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. An American

    So it's okay for atheists to FORCE their lack of belief down our throats? But Christians can't have their freedom of speech? What a double standard!

    July 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mike

      You forgot your tags.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Mike

      Sarcasm tags, that is . . .

      July 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • forwardbias

      The number of road side banners, huge crosses, Christmas tress and other very christian displays on public and private ground but all viewable from road or sidewalk pretty much tells me that Christians have had NO issues with their freedom of speech.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • aahawks

      Stop with the poor Christian bit. Christians are ramming it down our throats daily. Get over it.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @An American

      You said "So it's okay for atheists to FORCE their lack of belief down our throats? But Christians can't have their freedom of speech? What a double standard!"

      How, exactly, are atheists beliefs forced down your throats? How is flying these banners any different from the banners that proclaim "Jesus saves"? Nobody is advocating for putting atheists prayers in public schools.

      Get a fucking grip, buddy. Just because I demand my freedom from religion, doesn't mean that your rights are in any way restricted. You are free to profess your love for Bob the Magical Blue Sock all you want.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Really?

      So you can FORCE your holidays on us and FORCE your GOD Messages on billboards and 18 wheelers, but an Atheist banner is FORCING it on you? How double standard...And shows your ignorance.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Kyle

      I fail to see how flying a banner is forcing anything down your throat. When you say forcing I assume you mean it in the way I was forced to swear allegiance to your god every time I said the pledge from preschool to 12th grade.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • lc

      forwardbias- Atheists don't believe in anything; therefore, there is nothing for them to put up now is there?

      July 3, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  2. Reality

    Third place and gaining as we type:

    o http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    oReligion >>Adherents

    Christianity 2.1 billion

    Islam 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million
    Judaism 14 million
    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    1.5 million Conservative Jews and there rabbis have concluded that Abraham, based on lack of text and architectural evidence, probably did not exist. Therefore Christianity, Islam and Judaism have no foundation and fail as religions moving irreligious, atheists and agnostics to the top of the list.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • airwx

      Hi Reality....actually you better be concerned about the neo-paganists.... atheists are converting to paganism in Europe in droves!!!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Kyle

      Do you even know what a pagan is?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • James

      In my experience, most "pagans" are mostly outcast types who latch onto paganism or wicca as a non-conformist sort of spirituality worshipping nature. Seems silly to me, but harmless enough.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  3. Don

    Amazing – every day MILLIONS of xtians proselytize, advertize, propagandize, and antagonize all across our country, while non-believers and believers in other faiths are supposed to politely accept it, yet let 17 people try to do a little bit of the same thing, and they get THIS reaction.

    Thanks to all of you non-believer vets who have posted. First, for your service that allows us to have this discussion AT ALL, but secondly for being brave enough to tell believers that you don't have to have a certain faith, or any, to serve this country.

    If they let me post it, below is a link to a site with a HUMOROUS look at what the US would be like if the shoe were on the other foot:


    July 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  4. John

    Heck, most of the people who played major roles in winning our independence and setting up our whole system of governance would be considered agnostic to athiest by modern standards. They certainly wouldn't pass muster with the "Christians" of the far-right today; could you imagine someone from the Bible Belt today actually voting for someone who wrote a Bible that actually removed all references to mysticism and God? Jefferson would be a one-term president today because he dared to actually believe that logic and science could explain the natural world.

    Given that, I'm not surprised that there are plenty of uneducated bible-thumpers who revel in using the same tactics as the SA (aka "brown shirts"). Apparently having a "God" telling you something is okay (even when it's only the words of modern or ancient con artists and power-brokers) makes it okay in their minds to use any means necessary to increase the spread of ignorance and hate.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Open minded

      It sounds like you are bashing the christians or at least believers in general. How is the hatred going to ever stop if people don't ever make an effort to try and stop it. If someone bashes you is it right to bash them back? Does that help anyone or do any good at all? I am not bashing you by any means, just trying to make a point that this constant bickering and bashing is never going to end if nobody takes the higher road and that's enough.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • lc

      Copied this from samarai on another site:

      “July 4th ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
      John Adams

      “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity…”
      Treaty of Paris

      “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil governemnt and principles of Christianity.”
      John Quincy Adams

      “Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.”
      “In God is our trust.”
      Star Spangled Banner

      “Let us not forget the religious character of our origin.”
      Daniel Webster

      “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God…then we will be a nation gone under.”
      Ronald Reagan

