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)
  1. Wade

    Your imaginary god is as real as Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. Turn your brains on and grow up.

    July 3, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      You are a perfect example of how atheists are insulting and confrontational. Do you really think that your comment has added anything that hasn't been said 100 times before just with respect to this article?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Donamoula

      Actually, I've never seen the "Turn your brains on and grow up." phrase before. So Wade actually added something to the conversation. 😛

      July 3, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Joe.Blow From Idaho

      While your contributions have been a model for tolerance and bringing folks together... NOT!

      You seem to be full of anger and on a mission to straighten out atheists. Did you just get out of Sunday School, after being all revved up by your local charlatan?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @HotAirAce: I stand by everything I have said. The comments on this article have been dominated by atheists spewing the most hateful and intolerant garbage against God, the bible, and people of faith. Someone has to stand up for God.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Wellnow

      Yes, someone has to feel like their delusion has some validity.
      Go for it, Joe. Lay it all out for us.
      Don't let anything like reason or common sense stand in your way, either. I know you hate that stuff.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Joe Blow from Idaho

      Hey -Joe...

      You Said: "@HotAirAce: I stand by everything I have said. The comments on this article have been dominated by atheists spewing the most hateful and intolerant garbage against God, the bible, and people of faith."

      And, the 'believers' are also doing their fair share.

      You Said: "Someone has to stand up for God."

      Really...? You are kidding, right...?



      July 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Someone has to stand up for God."""

      Anyone but god, apparently.

      See, that's part of the problem with believers – they try to take on their god's job, because the god doesn't seem at all interested in doing it.

      You have no faith, dude, if you feel like you have to go to bat for your god.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  2. A Happy Atheist

    Independence Day is a great day to remind people that not all people who are patriotic are believers. Like me. I served in the military and I'm an atheist. And I'm happy. And not angry. 🙂

    July 3, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Dan

      Thanks for your service. And, yes, there are many atheists who are not UAP. Just as there are many theists who are UAP. It's the loudmouths on both sides who tend to be UAP.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  3. brad

    This blog has taught me something about atheists: they cannot look the implications of their disbelief full in the face. Here's an example: in Africa, an AIDS epidemic is wiping out millions. Now, the typical atheist has kissed the feet of Darwin. Darwin states in Origin of Species that the propogation of a species will expand until "checked" by some other factor. To be consistent, the atheist should admit that AIDS must be a "check" that nature has applied to slow the growth of the species. But intead of admitting this, he gets compassion-faced and goes so far as to blame the AIDS spread on the Pope ! In other words, he doesn't have the courage of his convictions. When the going gets tough, he blinks. What does this have to do
    with flying atheists? THis movement of theirs won't last. It'll get hough and true to form, the atheists won't have the brass balz to stay the course. They'll blink.

    July 3, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Aids is a punishment from God for sod.omites and other immoral people, and yes, it does act as a check on them.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • John Richardson

      Nice try, Brad, but it won't fly: An essential moral dilemma for all to ponder is that unchecked human population growth is a problem, but we all – well, a lot of us – still feel compassion to the individual living human and don't see mass death as a morally acceptable solution to the problem of unchecked human population growth. That is why many people instead work to limit the birth rate. When methods employed to that end include abortion, one can fairly wonder how that is so different from other forms of mass death. (I support very early term abortion, oppose very later term abortion and am ambivalent about the large stretch in the middle, fwiw.) So where we get a little exorcised is when people stand in the way of even such benign methods of population AND STD control as condoms, and that's where rage against the pope comes in.

      The only relevance of Darwin to the discussion is that any disease that can prove fatal before one's career in procreation is over would favor the survival of those bearing genes that conferred total or at least significant immunity, if and ONLY if such genes actually exist. Otherwise, it all comes down to happenstance of exposure. All this is unquestionably correct as a scientific point. We aren't worshipping anyone when acknowledge these scientific facts and acknowledging them doesn't mean we have to stand idly by as a possibly preventable disease selects for genes by killing people we value.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • John Richardson

      Whoops, did I actually say "exorcised" Bwahahaha!

      July 3, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • HotAirAce


      Why do believe that AIDS has a purpose – to slow the growth of a species?

