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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. peace2all

    @Gabe.......You don't REALLY KNOW, nor can you prove anything about whether there is such a being and if so, how it REALLY responds/interacts with humanity. You certainly have the right to believe something, but to act as if it is FACT, is spiritual and intellectual dishonesty.
    Peace....

    July 2, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • Gary

      peace2all...you are so correct. Gabe is only reciting what he reads from a book. whatever "spirit filled" or self manifest feelings" he has are all in his head and can in no way proof otherwise....thats why religion is based on faith not fact...

      July 2, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Gabe

      But I do know because the spirit of God in me confirms it and bears witness to that fact. This same spirit is available to you as well.

      If you want physical proof, I have that too. I have a friend whom I've known since we were in 5th grade. For all that time, his mother was blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. One Sunday, she sat in church praying a few seats away for healing (I was sitting a few seats away). All of a sudden, she said she felt this heat rush over her face and her sight returned. She removed the sunglasses she'd been bound to for years and is now able to see clearly.

      Here's more. A teacher at a school my church runs suddenly had a severe stroke two years ago. She lost the ability to speak, walk, and even feed herself. Doctors said she would never regain those abilities. Through the power of Christ, she is now back in school and even teaching kindergarten. When I see her, it is inconceivable that she was once at that state.

      And even more: I was unemployed for the last few months of 2008 and all of 2009. My unemployment checks were very low and were not enough to sustain me. But God is my provider. Through all that time I asked God to sustain me; my bank account was never once overdrawn, which is what I asked for specifically.

      I do not speak falsehoods or dishonestly. I speak not only what the spirit of God within me says but what I have seen with my own eyes. These things weren't miracles paraded by televangelists, but things that happened to me and those around me. There is no spiritual nor intellectual dishonesty here.

      I speak out of a sincere love for you and for others reading this. God is real and he loves you so much. He understands that we all have questions and we're all searching for him. He's not afraid of our doubt or our questions. In fact, he's willing to answer them. All we have to do is sincerely search for those answers, not just blindly dismiss him because we have questions. Jesus will reveal himself to you; just ask him to.

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

      Gary, believe me when I say that I do not blindly recite what I read. Don't make the mistake of thinking that I do not think for myself. In fact, it's the fact that I think that has lead me to these answers. Trust me, I question every single thing I hear, whether its secular or Christian. I keep my pastor on his toes by always asking him to prove himself.

      I ask you this. Are we truly thinking for ourselves when we blindly dismiss God? We aren't if we aren't looking for answers. All questions are good except for one: the question that does not allow for an answer. If we simply ask questions and never seek for truth, we are blind fools. The most evil thought is the one that cancels out all thought, the one that says that there can be no answers.

      July 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Kate

      Gabe, that's unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence. It unfortunately means nothing. Please look up the term and find out a little bit about how science and proof works.

      July 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Gabe

      Kate, I'm an educated man. I know what that means. However, you make a grave mistake in immediately dismissing my experiences because they do not meet some man-made principles. We remain in ignorance if he dismiss things out of hand just like that.

      July 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Gabe

      Though this may rile some feathers, science is not all-knowing nor is it a means to finding truth. Believe me, I studied science and was trained in properly conducting an experiment with all the statistics, measures, and controls required. My professor once said that the number one mistake most uneducated people make is believing that science provides truth. It doesn't. What it is is our best guess using the evidence we have at hand. Though science is important, don't make the mistake of dismissing things just because they don't meet science's criteria. Science is not God.

      July 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Kate

      If it's supernatural, it can't affect us because once it affects us, it can be measured and therefore is provable. So, no unfortunately, wanting something really really badly will never make it any more true. Reality is annoying in it's adherence to physical laws and ,well reality.

      July 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Joe

      "Through all that time I asked God to sustain me; my bank account was never once overdrawn, which is what I asked for specifically."

      Let me get this straight. God made direct cash deposits into your bank account? Really? Freaking loon.

      Well I've been praying to win the lottery for years and that has not happened. I have been praying for the pain in my reconstructed knees to go away. Nope still here today. I prayed like crazy my youngest would get into Princeton, nope community college.

