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. brad1001

    I believe and am not going to argue it. You are free to choose. God is both terrible in his wrath, and his mercy is without bound. I am sure of where I want to spend eternity. Hope to see you on the other side.

    July 3, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Ituri

      Brad1001, there is a problem with your comment.

      "God is both terrible in his wrath, and his mercy is without bound."

      Direct contradiction. If your gods mercy is "without bound," he would not need "terrible wrath." Also, the whole all-knowing thing, meaning he created us knowing our fates before we were born, knowing that by YOUR standard most of us would FAIL, yet he went ahead making us that way. This is directly contradictory to your "choice" as well. He cannot know all, being all powerful as you seem to think he is, and give us "free will" or "choice."

      I was a Christian for 20+ years, and I know your "side." I'm so thankful I was able to escape it, too. Not many people do when they are raised WITHOUT THE CHOICE from childhood inside your cult.

      July 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  2. Micky

    1. I'm totally bored with the arguing between Christians and Atheists. 2. I'm a Christian and I wouldn't vandalize someone else's property. and 3. Who says a Christian did this anyway?

    July 3, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  3. JustThinkin

    re·li·gion [ ri líjjən ]

    1. beliefs and worship: people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life
    2. system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine
    3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by

    According to definition, no belief is religion. So, calling Atheism a religion would be correct. The pledge, however, with the added phrase is not. It should be changed as well as money. We are not and have never been a Christian nation.

    July 3, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  4. creflo pennies

    who cares about this. it was bait. someone took it. this doesnt change the fact that their are secularists, and that Christians who try to bully people into being Christian do more harm to their own cause than good.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  5. Yoda

    The original pledge didn't have the phrase "under god" in it. That was added in the 50s to further differentiate ourselves from those "godless communists" of the USSR who were responsible for all of the evil in the world. Same with "In God We Trust" on our coinage. That was added after the Civil War when a group of protestant ministers petitioned the treasury secretary, because naturally the war was god's punishment for leaving him off our coins. See? It has worked!

    July 2, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  6. Archangel Gabriel

    God hates shrimp.

    That is all.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • coyote123

      LOL...apparently this god not only hates shrimp but also fish, birds, coral and salt water in general. Perhaps he just hates the coastal people of the south? They seem to get his wrath more than others. Remember the tsunami was against coastal people...hmmm, you might be on to something there.

      July 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  7. BIlly

    Aahhhh....So THAT'S what Jesus would do.

    July 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  8. David Brumley

    Another fine example of Christian values: vandalism. So, if it's one nation UNDER GOD, does that mean we all have to become vandals or go to hell?

    July 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  9. duffey

    The overall message here is that vandelism is a crime and sin. To express oneself in this manner (no matter how righteous he or she feels) does not justify the act. This is not a case of civil disobedience, free speech or freedom of of religion; but an attempt to discredit anothers good intention, and to be a self promoting criminal in the name of God.

    July 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  10. stormy miller

    the words "under god" were added to the pledge in the 1950's. it should never have been added and should be removed. our founding fathers knew the importance of the seperation of church and state. they knew the dangers of a theocracy. christians need to keep their religion in their churches and their homes and not force their beliefs on others. america is made up of many religions and beliefs and atheists. the diversity of our country is what makes us a great nation.

    July 2, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  11. Greg Dennis

    God listens....to Slayer, when he's not impregnating engaged virgin women from space.

    July 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Dawn

    How very godly of them... defacing someone's property.
    I'm sure they'll find SOMETHING in their holy book to justify this. Probably somewhere right between murdering babies and beating your wife.

    July 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  13. billp

    People who called themselves Christians but don't follow his teachings are among the most hateful people on earth.

