Atheists flying ad campaign meets strong resistance
June 30th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

Atheists flying ad campaign meets strong resistance

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

(CNN)–It's a battle of belief - and the right not to believe - in a country founded on freedom.

"I'm a patriotic American. I served my country. I get out there and celebrate the Fourth, too," Blair Scott, who calls himself a proud atheist, proclaimed.

"This America belongs to everyone."

Blair, the communications director for the New Jersey-based American Atheists, said atheists in the United States often feel alienated and face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God.

To combat those notions, his group is using Independence Day to say atheists love their country, too.

But the way they're spreading their message might have Americans looking to the sky this Fourth of July and finding something besides fireworks to stir emotion.

Planes with banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" will be flying over 27 states on Monday. While people might be leery to see the messages overhead, the $23,000 campaign has had a struggle with those who are supposed to bring it to life.

Justin Jaye of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, who is orchestrating the flights for American Atheists, said out of the 85 people in the country who fly these sign-pulling planes only about 17 have agreed to fly the messages.

"I've been in this business for 20 years and I've never run into so much resistance on people flying," Jaye said. "I've had pilots who are actual atheists who said, 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, says the reaction to the organization's campaign before it takes off shows how much work the group still needs to do. "This is a clear reminder of why we need to keep fighting because the bigotry against us is so thick that a lot of the pilots are afraid to fly our banners," he said.

Jaye said while some feared for their lives, others feared for their marriages. He had one pilot say his wife would divorce him if he made the flight.

Red Calvert, a pilot and president of Pro-Air Enterprises in Indianapolis, said his reasons to decline the flight were based on his personal beliefs.

"I respect our country and I respect our churches and we've got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more," he said. "If those people want to do something they believe in, fine, just don't include me."

The American Atheists hope to draw attention and spur public discussion through their campaign on Monday.

"It's going to remind people that atheism is at that ballgame and at that beach and at that parade. We are patriotic people," Silverman said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • New Jersey • Religious liberty • United States

soundoff (2,835 Responses)

    pro-life schizophrenic fascist Christians, are freaking hypocrites and proves again, that Christians don't read their bibles.

    the bible supported abortion. the footnote from NIV 1984 footnote from numbers 5:11-31 said.
    " Numbers 5:21 Or causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness"
    to cause a miscarrying womb is an abortion....this verse is an ruse for an abortion.

    why are these christian against abortion, when their god is not?

    the bible supported murder, genocide, infanticide, slavery, bigotry, and incest.

    these mentally challenged Christians support/ignore this, just so their mental phantasm based off this tyrannical, judeo-christian god myth can say: i love you and i have a plan for you?

    Ephesians 6:5-9
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

    i wonder if these people would honor their god by staying a slave, instead of running for freedom?


    didn't these Christian's mythical god told them not to lie?

    unborn baby/child is oxymoron and misnomer, it goes against the human development chart.

    the fetus doesn't have the ability to feel pain until 24 wks.

    the human fetus is a parasite.


    July 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • John


      July 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      A parasite is a symbiosis between differeing species.... I am not against abortion and slavery was abolished 150 years ago....that verse is irrelevant...why do you know so much about the bible and why are you so angry?

      July 3, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Not having any

      These retards reject the Bible's BS when it suits them. They don't want you spouting Bible passages that prove them wrong.
      They just want to keep their sick psychosis like a retard who loves the tumor that is eating their brain. Sick sick sick.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  2. NotWorried

    It does not bother me that you do not believe in God. Why does it bother you that I do?
    Worried you may be wrong?

    July 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Alverant

      No. We're worried that you want to make your belief in god law. It's happened before in this country.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Truth

      The only problem I have is that the religious don't hold the catholic church accountable for the destruction of children. I once was a believer. I then experienced ho lawmakers and the justice system stop laws that would preserve children victims civil rights. Many children later committed suicide and others mentally ill die to the abuses, yet the religious deny them. Mothers cried for their children to their death.What do we hear? 'Others did it too.' How disgusting and compassionate.