      Re: pope-a-dope, given that the use of condoms is known to prevent the spread of AIDS, the rcc's stance is evil, right up there with protecting pedophiles.

      Is "Joe Blow From Idaho" Heaven Scent's new handle? Or Justina's? Or ?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Derick

      Atheists generally believe in natural selection because there's overwhelming evidence that it's TRUE. And if it's true, it's true whether we like it or not.

      That doesn't mean we have to think every result of it is good or necessary. That's like saying: if you believe in Newtonian physics, it's hypocritical to get out of the way of something that's about to fall on you, because gravity caused it just as Newton would predict!

      Further, I think you have your biology wrong, though I'm not an expert myself.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • John Richardson

      All untreated diseases act as a check on the population of those exposed with no genetic immunity. That's as true for chicken pox as it is for AIDS. Should we let children with a bad case of the chicken pox or mumps or measles or what have you die?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Donamoula

      brad, you are so massively stupid that I'm having a hard time thinking of the proper adjectives to use. That's pretty bad.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Joe Blow
      And leukemia is a punishment for the four year old I saw yesterday pushing his I-Med/chemotherapy down the hall with one arm, and holding his teddy bear in the other ? Shame on you.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  4. jim

    if atheists view everything as being relative or not, then that statement alone is marked irrelative....making that statement nonexistent...thus disproving their very stance on atheists false 🙂

    Hope, Faith, Love

    July 3, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Spiffy

      How about this. There is no God.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Spiffy

      How about this? There is no God.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • jim

      but if atheist believe nothing matters, than your statement doesn't matter...you can't have one without the other 🙂

      Faith, Hope, Love

      July 3, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Spiffy

      Atheists don't believe nothing matters. We believe that magical men in the sky and their fairy tale stories don't matter.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • jim

      so, where does your belief come from?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Spiffy

      From facts, science, intelligence, and reason.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • jim

      where do facts, science, intelligence, and reason come from?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Spiffy

      Studying and learning. Can I ask you where you base your beliefs on?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Dan

      Jim, where does your belief come from? The bible? Then I am scared if that is the case. Because you are a potential child killer (Abraham), able to commit incest (Lot), a potential mass murder (Deuteronomy 13:13-19). Now if you are so strong in your belief that the bible is the direct word of your god, then I fear for my families safety because of individuals like you.

      What is my belief as an athiest? Live and let live. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • John Richardson

      So atheists should believe that some things are both relative and not relative?

      Where do these people come from????????

      July 3, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • jim

      Well, if you understand the entire concept of why Jesus died on the cross...then you will get your answer 🙂

      July 3, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Dan: If your belief is to "live and let live" then why are you flying these banners? No doubt you will say that it is to counter the big bad Christians who only want to help you and to save your eternal soul.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • jim

      i meant that you can't have both...sorry about that John Richardson 🙂

      July 3, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  5. TRH

    "I quite like your Christ. I don not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

    -Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi

    July 3, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Read some of Ghandi's court papers and other writings when he was a lawyer in South Africa. Find out what side he was on during Apartheid.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • John Richardson

      To be fair, Mark, lawyers are hired guns. In court, they espouse points of view that help their clients' cases. But I agree that people make Gandhi out to be some sort of demigod, which he wasn't.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Joe Blow from Idaho

    I just can't understand why atheists have to be so confrontational and insulting to Christians. Couldn't thy express their patriotism in a more constructive manner? Christians are held to the standard that we are supposed to be so passive and accepting, but atheists give themselves leave to do and say anything no matter how hateful and hurtful.

    The bible passage about knowing people by their fruits is clear – insulting and arrogant vs. forgiving and concern for the immortal soul.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Spiffy

      Try replacing the word atheist with Christian and Christian with atheist.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • jim

      I would agree that the particular wording of the banners ('godless') appears to be an attack on religion rather than an expression of support for atheism. However, I think atheists are on the whole more 'passive and accepting'.