      Just as much proof there is no god. Unless of course he just likes you better.

      July 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  2. Gary

    Gabe correct, I have wonderful parents and two children and a great spouse. I love them more than anyone or anthing.

    July 2, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  3. Denny

    Some Christians are not with the Spirit, some Atheists are with the Spirit, some Christians are with the Spirit, some Atheists are not with the Spirit...the important thing is you stay with the Sprit.....o9r as one atheist I agreed with said.....Christians do not have a market on compassion............alot of people have no idea what I even mean by Spirit

    July 2, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Gabe

      Wrong. An atheist cannot have the spirit of God because they do not believe. The Holy Spirit is a gift of God through Jesus and comes to live in those who have accepted salvation.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  4. Gabe

    Thanks Gary.

    It's because of God's great love for us that he sent Jesus to die for us. Why do we mock God's love? It has nothing to do with religion. It's a personal issue of a God who loves you. Would we be right for mocking the love of our parents or spouses?

    July 2, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • BR

      Hm..

      Only Jesus and the Christian way count, though, yes?
      The innumerable miracles people of other faiths encounter are either the workings of Satan or a benign Jesus who's trying to show them his presence, because if they dont accept it he's going to tearfully have to consign his children to everlasting torment, right?

      July 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Noble9

      Not much of a sacrifice to let a single son "die" only to have him come back to life. If he, say, endured an eternity in hell, then maybe it would be a sacrifice. Real people suffer much more loss than this imaginary god every single day.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Anon

      Parents and spouses are real living beings that actually do things to better our lives; God is something humans made up to explain things that can't be explained, because we have a natural curiosity to understand how things work and we can't accept "I don't know yet." Much easier to attribute it to God, then we know everything, right?

      July 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Gary

    Jack, sorry to correct you ...Kate initiated the name calling when I expressed my views of Obama...Next time you want to butt in know your facts.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • Jack

      Yes, Gary you started out by calling Obama satan, which I indicated.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Gary

      Okay Jack , I retract it. I dont like the way he is leading our country but calling him a Satan is crude and silly. I realize it is illegal to demonize Obama like the liberal press did to Bush. Despite free speech and I wasnt calling Kate names until she attacked me. I retract it. ......As far excited or checking reponses you are correct. I thought that was the purpose of blogs and posts and replys? take care and thanks for the reply's

      July 2, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • Kate

      Gary do you know what a troll is?

      July 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Gabe

    The fool says in his heart that there is no God.

    People, it isn't about religion and it isn't about God's punishment. The fact is that we've strayed from our Creator by our own choice. Since everything has consequences, we must be willing to face the consequences of our choice to reject God. If we reject God, why would God allow us into Heaven? We made the choice to reject him and, in doing so, rejected life.

    I don't care about religion. Religion can burn in Hell for all time. I say this out of love. Stop mocking God and honestly seek him. If you seek him, he will find you and show you who he is.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:14 am |
    • Gary

      Gabe ,great post! Praise ALLAH!

      July 2, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  7. Noble9

    That part of the pledge of allegiance should have a blank line, like a Mad Lib. Everyone can fill it out how they want.

    "One nation, _____________, indivisible,..."

    July 2, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  8. Chris Mankey

    Maybe if they keep "under god" in the pledge I could give the original salute to the flag that Francis Bellamy created. You know, the one that looks like the Nazi salute? HEIL JEHOVAH !

    July 2, 2010 at 5:00 am |
  9. DallasTex

    God? Sounds like something a very insecure person made up...

    July 2, 2010 at 3:04 am |
  10. Richard McMillan

    Religion Kills

    July 2, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  11. Howie Cole

    I say we all VOTE for a national religion! Then, when all the Baptists figure out the illegal immigrants voted for Catholicism and they have to kneel down during a Mass, the Jews, Muslims, Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptists, Mormons, and all the other Protestants who kneel to no One will have the vote annulled and they will be HAPPY to have “under God” taken out of the Pledge. Unless, of course, they can change it to “one nation, under MY God, indivisible...”.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  12. Roy

    to all non belivers, on your death bed you will pray for GOD's forgiveness for being so blind,
    think about it!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Peace2all

      @ Roy.... Why would I be praying for god's forgiveness on my death bed about being blind..... as to what ...? god will be really angry with me because I didn't believe in the bible or jesus....? You mean this all-loving, all-forgiving father....
      come on Please no more fairy tales....