      Religion and belief in a god is just selfishness. If it were true, then we would have allowed these cases in court. Instead, it's all about reputation and power. After all, how else could have the Inquisition have happened.

      It disgusts me, religion and a belief in god. Such blatant dishonesty.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • SB

      No less worried than you. With so many religions to choose from and so many opposing gods to worship you can't be sure you've chosen the right one. Considering that there are hundreds of major religions in the world, tens of thousands if you include inter-faith denominations, among these myriad choices an atheist believes in only one less god than you. That's one divided by the number of theistic world views in the world, multiplied by one hundred. What does that come to? 0.001%? 0.01% if we're being really generous? So statistically speaking your chances are virtually the same as an atheist's. And with that said I wish both you and William Paley good luck. (*thumbs up*)

      July 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  3. Heythere

    @Electric Larry
    Larry Does not believe in a God because he cant see God. However, we can't see air, but He believes in and we believe in air.

    However, we cant see DNA. Does Larry believe in DNA only because Scientist found it under a microscope?
    There are a lot of Galaxies in the Universe but we cant see them with our naked eye. Does that mean that Galaxies do not exist because we cant see them? Using your logic...No they do not exist. In fact according to your line of reasoning. Nothing exists if we can not actually be see, taste, touch, smell, or hear them.. Wow! What other logical, reasonable, sensible, analogies are you going to attempt to destroy?

    July 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Truth

      We can see air, via instrumentation. We also see DNA..

      July 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Truth

      Wrong. We can see air, via instrumentation. We also see DNA..

      July 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      I don't see Larry...therefore Larry doesn't exist...he is a computer program...

      July 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • SB

      So your saying that God is like a molecule for which we merely lack the technology to detect? Is this really your argument? Before you go patting yourself on the back for your logic, I recommend you review your own.

      July 3, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • BoDacious01

      we can see DNA....I have seen it in my lab...we can isolate it, cut it, transfect it, manipulate it in many ways....I used to transform E. coli daily with DNA....

      July 3, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Electric Larry

      That's so idiotic, childish and ignorant that I'm not even going to bother with you, Heythere. Your own words humiliate you far better than I could.

      You are such an flaccid shrivel of a nobody that I am not going to waste even a second more on you.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  4. Rick Dansey

    Atheism is to Secularism as Protestantism is to Christianity.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Truth

      I'm not a religionist nor am I an atheist. I'm a Realist.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • mist

      rick dansey those words do not go together get a clue

      July 3, 2011 at 5:21 am |
    • John Richardson

      I guess the point is supposed to be that just as protestants form a proper subset of christians, atheists supposedly form a proper subset of secularists. Of course, some christians consider all or some protestants non-christian and some secularists view the strident and intolerant fulminations of some atheists as inconsistent with true secularism. So the analogy is wobbly, but I think I get the guy's point: secularism is bigger than atheism.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Boojum

      The biggest difference between atheism and secularism is in the definitions. Non-belief in god(s), versus a philosophical doctrine that rejects religion, esp in ethics / the att.itude that religion should have no place in civil affairs.
      Secularism is not a subset or category, but more like an application of the recognition that religion is delusional.
      Just the simple lack of a belief is like the absence of a stand on ethics or something, which the other one is.
      That makes it different in a much different way than the other two words.
      Atheism compared to Secularism should not be put forth as having anything like the same relationship as Protestantism in relation to Christianity. Not at all. Perhaps Mr.Dansey is not understanding those words very well.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  5. StewartIII

    NewsBusters: CNN's Belief Blog Promotes Atheist Group's Fourth of July Airplane Messaging

    July 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  6. Big Man

    Whether it's atheism, paganism, or heathenism it is all very liberating for one's mind and soul.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  7. Yes1fan

    I suspect the real issue is that the pilots know, from their experiences, that they are only able to stay balanced in the air, by the Grace of God.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Wobbly World

      Absolutely right! Everyone with a brane knows that aerodynamics is just a lie them athiests come up with to deny that Jesus is holding the plane up with his loving hands.