      I remember seeing a report a few years ago about the representation of various minority groups in the government. Of 535 combined senators/congressmen only one at the time did not profess a belief in a religion. At >0.2% of representation in the government for a minority consisting of somewhere between 8 and 15% of the population depending on which poll you select, how many other groups would be so passive about such low levels of representation?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Chuck

      "The bible passage about knowing people by their fruits is clear – insulting and arrogant vs. forgiving and concern for the immortal soul."
      Don't see much Forgiving and concern from todays "christians", unless you are in their church or giving money to them.
      The fruits we see from christians is mostly Rotten with intollerance and bigotry.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  7. TRH

    "Faith is believing what you know ain't so. If Christ were here today there is one thing he would not be...a Christian."

    -Mark Twain

    July 3, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  8. jim

    soooooo.....if they are true atheists, then why are they afraid of flying their banners? Where does the "feeling" of being scared flying come from....probably some supernatural being called GOD!

    July 3, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Spiffy

      Actually it probably comes from the high intolerance that most atheists face. Also being threatened can do the trick.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • TRH

      The answer is simple.

      An atheist is a target of bigotry and intolerance....born of evangelical Christian dogma and fantasy. They are often shunned by even their families, their employers, their communities, in much the same way as Gays and Lesbians. I don't say that flying over a beach with a banner is the right thing to do, but these folks have courage.

      No, they are NOT afraid of "god"...they are afraid of their fellow man.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Chuck

      Atheists are scared of the facist christians that will resort to violence if someone does not believe their drivel.
      Religious persons can justify any extreme to defend their beliefs. Totaly against Jesus's teachings!

      July 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  9. Michael Wiese

    There is no god. Religion is simply a way of controlling others so that they will work and provide food, or money, or land, for you. No matter what faith you choose, the basic idea you have once you hit the nerve of those who are "faithful" is, "do what I tell you to do or you will die" which when you think about it is no different than slavery.
    I'll bet you the contents of my wallet that those people making that ad were ordered by the faithful to not put up the ad or they will die.
    You know its true. You know it.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • tmm77625

      Interesting article in a recent National Geographic. Seems archaeologists are starting to find primitive religious centers that are not associated with any ongoing human habitation and that predate agriculture and animal husbandry. Imagine that, humans got together and made temples for worship WITHOUT a supposed clergy to "work and provide food, or money, or land."

      Religion does not "control" people; some people use religion as a tool to control people, the same way they use nationalism, or fear, or natural disasters, or hereditary positions in society, or brute force to control people.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Wellnow

      It's all about delusions and how easily they are spread from one person to another, like a disease.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  10. Marie

    What's more patriotic, believing that everyone but those who belong to your religion are going to literally burn for all of eternity, believing that gay people are going to literally burn for all of eternity, basically anyone who you don't like is going to literally burn for all of eternity, or actually learning how to accept people's differences and not hate them for being different from you?

    July 3, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Not all differences are to be embraced and celebrated. Christianity is trying to put this country back on the road that made it great. Atheists are trying to tear us apart from within.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Wellnow

      To Joe Blow-
      Here's an idea, why don't you read the Declaration of Independence? You might find it quite supports protesting against oppression. And you have it quite backwards. Christians are trying to destroy this country from within.
      If only you guys would attack from another country! Then we could all agree that your violations of the Constltution are very bad and shoot you down before you cross the borders.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • gozer

      you blow, Joe. And your post has it exactly backwards.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Wellnow: The Declaration of Independence does not have the force of law in this country. If you are so well read you would know that.

      @gozer: Keep telling yourself that I have it backwards if that makes you feel better about yourself.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Wellnow

      Joe, I do know that. I did not say it had the force of law. You should fear the law, Joe. Law is going to get rid of religion for us.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  11. Joe Blow from Idaho

    This is supposed to be a religion blog, but it seems dedicated to smearing Christianity or outright attacking Christianity. A lot of people here need to get right with God.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • a4mrtheist

      Its not so much as smearing christianity as christianity smearing non believers.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @ a4mrtheist

      How exactly are Christians smearing unbelievers? By trying to save them?

      July 3, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • JAMES

      yes joe blow from idaho by forcing your beliefs on others. as far as the group flying these banners they have every right under the law but, are no better than a religious group themselves forcing their beliefs on others and justify it by saying they represent atheists.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • gozer

      "get right with god" -too funny. God would have to exist for that to happen. News for you Joe: god doesn't exist. Get on with your life and learn to face reality without a sky fairy.

