in the bible.

      June 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mike

      Little Red Riding hood has fewer internal inconsistencies and contradictions?

      June 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Kate

      Not to mention was more moral in it's 'lesson'.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • RAWoD

      (texokie) Which of the now 76 revisions of the KJB are you believing in?
      There was'nt a single revision to Little Red Ridding Hood - why don't you read up on the 1st and 2nd "great awakenings" in the US during the 19th century. So many of the things you "hold with faith" were actually added by committee.

      July 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  10. wow

    Resorting to ad hominine, really? Good going.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  11. Bonk :3

    No joke, I actually called that this would happen in the article of this sign going up. I absolutely knew christians couldn't resist. No matter, but in all honesty, it's a shame was measures people will go to.

    To the kittycat above, oddly enough last time I mentioned how my town has a similar sign with the opposite, saying we should pray for him to come back (aka we die) so we can be with him. Never in a hundred years would I ever imagine myself going and vandalizing a sign like that. As much as it disgusts me and, sorry to sound christian here.. 'offends' me, I am at least reminded by this act that without this jesus fellow in their lives, they would probably wind up being worse. Some people seriously cannot function at the mere idea of their 'saving grace' being a lie; like the usual tear-filled outburts of a child realizing the santa ordeal which I think someone already covered above.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  12. Bonk :3

    No joke, I actually called that this would happen in the article of this sign going up. I absolutely knew christians couldn't resist. Though it has that spooky DejaVu feeling to it. No matter, but in all honesty, it's a shame was measures people will go to.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Mike

      I'm sure all 2,000,000 Christians around the globe got together and hatched a conspiracy to vandalize some sign in the middle of nowhere.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • crunch

      There are over 2,000,000,000 Christians in the world.

      June 30, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  13. Luke

    I do love Calm Down's "typical Atheist" comment. Clearly, this person has no idea what atheism actually is. What strikes me humorously is that Calm Down is an atheist too. He is atheist to Thor, Apollo and Poseidon. People like me just go one further, rejecting the claims of Yahweh, his god. I mean, it truly is quite funny.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • dave

      @wow. thanks I appreciate it. But seriously arguing on CNN is just dumb. we get it atheists and christians hate eachother............ and wow i bet you have aids

      June 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      I'm sorry to hear that both groups appear to "hate" each other. As a Christian, I don't hate atheists, secularlists or any other group. While many outspoke people in each of the groups probably like to slog it out and actually dislike each other, I'm guessing that most of us are in the middle, and we believe what we believe (be it God, nature, the power of humanity, nothing or another non-Christian religion).

      I think that each of us hopes that other people let us continue to do just that. Personally, I don't need others to agree with my views, but I do expect people to respect my right to hold them. In return, I try very hard to do the same. I do think that many Christians, secularists, atheists hope to do the same. And if they don't, it is often because they've met someone who didn't show them respect.

      Personally, I wish there was more conversations and less ranting. I think that one of our biggest problems is that group by our "faith" and we never learn to understand each other.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Kate

      If all you hear is hate, you aren't listening. Debate is not war and emotion is not bad. I am an atheist and I don't hate theists, not even the more foolish ones. I do however want to try to straighten out a lot of misconceptions and falsities that they constantly post.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  14. TheRationale

    Perhaps someone should counter-deface it by painting over God and put up The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • yes

      I'd fund it! 😀

      June 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • garc

      I too would chip in a few bucks.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • RAWoD

      The FSM makes more sense than any of the now 76 revisions to KJB.
      Would you religious nuts spend a little time and study how your bible was changed by committee during the first and second great awakenings of the 19th century.

      July 2, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  15. Child logic > religion

    Vandalizing for jesus!! Super legit, bro

    June 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Uh-huh

      From what I was taught in Sunday school, I don't think Jesus would agree.

      July 5, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  16. cat

    Typical christian. Oh no how dare they not agree with me, vandalizing time!