      Yeah, he done drops one every now and then, but hey, every Jesus gots to sneeze every now and then too.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Sybaris


      As long as there are people on this planet who have no more understanding of the sciences than what is exhibited by Yes1fan then we are truly a doomed species.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  8. awww some one's feelings got hurt

    blah blah blah just someone else trying the squeaky wheel thing to get some attention so their little group does not feel oppressed

    July 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • To Arms !

      The atheists just need to try harder. And for pete's sake, try to be a little less thin-skinned.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Not having any

      I'd love to strap you down in a chair and hold a shotgun to your face. Then what would you say about oppression?

      July 3, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Boojum

      Oppression is a very interesting thing. And here we are about to celebrate Independence Day!
      If someone is perceiving someone oppressing someone else, then all that remains to be done is to verify this by looking at how our world actually works, what is going on, and who is doing it. Then we can analyze this knowledge and come up with the answer that, yes, people are being oppressed. For a melting pot we sure have a lot of intolerance here.
      Happy 4th of July! A day when millions of people are not allowed to play with fireworks. There's some oppression right there. And it's not related to religion, or is it? How ironic that there should be oppressive laws to prevent people from celebrating INDEPENDENCE DAY.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  9. Shimpainai

    Just like Gays are finally being listened to, respected and arriving at some basic rights, Atheists will rise also. It's about time.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Truth

      Atheist views align far better that believers. An atheists say, prove it. Believers duck reality, they are fear based believers. Without fear, their beliefs just wouldn't be as widespread.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  10. philtration

    Religion keeps us in the dark ages and holds us back as a nation and as a species.
    The only difference between your parents lying to you about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and God is they eventually told you that you were too old to believe in such nonsense… except for one of them.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • John

      So you kow something no other person alive knows. God doesnt exist. Why didnt you say so, all these thousands of years, philosophers and intellects have been searching and you knew it all along. How convenient. Now you can do anything you want and not be accountable for anything. You and your group are as hateful as any group of religious nuts out there

      July 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Sean

      If the existence of an invisible sky spirit is the only think keeping you accountable, you've got problems brother. Atheists feel empathy, know the difference between right and wrong, and practice it. We don't need a God, a religion, or you to tell us that, or to feel very compelled to do the right thing.

      But you do, apparently.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Shimpainai

      We're long past due for evolution beyond belief.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Sybaris

      @ John

      You are inferring that morals were bestowed upon man via your invisible sky daddy. That is an OLD, exempt, and false position. Morals evolved from the success of the group. You need to take at least a second level course in anthropology to understand how religion played no part in the development and success of organized groups that pre-date your Bible.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Godlite

      "Now you can do anything you want and not be accountable for anything. "

      It's called the law and justice. Atheists have about a 10x lower rate of committing crimes than Christians. And if you think the bible ever stopped someone from doing "unaccountable things", you've never met Ray Comfort or Ted Haggard.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  11. Shimpainai

    I just joined American Atheists! Where have they been all my life? Freedom is the distance between religion and politics. The last time Fundamentalists Christians ran the world it was called the DARK AGES! History repeats itself because fundamentalists refuse to evolve or let their brains develop. Religion is nothing more than MYTH information.

    If I were a pilot, I'd fly the banners for them for free.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Sean

      Meanwhile, the Islamic world (hardly a secular society) was making great advances in math and science. I'm an Atheist too, but don't blame the Dark Ages on religion. Blame it on a corrupt Catholic Church.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Sean

      Actually, I just realized you weren't blaming all of religion. Sorry about that. The Protestant reformation (the historical ancestors of today's fundamentalist Christians) were actually integral in the Enlightenment. Takes all kinds I guess.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • John

      Jesus hated religion too. Now you both have something in common

      July 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Sean

      I'm an Atheist, but I do believe that Jesus is a fantastic ideal for us to follow. Think about that, John. Try being someone of works and not words.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Shimpainai

      Love this thread...