      Blow Joe, blow.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @gozer: God exists whether you want to acknowledge Him or not. You will find out when you stand before the flames of he.ll. Christians just want to help you get saved. And, yes, you need to get right with the Lord.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Dave D.

      James, I've always found it humorous when I hear the typical, mindless statements like the one you've made here.
      Please tell everyone how anyone has ever, or could ever, "force" their beliefs on you?
      Do they tie you to a chair and prop open your eyelids with toothpicks, while making you watch "Touched by an Angel" marathons?
      No, James. Nobody has ever "forced" anything on you, any more than the atheists here are "forcing" their views on anyone else.
      Be honest, James. This isn't about stopping Christians from "forcing" their beliefs on you. It's about you not wanting to hear them- or anything else that doesn't agree with your beliefs. Essentially, it's about your desire to simply SILENCE religious folks. You'd like that, wouldn't you, James? To just shut them all up, for good?
      I wonder how you could do that, though? Hrmm... maybe if we get some great, big ovens...

      July 3, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Dave D: You nailed it. The last time I checked, we still have the 1st Amendment so no one can force their beliefs on anyone.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Wellnow

      And the brain-damaged Joe does it again! Joe, the First Amendment does not support religion. It doesn't work that way.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  12. Peri Browner

    When the Christian Taliban starts killing off the Muslims, Jews and Atheists, none of the Christians will complain. Then they will go after the Catholics, the Unitarians, the Mormons and the other non-evangelicals, and who will come to their rescue?

    July 3, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yes, Westburo has been very successful and their church is growing by leaps and bounds and soon they will march on the rest of us.

      Peri... you can hardly get two or three churches to agree on a interpretation of the scripture but you feel that these guys will take over the world. What will stop them is what will always stop them, other churches.

      Let go of your fear.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • tmm77625

      Yes, you atheists always like to pretend that Christians are the great killers. Seems to me the greatest killers in history have been atheists, or at the very least, non-Christians. If you knew something of history beyond your white European upbringing in your public schools, you'd know that.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Dave D.

      Yes, Peri... because that's happening all the time.
      It's not like atheist and secular states commit atrocities. They've always peaceful, working for the betterment of mankind.
      I mean, just look at some of their great leaders like Pol Pot... umm... I mean Mao.... ummm... how about Stalin... wait, no... ermm... Hitler? Damn. Sorry, this isn't working out, at all.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • TRH


      You are the one who better study history. Many of those "non-Christian" killers followed some other silly dogma, equally as dangerous. Hitler was a Roman Catholic by the way. Do you know what happened to the first man who had the audacity to translate the bible into English from the Latin? He was burned at the stake for heresy. The Spanish inquisition. The Salem witch trials. Even the KKK spouts scripture at cross-burning ceremonies.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Wellnow

      David is Mark. How silly. Why not use just one name? No one will support you otherwise, am I right?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • tmm77625


      Sorry, Stalin – atheist. Mao – atheist. Pol Pot – atheist. Hitler, Roman Catholic? That's like saying an atheist born to Catholic parents is still a Catholic. Nice try, but you should really study up on how his beliefs evolved later in life. Stalin and Mao had him beaten by a very good margin, anyway, and the Khmer would have certainly, but there were only so many Cambodians for them to kill. By the way, Mussolini was born Catholic, then went...atheist. That turned out well for everyone, eh?

      July 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Maybe


      Stalin was raised Catholic (almost became a priest, in fact)... as also were Hitler and Mussolini. It's possible that all of that early "We are better than everyone else" indoctrination stayed with them. They just adapted who the "we" was.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. snoop

    Let the sheep followers follow. I'm a proud atheist. Religion is for only one purpose, to mend the crowd.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Religion is one thing. A relationship with the Lord is another. Let your heart be open and come to Him with humility, and your sins will be forgiven.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • gozer

      "all your sins will be forgiven" -and there, in that statement, is one of the central horrors of the Christian religion -the taking away of responsibility for one's own actions.

      Joe, god does not exist. Have a nice day.

      And blow, Joe, blow.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • tmm77625

      One wonders why so many atheists follow a blog about religion...