    I'm going to take a ride and go vandalize some church signs. Oh wait I won't because I have a sense of morality. Moreso than those 'filled with christ' have apparently. I swear they're like a bunch of whiney children when it comes to someone disagreeing with them, seriously. It's the santa argument that just -won't die-.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Calm Down

      You wouldn't vandalize a church sign because you could care less what it says. People vandalize this because this slaps everything they believe in the face.

      Get off your high horse and stop trying to act all Better than thou.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • cat

      I care tremendously what it says. They bother me greatly, they always have. Just what I need to see on the way to work every morning, signs telling me how I should look forward to dying. Why, that's a better way to start my day than coffee!

      Here comes the "we're going to act superior by telling you you're acting superior and should stop" argument. It's the runaround of the ages.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Calm Down

      "Here comes the "we're going to act superior by telling you you're acting superior and should stop" argument. It's the runaround of the ages."-wth?

      typical atheist

      June 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Calm Down

      ya you've already said that

      June 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • cat

      and it gets humerously proven over and over

      June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • steve88

      @calm down
      -people's beliefs or ideas, whatever they are (belief in a flying Spaghetti monsters, deities, or a lack of belief in them), shouldn't be unquestionable or completely respected without undue cause.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • USN_Atheist

      "You wouldn't vandalize a church sign because you could care less what it says. People vandalize this because this slaps everything they believe in the face."

      I wouldn't vandalize a church sign because it is unlawful, regardless of what it says or how I feel about it. I find absolute distaste at the large vans with a bloody aborted fetus that cruise around the city and yet I am not spraypainting over that.

      June 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Sarah

      At Calm Down, you clearly do not understand secularists and don't want to. The Pledge of Allegiance including the phrase "Under God", which it originally did NOT, is to use your phrase, a slap in the face to atheists, agnostics, secularists, polytheists, and anyone else who doesn't believe in the Christian monotheistic god. Muslims call their god Allah, how would you like it if the pledge was changed to say "Under Allah"? You and the rest of the Christian population would throw a fit – and yet, Muslim Americans are just as American as you are – regardless of how much you or anyone else stomps their foot and disagrees. But therein lies the problem, our "Indivisible" nation is clearly torn apart by the inclusion of any sort of religious reference in the Pledge of Allegiance, so why include anything religious at all? Its not like atheists are trying to get them to change it to "Under Science", we just want the pledge to be inclusive of everyone.

      I see religious signs every day and I disagree with them just as you disagree with the omission of "Under God" on this sign. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you probably would not have vandalized the sign as I would not vandalize a Christian sign. Putting up a sign is an act of free speech. The sign should not be a slap in the face to everything you believe because if you are confident and firm in your beliefs you should not care that there are people who disagree with you. Atheists don't put up signs advocating our beliefs for the sole intention of offending Christians, it just so happens that our two beliefs directly conflict. I find it interesting that Christians always think Atheists are being rude or offensive when we argue our beliefs, but we're not supposed to be offended when Christians argue theirs. I think Christians think atheists just don't believe in anything, which is not true. I believe in a lot of things, passionately. If we can have conversations and debates about politics, what makes religion off limits?

      Back to the topic at hand, the addition of "Under God" was made in the 1950s as an intentional slap in the face to atheist Russia. People began to associate atheism with communism even though the two are completely unrelated. High profile Christians in America, like Billy Graham, used this to their advantage and began to claim that anyone who did not embrace God was a commie. Politicians being politicians immediately began trying to prove how spiritual they were so as not to fall victim to the Red Scare or lose potential supporters. Eisenhower decided to make the addition of Under God in order to ensure that the Pledge was not so general that a country as "unpleasant" as Russia could use it. So in actuality, the changing of the pledge was meant to exclude atheists, something our Founding Fathers, the author of the Pledge, and anyone with objective thinking capability would find to be in direct contradiction with American values as stated in the First Amendment.

      June 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      @Sarah ... Awesome post. You hit the nail on the head.

      June 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Paul Ronco

      >> People vandalize this because this slaps everything they believe in the face.