      Gandhi said something like..."I respect your Christ. It's just that you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

      July 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Sybaris

      @ John

      Your Jesus man said nothing of the sort. He did not write anything. Anything attributed to the alleged Jesus was written some 70 years after the alleged crucifiction and not by anyone who personally knew him. Essentially the gospels were written by unknown persons with an agenda centered on a fictional character.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  12. Ancient Curse

    One pilot says "I won't fly it because I can't wear a bullet-proof vest." He's right, because some "Thou shalt not kill" Christian might take a shot at the plane. "How dare you believe something other than what I believe in!" Funny how we sent the military to combat this type of religious dogma overseas, but we deal with the same kind of crazy beliefs here at home. I believe more and more every day that "no religion" is the best religion for America. If we believe it's up to us alone, we might actually do something productive. As it is, our "Christian" nation is a freakin' mess.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Shimpainai

      Fundamentalism is a danger abroad AND a danger at home. We should be fighting our battles here before telling Muslims what they can and can't do.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  13. Heythere

    Electric Larry
    You said, " God cannot be sensed or measured in any way. That's a terrible analogy." Using Air as an analogy to help us understand that a Supreme "God" exist is a logical, sensible and, reasonable analogy.

    For someone who promotes Science and Atheism you sure give up too quickly. I never known a Scientist to be a quitter. God can be sensed and measured in many, many, many ways.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      Quitter? My God's children are abusive.

      The point is complete and self-explanatory. Furthermore you did not challenge it until now.

      If you think you can actually provide the "many, many, many ways God can be sensed and measured," be my guest. Many here have promised it, none have actually delivered. Considering the bad analogy and the childish taunts, I expect your evidence to be quite comical. And abusive.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said "God can be sensed and measured in many, many, many ways."

      I have searched and found none. All I ask for is one. Show me one way in which your god can be measured, and I will convert to you particular flavor of religion.

      On the other hand, if you can't provide at least one way in which you god can be measured and scientifically verified, I will have to assume that you are either trying to deceive me, or are a fucking moron.

      So it's time to put up, or shut up. Your options are to provide evidence, admit that you are a fraud, or for ever be know as a moron.

      July 3, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • mist

      heythere is very squirmy and wiggles away very quickly

      July 3, 2011 at 5:24 am |
  14. Dante Orlando Brown


    July 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  15. Heythere

    @ Ishov
    Not to worry about that. The Bible says the Earth will be here now and in the next 5 million years-see Psalm 104:5
    So there is no need to worry about being vaporized by a Red Giant Sun.

    Your problem could be that you are/were trying to find/fix a "God" who supports your belief system and thinking patten Rather than in finding a God who cares about you and what He is going to do for you in the near future, perhaps

    July 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Reading WonderSpring/Adelina/Justina's posts would be enough to make the Pope turn into an atheist.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Not having any

      How do you know he isn't one already? He is in charge of a multi-national criminal organization. He might be faking his "faith" quite easily.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  17. Carl

    One side believes ancient mythology, the other side does not. It is absurd to speak of these positions as if "middle ground" is the rational balance.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Middle ground in philosophies maybe not, but that does that mean that both can't operate civilly in society?

      July 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Rational


      With bigoted people like you, it's difficult.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • John

      Most athiests are firm believers in evolution and the big bang. Giraffe necks are long cuz they really tried for thousands of years to reach trees. Turtle shells are hard cuz they ket getting eaten, etc. This is as stupid as noahs ark. Athiest praise science and pray to man. Just as religious as any other group.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Shimpainai

      Not to Carl but to John...

      Calling Atheism "religion" would be like calling Health an "illness".