      During the Revolution, Congress resolved to import 20,000 volumes of the Bible because “the use of the Bible is so universal, and it’s importance so great.”
      Continental Congress 1777

      July 3, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  5. Open minded

    Too many people in this country today are just looking for things to get offended at, and too many people get their rocks off trying to offend people. I think that all of this political correctness is a bunch of BS and people need to learn to just let things go. If you are an atheist, that's fine. Live your life as you like and if you are christian or any other religion for that matter that's fine also, live your life as you like. STOP getting offended by every little thing that's out there and just be happy. It can't be that hard that is how I have lived my entire life.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • cindy


      July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  6. ColinO

    I'm a proud atheist and you know what, I don't think they should fly them either. The billboards are one thing, getting the message out there is one thing, but this is just kind of tasteless. They're taking the focus of the day away from what it should be, which is being patriotic and living in a free country, not atheism, and not God. They're making themselves look just as bad as the religious crowd that try to shove their dogma down your throats. If you're looking to paint atheists in a more positive light, this is not the way to do it.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Kellie

      I agree – I am also an Atheist, and this is just a tacky campaign. If there's one thing I really hate about religions, it's the proselytizing – and that goes for proselytizing Atheists, too. It's our belief, yes, but there are other ways to communicate with one another for assurance we're not alone.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  7. Sharon

    I'm an atheist, but I don't like the signs. I suggest:

    Happy 4th From American Atheists or

    We All Love The USA, American Atheists.

    Keep it positive while spreading the message of reason.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • airwx

      I find your thoughts spot-on...kudos

      July 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • ColinO

      Saw your post right after I made mine. Well said.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bryan

      I agree 100%.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • JohnR

      Excellent, Sharon!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • redragon

      Well said. I agree. 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mike

      Well said.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Patty

      Excellent point! Thank you for making it!

      July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • lc

      Why not keep it really simple, like "Happy 4th of July USA!" Or "Happy Independence Day!

      July 3, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I am a Christian and a Veteran. I also served my country, and part of what I have always believed in is the right of someone to be able to believe, or not, in whatever deity he or she chooses. It can be any permutation of the Abrahamic tradition, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, or whatever, or it can be non-belief in a deity. I take offense at those who deny others their right to believe or not. Also, most of those who would deny that right have never served in the military, either. I will not offer a blessing to any athiests reading this, but I will wish you a Happy Independence Day, and long may the flag wave.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • gozer

      Thank you Joe. And thank you for your service.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • John

      As a atheist I thank you!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • JohnR

      Great, Joe. Happy 4th to you and yours!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Blaise

      Thank you for your service and your love of freedom for all.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Shannon

      Joe, thank you so much for your service and have a happy 4th!

      July 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  9. James

    People are always bringing up the "In god we trust" quote on our money as if it has been around forever. Look it up, it was added in relatively recent times around the start of the cold war. Personally I think it violates the separation of church and state, but it's not something that particularly bothers me, it's not as if some words on my money will brainwash me.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chris

      The pledge of allegiance was also changed to add that as well...just making sure you add that part.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Brian Hartman

      "In God We Trust" first made its appearance on U.S. coinage in 1864, during (and because of) the Civil War. That doesn't mean it's a part of America's DNA, but it's not as of recent vintage as some people think. I'm an atheist, and it really doesn't bother me.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Will

      These people with their "in god we trust" on the money need to look at their credit cards and bank websites that they pay their bills electronically from. Neither of those have "in god we trust" but money changes hands nonetheless.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • James

      Ok I was off a bit, I read into it a bit further. The phrase was indeed on coins starting in 1864. It was adopted as the official motto much later in 1956 and added to dollar bills in 1957, that's what I was thinking of when I wrote my original post. Technically speaking, it does not specify any particular god.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  10. JohnQuest

    Since when does being a good American means being religious? I don't think it ever did.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  11. James

    I'm an atheist, and I love and stand by my country. That said, I don't go around proclaiming my lack of religion, there's really nothing to be gained by prodding those who disagree. Believe in god is a personal choice, and one's relationship with their deity of choice is a personal matter.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      James, It's not just a personal choice when the believers are taking away your rights, denying your rights or attempting to indoctrinate your children.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      JQ is right, you should be allowed to indoctrinate your children without any interference. Hey..I thought that was something atheists were against?

      July 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • JW

      I dont see how atheists have any less rights than Christians.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Artist


      I dont see how atheists have any less rights than Christians.