      You're right. It's time to go burn a flag.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Woody

      Great post, Sarah. There is nothing that can divide an "Indivisible" nation quite like religion. Religion is the wedge of humanity. It always has been and always will be. Down through the centuries, it's always been "my god's better than your god, BANG you're dead".

      July 3, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Doug

      I find it fascinating that people like "CalmDown" would consider a billboard stating that we are "One nation, indivisible" "slaps everything they believe in the face." "One nation, indivisible" seems like a very straightforward, pro-American statement. Which part is a slap in the face? The "one nation" part, or the "indivisible" part?

      July 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  17. Calm Down

    Posting a Billboard like that is more offensive then posting the original pledge of allegiance. This is board is anti-God and anit-American. Why does everything have to be changed? because 5% of the population wants it to be? Atheists are the most religious people i know. When you care this much about something this is how you know that your non-belief is your religion.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Calm Up

      >5% of the population

      hahahahaha

      June 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • bostonjim

      Well, why did it have to be changed in the first place, back in the 50s? Would you have been so annoyed with the shift back then? The funny thing is we changed the pledge to differnetiate ourselves from the "godless Communists." Now, we are at war with militant religious fanatics. If ever there was a time to change it back- I would think that time is now.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • TheRationale

      Technically, the pledge is currently anti-American by including God in it because there is a strict demand for separation of church and state. But really, the secular point here is that the government should not be hypocritical in including religion in the pledge, which is currently in violation of the Establishment Clause.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Luke

      Calm Down – incorrect on so many levels.

      1) Not anti-god. It is pro secularism. You still can believe in god all you want. It reminds us that this country is secular and that the original pledge was secular.

      2) It is pro-American, not anti-American. The current pledge separates out millions from what was supposed to unite us.

      3) Current estimates of non-believers number in the 10% range and is the fastest rising group of Americans.

      4) You last statement doesn’t even make sense, so I can't debate it.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • Alverant

      If Atheism is a religion then...
      Off is a TV station
      Bald is a hair color
      Not playing PS3 games is a hobby

      Personally I'm tired of christian elitism. They've never proven their god exists or their religion is the right one yet think nothing of committing criminal acts or terrorism to force others to accept their claims.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • steve88

      Hey calm down... oh wait seems I was beaten to the punch by Luke. but everything he pretty much said. lol

      June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • AtheistVet

      Wow. The implication that you are only an American if you believe in a god is rather frightening. I didn't fight for liberty only to have some idiot tell me that I'm un-American. I'm guessing he/she has no idea what being an American means.

      June 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • garc

      "Why does everything have to be changed? because 5% of the population wants it to be?" The billboard was changed without its posters' prior approval. Does this mean 95% of the population, then, wanted it to be?

      June 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • jeff

      It's a push-back against religious dogma.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
    • NickB5

      Francis Bellamy (1855 – 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897). Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex. The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston. In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute – his 'Pledge of Allegiance.' His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

      In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored. In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer. Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

      June 29, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • InterestedReader

      Don't forget that they changed the original salute to the flag also:

      The original Bellamy salute, first described in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge, began with a military salute, and after reciting the words "to the flag," the arm was extended toward the flag, palm-down. In World War II, the salute too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.

      June 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bill

      The original pledge mentioned neither God nor America. Bellamy's original Pledge read " I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. " Apparently you aer a liar and the cild of the Father of Lies.