    "I like your Christ. Christians, not so much." – M. Gandhi

    July 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Denny

    SDO.....I really like your comment and share the viewpoints you shared

    July 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Kurt

    I think its pretty sad that, for the most part and outside of a few, 'lets meet the aliens in the air by killing ourselves', the drum atheists seem to want to march to is the beat of how christianity is this great terroristic, convert or die mentality. When in fact, that mentality, mirrored mostly by our muslim friends, has no place in Christianity. Christianity's bad rap comes from mostly the Catholic church, most notably the Spanish Inquisitions, the Crusades, etc. etc. where most in those days did not have a copy of their own bible to compare what was being told to them by the Pope/Catholic church was correct or not. Even if they had a copy, most couldn't read. Let's see...millions that will hang on our every word and do our bidding...all in the name of escaping eternal hellfire...yep...recipe for unbridled power. The Pope and the Catholic church has enjoyed a long run of power. Up springs the Protestants, who by the way are looked down upon by the Roman Catholic church, and you start to have hints of what a true follower of Christ looks like. Then of course, being imperfect creatures trying to follow a perfect God, we messed up too. Little something here and there...witch trials of Salem, etc. But in the end, those that truly follow what Christ teaches, to love God with all your heart, mind, strength, etc. and love each other as you love yourself, is a recipe for peace. Not what most atheists see as Christians trying to bully them to their belieft system. Its called 'care'. Care for your fellow human. Care that translates into 'sharing' our beliefs, not trying to ram them down your throats. The government? They're the ones that are trying to ram its beliefs down your throats based on what has been, up until very recently, the pulse of what American society knew was morally right. Now, morality is considered something you make up as you go. Now, instead of doing what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else gets replaced with do what you want, if it hurts someone else, if there are enough people that feel the same way, then that is the new 'right'. Abortion? Killing babies as some like to call it? Fact is, if you weren't here yesterday, you couldn't be here today. If you weren't here the day before yesterday, you couldn't be here today. Now, follow that all the way back to the seconds you fell out of your mother's womb. Could you be here today if they'd stopped you from coming out of her at that moment? How about if you were 'stopped' a week prior? Two weeks? Four months prior? No, sorry. At the point where the egg and sperm joined you couldn't be here today had not EVERY step that takes to form you taken place right up to the moment you came out of here. So, to stop that process, at any time from the point of conception is killing. At least in the mind of a bible-following Christian. You'll always find the 'in-betweeners' that 'feel' this way or that. When they stand their 'feelings' up next to what God says about it, their feelings don't hold water. Do Christians mess up? They sure do. All the time. Thats to be expected. We are 'new creatures in Christ', not 'Christ' himself. Okay, I could go on forever. Sermon over. God Bless the athiests out there and for the Christians reading, at some point, you got to know when not to 'throw your pearl before swine' to be trampled underfoot. As Spock would say...'later dudes'.

    July 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Kate

      Here's a hint. Learn to make a break in your posts.

      Like this.

      That was unreadable.

      July 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Gary

      Kurt, many agnostics like myself are against abortion...being against abortion is not Christian,muslim or religious thing. I am agnostic and for scientific reasons understand abortion is killing......so get off your religious high horse...

      July 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • Kate

      I don't know anyone that is ~for~ abortion. What people are for is abortion being legal. Same as no one would advocate leaving people to die for want of blood donations, but no one is for it being OK to legally force people to donate blood.

      July 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Denny

    What you believe is mostly determined by what you were brought up in, or your life experiences around people that believe one thing or another. The Spirit speaks to us in our hearts when we are quiet inside. It is also the competing voice inside you (from your heart) that pushes you to do what your mind is usually complaining about doing. There are alot of people who have false intellectually factual beliefs that both hear and respond to this voice all day long, and this Spirit blesses their lives regardless of thier beliefs one way or the other.

    July 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  17. TDT

    You know what's funny? If it were a "believer's" billboard being defaced by an atheist, agnostic or whatever, it wouldn't have been glorified. As a matter of fact, the person would've been hunted down like the guy who lost the iPhone 4 prototype.

    Must be nice to use religion as a defense for inexcusable actions and get away with it.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • Kate

      Yeah, when a supposed atheist stole that Veteran's cross in California, nobody knew about it at all.

      July 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  18. Gary

    Gabe I dont dismiss God. I am agnostic I have never met God. I have never seen God I dont even doubt he exists. I know . I do not believe that any religious text prove there is a God or who exactly God is. I have met numerous muslims,Christians,hindus ,American Indians especially who claim they feel a spirit presence and so that is proof to them their God exists. I dont fault them or you for that. I know that Christianity and all religions are based on Faith not Scientific fact.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  19. SDO

    One group sets out to incite another, and the other is incited. No surprise. Extremists (on both ends of this spectrum and on other issues) get too much airtime. I'm not going to be sympathetic to the people that put up the billboard or those that vandalized it. You reap what you sow.

    I've never been a traditionally religious person. I try to live my life in a way that respects people, the earth that we've been blessed with, and myself. Let people believe and practice as they see fit. Religious intolerance, however, is something very different – and this billboard is religious intolerance. As is the vandalism.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Kate

      Extremist? What about that billboard was extremist?

      July 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Ituri

      Excluding the god of preference to a pledge that originally had NO MENTION of that, or any, god, is not "extremist" in the slightest. How is it extreme to write the pledge in its original form? How is it extreme to promote tolerance for secular society, which is how this nation is SUPPOSE to be governed?

      Thats like calling atheists "militant" just for speaking out against the oppression of them by religious types, while bickering over what to formally call a Christian MURDERING abortion doctors (ie: TERRORISM).

      July 3, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  20. TAKI 183

    lol, nice one

    July 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
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