      July 3, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  14. arthurrrrr

    Well- since God exists,that makes atheists look pretty stupid.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  15. Moby49

    No, atheism is not pariotic but then again neither is christianity, judaism, islam, hinduism, etc. You can belong to any of those religions and be patriotic or not very. It all depends on how you view your role in the country.

    To be honest, if you want to see unpatriotic people, look no further than the corrupt congress. And they belong to many religions.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  16. Joe Blow from Idaho

    LMAO. It's striking how many people posting here are the same people who were posting on the article from that so.domite trying to justify his own buggery from within Christianity. It makes me wonder how many atheists are really just filthy sodo.mites rejecting religion because religion rejected them and their buggery and pedophilia. God save our children.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • TRH

      Truly, you didn't think before you posted this vitriol. You are a prime example of an intolerant religious zealot...of which there are far too many in this country. I implore you to educate yourself...read something besides the bible...try to apply some intelligence and common sense to your way of thinking.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Chuck

      Hey Blow Joe, there is way more so.domy and buggery within the church than out. And you call churches tolerant? Where have you been hiding? Facist christians cant be happy if they arn't telling others how to live their lives. Presuming to speak for God is the ultimate sin yet these facists feel its their god given right. Beware the too pious man!

      July 3, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Dave D.

      Joe, I've got to say... you just make it too easy for the atheists.
      If you really want to make a point against atheists, the first step would be to tone down the ridiculous rhetoric.
      If that fails, try step two, which is simply to stop talking.
      This, by the way, comes from someone who is NOT an atheist.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @David D.: Actually, I spent most of last night reading the comments here. I've seen the worst things said about God, Christianity, and the bible. The more I read, the angrier I got. I'm really not in the mood to tone down the rhetoric. The atheists don't seem to be toning down their rhetoric.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Wellnow

      Yeah, let's heat up the rhetoric some more. That will bring your idiotic beliefs into high relief so they will be obvious to all.
      Go ahead, Joe. Tell us how your bullsh1t "holy" spirit ra.ped a little girl. Quite the ho.rny god you got, eh?
      Does that mean you support child ra-pe as well?

      July 3, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Chuck

      Joe, remember your bible, turn the other cheek!

      July 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  17. VAMarineDad

    So the believers are bigots, but the intolerant atheists aren't?

    July 3, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Dan

      You misunderstand. The UAP are just "more equal" than others.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  18. Isaac

    Atheism is not patriotic, any more than theism is. Just as it is not necessary to be a believer in order to be patriotic, not believing does not make one patriotic, either.

    July 3, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Maze

      I agree. Atheism is simply the belief that there is no god. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Dave D.

      Absolutely 100% correct, sir.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  19. Mary-Rachel-Mouna

    Acceptable "Proof" one way or the other has yet to be found.
    Some can go through life having no clue of "WHY?"
    Others cannot and adhere to some explanation most often given to them as children.
    I can go through life not knowing why. Would it be easier to have a belief that provides numerous explanations to the basic question most humans have? Yes.
    I don't think I am special, am loved by some God who has a personal relationship with me. Not quite as warm and fuzzy as the comfort brought by beliefs in Gods and Deities.
    None provided has yet to make much sense to me. Don't bother quoting any religious book; legends, mythes,fables to me. Some are lovely moral tales of goodness and kindness. Others are not so nice and better forgotten.
    Some in my family cannot go through life thinking they do not know why they are here and what will happen to them after death. They find it too frightening, disconcerting as if there was no direction to life without these beliefs, and that is their affair.
    In the end I have observed that belief is mostly based on the psychological needs of the person. Therefore it is useless to argue, they hold these beliefs because they need them to get through life.
    I must say it does bother me to be frighten to put up a sticker on my car suggesting I do not share belief in any of the explanations of the moment or the past. As gay people were years ago I am quiet about my thoughts concerning God/Gods.
    The only line of conduct I would be happy everyone shared is to not do to others what one would not like to be done to one's self.........and please all the books collecting the different myths, stories etc somewhere have some sort of version of this concept ........it's called empathy and no one has owner's rights to it.
    Just be decent, that should be good enough for everyone.
    Thank you.