      Except when the Christian Taliban uses the government to force their religious morals down their throats.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Kyle

      JW, there are several state laws that forbid atheist from obtaining public office. That would mean they have less rights than theist.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Chris

      When I get told this is a christian country...or that I dont belong because im not a christian...yeah im going to voice my opinion and view. As an atheist im not allowed to hold public office in most states...there are blue laws that religious nuts have put in place to stop people from doing things. Yeah I have a problem with religion....

      July 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • JW

      If there are state laws that say that then I am wrong. I would say they should do something about that. Most of the courts in this country are liberal and would probably throw those laws out

      July 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • cmc

      It's not so much the lack of rights as it is lack of acceptance, James. here in Texas, an atheist group attempted to put an ad campaign up on city buses. The few cities that allowed it had such a problem with protesters, they will now no longer accept ANY religous messages on buses. Atheist billboards are often defaced. I work at a school and a group of Christians were just off campus passing out bibles a few months back. An announcement was made just before school ended that the school was aware of this and that the kids were free to accept the bibles or not. I can't fathom the school knowing Muslims were just off campus passing out Korans or atheists passing out literature with their perspective and them being okay with this. They likely would have called the cops.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • airwx

      Hi Artist....I trust you are well...

      July 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  12. UCFKnightman

    Being Atheist myself, I cannot condone this Zealotry. It only exhibits the same behavior many of use deplore concerning religion. People, this is an organization that does not reflect the views of all atheists or non-theological individuals.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • cmc

      I understand where you're coming from, but this campaign is more about knowing that many of your normal neighbors are not believers and that's okay. It's kind of like when more gays and lesbians started coming out so that their more narrow minded family, neighbors and coworkers could see that they DID know gay people and they actually found them to be nice people. I don't think this group is trying to recruit, so much as they are trying to let people know they exist and they aren't the boogeymen.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • JW

      I agree. I think God-less nation sounds like they are trying to say that the atheists are going to take over. It they just said Atheists Love America or something I dont think this would be as much of a controversy.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • UCFKnightman

      CMC...I guess I just don't really care enough about other people. People will believe whatever they want to believe. I'm slightly misanthropic (shrug).

      July 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  13. Suzume

    I am a proud American as well, and a true patriot, as well as an atheist. More and more people are using 'coming out' of the closet so to speak regarding their lack of belief in a deity, so it is only a matter of time before the rest of the country will have to acknowledge that we, patriotic American atheists exist in higher numbers than they are willing to consider, and that love of flag and country does not necessitate belief in the Christian god, or any god for that matter. Freedom of religion protects those of us with no belief, as this country belongs equally to all of us, irrespective of our religious affiliation or lack thereof.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Brian

    I'm an atheist and I honestly can't understand how this enrages other people... I mean honestly if being an atheist is un-american and not patriotic then I guess my career choice (that little thing called The Army) is the wrong choice for me then?

    It shouldn't be as big of an issue as it is, we have plenty of actual problems to deal with, why do we need to argue about the small stuff? I don't care if you believe in a god or not: how you personally act towards me and my friends/loved ones is all I care about.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Presumably you don't have a problem earning money which states "In God we trust?"

      July 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • James

      Care to let us know when that quote was added to our money? Hint, it wasn't by the founding fathers or anyone in remotely the same generation. The "controversial" pledge of allegiance is a relatively modern invention as well.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Chris

      It does bother me reason, but is it that big of a deal? Not really. I do hate the fact that religious nuts have tailored this country to fit their needs without caring about others, but still its not that big of a deal.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Will

      VOR: My money gets put into my checking account electronically. And there's no pop ups saying "in god we trust" on it,.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  15. BHart

    I'm atheist. I served my country. I'm incredibly proud to be American. Any religion or lack of religion is belief – I don't see any reason for any faction to wave theirs in anyone's face – believe, carry with you what you feel, and treat everyone with the respect you expect from them . . .
    What "battle" are we fighting? Why waste the energy? Live your own, happy, fulfilling, un-oppressing life and leave others to do the same.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You tried very hard to come across as 'reasonable', then you shot yourself in the foot. You just couldn't resist adding that the people who believe in God are, of necessity, oppressed. That is why we believers find you atheists unbalanced.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Kyle

      brad, "in philosophy, rationality and reason are the key methods used to analyze the data gathered through systematically gathered observations."

      I have never seen Richard Dawkins angry, but if you can link me a video, I'd probably find it hilarious.