      July 2, 2010 at 3:22 am |
    • Ituri

      Roy, if you have to make witless, useless threats about what others might or might not do on their deathbeds, you've ALREADY LOST the game. Thanks for playing, do try again.

      July 3, 2010 at 1:26 am |
    • Anon

      No, I'll be laughing at the people who wasted their lives believing there is an invisible man in the sky with the power to hear 2 billion people murmur at the same time.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  13. RoastMaster

    Social processes that grease the slippery slope of evil:

    1. Mindlessly taking the first small step
    2. Dehumanization of others
    3. De-individuation of self (anonymity)... See More
    4. Diffusion of personal responsibility
    5. Blind obedience to authority
    6. Uncritical conformity to group norms
    7. Passive tolerance of evil through inaction, or indifference
    8. Accepting an ideology that justifies evil

    - Dr. Philip Zimbardo

    July 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  14. Gary

    Kate evidence ? Earth is billions of years old , erosion patterns,Pangea,plate techtonics,mid oceanic ridges, animal fossils , fossil fuels from vegetation,ect...proof of old earth..no proof of a God...........assumption your offspring are vandels and drug attacks somewhat obvious by your posts...

    July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Kate

      Yes, of course, all my posts applauding vandalism, right? Time to go back on your meds dear. Drugs are sometimes a good thing.

      July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Jack

      Grow up Gary. I mean really, are you seriously trying to upset someone by calling them names over the Internet? Kate has made several cogent and well-reasoned posts, and you have done very little but call people you know nothing about names...and are apparently so excited about it you keep coming back to see if someone saw it. Let it go dude. M'kay?

      July 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  15. Gary

    Kate, I meant the children you gave birth to and raised and became teenagers I am convinced are on drugs and are vandels too.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Kate

      Apparently you don't need any evidence to convince you of things, but we knew that, didn't we?

      July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  16. Gary

    Kate, your teenagers are most lilely vandels and drug users

    July 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Kate

      A teenager that vandalizes is considered a vandal, yes. Anything else you need clarification on?

      July 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Scott W

    I've been an atheist all my life, and all my life I've been accused of being angry and bitter by christians, who seem to display far more anger and bitterness than i do on a bad day.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  18. Drew

    This is what people who are chronically unemployed have the time to worry about.
    If they had been taught science instead of mythology, maybe they could construct a cohesive sentence and hold a job worth working for.
    Let them go to God for money.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chris

      Hmm...I'm taking a break at work. I work in a highly technical field. I was taught "science" and "mythology". I make a salary that well exceeds the average household earning nationwide at the age of 25...and i'm interested in this debate? I'm not exactly sure what YOU'RE getting at.

      July 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  19. Bubba

    What I'm not seeing here is Christians apologizing for the defacement and saying the vandals don't represent a Christian viewpoint. Not seeing that at all, and it's the most disturbing thing about this whole story. How about it, God-botherers? Would you deface a billboard for Jesus? Does this accurately represent your religion?

    July 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • Gary

      Good point Bubba ...suprised someone as ingorant as you posting something that smart..

      July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  20. rrjf

    Gotta love how CNN and a bunch of internet atheists jumps all over this story. Church/temple/mosque defacings happen with such regularity they rarely make the news anymore.

    July 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Kate

      You gotta be kidding. People get up in arms with a Church defacing and it's always in the news, and it's usuallythe work of teenagers.

      July 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • rrjf

      Kate - you're right, this was probably the same teenager that spray-painted our church van (which–by the way–didn't make the newspaper).

      July 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Kate

      Sorry you got vandalized. Were there any anti-your religion words on it? Or was it just run of the mill graffiti? If it was anti-religion, tell the local news and see how fast it gets out there.

      July 1, 2010 at 5:12 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.