    July 3, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Ted M.

      Great post!

      July 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • JAMES

      THANK YOU! let me say this again thank you. finally someone has put it in an eloquent way what most atheists feel.

      July 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Peace2All


      Well said.



      July 3, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Dave D.

      The ending sentiment is a good one... though I could have done without the story of your life, and the pot-shots at religious materials.
      Your point would have been much more effective, if not for that.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Wellnow

      YOU could never write something so eloquent, Dave/Mark. All you can do is deliberately misunderstand other people, call them "kid", pretend this is the big leagues and say you are refuting things when you never do much of that at all.
      I think you're just jealous. Go jump in a lake somewhere. Preferably one filled with raw sewage.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Magic


      Excellent. Thank you.

      You have forestalled the ensuing irrational comments in your post, but I know that it is still not pleasant to see them. Peace.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Mary-Rachel-Mouna

      Thank you everyone.
      I have never written anything anywhere before, and English is a second language.
      This morning on CNN some man with a slogan for tomorrow the 4th of July; "God Less America" was interviewed.
      I loved what he had to say. I did not understand why the chosen slogan was so much more extreme sounding than his tolerant message. Not made to express or elicit tolerance from others.. It sounds to me as intolerant as any extreme religion I am aware of.
      I am Canadian but have been living here happily with an American husband a number of years.
      Church and State are very separated in Canada, I have never felt uncomfortable about not being a follower of religion but here I am quiet about it. It makes people uncomfortable to be around me when they know.
      One appealing aspect of organized religion atheist/agnostics do not take into account is the sentiment of fellowship, belonging to a group, a tribe of some sort.
      As someone far from my native land I can tell you there is great power to the feeling of belonging.
      I know a number of people around me who do not really espouse religious beliefs but are happy to have a community to raise their children in, almost like a country club.
      A few years ago a right wing radio/television person explained how he chose to become a Mormon. He had just married was becoming a father and looked around at various groups to join and enjoy the support of a community while raising his family. The Mormons seemed more congenial and family oriented so he joined the Mormon Church. I never heard him mention God.
      In French Canada there is little money to be made out of religion, the Catholic Church has made all the money there was to be had and they own the best real estate. The others are more low key and arrived later.
      There is no "God Business" to speak of, I guess there are too few of us.
      If there was not as much money to be made I doubt religion would be as prevalent in this country. The marketing is almost as good as the Catholic Church's was in it's prime.
      It's like New France and other colonies of the past centuries; converts mean money.
      Well, as we are not going to eliminate everyone who thinks differently from us and we are stuck with each other like it or not, the only solution is to ask ourselves to be decent to each other in the public arena.
      Do what you like at home, think what you want at home, associate/marry/love whom you want and let's keep in mind there is no underestimating the power, stability and force that comes to a country when all are encouraged to be plain old decent to each other.There are enough people out there who wish us harm.
      Thank you again to everyone.

      July 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  20. Dan

    Let the unhappy, angry people have their advertising campaign. In the end their negativity will lose out in the marketplace of truth.

    July 3, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Boojum

      If there's anyone who sounds unhappy and angry that would be you.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • a4mrtheist

      I am atheist, happy and patriotic. You proselytize and so do I.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Boojum Yes, isn't it hilarious how Christians spit venom over how "angry and hateful" others are and moan on gloomily about how "unhappy" others are?

      July 3, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • JAMES

      why would you say that an atheist is angry and unhappy?

      July 3, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: angry and unhappy, it seems to the typical response when believers can't come up with anything of substance. It is so common, I suspect it is taught as part of their weekly cult indoctrination sessions.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Maze

      "Marketplace of Truth". LOL! Let me sell you a great Villa in the clouds. Thing is, you don't get to take possession until your dead.

      July 3, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Chuck

      I agree, the happy informed atheists will be vindicated over the angry and unhappy christians in the marketplace of truth.
      Want to see unhappy and angry? Just listen to the christians that invade our airwaves everyday. Intolerant racists!

      July 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Dan

      I would say an atheist is unhappy and angry because s/he acts unhappy and angry. To be clear, I am NOT saying all atheists are UAP, and I know many theists who are UAP.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
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About this blog

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.