      You contradict yourself when you say atheist are "raging against Someone who doesn't exist." Atheist may be angry at theist, their beliefs, and their actions, and I as well do not think this anger supports rationality. However saying that atheists are angry at Someone (by which I assume you mean a supernatural being) would imply that they acknowledge Someone's existence, and thus they could not be considered atheist.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • James

      Where did he say anything about believers being oppressed? He said live an un-oppressing life, in other words believe whatever you believe, and let others do the same. Sounds like he's denouncing both believers and nonbelievers who feel compelled to stomp on the beliefs of another.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Patty

      I was going to say something similar to what James said, but he said it so well, I will just agree with him!

      July 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Voice of reason: I see nothing intimating that it's believers Bhart was referring to when he used the word "un-oppressing." You overreact and then accuse someone else of being "unbalanced"?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Not Anti-Athiest

    How about picking a slightly less inflammatory message?
    "God-LESS America" sounds less like you are promoting atheism and more like you are trying to pick a fight with a fanatic

    July 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Hows that wrong? It doesn't say "f your made up god". It just means you can be good without god.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  17. Tom

    @ amy re: "No one kills in the name of atheism."

    Then similarly I presume no one burns down factories in the name of saving the environment right? And no one blows up abortion clinics to protect life? People kill and die for what they believe, even if it's the right to not believe. Careful when using blanket generalizations like "no one" as they are nearly always false.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • William Demuth

      We athiests don't have to kill, we just encourage the children of Abraham to kill each other.

      Zealot on Zealot civil war!

      July 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      We have never encouraged them to kill each other. They do that of their own accord.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Tom

      William, I think you're undermining the "Atheists require logic for all of their arguments" comment below...

      July 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Artist

      William Demuth

      We athiests don't have to kill, we just encourage the children of Abraham to kill each other.

      Zealot on Zealot civil war!

      Not a problem, start with Israel. The christians get all hot and heavy about Israel. Poke the muslims a little and the christians will think it is the end times. Draw them to the ME and let the ME impload on itself.
      A nat farts in the ME and the evangelicals go nuts slobbering over themselves. Sometimes, lions are needed to thin the herds.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Joking about ppl getting killed...how childish but expected.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Amy: "Nobody kills in the name of Atheism" You're having a laugh, right????????
      Ladies and Gentlemen – I give you: Sta-lin, Le-nin, Ma-rx, Musso-lini, Krus-chev, Ti-to, Pol-pot, Mao-Tse-Tung, Rom-me, Xuan-Thuy ....................................................I rest my case.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Voice of Reason

      Wrong! You are confusing "killing for politics or political power" for "killing for atheism."

      July 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Artist


      Joking about ppl getting killed...how childish but expected.

      I wouldn't call it joking. There are wishes and vision of peace and happiness for everybody. Then there is reality of religious tension. Appears the Muslims want their Jihad or the leaders of them want it. The Christians want their end times so their baby jesus can prevail. I was simply saying grant their wish and be done with it. It doesn't take much to realize these two are going to have their religous war in the ME regarldess of what our wishes and hopes are. There can be no peace when you have two divisive religious groups that have power and weapons. You can only wish they off each other without hurting the rest of us.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Artist

      Voice of Reason

      @Amy: "Nobody kills in the name of Atheism" You're having a laugh, right????????
      Ladies and Gentlemen – I give you: Sta-lin, Le-nin, Ma-rx, Musso-lini, Krus-chev, Ti-to, Pol-pot, Mao-Tse-Tung, Rom-me, Xuan-Thuy ....................................................I rest my case.
      Stalin came from a Protestant background
      Mussolini came from a Catholic background
      Gilbert Rom-me was a mason which one of the requirements is to believe in a supreme being of sorts.
      Pol-pot was Catholic
      Mao-Tse-Tung he was a socialist but not sure if he was into Chinese type spiritualism.
      Are you confusing politics with religion?????