      June 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Toby

      Non-belief in a god or the supernatural is not a religion my good friend. Frightened religious hucksters have been chanting this mantra for a few years now because it gives the false illusion that belief and disbelief are just two sides of the same coin. They are not. Belief in supernatural claims of gods, goddesses, divine intervention by prayer, resurrection of the dead, and salvation by faith in a human sacrifice are explicit religious claims. Those who do not imbibe these absurd ideas and openly reject these notions are doing so because there is simply no good evidence that any of this is true. Is Christianity true? Is Islam true? Is Judaism true? We cannot say for certain that one or the others are not true. What we CAN say is that they cannot ALL be true. Knowing this, and following the portals of logical deduction, we can say with reasonable confidence that it is as likely that they are all false as it is likely that they are all true.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • Paul Ronco

      There is plenty of support for removing the phrase. Not just atheists support it. I am a Christian who would rejoice at seeing the reference to God taken out of the Pledge. Not that this nation is "under God" anyway. All we do now is start wars for corporate profits.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • leb

      The board is not anti-god OR anti-American. It's making the point that America is not a Christian nation, and that church and state are supposed to be separate. It supports the RESTORATION of the pledge in its original form. If you knew the history of the pledge, you'd get that.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Ultramafic

      The United States of America is nothing if it is not indivisible. If not indivisible, then it is nothing more than a loose Confederacy of States, and we saw how well that worked...

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

      Mr. Calm down....you do realize that the ORIGINAL pledge did NOT include the words "under God"? It was changed in 1954 at the height of the Communist scare and McCarthyism by a bunch of fearful Christians in Congress. Next thing you know, Christians will see that field of five pointed stars on the flag and decide that they are Satan's stars and change it to a field of crosses.

      June 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      There's nothing "anti-American" about being free from religion. There most certainly is a lot anti-American with defacing someone else's message because you disagree with it. Here in America, we have freedom of expression; that freedom should remain unhindered. If the nutjob who did this disagreed so much with this message, he/she should have paid for their billboard message. Imagine the outrage if this situation had been reversed!

      June 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • KnowledgeisPower

      "Under God' was added to the pledge in 1954, LONG after it was originally written. That is what is called a fact, which you fundamentalist morons have never apparentally encountered. Please refrain from expressing your deeply ignorant opinions unless and until you have even a basic civic education, m'kay?

      June 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Jon

      The percentage of secularist Americans is estimated to be 15%. The number is most likely greater than that if you include those who practice anything you don't consider to be legitimate as "secular." For example; I am a Buddhist, which doesn't count as a real religion to most Christians because there was no magic involved.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • Whorhay

      The absolute best church sign I ever saw was on my route to work every day for close to 3 months. It said:
      "The best way to meet God is on your knees!"

      The way in which that can be misinterpreted made me smile every time without fail, and even now I get a laugh out of it.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • bob

      Not Atheist, Anti-Theist!

      July 1, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Mark

      One of the most anti-American things I've heard said was G. Bush 41 saying that he didn't think atheists should be allowed to vote.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • missadr

      Well, if we define God as the ultimate authority and absolute measure of right versus wrong, then atheism is definitely a proselytizing religion. They believe that humans are the ultimate authority, and that humans decide the difference between right and wrong. And they aggressively try to convince others of this belief. So I think it is accurate to describe atheism as a religion where humans are god.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ralph Gentry

      Like maybe, insted of inserting "Under Gpd" they could have just blocked out the first two letters of the last word.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • CommonSense

      No, atheism is NOT a religion, but ATHEISM IS A RELIGIOUS BELIEF! For those that might not comprehend this (what should be obvious) statement, consider this: To assert there is a God is a religious belief. By the same logic, to assert that there is not a God is also a religious belief. It really is that simple.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • RoastMaster

      "The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." ~ George Carlin

      July 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Rubin Safaya

      The original Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the words "under god". Those were added by a paranoid Congress in 1954, at the insistence of non-secular organizations, to distinguish us from those "Godless commies". Yeah, what a threat they turned out to be. Seriously, what grown adult reacts to the world like that? By changing the very fabric of our society from a nation free of religious persecution into a freaking theocracy? Pick up a history book, preferably before the idiot Texas School Board manages to wipe all references to Thomas Jefferson from it.