      July 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • GPC


      You should actually learn something about Evolution before making attempts to debunk it. You are making yourself look really silly with your complete misunderstanding of how species evolve.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Rational, please show me my bigotry. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. 🙂

      July 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Laughin Jude


      Thank you for demonstrating an utter lack of understanding of even the basic ideas behind evolution and genetics. "Misstate your opponent's position and attack it," indeed.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • SB

      John, it's easy to burn a strawman. Try learning about evolution before spouting more nonsense. You're just being laughed at.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Tunk

      Religion is not a philosophy but a mental illness.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • mist

      squirmy mark, you keep on squirmin so squirmily. squirm on.

      July 3, 2011 at 5:35 am |
  18. Jordan

    Religion takes science out of the equation in many instances because some FACTS don't support their conclusions. Scary part is, most people NEED religion to get through everyday life and if the church were to come out of the closet with their thousands of year old hoax pandemonium would ensue.
    Read Holy Blood Holy Grail by Leigh and Baigent, it proposes a highly possible version of events that begun Christianity as it is today. The bible was a man-made manifesto that has been rewritten countless times to keep people from questioning "the powers above"
    But luckily it is America, so you are able to believe what you want. Keep in mind that many of today's inventions were created by closet atheists and you Christians reap the benefits.
    Many wars were started based on beliefs.........you violent, violent, people.

    July 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hmm... Union Army list as one of its causes to go to war with the South is that God made all men free... and now I am posting to this blog from my house instead of texting you from the cotton fields.


      July 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Mark FMR.. Yes, but it was the same god of the bible that allowed and encouraged slavery in the first place..

      July 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jordan

      The "Separation of church and state" should end all arguments towards the unpatriotic atheist theory

      July 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Rational


      Just like the Confederacy used the Bible to justify slavery.

      July 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • John

      Athiests are closet agnostics. Just come out and say you dont really know. None of us do. Being proud of believing in nothing is like celebrating that you hate sports insteadnofmjust living your life. It nonsensical. I dont know anything about politics and i dont care. I never go into blogs on politics because its boring. Why are there "athiest groups"? So you can sit around and make fun of god, something you dont believe? Thats insane

      July 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >> "Just like the Confederacy used the Bible to justify slavery."

      But the other side used the Bible and their faith to set men free.

      So, it sorta shoots the Atheist argument to pieces that Faith and Religion can only be used for evil. Also shows that even within Christianity people are not lockstep.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      It is only to make themselves feel important in this world....here is a quote from an atheist...."In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs."

      you know you do not need to believe in God to be a Christian...their are such people that identify themselves as atheist christians and churches tha accpet them....most atheist in the west are just anit-christ in the way Nitzche was...BUT even Nitzche could not deny the divinity of Jesus....he didn't "hate" Jesus but he did Paul...

      July 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • SB

      BoDacious01, obviously you've misunderstood Sam Harris' point. He is speaking about how the colloquialism "atheism" has very little to do with what it actually is. And if we were to address atheism for what it actually is, there really isn't a common term that we can use, because is not the presence of something but the absence of something. Concerning the rest of your point, you're wrong. It is PATENTLY impossible to be an atheist an believe in the divinity of Christ as most people understand it. What you're hoping to do is redefine divinity as something else, something more like genius. In which case Einstein too could be considered divine. But if that's the case then what's Jesus? He becomes just another guy. And going back to Sam Harris' point, we don't call ourselves Einsteinians so why would there be anything such as a Christian? Thus the only way Christianity survives (if just in name only!) is to believe that Jesus is an immortal and supernatural figure. In other words, to believe in fairy tales.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      SB.....I am divine.....I think you are divine....I think we all are divine....I agree with your notion about how most people view christainity I assure I do not see it as they do....just to note....I did not pray to jesus or god prior to taking my exam in my metabolism class nor to I pray to god to give me logic to go my job in the lab I work.....Nor do I think logically how to meditate or perform yoga.....I evacuate my mind of logical thought....I dont' go to church....I am a degreed scientist....As far as Jesus...i think he was just another man but he was a man with a historical context and has obviously influenced millions of people...I think if you look at the historical context and what he was saying it was revolutionary for his time.....just the same as domestication has been revolutionary for agriculture...general relativity has been revolutionary in the relm of physics...we have to take that into account in our view of the world....