      July 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chris

      Your right I would fight to defend my right to be free...IN THE LAND OF THE FREE. See thats the problem with believers...they dont care about anyone else, its all about them. So its ok to make laws saying we cant hold public office...its ok to make laws that tell people when their business's can and cant be open...its ok to do those things because it doesn't effect them. Your the problem. Just because your not something doesn't mean you shouldn't fight for the right to be free.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Artist

      If you menat Rommel (Nazi) he was Protestant

      July 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Isn't all this linking Christianity to evil ppl just an ad hominem attack?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • JohnR

      More than a few of us in the broader "non-believer" category have had more than a few problems with some of William Demuth's posts. I wouldn't yet call him the atheist Adelina, but he's nudging his way over there, especially in this thread. Most secularists, which atheists and other non-believers tend to be as well as more than a few believers, are secular precisely because we want very much to see intersectarian violence END.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Artist

      Actually it was not lin k ing christians with ki lling. Ki ll ers come in all types and forms and ki ll in the name of all kinds of delusions. It was in re spon se to someone sug ges ting certain people were atheists and ki l ling in the name of atheism. I mea n if we are kee ping score I think men's gods take s the ultmate ti tle of "ser ial kil lers". *wink*

      July 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Artist


      More than a few of us in the broader "non-believer" category have had more than a few problems with some of William Demuth's posts. I wouldn't yet call him the atheist Adelina, but he's nudging his way over there, especially in this thread. Most secularists, which atheists and other non-believers tend to be as well as more than a few believers, are secular precisely because we want very much to see intersectarian violence END.
      Question, how can you expect peace from divisive irrational religious people who have weapons? Sure we can be wishful but wishful thinking only takes you so far as the tension grows and grows. You have radical christians thinking the world is ending and jesus is coming back to save them. You have muslims wanting their jihad. And you have the pawns in the middle (jews). Peace??? I think we are pas that possibility and are at damage control.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Artist I didn't mean to suggest it would be easy. Yes, the militantly religious are a big problem. But there not that a lot of the worst troubles occur between nations or, as in Northern Ireland, where the citizens are in a dispute as to which nation to belong to. Nations act like street gangs, except instead of handguns, they have tanks, bombs, warplanes, missiles, etc, etc to fight turf wars with. Any truly lasting peace will of necessity involve some form of internationalism.

      Look at the three forms of killing that some large segment of the population deem okay: (1) Abortion, where there is at least the QUESTION of whether what is being killed truly counts as a person; (2) Execution, where there is, at least in truly criminal cases, at least the QUESTION of whether someone's acts meant that they forfeited the right to life; (3) War, where many victims are unquestionably human and, in the case of civilians, generally have done nothing that one could plausibly argue means that they forfeited their oh so easily violated right to life. I'm not a pacifist. But I really, really am taken aback by the unspeakable carnage that isn considered fully legal killing, just because it's done in the name of "national interests".

      July 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • John Richardson

      The beginning of my second sentence should be "But note that ..."

      July 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I mean, the beginning of my THIRD SENTENCE!!! Yeesh!!! Going to bed!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  18. Jamie

    lol sky wizards

    July 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Matt

    I am as proud as one American can be. I do not believe in a god. I don't announce myself as an atheist, but by definition I am one. I just don't get all the agnst. I drive by churches every day and think of all the strange people who go to them and worship some mythical thing. It doesn't bother me.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • BHart

      I'm with you – doesn't hurt me, makes others feel purposeful . . . carry on.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • salvatore

      If you did announce yourself as an atheist you may find yourself bothered.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  20. Me

    The reason atheists are generally silent and not assembled: Atheists require logic for all of their arguments, and that is not a requirement for the other side.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Daniel

      That, and the fact that if I were to put 'atheist' on my Facebook page for example, I would jeopardize my job and I would have family members 'disown' me or try to 'inquisition' me (forcefully convert me back – they would literally drop what they're doing and fly out here to have a 'talk').

      It stinks that I can only really announce it anonymously on the internet.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • brad

      All these atheists appealing to logic and reason, without ever defining it or identifying its attributes. And they've certainly never "graded" logic, i.e., why is one person's logic better that another's. Dawkins is supposed to have written a book, The Enemies of Reason. Well, the greatest enemy of reason is uncontrolled emotion. Dawkins and CNN blog atheists use reason that has been seriously compromised by anger and superiority complex. In fact, the constant raging against Someone who doesn't exist smacks of psychosis rather than reason.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • James

      That and most of us don't feel any need to try to justify or spread our beliefs or lack thereof. Technically I'm agnostic. I lean towards atheism but I can't demonstrate that there is no god any more than a believer can demonstrate there is one. I have my beliefs, others have theirs, it's a personal matter and not something I need to go around grandstanding. Live and let live, mind your own business and I'll mind mine.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • mist

      brad is like a nail shoved up jesus' nose and into his brain. you just killed jesus, brad how do u feel.

      July 2, 2011 at 4:28 am |
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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.