      July 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • Herb

      Why indeed "does everything have to be changed?" Should the words of the Pledge be unchangeable? Well, maybe yes. I gladly learned the Pledge in grade school in the early 50s. We said, as kids had for years, "one nation indivisible." Then some folks decided it would be a good idea to change the patriotic tradition I had gladly absorbed, and they had enough political muscle to add "under God." I resented it then and I resent it now. As it happens, I worship God with my congregation weekly, and often in my family and by myself. But that's private, not public. Love of God is not the same as love of country. I thank God we live in a country that keeps them separate, and I pray it stays that way.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      Posting a Billboard like that is more offensive then posting the original pledge of allegiance. This is board is anti-God and anit-American.

      “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all- The original pledge of allegiance .

      Are you unable to use google?

      July 2, 2010 at 4:57 am |
    • Q

      To espouse a belief that there is no God is not a "religious belief" but rather an "irreligious belief", i.e., there is a difference between a belief founded in the tenets of a religion and a belief addressing the merits of religiosity itself.

      July 2, 2010 at 5:28 am |
    • RAWoD

      Who are you kidding? Yourself obviously.
      The pledge, as with this country, was created without the god you fantasize over.
      Wake up. There have been too many people killed in the name of a pure fantasy.

      July 2, 2010 at 10:20 am |
    • Daniel

      No, that board is PRO-American, and patriotic, and loyal. Because one of the principles upon which this nation is based is that it does not matter if an American citizen is Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish, or Hindu, or Atheist, or Buddhist, or Agnostic, or Wiccan, or a follower of Native American or African Tribal or Polynesian Island beliefs. The law is the same for all. "One nation, indivisible" is the original wording of the Pledge. Leave God out of it. I don't bring my Gods, Ancestors or Spirits into politics – save so far as I must to assure that our nation continues to protect my right to believe in Them, and worship Them freely. You can worship whomever you like, but do not presume to make me or my children say our nation is under Him.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Havok

      Haha...CalmDown...you just got wrecked.

      July 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • WolfMoon

      Actually, the ORIGINAL pledge did not include "under God" until the 1950s to differentiate America from the godless commies. I wish we would return to the original, which was written by a minister, since adding "under God" is divisive. Are non-godly Americans second class citizens if they worship differently as the First Amendment allows?

      July 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • rdw

      THe original pledge of allegiance did not have the words "under God." Those weren't added until 1954 in response to the "godless Communists" and the Red Scare. I respect all beliefs but like the history to be accurate.

      July 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Margaret

      How can atheists be "religious"? They don't have a belief system. They don't have a religions. They deny the existence of any kind of deity or higher power.

      July 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • rigel54

      The poster is not anti anything, it is entirely positive. It is for an indivisable nation. Only those attempting to force their beliefs on others, who disagree with the omission, could take issue.

      July 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
    • vj

      @CommonSense: "To assert there is a God is a religious belief. By the same logic, to assert that there is not a God is also a religious belief."

      This is what's called false logic. It happens by making the *ASSUMPTION* that – if a=b, and b=c, therefore a=c.
      Here's an example:

      A: Rain comes from the sky
      B: The sun is in the sky
      C: Therefore, rain comes from the sun

      What you said makes no sense, which is why Common Sense usually isn't...

      July 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Where Did god Come From?

      You cannot be "anti" something that you do not believe exist in the first place... Can you?

      July 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Doug

      Calm Down: This billboard simply said that we are "One Nation, Indivisible." This seems like a simple, straight-forward statement. Which part do you find "offensive"? The "one nation" part, or the "indivisible" part? It speaks volumes about your mentality that you could manage to be outraged over a billboard that simply calls for national unity, independent of religious affiliation.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  18. haha oh wow

    Vandalizing minds, now vandalizing signs

    yup, that's christians for you

    June 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • ZarGoth

      Well said............

      June 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
    • das0522

      I guess you feel the same way about the "artist" putting elephant dung on a painting of Jesus' mother, right?

      July 1, 2010 at 8:49 am |
    • missadr

      Umm, what makes you think it was a christian, and not one of the BILLIONS of other people who believe in God?

      July 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Kate

      The artist who used jeweled elephant dung on that religious painting ~was~ a Christian. In his culture, this was a huge complement and reverent action. Thank who ever who told you otherwise for making you look like a fool.