      Funny thing for me is that I have been pretty much typing in a "stream of thought" tonight and see it as an anology to the banner that is flying this weekend.....its' purpose really is to be inflamatory as to bring attention to athiesm...I could care less really.....but the athiest are very sensitive about there non belief belief system of logic....is that really logical....and your right....I could easily see myself as an atheist Christian....others label themselves as such too....

      July 3, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • mist

      squirmy mark, you keep saying nothing in a most squirmy way. way to be squirmy, squirmy mark

      July 3, 2011 at 5:37 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Sometimes I think I am "simply divine" too. 😈
      Seriously, can you define, in precise terms, what you mean when you say the words "I am divine, you are divine" ?
      I suspect you may be making a dichotomy that in fact you may not intend, but let's hear you explanation first.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  19. norm - not that one

    So – atheists are allowed if they stay, quietly, in the closet;
    while religious zealots – who would change this nation to a sub-denomination of their cult – are allowed complete, unhindered, freedom to blast their insanities?

    By your standards – all freedom fighters should have just keep their mouth shut.

    July 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Can both the Religious Zealots and the Atheist Zealots just stay quiet in the closet ?

      Norm... If allowed both would turn the world into something that majority on neither side would want.

      July 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • rigel54

      No, I think most atheists would like a rational society where anyone could believe what they want, but societal rules were fair and could only be based on rational principles.

      July 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, heard that one on our side. Everyone can believe what they want .... but there is a standard that I will put into place the other side can not hold too. 🙂 You can be a part of society but, only if you accept our views and interpretation.

      Ever read Mao. Sorta we do not condemn and banish anyone. Those that have different views will find it uncomfortable to live here so they will choose to move away. In that way we do not have banishment. 🙂

      July 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Linda

      I agree. And to the other poster, who said that he would like it if they ALL kept quiet, that would be fine as well.
      People used to say, never to talk politics, or religion, as it always led to trouble.
      I am a Non-Believer, as I like to call it, and have been my entire life, as I simply, never was able to believe what I was told I should by my parent's church.
      It just always sounded to me like it made no sense at all, and felt like trying to believe in the tooth fairy, or Santa Clause.
      But a friend of mine, who also was a Non-Believer and myself used to say, that it frustrated us that the religous people in our community freely taught their "beliefs" as "FACT" to our children everywhere and definitely in the schools, while if we were to EVER dare to ask to be allowed to tell anyone what we believed, we would be verbally, if not physically "beaten down". I was accused of being a "Devil Worshipper" by one religous person, and told them, "WHY, if I DON'T believe AT ALL, would I believe in the Devil, if I DON'T believe in ANY of it?"
      But many religous people seem to think, that if you aren't one of them, then you HAVE to be "The Enemy", rather than just simply someone who believes something different than they do.
      I read once that it was like being Gay, we tend to "stay in the closet" because of fear for ourselves and our families of the reactions of the religious people to finding out that we are NOT Believers.
      It SHOULDN'T be that way, but it is.

      July 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Tunk

      Atheists are just people who don't believe in a god. There is nothing to be a "zealot" about in any way.
      Mark, you do not like to engage people. This shows a lot of fear inside you. See a therapist.

      July 3, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • mist

      why dont u love mao squirmy mark. mao is squirmy like u. way to go squirmy mark.

      July 3, 2011 at 5:39 am |
  20. ruemorgue

    There are atheists (disbelief and indifferent to religion) and there are self-proclaimed atheists (zealots). The second variety are *identical* to the *religious*, both are zealots and self-rightious. Zealots can go out and win the Darwin Award.

    July 2, 2011 at 6:03 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.