      July 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Ya

      how ACCURATE!
      Too bad it falls on deaf ears...or should I properly say...incomprehending brains!

      July 2, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Marie

      Kate: Was the "cut outs of genitalia from pornographic magazines floating in the background" also reverent in the Virgin Mary "art"?

      July 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Atheists do not tout their superior moral virtue. We are free to throw stones at your glass house.

      July 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  19. TYT

    Sad, sad, sad. Just couldn't resist, could they? worst part is that it probably wasn't a teenager or anything, probably some 35-40 year old jesus-buff whos emotions got overrun at the idea of america opening it's eyes and seeing something he doesn't see.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Sean

      Its easy for you to paint an entire group with a negative image for the actions of probably one person; however, the atheist/agnostic group is equally guilty of having obnoxious outliers. Perfect example is the cross at the San Diego Veteran's Memorial that was stolen after the Supreme Court ruled it could stay.

      July 1, 2010 at 9:06 am |
    • Margaret

      "Jesus-buff"? First time I've heard that. Are all Christians "Jesus-buffs" in your opinion?

      July 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Luke

      If it's the act of one lone "religious buff," how come very few believers are here repudiating his (or her, I guess) actions? How come there are a large number here defending this act? Until you stand up and say, "no. This is wrong!" you're at the very least tacitly condoning it, just like Muslims who don't decry the actions of terrorists who kill in the name of Allah. Until you speak up, we can only assume that you are brothers and sisters in spirit.

      July 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • rigel54

      I agree with Sean that there are nasty outliers on both sides, and we must stand together for civility. I do, though, think there are far more on the religious, and the secular passions are mitigated by the fact the they are right.

      July 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  20. Luke

    Perhaps the believers of the ten commandments and America's first amendment should start following them by not committing a crime.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Jeffrey Lebowski Jr.

      Ten commandments, eh? Let's not forget the first thing Moses did when he got back down the mountain with his list of "thou shalt nots" written in God's own handwriting: instruct his followers to kill 3,000 of their brethren who'd gotten a bit antsy in the six weeks he was gone and had started to worship an idol.

      June 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
    • sanjosemike

      Jeffrey Lebowski Jr. said: "Ten commandments, eh? Let's not forget the first thing Moses did when he got back down the mountain with his list of "thou shalt nots" written in God's own handwriting: instruct his followers to kill 3,000 of their brethren who'd gotten a bit antsy in the six weeks he was gone and had started to worship an idol."

      sanjosemike responds:

      The so-called god of the old testament shows definite psychopathic tendencies. A "god" such as that belongs in jail.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • cj

      You all might want to read up on the real intended "seperationg of church and state". It was originally addressed in a letter from President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut. It wasn't about keeping the church out of politics, it was about making sure government couldn't force a certain type of religion on its citizenship. These were all deeply religious men and at no time ever thought an American wouldn't believe in God. But, they didn't want the new government telling the "how" to worship, much like the King they just left had done. And it wasn't until the Supreme Court got a hold of it in 1947 that they really began creating this monster that has allowed this country, founded on religion, the religion of one God, to truly fall into the state we are in.

      July 3, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Tk

      Yes cj, they should and so should you. Try reading the, 'Treaty of Tripoli' sometime.

      Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

      You catch that first line?

      July 4, 2010 at 1:40 am |
    • she

      exactly! I always love the hypocrisy of the 'holier than thou."

      July 5, 2010 at 9:31 am |
    • ITexan

      Actually, we are pretty sure that Jefferson was an atheist. Frankiln was likely an atheist too, but admitting atheism was not a good idea those days. I guess it's still not. Lots of religious zealots out there. Not sure if today is actually worse.

      July 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • e

      Eisenhower's administration was in office when the words, "under God," were added – it is a recent change.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • harley

      did you guys see that defaced mcdonalds billboard?

      July 6, 2010 at 12:53 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.

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